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Zero Dark Design Blog 2 - Control Deck & Red Force

I'm actually re-posting this blog from a thread on DakkaDakka, but I realize that this is, like, my blog. So future blog posts will appear first here and then get re-posted to DakkaDakka.


The Control Deck The Control Deck runs the artificial intelligence behind the Red Force. It's a normal deck of 54 playing cards. After every character activation, you flip the Control Deck. The result dictates the behaviour of the Red Force.

The value of the card tells you which bogey will act. The suit tells you what they will do. If you flip a Joker, you get a complication - this can be anything from more bogeys to a booby trap.

Bogeys come in three basic flavours: Grunts, Elites and Bosses. Grunts are plentiful and die easily, but they can gain support tokens that make them tougher or deadlier. Elites are harder to put down and more dangerous. But most dangerous of all is the Boss. Complications can introduce special bogeys, like the Sniper or the dreaded Defence Mech.

You can manipulate the Control Deck in a few ways. The most basic is to move cautiously. A cautious move, if successful, negates the primary action on a Control Deck flip. Another way is to take a Spook: a special kind of hero. A Spook gives you a hand of cards from the deck that you can play at any time to replace the actual flip.

However, the Control Deck also performs a second important role: it is the mission timer. Once you run out of cards the mission is over. If you've not finished, you lose. There are lots of things you can do in the game that give you advantages, but which "run down the clock" - that is, they remove cards from the deck, so you have less time to complete your mission.

If you like the sound of this game, don't forget you can get early access to the beta rules by backing me on Patreon.

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