Designed by David Thompson and Roger Tankersley and published by Gathering Games. Sniper Elite: The Board Game is a tabletop board game based on a popular video game series of the same name. It was released in 2022.
Sniper Elite: The Board Game – Stay Frosty People
Now everyone who is into video games knows about the Sniper Elite series. A hugely popular stealthy shooter set during the second world war. Well, released earlier this year the franchise expanded into the tabletop genre thanks to our friends over at Gathering Games. We got the chance to play the board game first-hand.
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When you take a popular video game franchise and turn it into a tabletop game. There are many things that can go through your head. How is the stealth aspect going to work? can you play solo like the video game is best at? how long does a playthrough actually take? Well, I suppose the answers lie in how you play the game.
The object of the game is to get your player (The Sniper) to two points on the board without alerting the guards and officers and believe me when I say it’s harder than you think. It’s rare to go around the board without causing some sort of noise while moving between turns. The player who plays the sniper has their own little wipe board that is a replica of the map where they mark out their movements with an eraser pen so that the player or players playing as the defenders don’t see when they move on the board.
The sniper gets four phases in a turn where you move, use items or collect items, you can also use whatever weapon you have to kill any enemies. The sniper can fire his weapon by using tokens from the target bag and drawing them at random. The tokens you’ll find in the bag are recoil, suppression, noise, and aim. So through luck, you will either kill, pin an enemy down or even reveal your position.
While the defenders don’t actually see the sniper’s movements on the board it is inevitable that the sniper will make some noise while moving and when they make that noise. The defender puts down some clear blocks where they think the sniper is moving (think of the old game Battleships). It adds some serious tension not just to the sniper but to the defenders as well.
Now as mentioned before the objective is to get to points on the map but the sniper only has nine rounds of movement to reach their objective. Otherwise, the game is over and the defenders win. While nine rounds doesn’t seem like a long enough time to complete the sniper’s objective. Each playthrough can last around two hours, especially if it’s your first playthrough and you’re getting used to the rules.
After that then the gameplay will flow more easily and you’ll be looking around the 90-minute mark. The game offers some great tension and build-up as the rounds progress. It’s a game where one cannot win easily or speedrun through it because there are always consequences to each round of movements.
If you’re a fan of the Sniper Elite video games then the board game is certainly going to scratch that itch. It offers almost everything that its counterpart has to offer. Tension, suspense, (no x-ray nut shots, sorry) and the feeling of sneaking around, is sort of fulfilling. So it’s a pleasure for me to say that Sniper Elite: The Board Game gets the Thumb Culture Platinum Award.
Big thanks to everyone over at Gathering Games for sending a copy over and if board games based on popular video games are your sort of thing then you really need to head over to their website.
Disclaimer: A review product was received in order to write this review.