Plaid Hat Games has announced Specter Ops: Broken Covenant, a stand-alone expansion from Emerson Matsuuchi for his 2015 hit Specter Ops. In Broken Covenant, one player again takes on the role of a lone A.R.K. agent, secretly moving within the jungles of South America, trying to retrieve 3 mission targets while being pursued by genetically modified hunters from Raxxon. Broken Covenant uses very similar mechanisms to Specter Ops, with one player marking their movements on a pad representing the board, on which the hunters search for their prey, but features new equipment, hunters, game board and agents.
You can read the full press release about Specter Ops: Broken Covenant on Plaid Hat’s website here.
Fantasy Flight Games has announced Whitehall Mystery, a new standalone game in the Letters From Whitechapel Series. In Whitehall Mystery, the year is 1888 and construction of the New Scotland Yard in London’s Whitehall District has been interrupted by the discovery of a woman’s torso on the police’s doorstop. 2-4 players take on the role of either detectives or Jack the Ripper himself in this four round game of cat and mouse. Jack must leave body parts in four discovery locations, one each round, before the detectives can catch up. Each round ends either when Jack moves 15 spaces, or when a new grisly discovery is made by the police. Whitehall Mystery is a game full of historically accurate locations and characters, and can incorporate some elements from Letters From Whitechapel and it’s expansion Dear Boss.
Whitehall Mystery is due in stores Q3 of 2017. You can read the full press release from Fantasy Flight here.
Ares Games has put out some interesting details about their next game in War of the Ring line, Hunt for the Ring. This new game takes place in the early chapters of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, in which one player controls Frodo and company, and are trying to get to Rivendell, while up to four others control the Nazgul, searching for the ring. The game plays in two radically different chapters divided by the hobbits’ arrival in Bree, with different boards and mechanics. In the first chapter, the hobbits use hidden movement while the Nazgul search for their location, but in the second chapter the hobbits’ movement is dictated by card draws from a Journey deck, giving many different routes to arrive at Rivendell in 16 turns. During this second chapter, the Frodo player will control Gandalf and try to draw the Nazgul away from the hobbits.
The Frodo player also has special ability cards for his companions, with separate first and second chapter abilities, however each card’s ability can only be used in one of the chapters, not in both. The Nazgul player also has special abilities, but these are dictated by use of special dice. If the Nazgul find Frodo and his companions, the Frodo player accumulates penalty points, known as Corruption, making the Nazgul’s strategy to slow and Corrupt the party, forcing Frodo to discard his ability cards and fail Corruption tests. Finally, game turns take place in three different hours, where Nazgul are weaker during the daylight, but stronger at night.
The Frodo player must get to Bree within 16 turns, with each extra turn bringing Corruption, while the Nazgul player must find Frodo and the Ring during their 16 turn trek from Bree to Rivendell, inflicting more and more Corruption, as they strive to escape. If a Corruption Test is called when Frodo has 16 or more Corruption Points, the Frodo player loses. You can read more about Hunt for the Ring at Ares website here.
The Hunt for the Ring is due to be released in Summer 2017, and is being developed by the designers of War of the Ring and Battle of Five Armies, Francesco Nepitello and Marco Maggi, along with veteran hidden movement game designer Gabriele Mari (Letters From Whitechapel, Mister X).
Hidden movement games are not exactly common, however, there have been some notable users of that mechanic including Specter Ops, Fury of Dracula, and Scotland Yard. Ares Games partnered with Pendragon Games hoping to add to that illustrious list their new game, Last Friday. Last Friday is a hidden movement game that brings to life the old “slasher” type horror movies, which can be easily seen with the box and title being a play off of the Friday the 13th movies. In this game, for 2 to 6 players, one person is the “slasher” and the rest are campers. The game plays out over four chapters where the slasher, who remains hidden, will try to kill the campers while the campers try to band together and fight back before they are all killed.
While I haven’t played many hidden movement games, “slasher” flicks were always something I liked and bringing the two together seems like a great idea. You can read more on the Horror Fix site and look forward to the release of the game in August of 2016.