I like Gale Force Nine boardgames, they’ve written some really good
stuff, Spartacus is great fun, I haven’t played Sons of Anarchy but I
hear it’s good and last Thur we got to play Homeland the boardgame.
Gone are the days of cheap movie tie ins, these days we expect decent
mechanics and in a lot of cases designers deliver. Homeland delivers
It’s a semi-cooperative game. Semi when added to the less than bracing
word cooperative makes for a very interesting experience. We’re all in
this together! (Terms and conditions may apply)
Homeland sees up to six players working as agents to stop terrorist
threats from kicking off. These threats appear on various spots of the
conveyor of doom and each turn move from low threat through four more
stages to imminent where they really need to be defused. Failure to do so will mean a gain in points for the terrorists. Success means points for the good guys.
But since this is SEMI co-op who are the good guys?…..
Borrowing a little from Battlestar and Bang! players start with an
agenda card and may be Loyal Agents (who score points by defusing
threats), politicos (who score points by not letting the terrorists win,
but allowing them perform a bit of mischief and thereby upping their
own self importance in the form of political Clout points) and a good
old fashioned hidden traitor who just wants to see the world burn. The
role cards are handed out face down from a pool of seven with three of
the good guys, three politicos and one terrorist so it’s possible that a game won’t have a terrorist in it.
The game cracks along at a merry old pace (faster if you’re not talking
rubbish about everything but the game) and ninety minutes will see you
done and dusted. There’s no real down time as once you’ve taken your
turn you need to keep your beady eye on what everyone else is doing,
figure out their agenda and of course blame them for problems
the agency is having.
The threats that pop up on your radar vary in difficult to solve.
Actually it’s very simple, a threat will have two attributes, it’s
impact (how many points it will score for the good guys if they solve it
or bad guys if it goes off) and it’s difficulty (how many points of good
resources you need to throw at it to fix it). added to this is an
obliging terrorist card that sits on top of it and adds their difficulty
to the proceedings. Agents have to throw cards battlestar style at it
face down to try and defuse it before it ends it’s turn in imminent.
That said a bad guy or a politico might want some threats to go off
scoring points for the axis of evil.
On your turn you get to assign your agents to be lead investigators and
the buck firmly stops with them. Solve the threat and you gain some
bonus points, mess it up and usually everyone suffers
Assets, agents and soldiers allow you some extra powers to look at
threats in more detail, assist in defusing them or just muck around a
bit. (You can help or hinder other agents work either directly or covertly)
Once either good or bad points reach 12 the game ends and everyone
counts their points. Politicos add accumulated clout points up, good
agents success points (either of which can be sacrificed mid game to
gain extra resources to help in solving threats). The traitor scores
points from successful threats going off points.
In the game we played the good guys ended the game with successes but
the terrorist has accumulated enough assets and just enough terror
points to pip me at the post. I wanted a second game but it was too
I like this game. It’s pretty simple, I don’t think we made any
mistakes with the rules which were concise and clear. The game play
flowed well with no speed bumps, the theme was good although it could
have been helping old ladies across the road rather than threats and it
would have been just as much fun.
A good solid fun game, well done once again Gale Force Nine