Discovering the Chicago of Scarface 1920: A walk through the board
Scarface 1920, the first game from Redzen Games, is set in Chicago in the 1920s, during the Prohibition, and invites players to get into the shoes of one of the four bosses trying to take control of the city. To do this, they must expand their illegal businesses, use their influence with the authorities, keep the police under control and never lose sight of the Federals.
One of the most spectacular elements of Scarface 1920 is, without a doubt, its board: a replica of the Chicago map of the 1920s that is divided into seven districts. Each district contains neighborhoods, and within each of these neighborhoods is where players will be able to open businesses.
Players will be able to move freely through the seven districts on the map, on foot or using the gang’s cars. Moreover, they must do so if they want to assault enemy neighborhoods or defend their own, since that is one of the keys to each game: to extend control over the territory and dominate neighborhoods to increase the traffic of alcohol and weapons.
One of the key places of the Scarface 1920 board is the underworld, which players will have to visit often to perform numerous actions. What can we do in the underworld?
- Recruit Thugs: Thugs are the muscle of every gang on the streets of Chicago. They are in charge of protecting their neighborhoods, raiding rival neighborhoods or, among other things, getting resources or closing deals. In the underworld you can get hold of these men.
- Hire Associates: each player has a basic gang with his members but, if he wants to aspire to the Chicago throne, his ranks must grow. And that’s where the Associates come into play, hired from the underworld.
- Closing Deals: To conquer the city of Chicago, each player will need to complete deals that guarantee financial stability and flowing resources. These deals provide a constant supply of alcohol and weapons, which you can then sell in your neighborhoods to increase your fortune. The underworld will be the ideal territory to close these deals.
- Get jobs: players will be able to carry out all kinds of jobs, some specific and others permanent, which will affect the power of the gang itself, the strength they have in the neighborhoods or their political influence, among other very juicy things. Those jobs will be found in the underworld.
- Make sales: finally, it will be in the underworld of each neighborhood where thugs can sell alcohol and weapons to get money for the boss.
The other key place on the board, in addition to the underworld, are the Authorities. In Scarface 1920, players must spread their influence across Chicago, both on the streets and in the underworld, but also among the circles of power where important decisions are taken, where the favor of judges is bought, or where more than one politician is willing to turn a blind eye to certain things happening in the city. What actions will players be able to carry out in the Authorities?
- Remove control: one of the most powerful actions in the game, allowing the authorities to remove control of a neighborhood to another player. Therefore, that player no longer has control of a neighborhood, its businesses and stored resources. When this happens, you not only attack the properties of an enemy, but also a new opportunity opens to expand your gang towards new areas.
- Decrease your crime rate: in Scarface 1920, the criminal actions of the players often have consequences, as the Federals will increasingly increase the focus on them. A good way to keep Eliot Ness and his men under control is to go to the Authorities to reduce the pressure on you.
- Add business: if you want to open a new business in one of the neighborhoods you control, you will surely find the OK from a politician among the Authorities.
- Retrieve thugs from prison: Another direct consequence of your criminal acts is that many of your men will visit the prison on a regular basis. Nothing that cannot be solved with a good handshake in the Authorities, right?
- Sell alcohol / guns for $6 each: Alcohol is not only sold in the underworld. Power circles also crave alcohol and weapons, so players can turn to the Authorities to sell their barrels at a fixed price.
It’s called a prison, but we could call it the second home of your thugs. Yes, in Scarface 1920 you will carry out numerous criminal actions that will put your men in jail. However, as we have seen recently, using your influence in the Authorities will allow you to free your men and send them back to the streets of Chicago, an action that you can also carry out through your lawyers.
Scarface 1920 players aspire, among other things, to build the most powerful deck in Chicago. To achieve this, they must go to the Associates common market, a strategic place on the board where powerful characters will appear, ready to be hired.
The game is set during the Prohibition, which lasted from 1920 and 1933. The exercise of immersion in the era proposed by Scarface 1920, through its aesthetics and realistic components, is also completed with the development of the rounds. In each one of them a newspaper will appear and slightly change the rules of the game, with something related to the real news of that time. Do not lose sight of tomorrow’s newspaper, everything could change in the blink of an eye.
The turn marker sets the pace of the game and reveals a new newspaper each time the Extra Extra position is reached. Of course, the immersion of Scarface 1920 is total, that is why the first newspaper is the one that announced the beginning of Prohibition and the last is the one that announces its end. What happens in between is the story that each player writes.
Players will have to compete with each other for the throne of Chicago, but they will have a common enemy: Eliot Ness and the Feds. Many of the actions they carry out will increase their crime rate, to the point of unleashing raids that will be a risk to the structure or power of the gang. Don’t lose sight of Eliot Ness… because he’s not going to do it at any point.