Homeland: The Game – An Overview

Homeland: The Game is a semi-cooperative game of intrigue, deception and hidden agendas based on the hit series on Showtime. Players assume the roles of CIA analysts, directing agency resources to combat the rising tide of global terrorism. Be warned, not everyone is what they seem. Stay alert, be vigilant, and trust no one.
Stay Alert! New threats are constant. Every card played matters. Any action could be the difference between stability and catastrophe.

Be Vigilant! Use every tool at your disposal to stop impending threats. Deploy Special Forces, insert Field Agents and recruit key Assets to neutralize the imminent dangers and keep the nation safe.

Trust No One. Not everyone is what they seem. All players are working towards their own agendas. Watch your rivals’ actions carefully to try to decipher who is working against you. Any player might be a Terrorist Mole!

Will your actions tip the balance towards national security or global chaos?

Homeland: The Game will be in stores in February.

In the coming weeks we’ll be taking an in depth look at the latest boardgame from Gale Force Nine. We’ll delve into the game’s mechanics and components on our website while each week we’ll spotlight a valuable asset, including your favorite characters from the show, on our Facebook page.

Each player is pursuing their own Agenda during the game.  It’s important to keep your real Agenda secret from other players.  Everyone will claim to be a Loyal Agent, but the truth is that many players will be exploiting threats to national security to advance their own ends.  One player may even be a Mole, sabotaging the Agency efforts to foil terror Threats.There will always be one more Agenda Card than there are players. This extra card should be kept Hidden until after the game is over.  Because there is always one more Agenda than players, it’s possible to have a game without a Terrorist Mole! Of course, you won’t know whether that’s the case until the very end of the game.
Loyal Agents
Loyal Agents are working to keep the homeland safe. To this end, they are trying to stop as many Threats as possible. With each foiled Threat, the Agents gain more Reputation. By increasing their Reputation within the Agency, the most successful Loyal Agent will be in line to become the next Director of the Agency.Political Opportunist
Political Opportunists are primarily interested in increasing their own personal power and influence. They take advantage of successful plots and a scared populace to gather Political Clout. Ultimately, with enough Clout, they will be able to secure themselves a seat in Congress or a powerful Cabinet position.Terrorist Mole
The Terrorist Mole is an analyst who has been turned by a terrorist organization.  This turncoat is now working from within the Agency to facilitate various Threats. The Mole is working to thwart the efforts of other Agents, ensuring that an Organization can carry out its Threat.  The Mole wins if the nation is consumed by chaos or the Mole remains unidentified and earns the most Victory Points.At the end of the game, provided that the terrorists don’t win outright, players will have a chance to accuse someone of being the Terrorist Mole. If the Mole is accurately Accused by anyone, then the Mole player cannot win the game by Victory Point tallies.  In the meantime, the players who successfully identify the Mole will earn bonus Victory Points!
But be careful, if a player incorrectly Accuses another Agent of being the Mole, the accusing player LOSES Victory Points!  In this way every player may choose to act ‘suspicious’ during the game in the hope that they are falsely Accused and cost their rival Victory Points!

Next week, we’ll take a look at the Threats and Organizations that challenge the competing Agents!  Also look for our first Asset profile on our Facebook page as we reveal one of the valuable Assets an agent can recruit to their cause.

Threats to the Homeland
In Homeland, a “Threat” is a stack of a few different cards. Combined, they represent a possible terrorist attack the Agency must work to neutralize. A face-up Organization Card shows which terrorist group is behind the Threat. A hidden, face down Plot Card details what type of attack they’re planning.
Organization Cards
Organizations are the various nefarious groups around the world trying to carry out terrorist activities. Each card has three key pieces of information about the Organization: Initial Threat Level, Sophistication and Advantage.Initial Threat Level indicates where on the game board the Threat begins. Threats may start at any level.Every Organization card has a Red Sophistication number. This represents the resources and expertise of the Organization.When a Threat is neutralized, the Case Lead earns the Advantage listed on the Plot. Advantages are onetime, additional bonuses, not ongoing effects.
Plot Cards
Plot Cards represent the schemes and murderous plans of terrorist organizations. Some Plots are more difficult to neutralize than others, with increasingly dire consequences. Each Plot Card has three important pieces of information on it: Complexity, Impact and Fallout.Each Plot has a red “Complexity” number that represents how hard it will be to stop the Threat. The higher the Complexity of the Plot, the harder the Plot will be to neutralize.If the Plot succeeds, the Impact of a Plot shows how damaging the consequences of the Plot are. If the Plot is successful, a number of tokens equal to the Impact of the Plot will be added to the Terrorists’ Progress Track. If the Agency successfully neutralizes the Threat, then the Impact tokens will be added to the Agency’s Progress Track. Impact also determines how many tokens players receive when the Threat is resolved.Each Plot has either “Fallout” or “Global Fallout,” a negative effect that will occur if the Terrorist Organization carries out their Plot successfully.  Fallout only affects the Case Lead investigating the threat while Global Fallout affects all players!
Intel Cards
On top of the Organization Card will be various Intel Cards, representing the events that transpire while investigating the Threat. A Case Lead Card from the player leading the investigation is placed on top of the Intel Cards.
Intel Cards are played secretly to help or hinder Threats on the board. When a new Threat is added to the board, 1 random Intel Card is placed on the Threat to start. Players will then have an opportunity to play Intel cards from their hand to Threats on the board.

Blue (Agency) Intel Cards increase the chance that a Threat will be stopped and represent actions taken by the Agency to achieve their goals.

Red (Terrorist) Intel Cards represent actions of the Terrorists or missteps by the Agency. They decrease the chances that a Threat will be stopped.

Gold (Situation) Intel Cards represent unexpected events that may occur in the course of an investigation. Every Gold Intel Card has a special effect which takes place immediately when the card is revealed during Threat Analysis. Many of these have far-ranging ripple effects that may change the outcome of this Threat or other Threats on the board. The effect of Gold Intel Cards takes place whether or not the Threat is neutralized.

This is the heart of the game, as players have to manage their hands of Intel Cards.  While it would be ideal that a Loyal Agent will have a handful of Blue Cards and a Mole a handful of Red Cards, that is often not the case.  The Loyal Agent will be force to commit “bad” Intel to cases, but to which ones?  Do you attempt to sabotage a fellow agent’s case?  Do you commit the bad intelligence to your own case hoping you have enough “good” Intel to nullify it?  A Mole with plenty of good intelligence must work to find creative ways to sabotage Threats, perhaps over committing to Threats with minor impacts.

On their turn, an Analyst must play at least two Intel Cards to Threats and the first card placed MUST be played to another player’s case!  Also you may not play more than once card to a case per turn.  These are just some of the challenges and subterfuges that players must face in Homeland: The Game.

Posted on