Where did this idea come from?
The two biggest inspirations for the theme so far have been the TV show Leverage and the Ocean's movies. I also got a very specific game mechanic idea from the hilariously goofy Hudson Hawk.
In every heist film, the idea of timing is always crucial. In Hudson Hawk, Bruce Willis plays an aging thief, who just got out of prison. He and his partner-in-crime use a brilliant technique to keep their actions coordinated when they are doing a "job." They both sing the same song, ensuring that they stay in sync.
So I wanted to not only stick to the idea of working within a tight window of time to accomplish the entire mission, but to also somehow stress the importance of personal timing. I decided to give each player their own unique timer that they have to manage throughout the game.
Here are the first draft rules for 10 Minute Task Force.
ObjectiveEach player must navigate their way through the building while avoiding detection,accomplish their part of the mission and make a speedy exit before time runs out!
Components4 timers of varied duration (currently 30s, 60s, 90s, 120s)
1 ten minute timer
Dice (d6, Each player has 1+[seconds on timer/30] dice)
Player meeples (colors to match timers)
Character cards (double-sided, different ability printed on each side)
Choose a character. Select a timer and dice set. Stand your timer up making sure all the sand is in the bottom section. Each character has two one-time-use abilities to choose from, one printed on each side of your character card. Choose which ability you would like your character to have for this game and place your character card in front of you with the appropriate side face up.
Shuffle the Mission cards and select one at random (alternatively, you may choose the Mission you would like to play). Place the Mission card next to the stack of map tiles, face up in view of all of the players. Return the remaining Mission cards to the game box.
Go through the Map tiles and set aside the room(s) indicated on the Mission Card, the Lobby, the Security Station and the Mainframe. These are considered Reserved for purposes of setup.
Place the Lobby map tile face up, with each player’s meeple on top of it, in the middle of the play area. Shuffle the non-reserved map tiles and place one connected to the Lobby and an additional tile connected to the first.
Draw 4 non-reserved map tiles and shuffle them together with the room tile(s) indicated on the Mission Card.
Shuffle the Security Station and the Mainframe together with the remaining map tiles. Place this stack of tiles on top of the other 4 tiles and place the entire stack face down, within easy reach of all players.
Flip over your timers to begin!
Playing the game
Players roll dice to take different Actions. In order to be successful in the Action, the player must have all of their dice showing the desired symbol. After rolling all of your dice, any dice that aren’t showing the desired symbol may be picked up immediately and rerolled until they show the desired symbol (with the exception of the Security symbol, see below).
You can only roll your dice if your timer hasn’t run out. If you are out of time, you must rely on your fellow players to help get you back in action.
There are six different symbols on your dice:
Hack: This is used to hack systems or to electronically unlock doors.
Pick: This is used to unlock doors and open containers.
Sneak: This is used to move between existing rooms, reveal new rooms, or to reset another player’s timer that has run out.
Bash: This is used to take out security guards or to open containers.
Con: This is used to get past security guards without violence or to extract information from a target.
Security: You must carefully time your movement to avoid being seen on camera. You can’t reroll these until they are the only dice that you have that aren’t showing your desired symbol. Movement To reveal an adjacent room, you must indicate through which doorway you are attempting to move and complete a Sneak Action. Draw the top room tile from the deck and place the yellow door connected to the doorway you indicated. The player who revealed the room must immediately move into the room (provided it isn’t a Secured Room, see below). All other players must complete Sneak Actions to move between rooms once they are revealed.
You may only move from room to room if they both have doorways aligned with one another. That is to say, if one room tile has a door, but the other room has a wall connected to it, you may not use that doorway. The doorways can be both blue, or a combination of yellow and blue.
If a room is revealed and it has a symbol on the doorway, it is considered a Secured Room. The indicated Action must be taken before entry into the room is allowed. For those rooms that have multiple symbols on the doorway, ALL indicated Actions must be completed before entrance is allowed. These actions may be performed by any combination of players that are available to move through the doorway.
After you complete any Action, you must do one of two things:
Some rooms will have Guards patrolling them. These are indicated on the Mission Card under the Intel section. Upon flipping the named map tile, place a Guard meeple on the room tile for each Guard present in the room. The Guards must be dealt with before any players may exit out of that room. To get past the guards, players have two choices:
There are two special rooms that grant players some advantages after the room Action has been completed:
Security Station - Once both a Bash and Hack Action have been completed in this room, Security symbols can be immediately rerolled, without the normal restrictions.
Mainframe - Once two Hack Actions have been completed in this room, Hack Actions are automatically successful and do not require rolling.
If your timer has run out preventing you from rolling, a player in the same room as you can reset your timer by rolling 3 Sneak symbols on their own dice. Once dice are finished being used for this purpose, the player rolling them must pick them all back up and begin rolling to accomplish a new Action. Resetting a fellow player’s timer in this way DOES count as a successful Action and you may flip your timer, or continue on rolling one less die.
Ending the Game
Each Mission Card will instruct you to gain access to certain rooms and perform a specified Action. Additionally, EVERY player must return to the Lobby before the 10 minute timer runs out.
If all player’s timers run out, or the 10 minute timer runs out before you complete your Mission and return to the Lobby, you failed and the game is lost. Your families will be well cared for.
In my next post I will talk about the feedback I have gotten from play tests so far, and talk about how I plan on addressing it. I also plan on talking a bit about the feedback I've gotten from some of my fellow designers on The Game Crafter.