As some of you may know, I’ve been working for some time on a game concept for Osprey Wargames. I haven’t said much about it, particularly in the magazine for obvious reasons. However, with the game release imminent (on the 20th of October), I thought I should mention something. So here goes… some words on what is Black Ops.
I’ve always liked computer games. They very addictive and the likes of Metal Gear Solid and Syphon Filter has taken many hours of my spare time. Movies like Black Hawk Down, Zero Dark Thirty, the Russian 9 Ya Rota and dozens of other documentaries and movies made me think about recreating raids and small unit actions on the table top. Black Ops digs into the rich literature of Spy Fiction such as James Bond and Jason Borne, including computer games such as ‘Metal Gear’ and ‘Splinter Cell’.
The game’s origins started out as a project which never saw the light of day called ‘V for Victory’, a commando raid game written for Warhammer Historical. That’s where I first looked at the basic ideas of a raid mission against an unsuspecting defending force. The basis of this scenario generator came from that Commando game, so you should find Black Ops is quite adaptable to any 20th or 21st Century setting with a little work. The game has evolved much since then, being heavily influenced by card activation games by the TooFat Lardies and from Studio Tomahawk.
I wanted a tactical espionage skirmish game for two (or more players) designed to recreate the tension and fun of a covert operation on the table top. It had to be simple ‘fast play’ rules set with a campaign system, where one side attempts to make progress towards their goal while the other side does what it can to thwart their plans. I wanted to use cards but not force players to have to buy a specialist set – thus the use of standard playing cards.
The game uses a standard D6. As with all things, there’s plenty more I wish I could have added. Space and time was against me. I’m sure some of these scenarios will appear in the WS&S in the near future, but not written by me! I will in course set up a Facebook page and also answer questions on the Lead Adventure forum - but only after finishing what I need to do for WS&S! So far the reviews have been kind, Neil Shuck’s review in MWBG 390 was very favorable and Michael Leck’s review in WS&S 81 was nice and honest.