Call of Duty: The Board Game brings the tension of the FPS to the table better than expected

When one of the biggest video games of all time gets a tabletop implementation, you have to check it out. Call of Duty: The Board Game is a fast paced skirmish game for 2 to 4 players. Each player controls a single unique character and can equip various weapons and gear. Combat is bloody and the first to get the required number of points is the winner.

All phases of the game are played simultaneously. Players each have their own personal, hidden board which mirrors the game board. Each turn they will secretly plot four moves along nodes on the map. This is done by placing numbered tokens on their personal board, turning them so that they point in the direction the player wants to be facing. Once everyone is finished with their planning, all players perform one step at a time, updating the main board. If at the end of any step two players have line of sight to each other, indicated by colored lines between nodes, combat occurs.

Combat is resolved through dice and cards. The players secretly place one tactic card and choose 7 dice to roll. Dice are chosen from three different colors and represent aim, agility, and aggressiveness. Aggressive dice add pure firepower, but if you critically miss, then they add nothing. Aim increases the accuracy of your shots. Based on the weapon you are using, the total value of your aim dice will be converted to accuracy level. The tactic card you played determines how much firepower you produce at each accuracy level. Agility increases your defense and speed. Defense reduces the accuracy of your opponent. Certain nodes on the map provide cover, giving even more defense. If a player’s accuracy is reduced to 0 they critically miss. Accuracy is also modified by that player’s tactical level. Tactical level is increased by certain map locations, having more speed than your opponent, and by directly facing your opponent.

After determining each player’s total firepower from weapon accuracy, tactic card, and aggressive dice, they compare. Whoever produced the most firepower wins the combat and kills their opponent. If the difference between their firepower was five or less, then the winner takes a wound for their trouble. If you ever receive a wound while you already have one, you die. Killed players respawn on their next turn, so there is no down time.

Killing an enemy is worth 1 point. There is also a control point on the map. The last person to have touched it will be in control and receive 1 point at the end of each round. If you die, though, you lose the control point.

These are just the basic rules. The advanced rules include sprinting, aiming down sights, grenades, mines, advanced combat cards, reloading, squads, and more! With multiple game modes at different player counts, plus plenty of expansions, there will be many ways to gun down your friends.

Call of Duty: The Board Game captures the essence of the video game better than I ever imagined. The split second decisions that you have to make with every interaction in the video game are blown up and slowed down during the tactical planning portion of a round in the board game, with the action snapping back into high speed as each player’s planned moves are revealed. Mimicking the video games’ fast time to kill, the board game rewards cunning strategies and outthinking your adversaries. Getting the drop on someone can be the difference between a fair fight and getting no-scoped as the other player slides around the corner.

We only had the opportunity to play the game 1v1 and in that mode it is a thrilling game of cat and mouse where you bounce between feeling like a master of planning and strategy, and a fool for turning your back at the wrong time. We can’t wait to see the final product when the Kickstarter delivers, but for now it’s definitely a contender for one of the best video game to tabletop adaptations we’ve played.

Lead Tabletop Editor | [email protected]

A life long video gamer, Mark caught the Tabletop itch in college and has been hooked ever since. Epic two player strategy games are his favorites but he enjoys pretty much everything on the tabletop, just no Werewolf please. When he gets a break from changing diapers and reading bedtime stories he can usually be found researching new games or day dreaming about maybe one day having time for a ttrpg. Some of Mark's favorite games are Star Wars: Rebellion, A Feast for Odin, and Nemesis.

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