Level 7 [Omega Protocol] - Board Game Box Shot

Level 7 [Omega Protocol]

| Published: 2013
55 38 5

Now overrun with swarms of monstrous genetic creations led by their nefarious alien overseers, the underground facility of Subterra Bravo is the epicenter of an unfathomable government conspiracy—one that must be kept secret at all costs. To cover up the truth, the shadowy agency in charge of the operation has initiated Omega Protocol, dispatching an elite team of commandos to retake Subterra Bravo and eradicate all evidence of the sinister creatures within. But the threat these creatures and their alien overlords pose may be far greater than anyone can possibly imagine.

In [Omega Protocol], one player takes on the role of the Overseer while two to five other players take on the role of the elite Special Ops team. The Overseer's role in the game is to control all of the alien denizens and challenges the players face throughout the game. The players are trying to achieve specific scenario-based objectives by exploring a map that's laid out at the start and fighting off the hordes of aliens that the Overseer sends their way.

Level 7: Omega Protocol board game in play
images © Privateer Press

Gameplay is based around adrenalin, which is the currency that the soldier players use to perform actions. They generate adrenaline to do things such as move, attack, and perform special actions like activating an objective space. That generation also has a negative effect for them, as that adrenalin transfers to the Overseer player, who then uses it to spawn aliens, create new threats, and hurt the soldiers' chance of success during the scenario. The more actions the Special Ops players take, the more resources the Overseer player has to work with.

User Reviews (2)

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3
Smash Up Fan
 
25 of 26 gamers found this helpful
“Fun for both sides of the conflict”

Overview
Level 7 [Omega Protocol] is a dungeon crawler based game where players take on the role of a commando unit that is infiltrating a US Alien base. One of my favorite things about this game is that there is another player playing on the alien side as the Alien Overseer. This makes the game great to play with friends as it brings a nice level of not only cooperativeness, but also competitiveness.

Components
The components to this game are mostly great. The tiles that make up the map are well detailed, the cards are clear and fairly easy to understand. There are several tokens used in the game that are all quality in construction. The dice are very nicely etched with bullet hole marks to represent hits, and there are lots of them.

The one ding on components in this game is really the miniatures. When they come out of the box, a number of mine were warped or twisted a bit. I was able to fix them pretty easily by setting them in warm water for a while then reshaping them, but would have been nice if they were a little higher grade plastic (for the price of the game I would have expected a little more but it does not take away from the play of the game).

Setup
Setup takes some time. There is a mission guide and for each mission there is a map configuration consisting of various different rooms, corridors, doors, investigate tokens, and room cards to place. When playing the game, each room is concealed until the commandos open the door to it, at this point, the room cards are revealed and the room card effects are to be resolved.

Another fun aspect of this game is that the overseer has some freedom as to where the mission objectives and other room cards are placed. So if you want objective 1 to be in the first room the commandos enter, and the second to be on the other side of the map, you have this freedom. This gives the person who plays as the overseer a certain dungeon master feel and as the game plays out it is fun to watch the commandos as the figure it out.

In addition to the map setup, each player chooses a commando (there are 5 different commandos to choose from, each with their own special abilities), as well as kit cards (a.k.a their load out). Again, this is another cool aspect of the game because it gives the commandos a sense of ownership of the commando they are playing as.

Game Play
Game play is pretty simple and has some cool mechanics. The Commandos go first and start by having the team leader assign initiative order (what order each commando will take their turns for this round). Each commando then chooses which stance they will use for the round (more on that in a minute).

The games currency is called adrenaline. Commandos increase their adrenaline to take actions (e.g. move, attack, investigate, open a door, etc…). The amount of adrenaline a commando can use is based on the stance card they choose for the round. For instance, a Cautious Advance stance might allow the commando to use 6 adrenaline for the turn. Each commando takes their turn in the order given to them by the commando team leader. When all commandos have finished, the overseer gets to go.

On the overseer’s turn, he/she also uses adrenaline to perform actions (e.g. spawn aliens, activate aliens to move and/or attack, cause element damage such as cave ins that can damage the commandos, etc…). As you can imagine, the overseer has a little more power than each commando does. The neat thing about the mechanics here are that at the beginning of the commando’s next turn, all the adrenaline they used during their last turn goes to the overseer. So you really have to be careful how much adrenaline you feed the overseer.

As the game progresses, the commandos continue to try and accomplish the objectives (these vary from mission to mission), and the overseer continues to deploy enemies and attack to prevent them from accomplishing their mission. Each mission has different success and failure conditions.

First Play Through
We played the first mission which is for the commandos to find some intel and get out of the facility before 1/2 of the commandos are killed. We had a total of 5 players, 4 commandos and an overseer. I played the overseer roll.

In the beginning of the game, I was feeling like the game was a bit unbalanced. The incoming commandos where just mowing down aliens and it seemed I had no chance of actually downing one of these guys. That changed as the game went on though. Once the crisis point was hit (this occurs at a certain turn number or when both objectives had been found), the overseer gets some bonus’s when attacking and spawning and this turned the tides a bit.

The commandos had found the intel they were looking for and were trying to get out of the building. I was able to spawn enough enemy troops to pin the commandos in a corridor as they were trying to get out and was barely able to take out two of the commandos, resulting in 1/2 of their team being killed and a victory for the overseer.

The whole experience was very fun. I was impressed at how much the commandos had to plan to get as far as they did. they continued to stick together which made it very difficult for me to take them down. Had they split up I think they would have been easy pickins. The team lead position is another neat mechanic that plays well in the game. In our game, the team leader turned out to be the MVP of the commandos as he was healing wounds and providing roll bonus’s to his team throughout the game.

Summary
Well, if you have gotten this far in my write up, you probably get the idea that I liked this game a lot. I have heard others complain about the balance of it but I think it just depends on how the game plays out. I initially felt it was unbalanced but as the game went on I realized that you just need to be a little creative sometimes as the overseer. Learn how and when to use the dashboard abilities and you will find that the game is balanced very nicely.

This is a great game if you are looking for something to play with a bunch of people that like the idea of a sci-fi dungeon crawler type game. It was a little on the long side. Aside from setup, it took us about 4 hours to play through the entire first mission. That being said, no one ever got tired of the game or lost interest as the battle was intense, right up to the end.

 
Player Avatar
2
Denmark
10
17 of 25 gamers found this helpful
“Awesome tactical game..”

PROS: The “Adrenaline System”, that gives the Overseer more or fewer actions, depending on the players willingness to push themselves, is great!

The Elite soldiers are very unique and add different tactical descisions to the players according to who you choose to be part of the team. Each soldier has 8 special “kit cards” and a handful of generic ones, to customize them even further for each mission. A sentry bot is also included as “specialization”.

The game is very balanced. If you make bad tactical descisions the other side will benefit from your mistake, but not punish you.

Privateer Press has made a great tutorial video (about 17 minutes) which explains the rules thoroughly, which can be found on their website or youtube.

CONS: The miniatures are nice, but “soft”. The quality could have been better.

The map tiles, although cool, is not “fastened” to each other, which makes it easy to “destroy” the map. This is due to the flexibility in the different map layouts and in that way it do make sense, but it is a bit fiddly.

 

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