Specter Ops

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Specter Ops

Post  DaveB on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 11:29

So, happily this showed up just in time to play at the Tabletop session on Saturday.

We had a three player game with myself as the Agent, with the Hunters played by Sam and PaulG.

The game is a hidden movement game of a similar vein to "Scotland Yard" and "Letters from Whitechapel". The Agent objective is to "activate" three out of four targets on the board and then escape from one of three (or four, depending on the player count) exits. This has to take place within 40 turns.

Each side has a bit of technology that can come in handy - the Hunters have a Car that can be used to move quickly around the board and also a Motion Detector that can be used to narrow down the location of a player. Meanwhile the Hunter has three toys at his disposal that can be used for misdirection or outright sneakiness.

I'm sure Sam and/Or PaulG will chime in on their thoughts from the hunter PoV, but playing as an Agent was excellent fun - at times feeling like a particularly cunning God of Sneakybastardness as you dance through the Hunters with them having absolutely no idea where you are, and at other times extremely tense when you end up in a potentially quite vulnerable situation.

I started badly - on the second turn they managed to narrow down my location to one of only two squares. I was able to evade them but it cost me one of my toys to do so. It's also important to remember that as you complete your objectives it becomes harder for you to sneak around since the hunters will have a better idea where you are and where you are going...

Ultimately I was able to complete my three objectives but was caught and killed two turns from the exit.

It was a tense, and really entertaining game and I can't wait to play it again Smile

Note: The game plays 2-5 players and has a variety of rule changes that come into play based on player count in order to keep it balanced.
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Re: Specter Ops

Post  BeardyTom on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 14:39

It did look like a lot of fun and I'd love to have a go at it sometime. I've enjoyed the Scotland Yard mechanic whenever I've played a game with it in.
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Re: Specter Ops

Post  paulyg on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 15:46

I really enjoyed playing it and I think it's a game with a lot of life in it for multiple re-plays.

Although Sam and I had a lucky start in pinpointing you quickly, it didn't massively help as you then immediately slipped into the shadows before we could do anything about it (damn those apparently very hard to open and close card doors which take a whole turn!). For the first half of the game, the phrase "needle in a haystack" seemed very apt from our side as it seemed like you were always a couple of steps ahead and even when we thought we'd narrowed down your position you'd be somewhere completely different when we came to scan.

However, the game is very clever, and there were just enough small pieces of info and map features (e.g. the various crossroads) to stop us giving up hope completely. Once the time limit started to become a factor (and given that you had already got 2 of your 3 objectives) then we essentially knew where you were heading and could force you to show yourself. Even then it was far from a sure thing and I think it was a pretty exciting finish all round!

What I really enjoyed about this game is that there's a good mix of logic (i.e. enumerating the different places that the spy could be based on previous information) and bluffing. The individual character powers were also a really nice addition and it feels like it would have been quite a different game if we'd picked a different combo of hunters. The components are great and you can tell that, although the game mechanics are pretty simple and streamlined, an enormous amount of testing has gone in to try and ensure a balanced and tense game. From that first play I'd say they definitely got it right!

So I guess I'd play it again...
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Re: Specter Ops

Post  Jamie on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 16:07

I'm really wanting to play this too. Looks fun! Smile
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Re: Specter Ops

Post  DaveB on Mon 13 Apr 2015, 16:08

PaulG wrote:What I really enjoyed about this game is that there's a good mix of logic (i.e. enumerating the different places that the spy could be based on previous information) and bluffing. The individual character powers were also a really nice addition and it feels like it would have been quite a different game if we'd picked a different combo of hunters. The components are great and you can tell that, although the game mechanics are pretty simple and streamlined, an enormous amount of testing has gone in to try and ensure a balanced and tense game. From that first play I'd say they definitely got it right!

Yes it did feel really well balanced - It was a close finish and there were a few things I wish I'd done differently, maybe I'd have won if I'd been a bit more of a risk-taker in the game - especially early-on...

I think I made a poor choice in character - her ability wasn't of much use to me in the final analysis while all of the other characters would have been more useful to me, but I guess that's just luck of the draw Smile
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