Sacrifices must be made!

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

The Occult Defence Agency Budgeting Simulator looks like a bit of fun:

Occult Defence Agency Budgeting Simulator
“Sacrifices must be made!”

The minister, who was previously in charge of education, and before that, of health, and who is now heading occult affairs after the most recent cabinet reshuffle, having once again failed to unseat the prime minister, shakes your hand. His skin is damp and oddly yielding. You relax when you realize he doesn’t mean human sacrifices. He just wants to reduce your organisation’s budget, he explains. By twenty percent. Effective immediately.

Your organisation is in charge of defending the United Kingdom from paranormal threats. Vampire covens, stray werewolves, pixie swarms, cultists with funny robes and impractical daggers, unlicensed hauntings, and more obscure matters. Also, to liaise with sister organisations as part of the EUROCC framework — except maybe not anymore, as no one can agree on whether EUROCC, which predates the EU, is affected by Brexit — and to render occult aid and advice to the government — as if they’d ever listen.

Your predecessor, in charge for over twenty years, finally retired last year, got his life peerage, and is now spending most of his time with ducks. He left behind a sprawling agency and very little documentation as to which parts are vital to the defence of the realm, and which parts are the hobby-horses of an eccentric Oxfordian.

Well, you’re just going to have to find out. Start cutting.


  1. Grasspunk says:

    After one pass I figured the only winning move was not to play. Therefore I had lost by playing one pass.

  2. Isegoria says:

    Maybe you’d like this one then?

  3. Grasspunk says:

    That might be closer to my speed.

    One of the Grasspunk juniors plays a bit of FPS video games. They are looking rather stunning these days. [And there's group chat full of Russians.]

    The contrast between me going into my dad’s office in the 1981 to play “trek” on the minicomputer and being able to play CS:GO or Battlefield 1 at home is incredible. I have never played these games but I watch them in awe.

  4. Alistair says:

    Win on 2nd attempt.

    Wish I liked it more. It’s funny and well written, but a poor game. There are almost no clues to the main threat arc (I spotted 1, on multiple playthroughs). Even that “clue” doesn’t tell you what budget item is needed; so it’s basically pure luck that you don’t eliminate the single, critical, item on the budget. Similarly, there is really no clues that some budget areas are utterly, totally useless; except multiple playthroughs.

    If you avoid the main threat, then the minor threats can be avoided by simply trimming the budget rather than making bold directed cuts. The clues here a bit more obvious, and let you know what to worry about.

    To make this a better game, the main-threat should be more random between plays, and the gameplay should be more about “putting together coincidences” across turns rather than responding to one-off code phrases for vampire/werewolf activity.

    It would also be nice to allow for synergy between cuts having unforeseen system consequences (like a collapse in staff morale, or poor internal communications repeatedly screwing ops) . I never got the feeling that the ODA was an organic functional organisation.

  5. Bill says:

    I’ll just stick with the first three Laundry Files books.

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