- Note I find this game to be rather interesting, but the instructions were very, very unclear. The following set of instructions are based on the original French rules, testing through play and the original instructions that are at the bottom of this wiki.
The game has a weird media tie in and uses the word “Media” quite a lot. It basically just means continue, but the English translation in the game is skip even though usually you aren’t actually skipping anything There is a tile called the media tile which lets you reposition 3 people, but that’s another thing.
(**An alternate interpretation: I think the button that says "Skip (MEDIA)" means, "Skip to the end of this phase. If you've played a MEDIA tile this turn, it will take effect after you click here."**)
Also, if you plan on playing this one player read the notes at the bottom. There are several things you need to be aware of. The rules are quite different if you are trying to win.
The goal of Dark Agent is to earn the most victory points by way of sending your secret agents on “capture objective” missions and assassination missions.
Basic Game Concepts:
The board is comprised of 7 columns and 6 rows. The top row is the satellite row which can hold a max of 3 satellites per column. The lower 6 rows are filled with agent tiles (agents, spy gear, guards, La Femme Nikita and what not).
The game is played over the course of 10 rounds. Each round has 2 phases which are carried out on a specific part of the board.
Pick your team:
The first thing to do is to pick which spy agency you want, they all have different abilities. Pick a good one.
Phase 1: The Satellite Phase
The first part of the game allows you to move your satellites. This is done because the number of satellites in a column lets you know the range (how far down the agent rows you can see). You have 3 satellites that you can position in the different columns and unless you are using a special tile or power, you can’t act on a tile from the agent board that you can’t see with a satellite. So typically you can only operate within the column(s) that your satellites are in.
Phase 2: The Agent Phase
Once you have finished the satellite phase, you the move to the agent board where you are able to do missions, get secret weapons, deploy agents, kill folks… you know the fun stuff.
Without using modifiers, you can activate one tile/space that each of your satellites can see, taking into account column and range.
Once you have acted upon each of the satellites or passed your turn ends. Your turn also ends if you fail an assassination attempt or a capture event.
End of Game:
The game ends when all objectives have been captured or time runs out. The winner is determined by the number of victory points captured and the value of their agents currently on the agent board.
When you begin your first turn, you place your 3 satellites in open spaces in columns in the top satellite row. Each section in the satellite row can hold up to 3 satellites with no minimum number.
On following turns you can do one of two things.
- Option 1: Swap one satellite with another different colored satelite
- Option 2: Move two satellites from their respective columns to empty spaces in a different column.
Satellites indicate which tiles/spaces you can interact with. You can see 1, 2, 3 or 5 rows down depending on satellite configuration.
The total number of satellites in a column indicates the spaces down you can target.
One of your satellites only – you can target the first row
One of your satellites + any one other satellite – you can target the first 2 rows
One of your satellites + any two other satellites – you can target the first 3 rows
All 3 of your satellites in one column – you can target all rows in the column.
Note* You have a super satellite token, this will allow you to see an entire column, but if you don’t have another satellite which can still target then can’t act in that column. It’s an upgrade. The online version of the game allows you to place it in any space on the satellite board, I assume this is not how it should be.
There are essentially 4 kinds of tiles: Spy Gear, Actions, Missions & People.
The Spy Gear starts on a pile with the top tile face up. The are then taken and placed into empty squares of the spy board at the end of a players turn. If one on the spy board is targetable, on your turn you can select it and move it to your board. You can have 3 at any one time. You can’t throw them away.
- Armor – Prevents your agents from being removed from the board if an assassination fails
Rocket Launcher – Lets you change one rolled die to any number you wish (which should always be 6. In the online game this is auto changed to 6)
- Uniform – This allows low level characters to attack higher level characters that they wouldn’t normally be able to attack. (I think some part of this is broken in the online game. It seems pretty useless, the only time I’ve needed it was when trying to attack Nikita with a level 1 spy)
- Binoculars – These give you +5 to rolls against a chosen mission target
- Jet Pack – Swap one of your agents with a baddie (There are different powers that let you swap things in addition to people. This also gets strange because once you activate a spy you can swap a different guy into their space and use the spy who moved to target the guy in their space)
- Adrenaline – Add the attack amount of the first activated spy to the attack total (this one is super glitchy online, using Russia with 2 shots can get you 130+ to attacks)
- Sniper Rifle – Attack a person anywhere on the agent board
- Satellite Hack – Activate an additional satellite that isn’t yours.
