David Thompson and Roger Tankersley‘s Sniper Elite: The Board Game from Rebellion Unplugged is a brand new hidden motion sport for 1-4 gamers primarily based on Rebellion’s widespread, stealth-shooter Sniper Elite online game collection. Sniper Elite: The Board Game was efficiently crowdfunded on Kickstarter (KS hyperlink) in September 2020 and is now obtainable straight from the writer and at retailers. Rebellion Unplugged graciously hooked me up with a overview copy of Sniper Elite so I may play it and share the way it works.
In Sniper Elite, one participant takes on the position of Allied sniper Karl Fairburne, dropped deep behind enemy strains to finish targets important to the Allied effort in World War II, whereas their opponents group as much as management squads of Axis troopers tasked with defending their base and coping with the intruder. To win the the sport, the sniper participant should sneak round or shoot their well past the defenders to finish two secret targets earlier than time runs out. Meanwhile, the defenders should guard key targets and search out the sniper to forestall them from successful.
Sniper Elite comes with a double-sided sport board that includes two completely different map choices. Each map has its personal taste with distinctive areas, together with its personal set of 9 goal playing cards, and a separate hidden model of the board for the sniper to secretly report their motion all through the sport.
For setup, the sniper secretly attracts two goal playing cards with completely different fits to make sure every goal is in a special sector of the map. The sniper additionally masses up their shot bag with goal, noise, and recoil tokens. The shot bag abstractly represents the sniper’s accuracy and stage of concealment, and the contents change over the course of the sport in tandem with adjustments on the battlefield. For instance, if the sniper efficiently shoots a soldier, you add an goal token to the bag which will increase the sniper’s odds when capturing defenders going ahead. Alternatively, if the sniper is noticed by the defenders, a noise token is added to the shot bag, which worsens the chances for the sniper’s future photographs.
The sniper additionally secretly choose three loadout playing cards of their alternative throughout setup. Each loadout card is a particular piece of apparatus the sniper can use as soon as per sport. There are particular weapons, and there are additionally playing cards to assist the sniper transfer round with out making noise, and even a rock you may toss to distract the defenders.
After the sniper is ready up, the defenders place their miniatures on the beginning areas matching their coloured bases after which they select three specialist playing cards to assign to their officers for the sport. The specialist playing cards give the officers a strong particular capability they’ll set off twice per sport. There’s additionally a countdown observe the place you place two coloured cubes per squad to maintain observe of the defenders’ actions and what number of rounds the sniper has left to finish an goal. In addition, there’s a token to maintain observe of the sniper’s wounds if the defenders are capable of efficiently search out and assault the sniper.
In a sport of Sniper Elite, the sniper participant takes the primary flip of the sport, after which the defenders take their flip in any order. The sniper and defenders alternate taking turns on this trend till the sport ends.
On your flip because the sniper participant, you may transfer, use a loadout card, and take an extra motion, in any order you select. You may even select to do nothing in any respect in your flip which is a enjoyable solution to preserve the defenders guessing. For instance, should you resolve to do nothing, it’s enjoyable to pause for a bit, analyze the primary board and your secret board as should you’re making a troublesome resolution, after which say you’re completed your flip. Then sit again and watch the defenders begin discussing the place you may’ve moved as you retain a poker face whereas laughing inside.
When you progress, you secretly mark your new place in your hidden board. You can transfer zero to 3 areas out of your present location. If you progress zero or one house, your motion is taken into account to be silent and would not alert the defenders even should you brush shoulders with them. However, should you transfer two or three areas and find yourself adjoining to any defenders throughout your transfer, you must inform them they heard a noise. You don’t want to inform the defenders what number of adjoining areas you moved by way of or the order by which the items are alerted. The sniper can’t enter an area that incorporates a defending unit, so the defenders might be working to place their items strategically to make it difficult for the sniper to achieve their goal areas.
For extra actions, the sniper can shoot at an enemy utilizing the shot bag, loot to realize extra loadout playing cards, or full an goal. To shoot, you secretly choose a goal in line of sight and declare what number of tokens you’re going to threat drawing to fireside the shot. At a minimal, you need to draw one goal token for every house between you and your goal, plus the goal’s house. So if my goal is three areas away from me, I’ve to attract at the very least three goal tokens. Considering the shot bag additionally has noise and recoil tokens, I’d choose to attract 5 or 6 tokens to be secure. In that case, I hope to efficiently draw the three goal tokens I want. If your shot is profitable, the unit you focused is faraway from the board.
If you’re taking down a soldier, you add an goal token to your shot bag. If you’re taking down an officer, you add a suppression token to the bag, or an goal token should you’ve already added that officer’s suppression token to the shot bag. Either manner, the added tokens in your shot bag are useful, along with the perks of eradicating defenders from the board. You have extra choices for effectively shifting round with out making noise, and it forces the defenders to spend actions to redeploy them.
