Friday 15 May 2020

Black Orchestra

The only way to win is to assassinate Hitler!

This five person co-operative game takes place in Nazi Germany, and as one of the members of the titular Black Orchestra you must keep the Gestapo off your scent while you plan, prepare and ultimately try to kill Hitler - not easy given his military support and his penchant of hopping around the board. It's a game of planning and dice rolling, and while turns seem to go quickly the game does run quite a while. The expanding and contracting map which follows the seven event stages (which in turn follow the war) are a nice touch, and evading his lieutenants and building a conspiracy dice pool is a fun mini-game in itself.

For our first game, the plan was to ambush him in Prague. The team had gathered there and my wife managed to lure Hitler from the Eagles Nest. It was then up to DL, who rolled 6 dice (1 for passing the mandatory requirement, 2 for all of us being there, 1 for having a key item, 2 for using a one shot card) requiring three successes (Hitler's weakest in standard mode) - we had worked hard to reduce his military support for this very event! Alas it failed and he got away while we separated to collect more gear to try again.

Near the end of the war, we regrouped in Prague to try ambush him again - luring him from the Eagles Nest once more and DL this time had 8 dice requiring 4 successes. Still failed! Being reckless I opted to try snipe him instead, having 4 dice and requiring 4 successes. My attempt was so sneaky, no one even knew there was an attempt as I completely missed. They probably thought some local was duck hunting!

DL managed to stall Hitler's departure back to Berlin with a delaying card, but was subsequently jailed by the Gestapo soon after (game over if all of us are jailed simultaneously) and with the end of the war looming (which ends in failure for the team) I had one last chance to try kill Hitler with a hidden bomb. As my mom and wife had reduced his support again I now had three dice (as the bonus items were now either used or on map areas no longer accessible as the Germans had been pushed back from there) and required three successes... and I got him. We won with 2 turns left to spare!

They have a "win" card too!

This was quite a hard game to find, but it is definitely worth it. It does run a bit long though, and is comparable to Eldrich Horror in game-play time and dice difficulty. As a bonus, you might end up learning some history too! Highly recommend it, I give Black Orchestra 5 plots out of 5.

Insight: Hitler is weakest at the very start and at the very end of the war.

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