Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Game Designer's Notebook: Named Characters and Points

This is approximately 100 points of Black Squadron. 

Points in Broken Contract have actually been a rather recent development, with the early playtesting done with a Character ratio of roughly 3/5 (three Black Squadron models for every five Breakers). The plan back then was to just indicate in each scenario how many Characters each side should take. All of the Characters released as part of the last Kickstarter were sent out into the world without any sort of point values because of this. In fact, the very first mention of points was in May of 2016. This means that everyone who owns the Character models that have been produced have to piece their way through the Character Creation rules I posted up in May to try and figure out how many points each named Character is worth. I figure I should rectify this until the FerrumSky Campaign Book is released some time in 2017.

These are the points values for each Character without any of their equipment.

Black Squadron Characters (Unequipped)

Naria Anlika - 13 points
Wire Billins - 13 points
Kal Hickley - 12 points
Sarie Moerta - 13 points
Overseer Smythe - 13 points
Speaker Drone - 10 points
Surveillance Drone - 10 points
Lamal Tulson - 13 points
Xer - 21 points

Breakers (Unequipped)

Grippe Candera - 13 points
Micha Donelly - 12 points
Ari Gaylen - 12 points
Adesi Haddonis - 12 points
Talla Kellerman - 13 points
Will Kollis - 14 points
Trest - 15 points
Nells Turnbull - 13 points


Sarie Moerta with her standard Equipment Cards.


Adding Equipment

Each piece of Equipment is 1 point unless it is duplicated in the Crew, with a few exceptions like Shovels for Breakers, and Shock Batons/Restraints for Black Squadron. Each Character model comes with the Equipment Cards for the items depicted on the model. For example, Officer Sarie Moerta has an Arc Pistol, Shock Baton, and Restraints. If you were to take all 3 pieces of equipment, she'd cost 16 points (her unequipped points value of 13 + 3 for her equipment).

Some Notes on Points

I've mentioned this in previous articles, but currently all Equipment is 1 point per item. You're probably thinking, "how come an Oversized Rock Saw is the same amount of points as a Knife?" This works out because the lethality of the Oversized Rock Saw makes it as likely to lose you games, as it is to win you games. Rendering your opponents Critical or Dead will lose you Victory Points. The only time points for Equipment escalate is when multiple Characters in a Crew duplicate items. This discourages spamming and building strategies around Equipment and not the Characters themselves.

This is the model for Grippe Candera with a head swap and
one of his Pickaxes removed. Converting your own Characters
is fun, but it's not required.


A Final Note on WYSIWYG

All of the Character models that have been released thus far have come with the cards to equip them as depicted by the model. However, Broken Contract encourages acquiring, stealing, and sharing Equipment, so "what you see is what you get" expectations are low. A Character may acquire a piece of equipment during Turn 2 of a game, and accidentally smash it to pieces 2 Turns later. The point is, equipment will always be in flux, so the players don't need to stress about how their Characters are modeled. However, if you love painting and converting, there is nothing stopping you from going all out!

Thanks for reading!
-Nick

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