AFTER ACTION REPORT
Thank you to all those who played; everyone did a fantastic job.
I hope the players had as much fun as I did.
Congratulations to Emma for winning the prize, and congratulations to both of our runners up. I made a terrible drunken accounting error that night and accidentally denied Kyle his full score. I was so focused on Elizabeth’s scorched earth tactic and calculating her numerous bonuses and penalties, that in my daze I botched Kyle’s point total (after all, I had just been blown up by a potato). I apologize for the error.
|Emma||40 points and highest card|
(Tied players were listed in order of longest to shortest lived)
ANALYSIS & SUGGESTIONS
This game was was based on the “oral tradition” of the assassination game that has been a part of the popular consciousness since Robert Sheckley’s short story, “The Seventh Victim” (Galaxy Magazine, 1953). I used sections of rules/text from Steve Jackson’s Killer (1981), a work that codified the folk tradition of assassination games into a cohesive book. I changed and added large sections myself to shape the game around a single event — a party.
I omitted much from Jackson’s Killer and chose only to include the safest weapons, but I tried to keep the mix varied. Most of the game ran swimmingly, but some aspects could be vastly improved by a few simple changes. Perhaps the single most glaring issue was the scoring system/tie-breaking.
I discuss two ways I think the rules might be improved upon below.
- SCORING/CASH FLOW: I miscalculated the number accidental deaths, and I honestly thought that more players would walk away from the game keeping money in their Swiss Accounts. Unfortunately each victim’s money was wired into their killer’s account, and in a circle of death game that lead to a horrible capitalism-esque swallowing up of cash by the lead players. Then as the lead players were killed, they too lost their money. Our game ended with the final player indiscriminately killing everyone in the room, including herself. Before the end Alan had accumulated all of the excess cash flow, but I wired his funds to Elizabeth for killing him. I’m not certain that the money should transfer if the killer isn’t alive to receive it, but I wanted to buffer the massive point loss she suffered from killing everyone with a grenade. (I know how much she was dying to do that — and who can blame her?) In the end there was nothing to distinguish Player A with two kills from Player B with two kills. FIX: Each player should receive a set amount of money for a kill ($100 or $200) rather than a wire transfer from the victim. This allows each player to be defined by something above and beyond the +20 points per kill but still allows advanced players to purchase new weapons.
- SNIPER RIFLES: I received numerous complaints that the sniper rifle/cell camera weapon was unfair. I struggled with including it originally, but since the party was 60s themed (however tangentially) and all the “classic” (for lack of a better term) assassinations were committed by snipers, I felt that it must be included. However, I had intended it to be used in secret: like setting up in the dark around the corner of the house or standing inside the kitchen waiting to get a good photo of your target through the window, either way hoping like hell nobody stumbles across you before accomplishing your grim task. FIX: Either cellphone picture taking should be forbidden until the game is over (which really doesn’t sound like much fun), or players must be under the strict prohibition from taking their sniper photos surreptitiously as they mingle with the guests. A sniper is a lone madman (or woman) and must take their photos in secret. They may be under no observation whatsoever for this to count. This not only simulates the reality of a sniper, but also allows other players to creep upon hidden snipers and remove them in private.
Please, if you have anything to add, I’d love to hear from you!
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