In addition to the advantages of capturing the defenders, there are additionally some dangers to think about with regards to drawing from the shot bag to focus on an enemy. If you draw 5 or extra mixed recoil and noise tokens, you misfire. Also, regardless should you misfire or hit, should you draw two or extra noise tokens, you must reveal your place and place your sniper miniature in your present house on the board. If you misfire and don’t make a number of noise, your opponents gained’t even know who you had been focusing on, however while you make noise, they’ll see you. Therefore, it provides suspense on each side when the sniper is drawing tokens from the shot bag. Also, every suppression token drawn cancels a noise token, which is among the causes it’s normally most well-liked to focus on the officers over the troopers.
I actually like you could take your actions in any order too. It provides you the choice of capturing, then shifting, by which case, should you do create noise, you may have the ability to sneak away and throw off the defenders. Again, different instances it may very well be finest to remain put as properly. Whatever it takes to throw off these ruthless defenders!
As an extra sniper motion, you may loot to attract three loadout playing cards and preserve one should you’re on a numbered goal house that doesn’t match one in all your secret targets. If you loot, you mark the house in your hidden board as a result of every house can solely be looted as soon as. It appears normally, the sniper is attempting to beat the clock and concentrate on attending to their targets as shortly as potential, but when there is a lootable house in your path, it is undoubtedly price it to choose up one other loadout card since they’re tremendous useful.
In one in all my video games the place Matt was the sniper, I suspected he planted a mine and I knew the overall space the place he may’ve set it, however just a few turns later I completely forgot. I used my Scout specialist capability to maneuver one in all my troopers on the mine house, after which on the finish of my flip, he blew up. We each cracked up! I nearly selected a special house, however once more I wasn’t even interested by the mine.
The sniper’s principal aim is to remain alive and full two secret targets. The sniper participant has ten rounds to finish every goal. If you’re capable of full an goal inside the first ten rounds, the countdown observe resets and also you get one other ten rounds to finish your second goal to win. To full an goal, merely reveal your goal card when you’re on the matching house. Then you must put the sniper miniature on that house, add a noise token to the shot bag, and reset the defender’s motion cubes on the countdown observe. The motion itself is straightforward, however clearly essential to successful the sport, and it may be very difficult when you find yourself up in opposition to powerful defenders. Whenever I performed because the sniper, I felt so nervous and had an adrenaline rush shifting across the board whereas attempting to outsmart the defenders.
While the sniper is sneaking across the board, capturing at defenders, looting, and making an attempt to finish targets, the three squads of defenders work collectively to search out and assault the sniper, whereas additionally slowing them down sufficient that they run out of time. Considering the sniper can by no means enter an area with a defender unit, positioning your officers and troopers to regulate the sniper’s motion is crucial.
On the defenders’ flip, every squad can both collect intel or take two actions with their items. To collect intel with a squad, the officer have to be in their very own sector (matching coloration), you then ask the sniper in the event that they’re in that sector. Since the officer must be in their very own part to collect intel, that’s one more reason the sniper may prioritize capturing officers over troopers. Gathering intel may be tremendous useful to slim down the place the sniper may very well be, particularly early within the sport when you do not have a lot knowledge. However, the squad gained’t have the ability to take some other actions that spherical, so it’s expensive and you must resolve when it is price it.
If you’re not going to collect intel with a squad, you may transfer a unit as much as two areas, assault the present house in hopes to wound the sniper in the event that they’re on the identical house, sweep or spot to see if the sniper is close by, or deploy items that had been eliminated to deliver them again onto the board. In addition, earlier than or after any motion or intel gathering, every officer might use their specialist capability as soon as per flip.
You preserve observe of every defending squad’s actions by shifting the corresponding motion cubes down the countdown observe. On the defender flip, you’ve gotten a number of flexibility since you may have the squads take actions in any order you’d like. It’s additionally potential to take the identical motion twice with every squad, or a single unit can take two actions so long as they’re completely different actions.
The defender spot motion lets you select an area adjoining to a unit and if the sniper’s in that house, they must put their miniature on the board and add a noise token to their bag. Alternatively, to brush, you select two adjoining areas to a unit and if the sniper is in any of these areas, together with the house the energetic unit is on, the sniper has to say so. Of course, they don’t must say which of the three areas they’re on, however it’s nonetheless useful knowledge.
Then there are additionally specialist talents you could add to the combo when plotting in opposition to the sniper. Each officer is assigned a specialist with distinctive talents which they’ll use twice per sport. During arrange, you add two coloured motion cubes to affiliate the corresponding officers to their specialist capability. You additionally use these cubes to maintain observe of what number of instances you’ve got used the flexibility since you may solely use every capability twice per sport. The defenders can use the skills of a number of specialists in every flip, however can’t use the identical specialist twice on a single flip.
