Diving into the Submarine Pens in Sniper Elite: The Board Game

On this blog we’re taking a look at the Submarine Pens, one of the two maps included in Sniper Elite: The Board Game, the upcoming board game from David Thompson and Roger Tankersley.

Protected from bombs by rock and thick walls, the Submarine Pens have so far proven impenetrable to Allied air raids. It seems the best way to cause chaos at this military facility would be to get someone inside. That’s where Karl Fairburne comes in!

The Submarine Pens map. Art by David Lanza

One of the first things you notice about the map is the raised walkway, an area of elevated terrain that snakes across the board, offering the sniper and defenders excellent mobility and line of sight to the ground below. However, with access only available through a handful of ladders dotted around its perimeter (or the climbing gear, if you bring that loadout card from the expansion) it’s not without its risks. Get caught out of position up there and it could spell disaster for either side!

The elevated walkway – a fast route across the map, but easy to get trapped. The tunnels beneath are illuminated by red lights.

When on the ground, these areas of elevated terrain act as a wall cutting the map in two. Getting between them means either climbing over via the ladders or making use of the two tunnels, a unique space for this map that that lies directly beneath the elevated space above.

The defenders can use this to their advantage, blocking access points and patrolling the narrow walkway to force the sniper to take longer routes or risk taking a shot to remove a troublesome guard. Alternatively, leaving areas open can offer the sniper a route that’s too tempting to pass on, giving you the opportunity to quickly move in for the kill.

The map is also punctuated with pillars, large spaces of impassable terrain that block movement and line of sight. As the defender, these can help you block routes and create chokepoints, while the sniper can sneak around them, hoping that the inaccessible space will keep their opponent from moving next to them and spotting their position or increase the movement required to move in to attack.

The impassable pillars – use them to your advantage!

Finally we have the boat, which fans of the video game might recognize from a certain piece of DLC from Sniper Elite 4. The narrow route across is risky, but whether the defenders can afford to keep someone guarding the boat throughout the game is another matter. Players who have the Eagle’s Nest expansion might be tempted to take the Diving Gear as one of their loadout cards, giving them an extra route on and off the boat if needed.

You don’t want to get penned in around objective 5…

As the defenders, the Submarine Pens offers plenty of opportunities to block your opponent in and force them to take drastic action in order to complete their objectives in time, but this relies on you having some idea where the sniper is. If you want to give your enemy a taste of their own medicine, a German Sniper positioned on the elevated walkway can be invaluable offering overwatch for the rest of the map. 

For the sniper, a well-timed rock throw could be just what you need to get a persistent unit out of your path. Of course, that distraction could just as easily be a ruse to mislead your opponent. If you’re after something a little less subtle, the Tommy Gun is always handy for clearing out crowded areas if you don’t mind the extra risk of giving your position away.

Some of the objective cards for the Submarine Pens. Card art by Ed Savage.

Think you’ve got what it takes to cause chaos in the Submarine Pens? Preorder your copy of Sniper Elite: The Board Game today!