Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
No. of players: 1-6
Amount of time to play: 30-180 min (depending on the scenario and number of players)
Age requirements: 12+
Set-up time: 5-10 min
Warfighter is a cooperative, tactical card game. You must select a group of soldiers and outfit them to complete missions without dying.
To start Warfighter you select a mission from the jungle or Middle East region. The mission card gives you the amount of resources you have for your team, the number of turns you have to finish the mission and where you place the objective card on the mission track.
Next you select an objective card from your region. It contains the conditions that you must meet in order to successfully complete the mission.
You’re almost ready to start but first you must select your soldiers. There are three types of soldiers; player soldiers, non-player soldiers and squad soldiers. Player soldiers get action cards and you can customize their weapons and equipment. Non-player soldiers come with predetermined weapons and equipment which is included in their cost. Squad soldiers do not have action cards, weapons or equipment. They just come with the stats on their cards. You must have one player soldier and can only spend resources on all your soldiers up to the number shown on the mission card. Each soldier gets a specific number of actions on your turn.
When taking actions you may play action cards. Action cards can bolster your attack, help you avoid enemy attacks and get you to new locations easier. Some of the actions cards are locations. In order to advance to the objective card you need to place location cards on the mission track and move along them until you get to the objective. Moving into new locations costs action cards.
When you place a new location it will spawn hostiles based on the resource points you had at the start of the game. When you fight a hostile you roll a d6 to beat its cover and then depending on your weapon roll d10s to see if you hit and kill them. If your roll meets or beats the hostile’s cover, each hit you roll with your weapon kills one hostile on the card. If you fail the cover roll, each hit result suppresses a hostile. If you make the cover roll but fail to hit, you suppress a hostile for each d10 you roll.
When you fire you may have several shooting options. The more bullets you fire the better your chances of hitting and you can eliminate more hostiles on a card. But a low roll on just one of your d10s can expend a clip of ammo. You have a limited number of clips and it takes an action to reload your gun.
Locations with hostiles may get reinforcements and then any hostiles that are not suppressed attack you. Hostiles resolve combat the same way you do but soldiers take more than one hit to kill. Player soldiers lose health when hit which decreases their hand size. Other soldier types have less health and can lose actions and become less accurate.
If you get to the objective card and defeat it before the number of turns given on the mission card, you win. If you take too long or die on the way you lose.
Warfighter is a fun cooperative card and dice game. It even plays well solitaire. Turns tend to go quickly and there is not a lot of downtime.
The components for this game are decent. The cards feature photos of real soldiers which is cool and they are pretty durable. The hostiles card art is not as cool but still decent. The chits are thick and you get a ton of them. The rules are disorganized but have lots of good examples. There is a video tutorial you can watch here.
I really like outfitting the player soldiers. Each player soldier has a different amount of equipment they can carry. And you can decide exactly what weapons, equipment and the amount of ammo they have. You can even give your solider a skill that helps them on the mission.
The combat system is easy to resolve and I like the way the suppressed state works. It protects or weakens enemies’ counter-attacks and if you have an action remaining you can fire again to go for the kill.
The action cards add some nice touches too. You gain XP as you eliminate enemies. Some action cards let you spend XP to upgrade their effects or keep them in play.
Be aware that between card draw and dice rolls that Warfighter can be random. Some skills and equipment can help you manage the some of the randomness. But if you roll poorly you might have a tough time. It can also be a bit fiddly with all the chits and managing them on your cards.
If you are looking for a fun, solo or cooperative, war-themed game, pick up Warfighter. It plays well with a group and solitaire. There are even expansion packs if you want more mission, soldiers or equipment.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 4 out of 6
Luck 5 out of 6
Player Interaction 3 out of 6
Replay Value 4 out of 6
Complexity 4 out of 6
Fun 4 out of 6
Overall 4 out of 6