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V-SABOTAGE:GHOST EXPANSION   from TRITON NOIR If this series is new to you, I'd strongly recommend a read of my earlier review of the co...




If this series is new to you, I'd strongly recommend a read of my earlier review of the core game, V-Commandos [note, too, the change of name to V-Sabotage] to understand the basics on which all subsequent expansions build.  It goes without saying that the core game is essential for the play of any expansion, including this one.

So, what does this latest expansion add.  Well, once more, quite a lot!  More cards, more tokens, more commando operatives, more terrain tiles, more missions, more dice and more rules.  For once, I'm going to start with the rules, as I think these are the most cogent reason for buying this expansion.  Why?  Because they offer three modes for playing: XP Mode, Lone Wolf Mode and Campaign Mode. 
This allows your commandos to gain new abilities [XP = experience].  These are provided in the form of two decks of Experience cards.  As you complete 1 objective of a Level card, one of your commandos draws a card from each deck and keeps one of them.  Apart from the cards, another new component are 18 double-sided commando display sheets. Each commando can possess only a maximum of 3 cards, but can always draw two new ones, choose one and discard one of the those already on his/her display sheet.  A neat counterbalance to the benefits of XP Mode is that you also randomly draw a Danger Token - definitely not a benefit!
I don't think most of you will find it too difficult to know which film and actor influenced this Commando Display Sheet! [Just in case, the answer is at the end of my review*].
If you're playing cooperatively, you will need to decide an acceptable method for deciding whose Commando gets to draw and keep the card.  Randomly with the roll of a die is one obvious solution, the Commando whose action actually completes the objective is another, though this may affect game play and introduce a note of competition.  I'd never really contemplated this before, as I'd always seen cooperative play as involving the players spending some time discussing how they would proceed.
As I often play solitaire, running two or three Commandos, those new Commando Display Sheets are a nice addition for keeping track of items.  However, Lone Wolf provides just my cup of tea... all you are allowed is one Commando [plus, if you wish, a trusty dog called Gander!] for the mission, whether it be a single level, an operation or a campaign.  

One trusty dog, as mentioned!

What to do is covered, whether you're playing with the core box or one of the previous two expansions and you must always incorporate XP mode rules.  Do I need to say that this part of the expansion is definitely for the experienced player!
Even better, among the several new Operations, one is a special Operation, entitled Operation One-Eyed Ghost from which the expansion gets its name.

Based as always on an historical background, there is an excellent one-page outline of the war time career of Leo Major, whose story steps straight out of any book entitled Amazing Tales! Enjoy, if you dare.  Too tough for your liking, well you can always add in some extra commandos for back up.

This really is very simply the sequencing of several Operations, making sure that you maintain the same number of commandos and accumulating all that you acquire as you move from Operation to Operation.  In itself nothing greatly original in the idea, until combined with the final section of this Expansion's rule book: Challenges and Medals.
The Challenges are divided into six categories: Combat, Equipment, Game Modifiers, Levels & Operations, Commandos and finally Stealth.  Each Challenge successfully completed has an accompanying number.  These are ticked off on the Medals chart working your way up from King's Recommendation for Brave Conduct to the ultimate Victoria Cross.  There is even a set of stickers to apply as you gain a medal!  And if you don't want to spoil your rule book, you can always download a copy of the medals page from Triton-Noir's site and, in case one sticker set of medals isn't enough, the game provides three.  

It's these little touches of completion and thought for gamers that I really like about Triton-Noir's production levels.  It goes without saying that every aspect of this Expansion adheres to the first-class production quality of the original core game.  The striking monochromatic artwork is reflected in the pairs of new Operation cards, Level cards, Event cards and XP cards.  

The many new tokens are as large, solid and colourful as ever, especially those for the Bonus Commandos and SS Enemies.  Similarly, the additional double-sided tiles for creating the terrain for the Levels are top notch; especially this large tank one below.

.... and if this Expansion isn't enough for you, just wait for my next review featuring the next addition to the series - Expansion: Miniatures Pack!

As always, a big thank you to all at Triton-Noir for providing this review copy.

*Commando Display Answer: Clint Eastwood in Where Eagles Dare
And just in case, you need more cinematic reminders of that excellent film, one of the new Level cards just happens to be ... 
the Cable-Car!