Let’s break a film down, Fiasco-style. How about 2001’s Buffalo Soldiers? Some mild spoilers below. Let’s assume a four-player game.

OK, you’ve got lots of strong relationships, and you could break it down in different ways. Since the film’s a black comedy, the character’s you focus on will set the tone. How about this:

  • Relationship: Family: Father and daughter
  • Relationship: Work: CID officer and informant
  • Relationship: Friendship: Squad-mates
  • Relationship: Romance: Boyfriend and Girlfriend

So Sergeant Lee is the father of Robyn and alerted Knoll to drug-dealing on the base. Knoll is an undercover CID officer and, in that role, Elwood’s room-mate. Elwood is Knoll’s room-mate and Robyn’s boyfriend, and Robyn Lee is Elwood’s boyfriend and Sergeant Lee’s daughter.

This relegates Colonel Berman’s story to a sub-plot, and makes Sergeant Saad and Elwood’s crew secondary characters. The way Buffalo Soldiers is constructed, you could make a very tight three-player game dealing with Berman, or versions focusing on Elwood, Garcia and Stoney or Elwood, Saad and Lee pretty easily.

We’ll have five details.

  • Need: To Get Rich: …By making one big score, attached to the Friendship relationship. Elwood and his gang are upgrading from drug manufacturing to gun-running and they are out of their league.
  • Need: To Get the Truth: …About an on-base criminal enterprise, attached to the Work relationship. Sergeant Lee’s brought in CID to further his personal vendetta against Elwood.
  • Object: Transportation: Black Mercedes S-Series sedan, attached to the Romance relationship. It’s Elwood’s car and Robyn’s ticket out of her father’s grip. Note that it gets destroyed – which is totally kosher for Fiasco details.
  • Location: The Depot: A basement heroin lab, attached to the Friendship relationship.
  • Object: Weapons: Two truck-loads of surface-to-air missiles, attached to the Friendship relationship. This is more of a plot device than something that enters play constantly, but that’s OK.

It’s a little lop-sided, but the movie is structured as Ray Elwood’s story. That could easily be tweaked, but this set-up doesn’t break any Fiasco rules.

Finally, Buffalo Soldiers’ Tilt elements could really range far and wide. I think I’d choose:

  • Innocence: Somebody is not so innocent after all. (This is Knoll, of course)
  • Failure: Something precious is on fire. (The heroin must explode)

That’s how I’d set up Buffalo Soldiers as a Fiasco session.

Fiasco This: Buffalo Soldiers
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