So yep the cat is out of the bag... or maybe I should say the alien is out of the top secret Government controlled facility, as Privateer Press are now spilling the beans on Level 7. Some might even go as far to say they 'finally' showing off Level 7. They announced the existence of a new game about twelve months ago now, at the last Lock & Load event in Seattle, although rumours of it's existence had been swirling around the Internet for months before. Over the past 12 moths there has been a slight drip feed of information and a comically poor, B-Movie attempt at promotion. It's OK though as I think it was in keeping with the product. So what the hell is Level 7? Well first things first it's not an 80's lounge-jazz-pop band, which to be honest is what the name made the game sound like. Ever since Privateer Press announced the existence of Level 7 there have been rumours about it being a new sci-fi skirmish game, a card game and a board game the cure for depression... OK maybe not the last one. The competing theories have often been supported by claims of knowing people, who met some people, who knew people who shopped at the same 711 store that the Privateer Press cleaners shop at.
|It's almost as recognisable to geeks as a certain 80's tinged red and yellow logo!|
I thankfully steered well clear of such rumour mongering, wisely I feel given I knew nothing about it. There's a lesson in there somewhere, I'm just not too sure what it is. Well unsurprisingly Privateer Press have used this years Lock & Load event to reveal exactly what Level 7 is... drum roll please... it's a board game. I have to say I'm not entirely surprised. I know many people had hoped, and wised for another full on miniatures wargame, and I too had high hopes that's what it would be. However, 'rational me' knew deep down it would be a board game for a number of reasons. Firstly Privateer Press are rightly trying to focus their efforts on further establishing HoMachine as a game. They're not as big as Games Workshop are, and quite frankly would struggle right now to support more than one wargame, yeah I'm counting Hordes and Warmachine as one system. They would run the risk of dividing their current customer base, and diluting their own resources between two competing products. That is not a wise place for them to be. This way they get to test the water with another setting and product, and learn a little bit more about themselves and their customers.
The other main reason that I felt Privateer Press wouldn't release a wargame and instead plump for a board game is that they are savvy enough to know that board games are hot right now. Board games are a good instant hobby hit for many out there right now. They've exploited this marketplace in the past, with games like Grind. When you factor in the success another American success story is having right now with board games, Fantasy Flight Games, then you can see exactly why it was likely Level 7 was going to be Privater Presses attempt at grabbing a lucrative piece of this particular pie. No company can stand idly by and watch as others hoover up all the money in a marketplace so easily. Truth be told there's been a lot of buzz this past year or so about board games, and there have been some pretty big hitters that have come out of the left field, like Super Dungeon Explore, and really grab gamers attentions... and money. Not to mention some of the exceptional Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns that have happened, it's clear to anyone with a brain that once more board games are hip, cool and trendy. A resurgence like this can't go untapped for a company like Privateer Press.
|A picture of stuff that comes in a box.|
So does Level 7 look like it'll be worth the money they're asking for it? It's far too early to tell to be honest with you. I've seen nothing of the game apart from some blurry photographs that have come out of the Lock & Load event, and the games official website, not really good solid information sources to be fair. The games contents are listed below:
- 47 Map Tiles
- 138 Cards
- 4 Character Sheets
- 133 Tokens and Markers
- 28 Stands
- 8 Special Dice
- Scenario Guide
The really interesting thing for this here blogger is that according to that list of contents, it isn't a miniatures board game. For a miniature company that seems like a bit of an own goal to me, unless they plan on releasing optional extra toy soldier to go along with the games release. There's a veritable bucketload of card components though, and I guess the $54.99 asking price isn't too bad all things considered, that works out to £35 in real money by the way. The game is for 1 to 4 players and said to last between 30 to 60 minutes, which sounds like it should tell you a lot... but actually tells you bugger all. The game is described as a semi-cooperative game, probably meaning that it requires you to work together, and also screw each other over in increasingly devious ways to win. Those sorts of games can be fun, if done properly. I'm not going to re-write their marketing spiel here, as I don't see the point, and neither am I going to proclaim it's either rubbish, or the second coming like some have done. All I'll say is that I'll be watching this development with some interest as I like board games and there's always room for another good game. I'll be waiting for the inevitable Privateer Press promotional video. Peace out!