The Hunt Begins – 5 Tips for playing as the Defenders

Following on from our 5 Tips for Playing as the Sniper blog, here’s a few pointers for playing as the Axis forces in Sniper Elite: The Board Game.

Playing as the Defenders in Sniper Elite: The Board Game offers a very different experience to taking on the role of the elite Allied sniper. Out on the board your soldiers are exposed, vulnerable to the expert marksmanship of your enemy and unsure of where the enemy is at any given time.

Hardly an ideal situation to be in, but you have strength in numbers and the unique abilities of your Specialist Officers to help turn the tides of battle. Your opponent favours stealth and deception, but through deduction and strategic positioning you can scupper the Allied plans and hunt your enemy down.

Before you jump into your first game as the Axis forces, here are five tips to help you emerge victorious!

Positioning is key

The Sniper is a slippery character, but if you position your units well you can slow them down and maximize your chance of catching them.

When the Sniper runs quickly around the map, they will make noise and alert any guards they move adjacent to. Your soldiers starting positions aren’t much help with this, but by moving them out onto the map you can occupy positions that are more likely to trigger these alerts.

You also have the benefit that the Sniper can’t move through positions you occupy, so your soldiers can be used to block doorways and main routes around the map. This can leave them in risky positions and force the Sniper to take a shot, but sacrificing one of your guards for a bit more information can sometimes be worthwhile.

Make the most of your Specialists

Each squad is commanded by a Specialist Officer with a unique ability that can turn the tides of battle in your favour. Be sure to make the most of these – whether it be the added threat posed by the Jager and Sniper, the mobility offered by the Scout and Radio Operator, or the added utility that the Kennel Master and Medic bring to the battlefield.

It can be tempting to hold onto these abilities for the perfect moment, but as the situation on the map will be evolving with every turn you might find that this leaves you hanging onto your abilities for the entire game rather than seizing an opportunity that could have helped you stop your enemy in their tracks.

And remember, their abilities can be used in addition to your squads two actions (in the case of the Jager and the Sniper, the ability impacts an attack action taken by the Officer).

Use Intel intelligently

Intel can be a great way to get information on the Sniper’s position, but to get the most out of it you need to be aware of its limitations and your enemy’s possible routes. It can be tempting to use it early in the game to get an idea of where your opponent is, but it is important to remember a few key things.

  1. It is always possible for the Sniper to get out of their starting sector on their first turn, so Turn 1 Intel is not definitely telling you where they started – they might have stayed in the same sector, they might have dashed out of it!
  2. Make sure you can act on the information you’ve gained. Using Intel as the final action on your turn might provide information that would completely change the other actions you would have taken.
  3. Intel casts a very broad net, and uses both of the squad’s actions. Sometimes it will be better to move your units into better positions, sweep, or spot instead.

Remember, to use Intel the squad’s officer needs to be in their matching sector. Don’t stray too far if you think you will want to use it soon, and as the Sniper eliminating the officer can remove the risk of them pinging your location with the ability.

Don’t overcommit (well, maybe…)

You’ve spotted the enemy. They’re in Red Sector, must be headed for one of the objectives there. Time to close in with all our units and put an end to the Allied plans.

The only problem… your enemy has slipped past you and popped up in a different sector to complete their other objective.

This is something I’m guilty of all the time when I play, and tried to avoid in the recent playthrough video where I took on Duncan – you want to have enough units in a sector to react to information you gain, but if you pile in with everyone and the Sniper has somewhere else they can go they’ll likely just dart out and head there instead.

Of course, there are times when making the most of your numerical advantage will be worth it, for instance if the round counter is nearing the bottom and you just want to make life as difficult as possible for your enemy, or if they only have 1 objective left to complete and you are sure you know which sector it is in.

Objective completed? Don’t panic!

There are times when playing the game that you’ll be at a complete loss as to where your enemy is. Then, all of a sudden, they pop up to complete an objective. Your initial reaction might be to panic – they are halfway to victory after all – but instead try to seize the opportunity presented.

Completing the objectives is the Sniper’s primary aim, but in doing so they do give away a lot of information. You know that they are either on or within three spaces of the objective, you know that they can’t have another objective in that sector, and you know that they couldn’t have started the game at that sector’s entry point.

Even if you have nothing else to go on, this is often enough to get yourself in a stronger position to hold them off from completing their second objective. The alarm bells may be ringing (or sirens blaring) but it is still all to play for!

With those five tips you should be ready to take command of the Defending forces. Good luck!

Sniper Elite: The Board Game is out now! Order your copy from our webstore or directly from your local gaming store!