Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for.... Ghosts of Hefei

Ghosts of Hefei is a kickstarter running for a game designed by the same author(s?) of The Department. I originally backed the department, and was reasonable happy with the result. The game seems fairly intriguing with a number of cool features. The basic background is that artificial laborers (fabricants) have largely displaced humans in their jobs. Unfortunately the higher version fabricants occasionally go wrong and start killing humans/committing crimes. A department, a la the FBI, is responsible for tracking and eliminating fabricant criminal threats.

Fabricants look very similar to humans (high level ones anyways) and so you can't necessarily just cap a suspect. You need to question it and determine it's humanity (or lack of). Shades of Decker in Blade Runner. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a lot of hostility to the 'fuzz' in the areas you conduct your investigation, so many hostiles may be real humans who just want to mess you up. More likely though, are the runners who just take off.

This is used as book art. It's a sketch.
The features of the game I like are that there are matrices for suspects (and other appearing characters) that conduct how they act. They may act on a flee, hostile, or normal matrix. These help you run the game solo, or players vs the game. The various missions require you to meet with suspects (stoolies), investigate murder scenes, raid dens of inquity and more. Each mission results in the ability to accumulate evidence which comes in a variety of flavours (place, people, electronic, financial, physical). These pieces of evidence can be used to pay for better missions (with higher payouts) until you can afford the final big mission to take down the mastermind of the story arc. You are racing against time however, as your budget continually is depleted by missions and equipment requisitions. Unlawful activities can result in internal investigations and cost you your assets, budget points, and possibly even your agents.

I haven't yet experimented with the actual goal system rules that are used outside of the campaign system, but that alone seems wo
rth the price of admission to me. My quibbles with the book are the appalling art, and some editing/playtesting errors that have crept in.
This 'art' is a total abortion.

Ghosts of Hefei is based on a short peice of flavour text about a chinese city that is almost all fabricants. The only humans who are there are basically a support structure (techs/mechanics mostly) for the artificial labor. Ghosts of Hefei sounds like it's meant to be a gang skirmish (a la necromunda) in the setting. Boot legging fabricants and using them to conduct crime. My major draw to the kickstart is that there should be some good 15mm figs, and my support of the Department means I'm entitled to some bonus figs if Ghosts funds.

The greens of the figs look decent. I'm not sure hopeful based on the kicktraq trend that this one is going to go through....but you never know, sometimes things can surge later on (or fall utterly flat).

EDIT: And I've found a review that savages the department a bit. Nice to know we both had hoped that it would work. Some gorgeous shots in the second link...

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