- Inflatable Boat – deploy a spy into an empty space
- Explosives – Allows you to attack a target when there are baddies around it
- Supply: Take the top tile off the Gear Stack
- Support: Deploy a spy into an empty space
- Media: Take 3 tiles (excluding missions) and put them back as you please
- Undercover: Recover your double agent token
Part of winning the game is getting the missions accomplished. All missions are also worth 6 victory points.
In order to complete a mission you have to activate a spy or double agent then “attack” the mission. To succeed the mission can’t have baddies around it and you need to roll higher than the number in the shield (the defense number). Your roll can be modified by the ability level of a chosen agent(s) or by the binoculars (yellow markers).
In addition to completing the missions you can use them for their special abilities.
If you complete the mission you get to use that ability each round and it lives on your player board. If you use it, it’s a one off and stays in play for other players to use.
- Prisoners: Swap one of your people with another person who isn’t yours.
- Science: Spies don’t come off the board on a failure.
- The Big Stick: +3 to attacks
- Command Center: All satellites become Super Satellites (They can target all rows)
- Diplomatic: Shift the board one up
People have 2 basic attributes Defense and Level/Victory Points.
- Your spies:
You will start with one spy on the board, you can't ever lose this guy (even if you fail at something). New spies have to be moved onto the board by using the boat tile or the support action. If you fail an assassination your agent will be removed from the board and their point value will be deducted from your total score. When you replay them you'll get the points back. You can only play from lowest level to highest level.
- Double Agent Token:
This is a consumable item that allows you to use a selected baddie as your own agent for missions or assassinations. Once spent it con be regained by selecting the “undercover” tile.
In order to assassinate someone, you have to roll 4 dice and get a higher number than the person’s defensive. The defense is shown in the shield and can either be a number or a number with a “+” sign. Normal number is just that number. A number+ is that number plus the value of a 6 sided die roll (def + 1d6).
If you kill a guy, you put their body into your trophy freezer and you get their level in victory points. The online version counts this as negatives for some reason.
Note* There is a mechanic whereby you can’t attack someone at a higher level than you, but I think it might be broken on the online version. It seems that the only restriction is your L1 spy can’t accack Nikita and if you want to you have to use the aforementioned uniform (but she’ll wreck you anyway so there’s no point).
When you want to do the murdering (on mission completing) You are going to select your agent(s) and the target, remember you need a satellite in each column that can target all the tiles you want to use and there will be an attack option at the top of the screen. You will roll the 4 black dice and add your modifiers. These include agent levels and bonuses from equipment or missions.
If you have a level 2 agent you will get to roll 4d6 + 2 against your target. The max on 4 dice is 24 so hitting a level 3 (20 defense) guard isn’t likely. You’ll need to roll 18 which is really high compared to the max. There’s an odds table at the bottom of the game screen.
Killing a guard just gives you victory points, killing a spy gives you VP and you get to take the top tile off the spy gear pile.
- Targeting and Moving:
When you activate an agent they are active for the rest of the turn and the spot the they're in is targeted. This is legal.
Travis has a Jet pack. He targets his spy and two other people. He kills them both and then uses his jet back to swap with another guy. His spy is still active no matter where he goes, the guy he swapped with is now in a targeted square and is attackable.
Likewise, If you use the diplomacy option the board moves but the targets don’t. So James can target his spy and to other guys kill them and then move all tiles up one so new people are targeted and then kill them. If you had a jet pack and two sniper rifles you could theoretically kill 6 people in one turn.
Functionally, single player is the same as multi, but…
If have to 1: capture one objective and 2: kill the badass lady spy but these two things cannot be done before you get 35 points. You have to end the game with 41+ points (the lady and missions are 6 points so if you don’t have 35 points you won’t end up with 41 at the end of your turn). If you capture two objectives, you lose. If you run out of time you loose. If you get the lady and the objective but have less than 41 points at the end you lose.
