Here’s another preview of some of the new mechanics behind Spectre Operations!
In this article, we are going to look at Covert Action, Awareness and Civilians.
Games using the rules for Covert Action are a lot of fun and easily lend themselves to narrative scenarios. Who doesn’t love the idea of sneaking around, dressed in civilian clothes and carrying concealed weapons?
In missions with these rules, acting Covertly and staying undetected in plain sight of your Opponent is as tense as a firefight. One or more forces in these games may have Elements classified as Covert. Most commonly these Covert Elements will be wearing Civilian clothing, with compact and concealed weapons and act in very small groups, or even alone. Covert Action could take the form of one or more Elements disguised as an Enemy force, requiring them to blend in with either a Hostile Force, or another Force, where it is imperative that the enemy do not know they are working with the Enemy. It's not just highly trained Operators that work Coverly; Law Enforcement may have an Agent that has infiltrated a Criminal Network (or Vice Versa) or a Militia may have fighters posing as Civilians in order to spring an Ambush or Collect Intelligence.
We’ve added extra depth to the covert rules to make it more engaging for both players. Covert Elements now have a Cover Level. This Cover Level represents how good at maintaining cover the Element is. Naturally, Tier 1 and 2 Elements are particularly good at this, but Criminals are also very good at maintaining Cover.
Staying cool and keeping up the act is vital to staying undetected. This is represented by managing Stress and passing tests to maintain your Cover Level. Some Enemy Actions, such as Scrutinise will force you to make Stress Tests to maintain your cover.
As Stress rises, it will be harder to maintain your cover. If your Cover level drops to 0 - your Cover is blown and your true identity is revealed.
Picking the right kit for the job is vital. Weapons with the Compact rule will make it easier to maintain cover. If the weapon also has the Covert rule, the job will be easier still.
The Enemy also has tools to aid them in detecting this action. As well as the Scrutinise Action, Elements can also conduct Physical Searches of an Element to manually check if they are hiding anything.
Well funded opponents may even be able to benefit from Facial Recognition or other AI tools to aid in detecting a Covert Element…
Awareness is another area that has also been expanded upon. Noone likes waiting around with your models unable to act, while your opponent tactically moves his Force around, picking your soldiers off one by one!
As well as now having different States of Awareness (Unaware and Uneasy), Elements that are subject to these States can now move around and between predefined Points of Interest and Areas of Patrol.
Your Opponent must analyse these movements to determine the best course of action to remain Undetected in a Scenario
Again, Civilians have been given more life. They act as NPCs in games and will utilise the Point of Interest and Areas of Patrol to move around the battlefield. Civilian density and even their attitude towards your Force can be a benefit or disadvantage. Friendly Civilians may crowd you, celebrating your arrival. Hostile Civilians may surround your Elements, blocking your movement or even throwing stones and other objects at you.
Regardless of the attitude, an unsuppressed gunshot will usually send them running in a panic.
Civilian traffic can now move around the table. The density of the population will dictate how fast it moves and how many vehicles are present. When shots are fired, Civilian Vehicles can be particularly chaotic. Some may attempt to speed away, reverse out of danger or the occupants may flee the vehicles.
As you can see, these new improved rules can lead to very dynamic and unpredictable games. We have worked very hard to provide rules to cater for every Scenario!