Hostile Takeover: Designer Blog Part 4


Greetings and salutations! I’m back, grabbing some notes and sharing some information about the upcoming Shadowrun: Hostile Takeover. Last time we took a peek at the Missions and Schemes that the players and their megacorporations will be using to create their stranglehold on Seattle… and it’s a big update for you! Today we are going to talk a bit more about whom the players will be portraying in the game. In this designer’s blog segment we are going to peel back the covers off a couple of the Megacorporation player cards.

Each player chooses or is randomly assigned a Megacorp Card, and it becomes their persona in that game of Hostile Takeover. These cards explain a number of different important “baseline” statistics. For instance where the player starts the game with some territory on the board, what kind of team or cards they begin with, and how well defended against Schemes the player will be before hiring any Wage Slaves to help out. The card also shows the maximum number of team members they can support, any modifiers they might have to Missions or Schemes, and any other special game effects they will have to make playing them unique and interesting.

Also included on each card is possibly the most important facet of Megacorp information – the Sudden Victory Condition. Every Megacorp has a difficult set of unique conditions under which they, at the end of a game turn, automatically win the game. Note – END of the game turn. This is one big strategy playtesters have been using to sneak wins out in otherwise hectic games, and a player getting close to achieving theirs can turn every other player at the table against them! It is a Shadowrun game, after all!

Let’s take a closer look at two of my personal favorite Megacorps used in the game, Ares Macrotechnology and Telestrian Industries Corporation.

“Big ideas, big business.”

Base Defenses: Combat 5 / Hacking 5 / Charisma 3
Starting Locations: Knight Offices and The Armory
Begins Game With: 2 Shadowrunners, 1 Mission; Notoriety 3

    Mission Modifiers: +1 Combat to active Riggers
    Scheme Modifiers: Re-roll one die during a Combat Defense
    Maximum Shadowrunners: 5
    Maximum Wage Slaves: 4

    Special: Ares Macrotechnology has access to major military gear and vehicular assets. Figureheads for this Megacorp may always add or subtract 1 to the number of segments they move during the Maneuver Phase (minimum of 1) at the cost of 1 Influence per Figurehead.

    Sudden Victory: Martial Law – Ares Macrotechnology wins the game automatically if it can end a game turn with Influence 15 or more, four or more Shadowrunners with a total Combat Ability of at least +12, four or more Wage Slaves with a Combat Defense of 6 or more, and in control of the Capitol Metroplex location.

So just by looking at the playtest card here, you can tell that Ares is all about Combat and downtown board dominance. Their special ability to pay Influence for movement adjustment is very big during game play, and their opening setup of 2 random Shadowrunners and a Mission can allow them a jump start on gaining turf straightaway. Their Sudden Victory condition is quite achievable, but knowing that several others will be watching the Metroplex very closely can easily make enemies out of your neighbors!

“Luck of the Elvish.”

Base Defenses: Combat 4 / Hacking 2 / Charisma 6
Starting Locations: Boeing Field and Redmond Barrens
Begins Game With: 1 Elf Shadowrunner, 1 Mission, 1 Scheme; Notoriety 2

    Mission Modifiers: +1 to any dice roll made by a team containing an Elf Shadowrunner
    Scheme Modifiers: +1 Notoriety whenever gaining Notoriety
    Maximum Shadowrunners: 5
    Maximum Wage Slaves: 4

    Special: Telestrian Industries Corporation still has deep connections to the elven bloodlines. Any Shadowrunner or Wage Slave with “Elf” in their description is treated as having an Influence Cost of 1 less (minimum of 1).

    Sudden Victory: The New Shidhe – TIC wins the game automatically if it can end a game turn with Influence 15 or more, a Notoriety 15 or higher, three or more Elf Shadowrunners and/or Elf Wage Slaves, and in control of the Capitol Metroplex location.

The TIC has a completely different feel, upholding the idea of a primarily Elven megacorp. What is also readily apparent is how the company will be enjoying dealing with the darker side of business, rising in Notoriety very quickly (which will make keeping some Wage Slaves around difficult!). Their Sudden Victory revolves around searching out the decks for good Elves to maintain the team as well as—like Ares—grabbing the reins of the Metroplex.

Each Megacorp is different and game play for them will be unique, especially taking into consideration the actions and negotiations between the players. Sometimes you need to keep a smile on your face while you are stabbing your friends in the back! Next time, I think we should get a good look at the turn sequence and my favorite segment within it, the random chaos that is the Sprawl Event Phase! Until then…

Good gaming to you all,

Bryan C.P. Steele

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