Prepare for tense gameplay in the stealth game V-Sabotage

As the German army occupies most of Europe, elite units conduct covert operations behind enemy lines. Embody these units in V-Sabotageboard game of the week.

Established in July 1940 by Winston Churchill himself Special Operations Executive (SOE) aims to support the various resistance movements in occupied countries. In particular, by sending elite airborne units, commandos, to carry out covert missions on strategic enemy elements.

V-Sabotage is a cooperative game where players embody these famous commandos, as opposed to enemy forces controlled by the game.

Before the game starts, players decide their mode of play: play either a single mission (about 30 minutes) or a full operation, a series of multiple missions (some of which sometimes have to be executed in parallel). The number of commands to be used depends on the chosen mission, so it may happen to control several characters depending on the number of participants.

Two commandos on a mission // Source: Sébastien Goetz for Numerama

The missions describe how to set up the terrain, by collecting several exterior or interior tiles, where the enemies are located, where their reinforcements arrive, and above all, the objectives to be achieved. There are two types: goals to destroy (eg blow up a bridge) or not to destroy (eg restore plans).

Each command has its own specialty (the sapper, the officer, the medic and the sniper, the scout), its choice of weapon and possibly a starter kit.

After drawing a random event, some helping the players (the Germans think they heard a cat, for example), others much less so (enemy reinforcements arrive, your weapons jam, etc.), each command has three action points for its trip.

You can move from tile to tile, use equipment (a first aid kit, a grenade, a German uniform, etc.), stealthily eliminate an enemy, shoot, turn off the alarm, interact with a target, etc.

The commandos start the game in stealth mode and the whole objective of the game is to stay that way for as long as possible. The German reinforcements are then less numerous, we can kill them with a knife, they don’t chase us, don’t shoot us like rabbits, etc. On the other hand, once you discover it (using a weapon that makes noise, goes out in the open, isn’t discrete enough when moving, etc.), the alarm goes off and things get a lot more complicated. It can be turned off, but only once per battle… The Germans are not fooled, they don’t think twice about a false alarm.

Then it is the game’s turn to act differently depending on whether the alarm has gone off or not. First the reinforcements arrive, then each enemy moves, either according to the cardinal point indicated by the event card drawn at the start of the turn, or towards the nearest visible commando from which it fires.

V-Sabotage
A command, a mission, an operation. // Source: Sébastien Goetz for Numerama

If all the objectives are reached and at least one commando has managed to escape, the mission is a success. On the other hand, if all commandos have been eliminated, all enemy units have been deployed, or a mission failure condition has occurred, it is a failure. Otherwise, a new round starts.

Without going into details, the game is further enriched with a whole lot of small extra elements that further enhance the experience and the games (machine gun nests, the crowbar to open doors, equipment recovered from killed enemies, charges of TNT, etc.) .

Why play V-Sabotage?

Let’s not cut corners: we were impressed V-Sabotage. To begin with, the rules are peppered with small historical and contextual excerpts. Moreover, the operations, their location, their name, their objective really took place.

Its basic rules are simple, and your first game allows you to understand the few details that remained unclear from reading. The following is much more fluid and the towers are then connected dynamically. And despite this simplicity, (almost) every imaginable situation is taken into account.

V-Sabotage
Source: Black Triton

But it is above all the game system, based on this notion of stealth, that gives the game all its strength. Moreover, the first pages of the rulebook are entirely devoted to this point, as it is the core of the game. gameplay. Of course, you can go all out, but your mission will most likely end in failure.

Finally, the game manages to create an atmosphere worthy of the genre’s best films. The dirty dozen, When eagles attack, Navarone’s cannons, Inglourious Basterds, collected on your living room table. Of course, we also think about Commandercult video game series.

V-Sabotage
Source: Black Triton

Formerly known as V commands , V-Sabotage is not a recent game, as it was first released in 2016. But we are taking advantage of its re-release, which has just arrived in stores, to present it to you. The game has not aged a bit, and the author even took the opportunity to improve certain points.

Finally, to renew the gaming experience, you have the option of enriching the base box with several expansions that are already available. Each adds additional material: new events, new characters, new tiles, etc. Ghost notably offers experience management, a campaign mode and a lone wolf mode. Resistance offers to cooperate with resistance movements, and adds German officers and guard dogs. Secret weapons among other things introduces new weapons, barrels of gas to shoot at or even radio-controlled mini-tanks. Finally, if you prefer to play with figures (which must be painted) rather than cardboard tokens, there Miniature package to the base box, and the Miniature package for extensions.

V-Sabotage
The expansion’s (paintable) miniatures further add to the immersion. // Source: Black Triton

If you are a fan of this type gameplay and the theme, V-Sabotage will definitely live up to your expectations. Simple but comprehensive rules, fluid and dynamic turns, updated equipment, malleable game time, everything is thought out with care. And with the many expansions already available, the commando missions will no longer hold any secrets for you. Here is a cooperative and historical game with a well-established theme that we especially appreciated.

  • V-Sabotageis a play by Thibaud de la Touanne
  • Illustrated by Vincent Filipiak and Bruno Tatti
  • Edited by Triton Noir
  • For 1 to 4 players from 14 years
  • For games of about 30 to 120 minutes (depending on the selected game mode)
  • Price €57.90 at Philibert

The verdict

Source: Black Triton

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