Sniper Elite: The Board Game review — good rules deliver late-game drama

I like my Sniper Elite the way I like my barbecued brisket — low and slow. When I was taking up this franchise tabletop, the biggest thing that puzzled me was how long it would take. Could I complete a game in less time than it takes for me to pick my way through one of the video game’s lavish banquets of long-range death?

Well, yes. From start to finish. This includes playing on the base map and learning about the board. Sniper Elite – The Board GameA solo mission was completed in 90 minutes. Up to three players can be added to the Sniper to manage three patrols with three guards. Sniper Elite, Roger Tankersley and David Thompson created the Rebellion Unplugged game. It can take up to an hour but there’s a built-in time limit so missions don’t go on indefinitely. If the Sniper can’t complete an objective in the span of nine rounds of turn-based activity, they lose.

So, the goal really isn’t to shoot and kill any of the officers or guards. It’s simply to reach two points on the board before time runs out. It is also a hidden-movement game. Thanks to some thoughtful rules, the Sniper players rarely end a round undiscovered or without any problems. It is the result that late-game moves count most. Sniper Elite is The Board Game It can also be called a “skin-of-the teeth” proposition. This is where an earlier action carried less suspense or had fewer consequences.

closeup of game pieces and the board for Sniper Elite: The Board Game

Photo: Rebellion Unplugged

They use a dry-erase, smaller map and a grease pen to keep track of where they are at all times. (By the way, no Nazi imagery is in The Defenders). Sniper Elite – The Board GameTo mark the possible presence of The Sniper, you can use tracking cubes. If the Sniper moves two or three spaces — which they will have to do late in the game — they’re required to notify a Defender player that their guards nearby heard something.

The good news is that Defenders don’t have to resort to passive strategies to get rid of the Sniper. The Defender can make use of their round to call one of the three actions that can be used to determine if the Sniper exists in their sector. They also have three options to indicate if they are within 3 spaces or in 1 space. Caught in the open, any attack on the Sniper automatically deals a wound; two wounds and it’s game over. Two guards within striking range make it nearly impossible to escape; one of them will reveal the Sniper and this can often lead to a heated you-or-me confrontation.

By naming the tokens they wish to take from their shot bag, The Sniper can fire his weapon. The shot bag’s tokens — Aim, Recoil, Noise, and Suppression — combine to either make the kill, thwart it, or even reveal The Sniper’s position. It is important to be aware of all bag odds, especially for snipers who like one-shot-onekill. You will need six Aim tokens to kill a target, three Recoil tokens that can ruin a shot and two Noise tokens to spoil the shot. And give away the Sniper’s location). The outcomes of any other events that led up to the shot are taken into account. (The solo version Sniper Elite – The Board Game For extended movement (e.g., adding tokens in the shot bag).

It all results in incredibly strong tension and pace. Without revealing my location, I was able to take out the guard blocking my path to the first objective in one playthrough. But of course, I hadn’t considered the layout of that room, and my exit took a lot longer than I expected. As the clock ticked, an officer stood in front of me, just three feet away.

He needed three Aim tokens, so I decided to draw five randomly drawn tokens. However, only two of them were mine. I didn’t have enough time for a second shot, so I fled. I had no time to cover potential targets at the other side of the map so I ran to my second objective. Had I stood to fight the officer, and likely received a wound in the process, I’d have probably lost.

closeup of game pieces and the board for Sniper Elite: The Board Game

Photo: Rebellion Unplugged

Playing with friends is preferable to the solo game, and doesn’t take much longer, even with quibbling over what line of sight really entails or losing track of where someone is or is supposed to be, which one would expect of a game in which two maps are being maintained. The solo rules, by Dávid Turczi and Noralie Lubbers, are a capable enough delivery of the main game’s core gameplay loop. Some wins in solo can be compared to luck, due to how Defenders choose their cards.

Maps are balanced and clearly illustrated. Surprise chokepoints and slow-moving hazards areas can be found, as well as elevated terrain, which sometimes appears to appear spontaneously. It was one time that I realized that I wasn’t right next to a guard. Instead, I had to scramble up a catwalk to get to the nearest exit, which was just two spaces to my left. The 1 1/2-inch plastic miniatures are individualized and richly detailed, with no flimsy rifle barrels or appendages; you can fix colored discs to their base so you know which sector they’re assigned to.

As a Sniper Elite fan for almost a decade, Sniper Elite – The Board Game The same satisfaction comes from seeing someone I like, eliminating them immediately, then moving on with my patrol. I’d say it even reinforces some of those valuable lessons, especially about prioritizing objectives over kills, for the next time I pick up the video game. The first level took me about five hours. Sniper Elite 5 Because I wanted to kill everybody. Sniper Elite – The Board Game revealed that killing isn’t necessary to have a good time.

Sniper Elite – The Board Game Rebellion Unplugged provided a retail copy for review. Vox Media also has affiliate relationships. Although these partnerships do not impact editorial content, Vox Media could earn commissions for products sold via affiliate links. Here are some links to help you find. additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.

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