THE YEAR IS 1936.
Ruthless dictator Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party have taken control of Germany, and with a brutal fervor have transformed our homeland into a totalitarian state, built on racism and the virtues of conquest.
With each day, this maniac and his power-hungry cronies steer us heedlessly towards a doomed war.
Even before his rise to the leadership of the Nazi Party in 1921, Hitler was known for his vitriolic and populist speech, scapegoating minorities and proclaiming the superiority of his followers. Now he moves to spread his noxious philosophies throughout Europe and the world.
There was a time when the sanest of us did not believe he could ever be elected. He was someone to be mocked, a ludicrous figure, a passing joke - but that was when Germany’s people were free to speak.
Now we must whisper our dissent in the shadows.
While we gather friends to our cause, some of us whisper of coup d’etats, hidden bombs, and poison parcels.
The most zealous among us bitterly list the atrocities committed in Hitler’s name and talk of taking more desperate measures.
We are trusting you with our lives and the future of our nation.
Some of us work in the highest levels of the armed forces and military intelligence, some are brave civilians - but all of us are concerned Germans.
Together we must act.
The dogs of the Gestapo are on our heels, and we must not falter. Succeed or fail, we will show the world that the German people stood up to tyranny.
History will call us the true patriots.
The Gestapo call us the Schwarze Kapelle:
the Black Orchestra.
The Tides of World War II
The game proceeds through the stages of World War II. As Germany advances across Europe and Hitler tours his growing empire, the various events of the war play out. The stages of the war are divided into seven decks, each of which portray events of the war. These stages follow the basic flow of history, but in a game where changing history means winning the game, the variable order and presence of events within each stage provides surprising opportunities with each new play of the game.
Each player will play the game as a Conspirator. Conspirators can be Wehrmacht (Armed Forces), Abwehr (Military Intelligence) or Civilian, and each has their own special ability. Two of the most important elements of the game are featured on Conspirator boards: Motivation and Suspicion. Keeping each other and yourself Motivated and commited to the cause is essential if you want to be able to use all your abilities. And keeping your Suspicion low is crucial to avoid arrest, and for your chances of pulling off a plot undetected.
The Roads and Rails of Europe
Before you can possibly hope to enact a successful plot you must gather the resources and items necessary. As the war progresses, parts of the map will open up to Germans and you will travel the roads and rails of Europe to secure the items needed to enact a plot. Or you may choose to deliver those items to locations to lower your suspicion with the authorities. Along with the Gestapo, Hitler and his deputies move about the map, casting their shadows on the Conspirators and hindering their progress.
We Must Act
On a player’s turn they will take three Actions - but that may sometimes not be enough, and risky measures must be taken. The Conspire Action will let them roll a die per Action spent, to potentially increase their Actions and boost the Motivation of a Conspirator - with the very real risk of drawing the suspicion of the Gestapo. Difficult decisions must be made each turn: do you take the safe path and avoid attention, or do you take a chance with a reckless action that is high risk but also has a high reward? Other Actions include securing items, gathering secret documents (many of which you don’t want to be caught with), moving about the map, and using special abilities.
To Assassinate a Tyrant
Plots are the elaborate, perilous, and sometimes reckless plans required to overthrow - or kill - Hitler. Plot cards are found and carried by individual Conspirators, and each plot grants dice based on various conditions, including the items the Conspirator has in their possession. Cards you have collected may also grant you extra dice. To enact a plot you will choose to make one fateful roll of these dice. To succeed you will need to roll a number of targets equal to or more than Hitler’s Military Support, and also avoid rolling more Eagles that are permitted by your level of Suspicion (to avoid being detected). If you succeed, you have changed the course of history. If you fail, or worse - are detected - then the clock is truly ticking...
Philip duBarry • Design
Philip has been designing games since childhood and broke into the hobby in 2009 with his first title, Revolution!. He has previously worked with Game Salute on Skyway Robbery and The Princess Bride: Miracle Pill. He is also the designer of such favorites as Fidelitas, Spirits of the Rice Paddy, and Kingdom of Solomon.
Dann May • Art Direction, Additional Design, Graphic Design
Dann has been working professionally in the visual arts for 20+ years in a variety of roles. While working with Game Salute he has been the creative lead on projects including Nothing Personal, King's Forge, Legends of the American Frontier and Skyway Robbery. Dann is a long time tabletop game enthusiast (yep, since red box DnD) and his love of games and game design continue to inspire his work.
Cody Jones • Graphic Design, Production Management
Cody is best known in gaming circles as the co-founder of the award-winning Game On! with Cody and John gaming podcast. He has worked in the graphic design industry for over 10 years specializing in brand identity, including work for the NFL, NBA, and NHL. Cody was introduced to hobby gaming one summer when the neighbor kids discovered this little game called "Magic: The Gathering" and hasn't stopped gaming since.
Lucas Soriano • Illustration
Lucas is a much-loved illustrator, probably best known in the tabletop game community for his amazing character work on Nothing Personal. His work for Game Salute also includes 2015's Area 1851.
Game Salute is a publisher of quality thematic tabletop games, including Alien Frontiers, Nothing Personal, King's Forge and many other imaginative titles.