Each game of Reichbusters is called a mission. Exactly what your Heroes need to do in order to win depends on the objective for that mission, and this could be (among other things) finding secret plans, rescuing captured scientists, or assassinating Nazi bosses.
There are two broad types of mission in Reichbusters: RAID and CAMPAIGN.
Campaign missions link together to form a series, or campaign, where the results of each one impacts what happens in the next, and the whole thing tells an ongoing story. These are great fun, and really immerse the players in the world. While they can be played as one-off games, they really come into their own when you go through them in sequence.
RAIDs, on the other hand, are designed as one-offs. Sometimes you just want to throw down and kill some Nazis without the fate of the campaign (and the world) hanging over you. That’s when you go on a RAID.
RAID is the most common way to play Reichbusters, so we’ve put a lot of effort into making it as interesting as possible. It’s modular, hugely variable, and will give you many hours of new and surprising challenges. It’s also easily expandable, as you will see.
RAID missions set up quickly. All you need to do to build a new RAID mission is pick 3 cards: 1 map, 1 mission, and 1 Nazi faction. You can do this at random, by choosing, or a combination of both. In effect, they tell you the where, what, and who of the mission.
The map card tells you how to set up the board, where the Nazis spawn, where guard points are, where any points of interest lie, and anything else to do with physically setting up the play area. Just make your table look like the layout shown on the map card!
Each map uses a different mix of the 28 double-sided tiles, giving us a load of variety to play with. One side of each tile represents the castle itself, with its fancy floorings and expensive furnishing. The other side of each tile shows the underground bunker complex, where the real work of Projekt Vril takes place. This is a realm of grimy workshops and strange labs, brimming with the rejects of earlier experiments, and the lethal fruits of the new. It’s not so much Colonel Mustard in the Dining Room with the Candle Stick, as General Wolff in the Mutant Lab with the Vril Orbs.
Now you know where the mission is, you have to find out what it is. This is centred on the points of interest marked on the map. Defining what each of these means in this particular RAID falls to the mission card. Points of interest are things like objectives, room features, and so on, but most importantly the objectives. This is what you need to do, or where you need to go, to complete the job. Then all you need to do is get out…
Mission cards also list some extra items you’ll add to the team in the stores section. We’ll come back to stores in a moment.
The last of the three RAID cards is the Nazi faction. This tells you who you’re fighting. Each of the vrilmeisters has at least 1 card defining their favoured mix of followers.
The faction card is used in conjunction with the spawn rules, and tells you several pieces of information. First, it’s got the faction name. The body of the card tells you what each spawn letter corresponds to, and lists their stats. This means that you’ll have all the info you need for the faction on one card, with none of the stuff you don’t need cluttering it up.
The number on the far right shows the maximum number of miniatures of each type that can be on the board at one time. The best way to play this is to sort out the number listed of each mini and put them to one side of the board before you start. Then you don’t have to check this during play – just reach for the mini, and if it’s not there then you’ve already reached the max.
Once you’ve sorted out your RAID mission, you need to pick your Heroes. Start by choosing your team.
Each team has pros and cons. Some are great for stealth, others for intel on the Nazis, and still others help with boatloads of starting equipment.
In the examples shown here, team Falcon is all about stealth. The team special rule helps them kill Nazi sentries nice and fast (before they can get their friends), and their stores are full of stealth-enhancing items and skills. However, they only have 3 heroics tokens available between them. Compare team Harrier. They are not so bothered about stealth, preferring instead to focus on ranged attacks. Their items are all drawn at random as items tend not to be helpful for shooting. As random items are less helpful than specific ones we need to balance this, so team Harrier has twice as many heroics tokens as team Falcon. Which team is better? Neither, they’re just different approaches, and both are able to fulfil the mission. You just have to decide how you want to play.
Once you’ve chosen your team, you need to pick your Heroes. You can take any combination of 4 Heroes from the ones you have available, so with the stretch goal Heroes you’ve got hundreds of unique combinations to choose from.
It’s best to discuss your selections with your fellow players as the synergies between Heroes can be as important as the individuals themselves. You probably want a mix of stealthy and shooty types, with some support thrown in. However, you’ll never be able to take everything you want, so it’s all about compromise. Until you have an idea what they all do, choosing the one you like the look of most is a perfectly valid option.
When you’ve got your team all sorted, then you can share out the goodies. If you remember, the mission card had some stores on it. The team card does too. You get both of these lists of stores to share between your Heroes as you choose.
Stores are a mix of items and skills; some specific and others drawn at random. Draw all the random ones so that you can see what you have, and then share them out as you see fit. This does not have to be equal – your only restrictions are the number of slots on each Hero dashboard. You may decide that maxing out a couple of Heroes is better than a more even distribution, or the other way about. You’ll have to experiment.
Now you’re ready to take this fight to the Reich!
Before I go, I just need to quickly mention what this means in terms of replayability. We’ve been doing some sums (well, the clever folk have). All told, when you set up a game using these rules, RAID becomes a lot more than 1 mission – it’s actually tens of thousands of unique game setups. That should be enough replayability for anyone.
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