Friday, November 28, 2008

Firebombing - Choosing arson as a career

This firebombing guide by Jim Davison should provide you with more than enough info on how to make arsony profitable!

Order F: Choosing Arson As A Career

If the robbery order is the most "dynamic" of all orders in IT'S A CRIME!, then the Firebomb order must surely be the most exciting! Not in any other action is there such potential for devastation of the city and success for your gang, all in one order. Those who have played the game for any length of time have also realized it is very PROFITABLE as well, and many crimelords have built their gangs on the strength of this order, increasing their Notoriety and multiplying their wealth. They have chosen Arson as a career. It doesn't produce the most well rounded of gangs in other respects, but those who have learned how to fully exploit the Firebomb order have found the true hidden gold mine in the game.

There are two basic approaches to Firebombing. You can take: (1) the BOLD approach, or (2) the CAUTIOUS approach. If you have just begun to play, or are pretty much overlooking the Firebomb order after some early failures [as was my own personal experience], you probably are a little cautious in your approach, either severely underestimating a potential target and failing to exploit it to the fullest, or passing some good ones by completely. Yet, with a little bit of knowledge and experience you can find yourself increasing your gang's treasury in a short period of time by double, triple, or even more. This article can supply you with some of the knowledge; you yourself will have to be BOLD enough to be willing to risk yourself to some degree to get the most out of the order, and gain experience that will put you near at or near the top of the "Wealthiest" lists. And if you are lucky, you may fall into an area of the city where you can discover all kinds of excellent targets and end up amassing a total windfall that would take several turns to spend! More than one player in this game [game 40, to be exact] has actually accumulated in excess of $100,000 before turn 21, basically by just knowing how to fully exploit the Firebomb concept.

Let's talk about it.

Now, not that we want to advise players to "throw caution to the wind", and then have them feel betrayed if they should experience some early failures, but there is much to be gained by being aggressive with the Firebomb order. It has been demonstrated that two Firebomb orders per turn have a great chance of success if a player applies what he can learn from this chapter. However, more than two attempts in a turn seems to increase the probability that at least one of those attempts will fail. If we would advise caution in one particular area, it is that players do not flood their turn cards with Firebomb attempts, as that approach may well backfire. It could possibly work, but success becomes greater when you don't try to do it all at once.

One thing that is good about the Firebomb order is that even if an order should fail, most of the time it is not a serious loss. The sample that is available for the researching of this chapter was the largest by far for the entire HANDBOOK, numbering in the 1800s. [Hopefully this large number will give even more validity to our findings.] In that sample, the overall success ratio was over 85%, not counting the attempts to burn Police buildings, which brings it down to under 84%. Of those failures, much of the time all the gang lost was a single 'cruit, along with some Notoriety. In addition, and this differs the Firebomb from the Robbery, a failure does not automatically shoot the defense level up by +3 or +4 or better. It only goes up by +1, and that actually happens BEFORE the attempt ever takes place. With a robbery, you get only one attempt before the DL increases, succeed or fail. But with a Firebombing, you can try again within a short period of time. As a matter of fact, it is often wise to come back the very next turn, since the odds would be even more in your favor....

But let's get to the meat of it. What makes a Firebombing fail?

The first thing we will do is rule out several non-factors: (1) MORALE is not a factor in whether a Firebombing succeeds or fails. Whether a gang has 20 or 90 has little effect, as that 85% success ratio is consistent across the board of morale ranges, give or take a point. The only exception to this might be in burning Police buildings, in which the morale must be extremely high, above 90, and near 100. (2) BUILDING SIZE is not a factor either. A smaller %bldg is not more dangerous nor is it an easier target than a larger one. The chart prepared from the sample in the study did not vary more than eight percentage points for any range of building size, from the lowest success rate to the highest. (3) BUILDING TYPE is not even a factor, as the sample does show some variance, but not enough to be significant. (4) THE NUMBER OF 'CRUITS SENT is not a factor. This may be somewhat of a suprise, but the number of 'cruits sent did not jeopardize any Firebombing mission in the smaple for study. As a matter of fact, of 12 attempts with 13 or more 'cruits, up to 20 in total, all 12 were successful! The sole exception ocurred on a data input error at ABM, when a 3% Firebomb order was accidently input as a 63% Firebomb order, sending 83 'cruits, complete with appropriate number of punks and pros, and the order failed. It was a total bust, as the gang lost 160 members on that attempt. [ABM restored what was lost, however.]

Now, before I give you # (5), I'll let you look at the chart yourself, so you won't be totally suprised:

# In PartySuccessesfailuresSuccess %

original pdf