To help guide you in your discovery of 6: Siege – The Board Game, we’ve decided to offer you a series of articles. The first one was an introduction, the next ones will be focused on the gameplay of the board game first, and then we’ll spend more time focusing on the operators later.
First off, let’s get back to the basics. Some of you are familiar with Ubisoft’s video game, while others are not, and still others that are somewhere in between. So, let’s lay some foundational groundwork on what it’s all about.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6: Siege is a realistic tactical shooter video game that was released in December 2015 by Ubisoft. In its multiplayer version, two strike teams compete against each other for training purposes. The game focuses on the players’ ability to strategize as a team and cooperate. They play as agents, the operators, from several special forces’ units and intervention groups from around the world (American SWAT, British SAS, French GIGN, etc.), and form Team Six, a counterterrorism group created to fight against terrorist actions around the world. After the dismantling of Team Six and its reformation a few years later in 2019, command of the team returned to Harry Pandey, founder of the Program, whose goal it is to establish team relationships through annual tournaments under the guise of public training exercises.
Each operator has their own skills (a special weapon or gadget) and abilities (speed and protection). Additionally, one of the distinguishing factors of the game is that the environment (walls, barricaded doors, etc.) can be destroyed to create gaps for the operators to pass through, but also to open lines of sight for the shooters. In fact, you can also shoot through light walls in this game, if the target has been detected by the cameras or by one of the many technological gadgets that the operators may have.
In 2015, and every year after that, Ubisoft has offered new content, new operators, new maps for confrontations, and supported the fans through e-sport competitions. For the past 6 years, Ubisoft’s success has not wavered, as it has announced that it has passed the 70 million player mark. Yes, that’s a big deal!
But let’s get back to the reason for this article. What will it be like to experience 6: Siege – The Board Game?
This miniature board game adaptation of the famous tactical shooter offers asymmetric gameplay for 2 to 4 players. The games take place in a limited time format and in various environments inspired by the iconic places of the video game (Consulate, Clubhouse, etc.). Each team is composed of 5 operators, and players will control either the attacking team or the defending team. The game is dynamic and fast, but also requires optimizing the actions of each of your operators as they work in synergy. You will experience the tension and excitement of an assault because time will always be running out (if you use the optional application), but also because it is particularly lethal… a well-placed shot can easily put an operator out of action. Now, let’s go into a little more detail about some important aspects of the game.
Preparing for the game
The members of Team Six, all seasoned members of various elite police and military units from around the world, have achieved a high degree of expertise in various fields. But if there is one thing they all have in common, it’s planning. Careful preparation of an operation is essential, and you’ll have to match their level of excellence to enjoy the full richness of the game. Except for the discovery part where this is more than justified, there is no question of being guided by a simplified set-up!
On the board, this will be reflected in three aspects: the choosing the environment, the selecting your team, and deploying your operatives.
Choosing the Environment (the board and the mission):
The game boards in 6: Siege – The Board Game represent maps that are well known to video game enthusiasts. In the core box, you can move your miniatures through the corridors of the Abidjan Consulate and the Clubhouse. Each board represents only one floor of the original video game map. However, a specific rule of the game allows for the representative passage on the annexed floors giving the board game the 3D environment of the video game. The game boards are not an exact reproduction of the original map, minor adjustments had to be made for playability and game design, of course.
The Consulate map represents the second floor of a large building with many access routes, but only windows. The attacker has many possible points of entry and routes to outflank the opponent. However, gaining access through windows is easier to defend, as operatives cannot protect themselves through windows. Vertical play (the figurative use of other floors) is facilitated by the presence of many access points. The Clubhouse map is unique in that it represents two large, separate buildings with outdoor spaces. There are only a few openings to access the buildings. Therefore, the destruction of walls and controlling access to the floor are of critical importance.
Once the board has been chosen, the mission must also be determined. The mission book offers three types of missions. The Control mission is best reserved for your first few games, as it allows you to learn the mechanisms more intuitively. Players must control areas with precise timing to earn victory points. In the Bomb mission, the attackers must defuse two bombs connected to each other, but defusing one of them is enough to complete the mission for the attackers. Finally, in the Hostage mission, the attackers try to extract a hostage from the boardgame area. The Defenders must prevent the attackers from winning, and therefore detonate the bomb (in theory of course, remember that this is a training mission and that there are no “real” deaths) or keep the hostage secure until the end of the allotted time.
So far, it’s probably clear that having a working knowledge of the ground is essential. Like the players who know the best spots on the map for sniping in their favorite video game maps, the more you master the map and the type of mission, the more you will be able to determine the strengths needed by your team (mobility, sniping, ability to destroy walls and barricades, etc.). And that brings us to the selection of your team.
Choosing Your Team
Once you know the environment and the mission, you have to select the 5 operators that will make up your attacking or defending team. In the core box, there will be a total of 20 different operators, 10 attackers and 10 defenders.
Depending on their protective equipment, the operators are more or less mobile, as each operator has a standard movement of 5 squares plus a “run” characteristic specific to each operator with a value from 0 to 5. They can also be more or less accurate at short (1 to 3 squares), medium (4 to 6) or long range (7+), reliant upon the weapons they carry. This accuracy is represented by the number and color of the “impact” dice (yellow, orange and red dice in ascending order of power) they roll when performing an attack action. Note that on average, a yellow dice inflicts 1 damage, an orange dice 1.5 damage and a red dice 2 damage.
More importantly, these operators all have a special ability, which represents either a particular gadget, a particular weapon with limited ammunition, or a unique skill that can sometimes be used in-game, and sometimes during set-up.
If the names Ash, Sledge, IQ, Mute, Tachanka are not familiar to you yet, then you don’t know the video game. But the designers and developers of 6: Siege – The Board Game have taken great care to translate the eccentricities (at least in spirit) of each of the original game’s operators.
Depending on the mission, the game board, and your playing style, you will prefer some operators over others. Some of them may become must-haves, and you will select them each time, adjusting your team only slightly. With training and preparation, you will develop synergies between operators that best accomplish your mission. Once your team is assembled, all that remains is their deployment.
Deployment and Final Set-up
The mission and the environment determine the location of several game elements: barricaded doors and windows, cameras, mines, barbed wire, and various mission objectives (hostages, bombs, etc.).
When the defender is deployed, they can move or remove up to 5 of these elements, to better fortify an area, offer “easier” avenues for a better counterattack, etc. There are many possibilities. In addition, there are all the operator-specific gadgets with the Set-Up keyword and the collective gadgets selected in the tactical inventory that may have an impact on the environment.
Once the defensive arsenal has been positioned, the operators must be deployed. In order to maintain a form of fog of war for the attacker, the defenders are deployed in concealment with hidden operator tokens. There are two of them per character. Thus, until they are clearly detected, the attacker cannot accurately know the positions of their opponent’s team.
Once the defender has placed all these elements, it is the attacker’s turn to do the same, but this time only on the peripheral squares of the building. This usually takes less time than the defender’s set-up, but the attacker must be careful to choose the right entry points.
Deploying your team is not exactly calm and pressure-free. The game has in fact already started, and the tension rises a notch if you choose to use the companion app for deployment, because it’s a little like a chess timer.
That’s it for this first technical article! The next one will deal with the game itself, including the way time is managed, the activation phases and even the multiplayer mode.
6: Siege – The Board Game
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