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Subject: Cardboard Koinonia Review - V-Commandos rss

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Matt Percy
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V-Commandos is a World War Two themed stealth game for 1-4 players at ages 12 and up, that plays in anywhere from 30-180 minutes depending on mission choices.

Before you begin playing you and your friends have a choice of selecting available operations, or making your own up from  available missions cards. Operations consist of multiple missions and each mission has their own terrain set-up and objectives to meet before moving on to the next. Once chosen you can set-up the battlefield and choose your operatives. You have a choice of a Russian Sniper, a Canadian Scout from the Devil's Brigade, a British SAS Officer, a US Sapper, or a French medic.

Each turn starts by drawing an event card for each terrain (mission) currently in play. This adds special rules or circumstances to the game for that turn, sometimes good, sometimes bad. These effects are applied immediatly then you proceed with the Commandos phase.

Each player gets to take their turn in the commandos phase. Turn order is determined by the players but each player must play out their entire turn before the next can go. Commandos can take 3 actions a turn but some things that they can do do not take actions to do, for instance picking up or dropping equipment or blowing TNT. Other actions that you can take are: move, stealth move, close combat, shoot, use equipment like med packs etc. Players are trying to move their commandos through the terrain to acquire, or complete certain objectives outlined in the mission briefing. Stealth is key as too much noise or a clumsy move can alert more guards to your presence.

After commandos phase is the enemy phase. Players will place enemy reinforcements, move soldiers, then roll for each shot that the guards take on allied commandos if at all. There are enemy entrance points on each terrain where an extra german soldier will possibly show up depending on what is drawn from a bag. You may draw a blank token, a regular soldier, or even a higher rank soldier. If the alarm has been activated players draw two tokens at each entrance point. After placing enemy units players move the German troops. Movement is based either on a card drawn, or whether or not they can see an allied commando. If your commando is spotted enemies move towards your position in the movement phase. I hope you're ready. Each enemy that has a clear line of sight on a visible commando now gets to take shots at them. Each enemy troop rolls a die depending on its token. Every dice roll equal to or higher than the number printed on the particular tile that the commando is on is a hit and the player will adjust their health accordingly.

The mission is a success once all the objectives have been met and at least one commando has exited the terrain via a trap door. The operation, if applicable, is successful if each mission/terrain has been completed.

My Thoughts: I love games with a strong theme that really draws you in and this is one of those games. This game is all about stealth. Unlike others games where you can just blast your way through to the end, if you start shooting the place up it is likely going to end terribly for you. You get a rush because you feel like one wrong move or slip up could alert everyone around to your presence. The gameplay is tight and the rules work well with the theme. Because there are dice there is some randomness to the gameplay but thematically it imagines the chaos of war, who knows what could happen.

The rulebook itself isn't the worst written rule book I have seen but it isn't the best either. The game was designed by a Canadian from Montreal, the english rules are good but I feel that the structure in terms of sentences, paragraphs and maybe even choices of words could have been better. In any event we were able to play the game without too much difficulty.

The components are good quality cardboard pieces. It's obvious that the game would be amazing had it had miniatures and plastic terrain etc. but then this game would cost double if not more. It is excellent for what you're paying.

For the Parents:

Violence: This is a World War Two game. While stealth is preferred over combat, combat is still a part of the game. There are guns, explosives, and close combat. This is mainly mechanical although pictures of the various weapons are depicted and if your commando is badly injured you will flip over his token and it will depict the injuries with blood.

Sexual Content: None.

Drugs/Alcohol: None.

Language: None.

Horror/Occult: While this is a World War Two game no swastikas are used.

Cardboard Koinonia V-Commandos Review
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