Deep State: live out your 1900’s illuminati dreams!
a simple yet nuanced game of bidding, set-collection and resource management.
Your only resource is your agents.
Set collecting is the primary aim of the game
But how you decide to focus that is left up to the Supreme Power cards you buy Mass Power? Finance? Science? Maybe making ties with the Mafia is more your style? (these add additional points to certain sets).
Let’s not forget, a good world domination strategy will also involve making Treaties with certain agencies- maybe you’ll side with the CIA, or the KGB? What about the Triads? Even the chamber of commerce! The choices are yours!
These provide various in game benefits and some provide bonus points at the end of the game too!
Let’s not forget, the Deep State also has projects they want you to take part in!
Helping out the secret services, help establish the UN, or maybe empower revolutions across the continents? What about increasing your standing in the Deep State organization itself?
Taking part in these projects will cost you an agent permanently though, as well as requiring bidding on the hotly contented Key Connection cards – so think wisely!
And last but not least – your final option for scoring is good old Covert Operations – these send agents back to the recruitment pool in exchange for bonus points (potentially alot) at the end of the game.
So that’s how you score – how does the bidding work?
Each round consists of bidding over 8-11 cards (depending on the number of players) these cards will he laid out in a row, but only the first 3 cards can be bit on each turn (the Spyware project allows you to access cards further in the row), cards have a minimum bid requirement – one player will have the “Supervisor” visiting them each turn.
On that turn they will get to recruit 2 agents from their pool for free. But will only have 2 actions available to them this round – either to bid on a card or perform a Covert Op.
Other players going clockwise then either bid on a card, perform a Covert Op, advance a project or recruit 1 agent. They are welcome to outbid another bid by placing more agents on the card they want – this will return the original players agents to them and give them a treaty card.
After each player has taken an action they will take any cards with their agents on them!
Nice and simple – now these agents return from the card to the active agent pool – however, only 1 returns per Phase, so over biding can leave you short of agents for a while! (The UN project will help you get agents back MUCH quicker)
After the row has been completed each player then gets the opportunity to complete one treaty that is there hand, the row is then rebuilt and the game continues!
The game will end when the deck can no longer refill the row.
All of this results in a game that while it’s simple, flows very smoothly.
The Solo Mode.
Wow! This is without a doubt one of the more simple solo modes but it works well!
There is no “action cards” or flow charts being turned each AI turn.
They simply have a priority system of what cards they will bid on – if they go first they will “overbid” by atleast 1 if possible to try and prevent you from outbidding them.
If they go second they only bid the required amount.
They advance on projects (albiet for free), they perform Covert ops just like a human player.
The only thing they play majorly differently is their treaty cards – they get more than you but they don’t use the “in game effects” they use them for points and sometimes additional project advancements too.
The only time you have to flip a card for the AI is if they try to recruit an agent but have none available! The cards are pretty straight forward too.
All of this really creates a seamless play that plays quick and fast, not distracting you from your devious plans.
All in all, from a game I didn’t know what to expect going in that I haven’t heard alot about I’ve been pleasantly surprised! Solid gameplay and a solid AI – that equals a solid game too me!
Now, back to world domination I go.