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Undaunted and Consulting Detective designers make a “choose-your-own-adventure” board game set in WWII France

Who spilled all this clue gathering in my tactics game?

Key art for War Story: Occupied France board game
Image credit: Kwanchai Moriya/Osprey Games

What do you get when you mix detective narratives and tactical World War II espionage? War Story: Occupied France is an upcoming board game from the creators of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective and Undaunted: Stalingrad, two award-winning designers now working as a team.

Publisher Osprey Games announced War Story: Occupied France today, calling it a “choose-your-own-adventure board game” wherein players take the role of French Resistance fighters during World War II and use their unique skills to overcome three repeatable missions inside the core box.

Designer Dave Neale of Consulting Detective and Unlock! Fame forms an unlikely duo with Undaunted and General Orders creator David Thompson, but the two seem to be combining their strengths on a board game unlike anything either has designed on their own. What little we know shows off a dynamic marriage of turn-based action and narrative drama that might satisfy fans from both creators’ camps.

Undaunted: Stalingrad is on our list of the best two-player board games.Watch on YouTube

The cooperative War Story: Occupied France looks to balance narrative storytelling amongst one to six players with strategic encounters set on tactical maps. As covert operatives, the players will gather intelligence on targets working for the notorious officer Erich Leichenberg, recruit allies, and obtain gear and weapons while sneaking through German-occupied territory around Vaillant, Morette and other French cities.

Even the best laid stealth plans will eventually run into combat, and War Story: Occupied France impresses the importance of positioning on its players. Whether capturing or killing their target, teams must be efficient with their time and always aware of their surroundings. Death always lurks on the periphery, so choose your shots wisely and never give the enemy more than you’re willing to sacrifice.

Famed tabletop artist Kwanchai Moriya has been drafted to illustrate the cover and interior art for War Story: Occupied France, and the one piece offered in the press release displays a distinct departure from Moriya’s usual bright and fantastical style. Having worked on Cryptid, the upcoming Apiary and Reiner Knizia’s Zoo Vadis, Moriya’s direction for this embattled board game seems more sombre, muted and realistic.

Key art for War Story: Occupied France board game
Image credit: Kwanchai Moriya/Osprey Games

War Story: Occupied France is currently estimating an October 2024 release date with no crowdfunding campaign on the books. The box will contain a rulebook and three separate mission books, along with more than 80 cards and 90 tokens. Osprey Games plans to reveal more information in the spring, and the public will get their first taste via public demos at Essen Spiel 2024 in Germany (fitting).

One last thing: a press release sent to Dicebreaker contained a line of Morse code that translated to “ACTIVATE THE 'MAGPIE' NETWORK”. Perhaps alluding to something within War Story: Occupied France’s narrative, we’ll have to wait a few months to see this intriguing new board game develop.

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