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Subject: Testing Shadow Ops rss

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Last night, my wife, Lisa, and I played a game of Shadow Ops (a game I’m co-designing with dshortdesign) in an effort to gather information for an idea to streamline some of the mechanics. The game lasted just over an hour, which is typical for 2 players. We re-shuffled the Agents deck twice (around missions 9 and 21) which is typical as well. She had not played it in a while and there were some changes since the previous version that I needed to explain.

In the beginning of the game, I ended up getting some really good cards. They were so good that I was having a hard time deciding which ones to discard. This changed later in the game and more than made up for my lucky cards in the beginning. In the first several rounds, I was collecting quite a few Achievements from the Missions. I didn’t cash them in for a Contract until completing the 12th Mission. I started with the Tan Contract (Master Transporter) to keep Lisa from getting it, and she secured the Purple Contract (Arms Dealer) after that.

Eventually, she collected quite a few Achievements in a row, using her Special Agent X, and secured the Blue and Grey Contracts (Enigma Expert and Intel Operative). After that, I got my act in gear and secured the Black and 7 of Any Contracts after the next Mission (Breaching Specialist and Cloak& Dagger). To complete Mission 19 I used my Special Agent X. This gave me two Blacks and a Grey Achievement which seems like a waste, but I could see that there would not be any Greys coming up for a while and we were both fighting over the One of Each Contract (Lead Distributor).

The game lasted a total of 25 missions and was very close, but Lisa won after collecting enough Black and Purple Achievements to use as wilds (4/1 ratio). I ended the game with a Grey, 2 Purples, a Tan, and 2 Blacks. I only needed 2 more of any color to win. For the left over Special Agents, I had 25 and 26 remaining and Lisa had 2, 24, and 26. For The left over Actions, I had Clone remaining and Lisa had both Clone and Chameleon.

We both enjoyed playing and it was cool to take some detailed notes and analyze the Mission distribution. I look forward to implementing the Mission Cards that will help streamline the game flow.

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