You must get only 1 objective, kill the lady and have 41+ points.
The game will end as soon as the first of those two things are accomplished. If you haven’t gotten the points yet, you lose. The game will also end if you get two objectives.
Note* There are other things that’s I’m sure I left out or didn’t notice, but this set of instructions should give the what you need to know to play the game. I saw it on Kickstarter when I was making this, I really hope they make a better rule book. The official one is missing a few diagrams and clarity.
Nation – Inteligence Agency – Agency Power – Description
France – DGSE – MEDIA FRIENDLY – Use of the MEDIA card does not end the turn, aims can be moved.
UK – MI6 – GOAL EXCHANGE – Can swap the position of goal and/or tactic cards.
GERMANY – BND – MORE EQUIPMENT – Fill equipment reserve with one SUPPLY more.
USA – CIA – ALLIANCE – Engage spotted enemy, sentinels can be double agents.
RUSSIA – SVR – NO HIERARCHY – adrenaline effect is doubled.
ISRAEL – MOSSAD – SHADOW KILLER – Attack an unspotted spy or sentinel.
SWEDEN – UNDK – BUTTER AND MONEY – Can use aim power and attack aim, bonus ATK equal to aims neutralized by other players.
CHINA – GUONG BO – COPY MASTER – Copies the power of all goals acquired by other agencies.
JAPAN – NAICHO – KAMIKAZE – Wound of your spies to gain its level on your ATK +2.
CANADA – CSIS – PEACE MASTER – Can activate an U.N. Peace action during their turn (shift cards up).
EGYPT – GIP – REVOLUTION – Rotate the TDO in the opposite direction of a U.N. Peace action (shift cards down).
VATICAN – SWISS GUARD – DIVINE – Roll dice before acting.
NORWAY – NIS – HELICO MASTER – One free SUPPORT action allowed each turn.
BELGIUM – SGRS – J.C. VAN DAMME – Permanently engages Jean Claude's Spirit as a +1 ATK spy.
SOUTH KOREA – NISK – KPOP FAN – MEDIA engages all unengaged friendly agents on the field.
BRAZIL – ABIN – CARNAVAL – Shift right or left cards of a line.
Description of the game :
Players take the role of secret services of nations attempting to eradicate a terrorist threat, an organization known as the UTE. UTE is led by Kara, a fighter whose life was a living hell. Kara wants to control the world today. The choice no longer exists, she must be eliminated or she will destroy our way of life. Her organization has already infiltrated strategic areas: nuclear submarine, space control center, virology laboratory and the United Nations whose senior official was kidnapped. You will have to secure these places and deliver the hostage. You do not know who to trust, secret services are forced to act underground, like terrorists do. Infiltrators may be among your own services. To act underground, it will make the best use of space surveillance satellites to locate agents, targets, tactical or strategic places and control the operations.
Rules (NOTE: for easier understanding of the rules it is recommended start game in solo mode to see the board and cards)
The goal is to score victory points (VPs). VPs are shown at the bottom of every card in star symbol. Players get VPs for capturing these cards: objectives (yellow cards), sentinels (soldier picture), agents (tie guys with gun) or Kara terrorist (black girl with bow). Players also get VPs for deploying their own agents to the board. Game is played in turns. In every turn all players take actions starting with the player holding First Player token. Game ends after 12 turns or when agreed number of objectives gets captured (from 2 to 5).
Board Board consists of six rows by seven columns of cards. Top row is for placing satellites. Rows one – five below top row include cards that are played during the match.
Player Sheet Each player gets sheet with three friendly agents (tie guys with gun, VPs and shield in player’s own color), Super Satellite token and optionally Double Agent token or First Player token. Each player sheet represents selected nation providing special power, that can be used every turn.
Dices, yellow cubes, equipment cards deck Dices are used for attack action. Attacker rolls four dices and compares result with target Defense. Equal or higher number means success. Some targets roll one additional die that increases their Defense. Yellow cubes are attack attempt tokens. They are placed on Objective cards for unsuccessful attack (or by Binocular item ability) and get added to next attack roll result. Equipment deck shows next item card that will be drawn to refresh board or for certain actions.
