Fancy yourself as a budding Bruce Wayne? You don't need to be a billionaire playboy to fight crime in Vigilante but you'll need to be alert. Not all of your superfriends are the heroes they purport to be... Some will be helping to clean up the city's crime-ridden streets but others may have conflicting agendas of their own...
In Reed Mascola's Vigilante, from Paranoia Rising Games Inc, 3-5 players take the role notionally as heroes embarking on a collectively chosen scenario and trying to defeat villains to put them in jail. The scenario determines the number of turns you'll be playing.
Players each have a secret identity. This doesn't mean they hide behind a pair of spectacles and spend time as a mild-mannered reporter. It means they are dealt an ID card that determines their alignment (good, neutral or evil) and sets out their mission objective: what they have to achieve to win. Players also have 4 face-down tiles, two of which match their alignment. In most cases, the good heroes will have to between them imprison seven villains per hero before the end of the scenario and an evil 'hero' will be trying to frustrate this. You can dish out damage to rivals as well as the villains you're battling, so you'll want to figure out the alignment of the other players: who is working with you and who is perhaps secretly working to frustrate your mission objective? You'll be applying some social deduction based on other players' actions but you also get to spy out rival players' alignment tiles: if you spy two the same in a player's lineup then you'll know what their alignment is.
On your turn you'll mostly be spending your four action tokens to take four actions, including drawing City cards into your hand and spending (discarding) cards for their 'influence' value to recruit additional heroes into your team. You can also flip the top card in the Villains deck to take on that villain: defeating them if your team dishes out sufficient hits in relation to the villain's health. City cards can also be used to equip and enhance your heroes - adding special abilities, health and/or the damage they dish out.
There are random events that are added to each round. Players all roll two standard six-sided dice and choose one to contribute to the collective pool. Where a die matches the number on an event, it activates that event for all players at the end of the round. Events are likely to benefit some players rather more than others, so their activation will be a good clue as to other players' alignment - tho' the die rolls are secret (behind a screen) so you can expect protestations that 'I had no choice' when a player contributes a die that seems to be of evil intent.
This all makes for an entertaining game where the good guys will be expecting to work collaboratively but where - appropriately, given the name of the publisher - no-one is quite sure which of the other players they can trust.
Shown here on Board's Eye View is a preview prototype of Vigilante ahead of its upcoming launch on Kickstarter. Even in this prototype, the game benefits from evocative art by Alvaro Calvo Escudero, Patrick Turner and Tan Ho Sim which helps to preserve the comic book feel: so a game you can even role play if that takes your fancy! We'll add a link to the Vigilante Kickstarter campaign when it goes live...