There are six completely different specialists you may assign to your officers. There’s a Scout that allows you to transfer a soldier from the corresponding squad to any empty house on the board. There’s a Medic which lets you preserve a soldier within the corresponding squad alive after the sniper shoots them. One of my favorites is the Kennel Master who can place a canine token of their house, after which for the remainder of the sport, the canine might be alerted if the sniper strikes into or by way of the canine’s house. There’s even a Sniper which might assault focusing on an area of their line of sight utilizing the sniper’s capturing guidelines and shot bag. All of the specialist talents are fairly juicy and it’s superior to extra choices for the defenders.
The sniper and defenders proceed taking turns, backwards and forwards till the sport ends. The sniper wins instantly in the event that they full their second goal. The defenders win instantly in the event that they wound the sniper a second time, or if their motion cubes are on the ultimate house of the countdown observe at the beginning of their flip, which implies the sniper ran out of time.
While I’ve by no means performed any Sniper Elite video video games, and I’ve solely performed just a few hidden motion video games, I discovered Sniper Elite: The Board Game to be very enjoyable. Each sport I performed felt tense and thrilling whether or not I used to be taking part in because the sniper or the defenders.
The guidelines for Sniper Elite are fairly easy, together with the road of sight guidelines which might generally trigger confusion. Once you be taught it, it ought to be a comparatively fast educate. They additionally embrace a pair participant aids that are useful, however I want they might’ve included multiple participant support for the defenders.
The artwork and parts are all nice and the wash on the miniatures was such a pleasant contact. Everything appears and feels premium which I at all times respect. The shot tokens are good and chunky too.
Speaking of the shot tokens, I actually dug the push-your-luck side of utilizing the shot bag to focus on defenders. It’s such a intelligent manner of abstracting the sniper’s accuracy when capturing, and it feels suspenseful everytime you’re drawing from the bag. Also, the way in which you add tokens to the bag, for higher or worse, makes thematic sense which is actually cool.
The loadout playing cards are nice in Sniper Elite too. I actually dig that the sniper participant will get to decide on three playing cards at the beginning of the sport and there are solely six several types of playing cards, however some playing cards have two copies, so that you by no means know precisely what might be in play. It’s not solely cool to be the sniper and have these spicy playing cards up your sleeves, however it’s one other factor the defenders can deduce all through the sport. Some of the loadout playing cards usually are not revealed instantly when performed, so it may very well be that the sniper positioned a mine or they may use the sound masking card that permits them to maneuver two or three areas adjoining to defenders with out making noise. Either manner, the loadout playing cards add an superior dynamic to the gameplay.
I managed to play Sniper Elite in any respect participant counts. I loved it finest at with two or three gamers. The 4-player expertise felt too lengthy. It is likely to be a matter of too many cooks within the kitchen for the reason that defender turns took some time. Even with everybody proudly owning their very own squads’ actions, there’s nonetheless so much to debate and collaborate on, which is cool, however can undoubtedly make the sport drag. The 2-player expertise solely took about an hour and felt like chess at moments, should you can think about taking part in a chess match the place your opponent can see your whole strikes, however you may’t see their strikes many of the sport. The 3-player sport may very well be a candy spot should you take pleasure in having somebody to bounce concepts off of while you’re attempting to trace down the sniper.
Sniper Elite additionally has a solo mode designed by Dávid Turczi and Noralie Lubbers. In the solo mode, you play because the sniper in opposition to the defenders whose turns are pushed by a deck of playing cards which is simple to run, however it would not essentially seize the strain that comes with taking part in a hidden motion sport with human opponents. I feel it is good that it has a solo mode, however I’m in all probability going to stay to the multiplayer mode on this case. It additionally consists of some officer challenges to regulate the problem which is at all times a plus with regards to solo modes.
While there may be loads of replay worth within the base sport with two completely different maps, every with 9 completely different goal areas, plus a wide range of specialist officer and loadout playing cards, the modular enlargement Sniper Elite: Eagle’s Nest can be obtainable. Eagle’s Nest provides two new maps to the sport – the notorious Eagle’s Nest and the Heavy Water Facility – every offering the Allied sniper and the defending Axis forces with new challenges to face. In addition, it consists of 4 alternate snipers to select from at the beginning of the sport, every with their very own distinctive skillset and miniature to signify them. Eagle’s Nest would not look like an important enlargement, however should you actually dig the bottom sport and play it so much, you will in all probability take pleasure in the additional goodies.
If you are wanting a for a enjoyable, tense hidden motion sport, you’ll want to try Sniper Elite: The Board Game. The design and manufacturing are prime notch, it is comparatively simple to be taught and educate, and it may be performed in lower than two hours. I’m wanting ahead to taking part in it extra to strengthen my deduction abilities and misdirect my associates.
If you are involved in studying extra about Sniper Elite: The Board Game, and the way it got here to be, I like to recommend trying out the insightful designer diary David Thompson posted.