Oy, chummers! Guess what time it is? Time for Mister Steele to tell you a little bit more about Shadowrun: Hostile Takeover! When last we met, I had told you the general idea behind the game—become a megacorporation and take over the city of Seattle by any means necessary. This time around, let’s look at who is going to be actually turning the wheels and manipulating the pieces of the puzzle.
First off are the Figureheads. Each player gets two of these pawns, both literal and narrative, to represent their influential agents driving, flying and sneaking around the city. The Figureheads travel to and from iconic Shadowrun Seattle locations from the roaring Renraku Omnidome to the smoky atmosphere of Dante’s Inferno. While visiting these locations the Figurehead spreads their megacorporation’s money and influence around town, vying for control over the locations themselves as well as recruiting shadowrunners and hiring Wage Slaves.
Controlling map locations is a key element to the game itself. This is measured by a limited number of Territory Tokens that each player has to spread around; where they have the most tokens they have the most control. Figureheads will be zooming around the board wining, dining and bribing the city of Seattle in order for their megacorporation to create and maintain a stranglehold upon it. Some locations will be more important than others, and players will quickly decide what Influence battles are worth waging—or whose side to back in battles already waging.
While they are planting their figurative flags in the real estate, megacorporations will begin to put together their plans and the teams to complete them. Shadowrunners from all walks of the trade can be hired on to be part of their machinations. The shadowrunners are drawn from a deck of many different personalities; some of which Shadowrun fans will recognize. Putting teams together with the likes of Rigger X and Ethernaut along with new faces like Aargh and Twitch, important Missions can be undertaken to gain power and resources—or vicious Schemes can knock down the competition a peg or three. We’ll talk more on Missions and Schemes in a future blogpost, but rest assured they are a HUGE part of Hostile Takeover.
If Shadowrunners are the tools with which a megacorp manipulates the world, Wage Slaves are the furnishings of the home and the armor it wears for protection. Hiring on a staff of “regular” agents like Mister Johnsons, Security staff and even putting the Mayor on the payroll adjusts the megacorporation itself. They help keep the megacorp safe from outside attack, but also grant special benefits like additional movement for Figureheads, more control over who goes when, and the number of employees a team can have. While not as necessary as a Shadowrunner team to take over Seattle, trying to do so without Wage Slaves would be a helluva uphill climb.
So basically, while you are moving your Figureheads around the map trying to build a powerbase, your opponents are going to do the same. You know what they say about big fish in a small pond… well, in Hostile Takeover, you are all going to be sharks. Your Shadowrunners, Wage Slaves and all the things they do for you will your teeth.
Next time, maybe we’ll look at exactly how you will be taking bites out of the city—and each other!
Good gaming to you all,
Bryan C.P. Steele