I was late to the party with Rebellion’s hugely popular, long-running Sniper Elite series. The first one I played was Sniper Elite 3; I was immediately blown away by the open nature of each stage and the huge variety on offer with which to cause gory, sometimes painfully detailed, chaos.
The Sniper Elite games see players cast as – spoiler alert – a sniper, carrying out various missions across different campaigns during World War II. The second game – Sniper Elite V2 – saw the introduction of the ‘X-Ray Kill Cam’, which tracks the movement of a fired bullet and shows a detailed X-Ray of its target, skeleton and organs included, depicting the bloody and/or bone-shattering effect of the projectile in slow motion as it passes through the victim. It’s disgusting yet hilarious – and incredibly compelling as the payoff to each accurate, carefully planned shot that’s fired. Like pretty much every person who picks up Sniper Elite, I’ve spent an awful lot of time lining up shots on Nazi testicles and watching with glee as they’re burst by my bullets. Even more outrageously, some of the titles in the series – usually via DLC – allow you to take out Hitler, with the use of the X-Ray Kill Cam also giving a glimpse at the number of testicles that the Fuhrer was allegedly endowed with (which was the subject of a favourite wartime and playground song in the UK for many years).
Given that Rebellion’s owners were first lured towards video games by their love for board games, it should come as no surprise to see the company seek to translate the popular Sniper Elite formula to the tabletop – and the game is currently seeking funds on Kickstarter. It looks absolutely wonderful.
There’s a nice asymmetrical feel to proceedings, with one player cast as the eponymous sniper and the others as the German soldiers seeking to stop Karl’s reign of stealthy terror. The sniper player’s location is hidden, with a hidden board being used to keep track of where they are without giving away their position to the other players – who must do what they can to hunt down and eliminate the Allied soldier.
The production values and overall visual design is superb even in the standard edition of the game, with excellent miniatures and cards that look thematically, WWII appropriate from a visual design point of view. Opt for the deluxe edition and you’ll upgrade the components further, with unique specialist miniatures for each of the German officer players, clay tokens, an upgraded token bag and – in keeping with the cheeky, darkly comic nature of the series – a ‘Teste-Kill’ miniature of Hitler himself being shot in the, er, ball.
A further upgrade will add an expansion pack – The Eagle’s Nest – which contains two expansions in a single box. Excitingly, this includes character miniatures from the Sniper Elite spin-off series, Zombie Army, as well as classic characters from iconic British war comic, Battle. A new map and objectives are also part of this pledge level.
Considering the wealth of content and the hugely positive buzz the game is already generating, it’s no surprise that Sniper Elite – The Board Game has already reached and surpassed its funding goal. Stretch goals are on the way, however – and look to add even more value and excitement to an already very enticing package.
The release of Sniper Elite – The Board game is planned for September 2021 and the Kickstarter campaign ends on the 1st of September 2020. You can check out and back the project here.
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