Sniper Elite: The Board Game – a closer look at Loadout Cards
16th August 2022
Sniper Elite: The Board Game is a 1-4 player hidden movement game, with one player taking on the role of Allied Sniper Karl Fairburne and up to 3 players controlling the Axis forces defending their base. Today’s blog is focused on the loadout cards the Sniper has at their disposal.
The Sniper’s loadout cards are the ace up their sleeve, offering the Allied player additional options to help them outfox their opponents. Using these cards at the right time can be the key to victory, so on the blog today we’re going to take a closer look at the six loadout cards included in the core game.
Revealed when the game ends
The Sound Masking card allows the Sniper to ignore any negative effects from moving 2 or 3 spaces for the turn that it is played, allowing you to slip past the enemy undetected. Use it early on in the game to quickly rush towards your first objective without making a sound, or hold onto it to help get yourself out of a stick situation if the enemies have closed in around you.
You can even use it as a bluff to confuse your opponents, who might assume you’ve played Sound Masking to sneak by when in fact you’ve remained in exactly the same position.
Sound Masking is played face down in front of you, and revealed when the game ends. Only one other card in the core game isn’t revealed immediately – the S-Mine – so you can leave your enemies guessing which of the two cards you may have played…
Reveal before shooting
Sticking to the same stealthy theme, Silenced Ammo means that when shooting that turn, noise tokens count as recoil tokens. They still contribute towards a misfire, but the risk of giving away your position because of drawing two noise tokens is gone.
Giving away your position because of a noisy shot can be disastrous. You can only get so far away from your firing position before your enemies get a full turn to respond, possibly penning you in or even taking you out. Removing that risk for a single shot can make a huge difference, giving you more flexibility when choosing whether to keep moving or reach for your rifle.
As with Sound Masking (and with almost everything you do as the Sniper) bluffing is a huge part of using this loadout card. Targeting a soldier and using a loadout card to help get the job done might make your opponents think you really needed that unit out of the way to reach your objective. Of course, your objective might be in a completely different sector…
Reveal before shooting
Now time for another loadout card that you can use when shooting, although this one is much less stealthy than the last – the Tommy Gun. This weapon allows you to shoot an additional time on the turn it is played, but the tokens you draw for the first shot aren’t returned before you take the second, altering the balance of the bag between shots.
There will be times when playing Sniper Elite: The Board Game that the enemies close in around you, and sometimes taking one out isn’t enough. Provided they aren’t too far away, the Tommy Gun is a great way to eliminate a couple of soldiers and clear a path to make your escape, or to break through the enemy line and reach your objective.
It isn’t without its risks though. Taking an extra shot gives you an extra opportunity to take out an enemy, but also an extra opportunity to give away your position. You’ll also struggle to take out enemies at long range with it, so you might find yourself giving away your position in dangerous positions while using it. That being said, when used effectively it can be difficult for your opponents to recover!
Reveal before using
The enemy is easily distracted, and it turns out chucking a rock is a sure-fire way to get their attention. You can throw it to move a soldier up to two spaces, provided they end their movement within line of sight of your position.
Given that the enemy soldiers block your path, the obvious way to use this is to move them out of your way so you can continue towards your objectives. But the rock is much more versatile than that. You can use it to get an enemy into position for you to shoot them, move them onto a space with an S-Mine and blow them up, or to just mess with your enemy and throw them off your trail.
The only downside is that your opponent will know that the soldier must be in line of sight of your position when you used the rock, which might help them narrow down your position depending on what other information they have.
Reveal when triggered
There’s something immensely satisfying about watching your opponents close in behind you, only for their soldier to be blown to smithereens. With the S-Mine, you get to mark a space on your hidden board to indicate the presence of the explosive, which will detonate the moment an enemy ends their turn on it.
The S-Mine is great for the Sniper who likes to plan ahead. Knowing the routes you might take between your first and second objectives, and the way your opponent might be able to block you, gives you a good chance of using it to maximum effect. Doorways, narrow passages, and objective spaces themselves are all good places for the S-Mine, as your enemy is likely to occupy these spaces when defending a sector.
Additionally, as your enemy usually has to be in your space to attack you, you can use it defensively if they are nearby. If it is triggered in the same space as the Sniper, they don’t receive a wound (clearly they are smart enough to take cover) but it will remove the approaching enemy and potentially save you from being attacked!
The Trench Gun
Reveal before shooting
While your sniper rifle is perfect for taking out a single target at long range, the Trench Gun is what you want when the enemies have closed in around you. When you play this card you reveal your position, then kill all enemy units in your space and adjacent spaces, giving you a great way to escape imminent defeat.
The Trench Gun definitely has strong defensive uses as a last resort, but there will be situations where using it aggressively (or should I say “even more aggressively”) can turn the game in your favour. Taking out multiple enemy units forces your opponent to spend precious actions bringing them back onto the battlefield, so if you think you can afford to give away your position you could strike a huge blow against the Axis forces by taking a more gung-ho approach.
And that is all the loadout cards you’ll find in the core box – hopefully this has helped give you a better understanding of this arsenal at the Sniper’s disposal, whether you are playing as the Allies or hunting the Sniper down!