Shadowrun Crossfire is one of my favorite deckbuilding game. Published by Catalist Game Labs they posted a picture on Instagram announcing the a full expansion called High Caliber Ops ! A stack of boxes was visible at PAX Prime.
Now why would you want to play this game ? A few thoughts ..
1 – It is cooperative. That is a big difference right there. I have not played another coop deck builder.
2 – The game is kicking you where it hurts from the beginning. Due to it being a coop, there isn’t a need for the “buy cards then buy points” feel I get from Dominion, EmDo, and, to a lesser extent, Ascension.
3 – The deck building is relatively minor. Sure you have deck building, but you start with 7 cards and you might, MIGHT, buy 8-10 cards in a game. Usually that number will be lower in the 4-6 range. This is the reason I included Rococo. The games are completely different, but that very slight hand building in Rococo is similar to SR:CF’s deck building (or deck modifying).
4 – It plays fast. A lot of deck builders play fast. Some, like Dominion, are dependent on the cards available as to how fast the game goes. SR:CF keeps cards moving either by wiping them out of the black market, people buying them, or you are dead and starting a new game.
5 – Is it thematic? As much as the next deck builder. It isn’t dripping with the Shadowrun theme like a tactical miniatures game could be, but I don’t need it to be. If I really want Shadowrun, I have the RPG & recent computer games to turn to. I do feel like the Extraction mission is the most thematic of the two base set missions I have played. Having to keep the client alive is a real challenge.
6 – Is it supported? Not as much as its fans would like, that is for sure. The new expansion is the first for the game and almost doubles the amount of available official scenarios from 6 (3 in box, 2 on website, 1 demo scenario on website) to 11, with new black market cards, new role cards (different starting decks) and new abilities to spend your karma points on.
Note: There have been two character expansion packs released but these are more of “reload packs” than anything else. They give you new character cards and new sticker sheets for a fraction of the price of rebuying the expansion or the base game. CEP #1 gives you more sticker sheets identical to those in the base game. CEP #2 give you more sticker sheets identical to those in the new expansion.
7 – It is legacy-ish. No it is not and by anyhow it is not something you see in most deck builders is the ability to gain new abilities, albeit slowly and probably not every 1-2 plays like Risk Legacy. The game state is, for the most part, static across a series of plays before you earn enough karma to buy that upgrade you have had your eye on.
8 – You can play it solo. Like many coops and unlike many deck builders I have played, SR:CF can be played solo. The Crossfire scenario is a two character minimum, so you will need to run two decks and all that, but the Extraction scenario scales from 1-4 and is, like I said before, the more thematic scenario of the two, IMO.
Not convinced ? Join the Boardgame Monkeys and request to play the game to give it a try 🙂 I’ll be happy to host a table.