Our preview post below was published on April 2.
Hippocrates is a 1-4 players game of drafting and resource management, in which you lead a team of doctors and treat patients from all the Ancient Hellenic world. It will launch on Kickstarter on April 5.
The goal of Hippocrates is to earn more victory points than your fellow physicians. The game is always played with four players, but the AI players behave and score differently than the human player. Each draftable item of the game (doctors and patients) is identified by a number that will be used as a priority rule for the AI decisions. The AI does not use the different resources of the game (gold, medicine), but is affected by reputation, which changes the turn order while hiring doctors and determines the salary you must pay them.
The game is played over three rounds, each comprising a number of phases. First, you welcome patients, a phase that consists of three turns. Six patients are randomly selected from a central display with a dice roll. On your turn, you can recruit one of these patients, receiving penalties or rewards depending on their position on the display. Receiving a patient awards you an “assistant” token that might be used in a future turn to give you more freedom in the choice of patients. On their turn, the AI players pick up the dice-selected patient with the highest number, and immediately earn the victory points associated with that patient before discarding them. Once the three turns of the welcome phase are over, you collect the coins offered to you by the patients as payment for your services.
Next, you must pay the doctors you have hired in previous rounds an amount that depends on your reputation. Doctors that do not receive their wage will leave your services. Then, you can hire doctors from the different regions of the Hellenic world by paying their hiring cost and purchase medicine kits. If you purchase both a doctor and a kit from a region, you also receive a bonus tile with a special effect. Each doctor is specialized in specific kinds of medicine (blue, green, or violet) and is associated with a number of “contracts”, that is, a number of patients they can treat before retiring. When they retire, they also score a specific amount of victory points. The AI players will also hire a doctor for free, and immediately gain a number of victory points equal to the number of contracts this doctor must fulfill.
The last phase is the treatment phase. Each patient requires a specific amount of one or several kinds of medicine. To treat a patient, you must assign to them doctors that can administer the required medicine, and spend the required amount of this medicine from your reserve. A patient, once treated, remains bound to the doctor to show that a contract has been fulfilled. Treated patients also earn you victory points. If a patient in your examination room (in which they arrive when you draft them) is not treated this round, they go to your emergency room. From there, if they are not treated this round, they die and make you lose victory points. The AI players, scoring points immediately upon drafting, skip this phase.
Once three rounds have elapsed, if you have earned the highest number of victory points, you win the game.