How to Play The Networks

How to Play The Networks


We’re pitching shows and slashing budgets. That’s right, it’s the networks from formal ferret games. This corporate competition, it’s one of five executives against one another in a TV battle for viewers. These networker presidents will develop shows, snag ads, hire stars, all in an effort to be the most watched channel on the airwaves. But we know which channel’s the best, right? Set up the game board depending on the number of players. We’re setting up for a four player game and the varying instructions for solo game or two player game are in the rule book. First, get out the scoring track board. The right scoring track has a set up sign and a symbol on the lower right for the number of players. Next, shuffle the eight season one show cards and draw a number of cards as listed on the set up track. We’re doing the rest of the box. Then place the season two and three and season four and five show cards nearby. Follow the same steps on the set up track. Shuffle and place the ad cards and star cards as well and place their decks nearby. Shuffle the network cards, set those aside for now. They’re going to be used in the second season. Also, be sure to remove the I labeled network cards. They’re for one or two player game. Each player now chooses a color and takes the matching player board, starting cards, scoring square, turn order disk, and four black cubes. Place the starting star and ad cards in the green row. This is your staging area. Then place each of the starting shows on a time slot, 8PM, 9PM, or 10PM. The order doesn’t currently matter and as the rule book states, all starting shows are equally bad. Place the scoring squares on the zero space of the score track, determine the turn order in some whimsical way and then place the turn order disk on the turn order track from left to right. Based on those positions, each player will take an amount of starting money as listed on the set up card. Be sure to consult the rule book for any variations on these set up rules depending on your number of players. All right, time to make some shows, kids. Game play occurs in turns, during which a player may take one action, develop show, sign star, land ad, take network card, attach, or drop and budget. The develop show action is the most important action in the game and the main way to score viewership. Let’s look at a show card. You have the shows genre and preferred time slot on the top left. Development cost, this is how much it cost to first buy. Upkeep cost, how much it costs each season. Viewership, on the right based on what season the show is in. Rerun viewership and prerequisites for development. The prerequisites listed at the bottom means the network must have either a star, an ad, or optionally either to be purchased using this action. The player must now cancel one of their shows, placing it upside down in their rerun section, discarding any ads or stars on the show to the bottom of their respective decks. They may then place their new show in that time slot along with the new stars or ads they want from their green room placing the black cube on the first row of the viewership. If placed in its preferred time slot, the show grants bonus viewers in its first season. Shows are limited by the number of ad or star symbols listed in the prerequisites. Additionally, some stars and ads have conditions, which if met when signed to a show means they can be rotated to their more valuable colored side. Otherwise, they use their gray side statistics. Another action, sign star, allows you to buy a star from the general area and add them to your green room. Pay the signing cost next to their name. Land ad provides money to the network by allowing you to take a card from the ad area, along with the signing bonus in the top left. This ad goes in your green room, awaiting placement on a show. Take network card becomes available in the second season. These action cards or bonuses provide powers or end game points. Depending on the symbol in the top right of the card, the effect will either be instant, one time use, end game effect, or constant. The attach action allows you to place one star or ad onto a show from your green room. Be mindful of the star and ad capacity for each show. You can always replace these ads and stars with this action in future rounds ’cause actors are expendable. Wait, who wrote that. Jake, what is this? Finally, drop and budget allows the player to immediately end their participation in the season and step out for either the money or viewers. The player removes their turn order disk to the left most available space in the drop and budget track. Then collects one the rewards listed. In season one, players can only take dat money. Players continue taking turns until all the players have dropped out of the season, signaling that season is over. At the end of every season, calculate your income and expenses by paying for your shows, your stars, and gaining money from your ads. If income is positive, take it from the bank. But if its negative, you have to pay. Anyone who cannot afford to pay in money must do so in viewers so be mindful of your bottom line. Next, players score viewers. Calculate the viewers from the current row of each of your shows based on the black cube placement. Add in rerun points from rerun shows and any bonuses for preferred time slots. Then move your scoring marker along the track. After you score, age your shows one season by moving the black cube down one row. If a black cube reaches the last slot, it just stays there. After the season ends, set up the next season by moving all reruns to the archives, discarding all unused cards from the season from the general area and drawing new cards to replace them. If its the second season or later, set up the network cards as well. Determine the next seasons turn order by lowest score on the viewer track. Lowest first, second lowest next, and so on. One quick note, starting in the second season, shows begin to score genre bonuses. These bonuses help networks that have developed shows of the same genre, scoring them five extra viewers instantly upon the development of their third and fifth shows. And bonus cards, too. Shows in your archive can count towards this genre bonus. Once the fifth season is over and scored, it’s the end of the game. But wait, score the viewers from the line ups one more time. But this time, don’t collect income or pay expenses or score reruns. Finally, players gain one viewer for every star in their green room and score for end game network cards. The network with the most viewers wins. And that’s the networks! I’m back as Scott and I’m currently available to star in a sci-fi detective series, capturing world alien bounty hunters, roaming the streets of somewhere exotic like Monaco. You can watch me and my friends play this game and other awesome games on game the game right here on geek and sundry. We will see you there. (upbeat music)

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