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Agents of SMERSH» Forums » Rules

Subject: Summary of Rules/Gameplay rss

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A text version covering all basic rules will be for download whenever approved. Here is an abbreviated version.

AGENTS OF SMERSH is a cooperative game that plays best with 1-4 players. Players portray UN Secret Service spies in an international effort to stop SMERSH from world domination. Players travel to cities around the world, drawing location based encounters and reading them aloud.


WINNING THE GAME: To bring the endgame, players must have 5 successful encounters against Henchmen at city/ocean locations with GREEN LOCATION TOKENS. Each successful Henchman encounter allows the player to advance one spot on the LOCATION TRACK (located on the main board). Once the Location Track is at 5, the game ends immediately. BUT to actually win the game, players must have the necessary YELLOW INTEL in the Intel Pool. Flip over the Intel in the Pool. Only if the symbols in the Intel Pool match the symbols at the position of Dr. Lobo’s pawn on his track (from 1-9), do the players win.

Players also immediately win if they defeat all 4 Henchmen (Henchmen cards all flipped) – this scenario is extremely unlikely. In this case Dr. Lobo’s track is ignored as is the Location Intelligence Track.

LOSING THE GAME: Players lose immediately once Dr. Lobo’s track reaches “9”.


1.1. Movement: Players choose one of the following:

1.1.1. Rest Action: If and only if a Player has 2 or more Injury Tokens on his Character Card, he may take a Rest Action to Heal 2 Injuries. They skip their encounter phase and go directly to STEP 1.3 VILLAIN PHASE.

1.1.2. Default Movement:
The default movement is TWO. Players must always stop if they move into an Ocean Location. Players may use maximum 1 Resolve each turn to move an additional space (but cannot use Resolve to skip an Ocean space. Players must always stop).

1.1.3. Airplane Travel: If traveling by AIRPLANE, players must already be on a city with an open airport and end their movement on another city with an open airport. (Airports in RED never close for any reason).

1.1.4. Train Travel: The Trans-Siberian TRAIN in the Soviet Union can move a player from a city with a train icon to another city with a train icon using only 1 Movement point. Players may continue to move after using the Train if they still have a Movement points.

1.2. Encounters

1.2.1. Players stop on city/ocean with a Green Location Token
Players will not read a regular encounter in this case. Flip the token to see which Henchman the player is to encounter. Take that henchman's card from next to the board and conduct the Test on his card according to the Henchman’s level.

If successful against the Henchman, then advance 1 spot on the Location Track. The Henchman then moves up a Level. If the Henchman is defeated at Level 3 then players flip his card and remove that Henchman's Green Location Token from the game. SKIP TO STEP 1.3 VILLAIN PHASE.

1.2.2. Players stop on city/ocean with a Yellow Intel Token OR no tokens. If a Yellow Intel Token is at the city or ocean space - before drawing an encounter card - the player must choose what to do with the Intel Token. Players can either put that Intel Token (facedown) into the Intel Pool, or discard the Intel and bring out a Green Location Token to a random city. Either way, players may not look at the token. Note that Intel at a location will make the Encounter tougher (except on an Ocean Location) in most cases. For example, it might be better to allow a stronger player to pick up Intel if you are weakened.


Once the Intel Token is resolved or if there is no Intel Token, draw an encounter card from one of the five decks located on the board. For example, if player is on a city in Africa, draw from the Africa deck. Each Encounter contains rewards and penalties. Unless it says otherwise, if players fail an encounter, they must ALWAYS draw a Villain Card and apply the Villain Advancement side of the card adding the number to Dr. Lobo's track. These cards stay in play next to Dr. Lobo (if players read the paragraphs on the card, they add to the story). If Dr. Lobo's track ever reaches the number "9" on his track, all players automatically lose.

1.3. Villain Phase

Regardless of the result of the Encounter, draw a Villain Card and read the End Of Turn Event side of the card, adding and removing INTEL on the board. For example, if players have failed an encounter, they will most likely be drawing 2 Villain Cards. Also be sure to close the Airport indicated on the card. As the game advances, Airports close and remain closed for the duration of the game, making it more difficult for players to get around. AT THE END OF EVERY PLAYER’S TURN DRAW AND APPLY ONE END OF TURN EVENT CARD.

1.4. Check for Intel Overflow
- There is a limit to how many YELLOW INTEL tokens that can be present on the board (In a 4-Player game, there can never be more than 4). If the Villain End of Turn Event brings out Yellow Intel that goes over that limit, players must REMOVE ALL YELLOW INTEL from the board, and if there is more than 1 Location Token, remove the excess. There should be no Intel Tokens and 1 Location Token at most left on the board in the event of Intel Overflow.


The Dice Bag contains FIVE Dice. Each die has a different ratio of success and failure icons. Players blindly pull a number of dice from the bag determined by their skill levels.
Players ALWAYS roll the Yellow Die (which has a 1:6 success ratio) along with the dice drawn from the bag. The Yellow Die never goes into the bag; therefore, players will always have at least one die to roll. Players must roll all dice pulled from the bag, including the Yellow Die. They can’t decide to not roll available dice.

When reading this aloud it will sound like this: “Test Persuasion +1 or Test Deception +2 with 2 Successes. Automatically pass with Seduction.”


3.1. Resolve
Each player has a starting number of Resolve. Resolve, depending upon your character, generally allows you add 1 Movement, Reroll a Single Die, or Pull an additional Die from the bag. There is no automatic means to get Resolve back, so be careful how you spend it. Adding dice is not always the best option; you may want to roll and see if you can save your Resolve, spending on a reroll of one of the dice if necessary. Get familiar with the dice ratios.

3.2. Top Secret Deck

Every Character has a Secret Mission. Once you complete a Mission draw a Top Secret Card. There are some powerful cards in the Top Secret deck and they are sometimes crucial to winning the game. Remember to get 2 more Fate Cards so you can start a new mission after completing one.

3.3. Intel Limit
Remember that just because it appears that you are about to go over the Intel Limit, most Villain End of Turn Event cards remove Intel from the board as well (removal comes before adding Intel). You might get lucky.

3.4. Villain Advancement

About half of the Villain Advancement cards add "2" to Dr. Lobo's track. The other half adds "1" but there are 2 cards that actually subtract "1" from his track. It is a huge advantage if you can get one of those cards in play. One character starts with the Insight Card which can be used to search for this failure card. In this case, oddly enough, it may be to that character’s advantage to fail the encounter (A player may choose only to roll the Yellow Die and not draw from the bag). Of course, this will rarely come about.

3.5. Status Cards
These cards are awards that upgrade (or penalize) characters, or introduce helpful allies into the game.

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