Developing Hellboy: The Board Game – HQ Board

For today’s blog we’re looking at the HQ board, featuring the Impending Doom Track and Information Gathered Track. If you’ve read our previous blog on the early development of Hellboy you’ll know that the game is split into two key elements: combat and investigation.

This split between the two parts is represented perfectly by the HQ Board. This large board sits near the game tiles and is used to track a number of different elements. But what’s it all mean? Not life, just the board.

TARGET PRIORITY

As mentioned in our previous blog about the Agent Cards, during the course of the game enemies will target different agents. Each agent has a token on this track that is used to choose what agent will be affected by certain events during the course of the game.

Whenever this happens, the agent whose token is at the front of the queue (in the bottom area) is chosen as the target. If they are not an eligible target, they are ignored and the next agent along is chosen as the target. Whenever an agent is chosen as a target in this way, their token is moved to the far right of the track. This ensures the same agent won’t always be the target of enemy attacks.

But it’s not all bad. The agent in the first space is considered to be the lead agent and gets the final say on what the team should do! If only life were this simple. I might start carrying around my own Target Priority track for meetings.

SPACES FOR CARDS

Admittedly this isn’t that thrilling to look at when blank but this is where the Encounter Cards, Deck of Doom and Case File cards will be placed. Beside each location, there’s also space to place discards, while at the top is the ‘in play area’ so you can see any active cards.

Anyway, once the game is running, this area will be far more thrilling as you have the suspense of not knowing what’s coming next in the Deck of Doom, while the Case File cards run the mission for you. Hopefully you’ll know all about those after reading James’ blog.

At the bottom of the HQ board, you can see A, B, C and D. This relates to the monsters that can be spawned during play. Because of the Case File system, there’s nothing to stop you swapping monsters too – if you want to make a mission harder or easier.

IMPENDING DOOM

Typically Hellboy stories tend to be a race against time. Hellboy and the team must locate their target before an ancient evil is unleashed or a terrifying ritual is completed. In the game this is represented by the Impending Doom Track.

During the course of the game certain events will move the Impending Doom track closer to its inevitable and dramatic conclusion. The track is moved by cards drawn from the Deck of Doom, when the agents take time to rest, if there are too many Frog Swarms on the board, etc.

Depending upon the Case File you’re playing there will be different effects if the tracker reaches specific stages of the Impending Doom track. However, the higher it is, the worse things are going to be!

INFORMATION GATHERED

On the flip side to the Impending Doom track, you’ve got the Information Gathered scale. This is used to represent how many vital clues the agents have gathered during the course of the mission. You see, scattered throughout the location are clues that could hold an important piece of evidence that exposes a weakness of the final threat.

Each time the agents gather one of these clues, the Information Gathered track is moved one or more steps. Just like Impending Doom, the Case Files will dictate what happens when the Information Gathered tracker reaches certain stages.

Learning to balance the threat of Impending Doom and taking time to hunt down all the clues to complete the Information Gathered track is a key part of the game and you’ll have to make some tough choices.

Well, hope you enjoyed this inspection of the HQ Board. Tomorrow the delectable James M. Hewitt will be back to give you a run down on the ominous DECK OF DOOM (it must be said in a shouty voice).

Hellboy: The Board Game is available to order NOW from the Mantic website. The retail version will be launched on April 27th in all good game stores.

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