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New Game Round-up: Become an Elite Sniper, Travel to the Moon, and Fight Death

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Publisher: Rebellion Unplugged
• Once again I'm reminded of how little I know about video games thanks to the announcement of Sniper Elite: The Board Game from Rebellion Unplugged, the new board game publishing division of Rebellion Developments, which has sold more than ten million copies of titles in the Sniper Elite video game series. This new division will be run by Duncan Molloy, who started the board game line at Osprey Games in 2015. A press release for this brand notes that "Rebellion Unplugged will release new physical games and collectibles based on the company's diverse and extensive collection of properties. Several games are already in the works."

Sniper Elite is designed by Roger Tankersley and David Thompson, and Rebellion Unplugged will demo the title at PAX Unplugged 2019 ahead of a Kickstarter campaign in early 2020 and a scheduled release in 2021. Here's an overview:
In this hidden movement game, one player takes the role of the sniper, who is trying to make their way past the German guards by stealth or violence. Up to three other players control squads of German soldiers, striking a balance between defending their objectives and hunting the sniper.

Sniper Elite features a bag-manipulation element. The sniper draws chits from a bag to target the defenders, though canny defense can decrease the sniper's likelihood of making their shot...
Board Game: Sniper Elite: The Board Game

Board Game: The King is Dead: Second Edition
• Speaking of Osprey Games, Peer Sylvester's The King Is Dead was the first board game released by that company, and a second edition of the game with new art, new graphic design, and a new asymmetric game mode for advanced play will be released in July 2020.

• That Osprey Games title will be followed in August 2020 by the release of Wildlands: The Ancients, which is described as a big box expansion for Martin Wallace's Wildlands.

• And that title will be preceded in May 2020 by Judge Dredd: Helter Skelter – The Dark Judges, also from designer Martin Wallace, with that expansion introducing new characters to the Judge Dredd: Helter Skelter base game, characters perfectly depicted by Brian Bolland in a story that I re-read oh-so-many times in my youth:
The barrier between worlds has shattered. Now, the Dark Judges have returned to exact judgement on Mega-City One. The city is guilty. The crime is life. The sentence is death.

Judge Dredd: Helter Skelter – The Dark Judges is an expansion for the base game that introduces The Dark Judges, a new team that can be played against others in Judge Dredd: Helter Skelter or competed against on your own in a solitaire game.
Board Game: Judge Dredd: Helter Skelter – Dark Judges
"Gaze into the fist of Dredd!"

Board Game Publisher: PHALANX
• To continue the chain of this post, let's end with a quick look at Martin Wallace's The Rocketmen, a 1-4 player game that Polish publisher PHALANX plans to release in 2020:
They have set up their empires of trailblazing innovation and groundbreaking technologies on a somewhat unremarkable planet circling around a rather average star. Years of hard work and steadfast dedication to their clear-cut vision of looking further than day-to-day toils and chores of humanity have grounded their reputation as the forefathers of the future of humanity. Secretly, they have never ceased to dream about the main flywheel of all their entrepreneurial actions and deeds — reaching out to the stars above. Now, the time has come for them to embark on a second giant leap for mankind, to make the solar system our home. Only one of them shall go down in history as the first entrepreneur of space and a person who truly forged their will and power according to the bold words: citius, altius, fortius — faster, higher, stronger.

Immerse yourself in a fast-paced race to the final frontier: space. A deck-building confrontation of swift decision-making and tactical estimates, The Rocketmen gives you the feel of taking a front seat in a technologically wonderful spectacle of space exploration. It's up to your predicting abilities and cash flow maintenance know-how what kind of endeavor would be most suitable for paving the way to Earth's celestial neighbors. It doesn't matter whether it would be a low Earth orbit satellite or a manned base destined for Red Planet; plan your mission carefully, equip your shuttles and rockets craftily, yet do not hesitate when your gut instinct tells you to go for a lift-off! The universe might wait for you eternally, but your opponents won't!
For more details on the gameplay, albeit preliminary since the game is still in development, check out this overview from Ravindra Prasad, a Martin Wallace fan who played the game twice at BGG.CON 2019. (I spoke with Wallace about this design at the end of that show, but we had only eight minutes to chat before I headed to the airport, so no playthrough report from me!)
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