Turn order - place (relocate) your satellites at selected orbits (vertical rows of the board) - make actions with cards on the board, that can be spotted by satellites (selected from the rows where you placed satellites)
Satellites Satellites are placed in the top row of the board. White satellites are neutral, they are placed by the game engine. In the first turn players place satellites freely on any empty spot. During satellite phase players relocate satellites in one of two ways: - by swapping one own satellite with another opponent/neutral satellite - by relocating exactly two own satellites to any free slots in a different column
Satellites allow to spot (mark) cards on the board, one card for each satellite. A card must be selected in the same column where satellite is located. Depending how many satellites (any color) are located in given column player can choose from top one, top two or top three rows of the column. If there are three same color satellites player can select from any of five rows of this column.
Card actions Depending what card gets marked player does the following actions:
Equipment card (with item pictures) Card is taken to player zone. Can be played immediately or another turn. Generates certain positive effect.
Friendly agent card (tie guy with gun, VPs on player’s own color) Agent VP value gets added to player Attack value (for current turn only).
Enemy agent card (tie guy with gun, VPs on other player’s color) or Neutral agent card (tie guy with gun, VPs on black) or Kara terrorist card (girl with bow, VPs on black) Agent marked for capture or other actions. Their Defense is number shown on shield + 1 die roll.
Sentinel card (soldier picture, VPs on black) Sentinel marked for capture or other actions. Their Defense is number shown on shield.
Special action card (red card) Generates certain effect. Depending on card - immediately or end of turn.
Objective card (yellow card) Objective marked for one of two actions: - immediately generates certain effect or - marked for capture – objective Defense is number shown on shield.
Capture (attack) action Common sequence is as follows: - player marks friendly agent, adding their VPs to attack value - optionally makes actions that further increase attack value (activates certain items or objectives) - marks target for capture - selects attack action Four dices are rolled and added to attack value. Total attack value is compared with defense value of marked target (number in shield). If target is another agent or Kara terrorist their defense is increased by one die roll. Attack value equal or greater than defense means success. Roll of four equal die numbers always means success. On success target gets captured and moves to player sheet. Its VP value gets added to player result. On failure friendly agent that was used for attack gets moved back to player sheet.
Friendly agents There is always one first-level friendly agent on the board, one for each player. It cannot be killed or removed from the board. To play more friendly agents player needs to mark and use Boat item card or Support special card. Both allow to place the lowest available friendly agent on selected empty spot on the board. Before attack action player can mark more than one friendly agent and item/special card/objective card to increase attack value. Attack value is reset to zero at the beginning of every turn.
Objective cards Objectives can be used to generate certain effect or captured for VPs and permanent bonuses awarded to player who captured them. Objective cannot be used and captured in the same turn though. Objective cannot be captured if it is protected by nearby sentinel or non-friendly agent. "Nearby" means side by side horizontally or vertically. To capture objective which is protected player needs to remove (capture) all nearby protectors or to play Explosive item card. Explosive allows to ignore sentinels. Unsuccessful capture action puts capture attempt yellow token on the objective. For every subsequent capture attempt the number of yellow tokens is added to attack value.
End of turn After all players take their turns Board gets updated: first row is moved to the bottom as fifth row, rows two-five move up by one row (second row becomes first row)
First Player token After all players take their turns First Player token moves to the last player. In two player game it moves to the player with the lowest number of VP points.
Super Satellite token Allows to upgrade any own satellite to super satellite. Super satellite allows to target any of five rows in selected column. Super satellite cannot be swapped by another player during satellite phase. Super satellite token is discarded at the end of turn, it can be used by each player once during entire match.
Double Agent token Double agent token allows to use any non-friendly agent, sentinel or Kara terrorist as player own agent. It adds its VP to player attack value. Token is discarded after use, but can be acquired again by using Undercover special card.
Other cards and effects Explanation provided by game engine. Complete list available in official game rules.