Posted by: gschloesser | February 1, 1972

Assassin

Westbank Gamers extensive variant which makes this Avalon Hill clunker a much more enjoyable and playable game.

When our group first tried Avalon Hill’s Assassin nearly two years ago, we were all very disappointed. The game was not properly named — the name should have been ‘Travel Agent‘. Assassinations had very little to do with the game. Only one player was the assassin and he rarely, if ever, got the chance to practice his profession. Rather, nearly all of the points in the game were earned by visiting various cities around Europe. The game was given a big ‘thumbs down’ by our gamers.

I couldn’t let it go that easily, however. To me, the premise of the game was exciting: Players represent assassins traveling throughout Europe in search of their prey. I was intrigued and was convinced that the game could be better — much better.

Several articles appeared in The General which added some ‘kick’ to the game, most notably ‘Making Assassinations Work in Assassin‘ by David Curry and the ‘Final Destination’ movement variant. Both went a long way in improving the game and making it more exciting with many more assassination attempts. Still, I thought it needed a bit more.

Even after the modifications printed in the above mentioned variants, there were still problems. It was still quite common to get stuck in a city and languish without any vehicle cards. The solution was to give every player three chits: One Euro Train, One Long-Range Rider Automobile, and one Airplane. These chits could be used once each as a vehicle, then removed from play. When used, it would count as one of the two cards a player could play in a round, so the player must discard a card from his hand. After several play-testings, this has, indeed, solved the problem.

In order to produce more assassinations, we also allowed players to use the Legitimate Target cards to make hits not only in their four pre-selected cities (as introduced in the variants), but also in any city against another player whose pawn is there also. Further, to encourage hits against other players, we award 200 points for a successful hit against an opponent. In addition, all ‘Pink’ cards (which include Legitimate Target, Assassin, Interpol Officer and Innocent Bystander cards) — except Gun cards — get re-shuffled into the deck when used. Thus, the cards continue to surface and hits increase, especially near the end of the deck. This definitely makes for a much more bloody and exciting game.

If you would like a full copy of the Westbank Gamers Alternative Rules to Assassin, please e-mail your request to me at    I will send the file to you.  As always, let me know your thoughts after play.

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