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V-Commandos, a cooperative story: from a supportive community to WWII tactical missions in a game

I am Thibaud de la Touanne, originally from the French videogames industry, and today captain of my own board games adventure since I founded my company in Canada: Triton Noir. If you are a tabletop gaming aficionado, or a History lover, you might have heard about my first project, V-Commandos. If not, let me introduce it to you.

V-Commandos is a fully cooperative and tactical game that was born after a successful campaign led on Kickstarter, then on Backerkit. About 140,000 dollars were raised, which allowed us to have our game come to life; but more importantly, a huge community of gamers was born and never stopped supporting us from then on. Today, V-Commandos is out and offers the players the possibility to embody the famous WWII Commandos in very intense missions.

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I am very proud of this cooperative game, made for 1 to 4 players: should you accept the mission, you must select a character card (the Officer, the Scout, the Medic…) and will be sent behind enemy lines during WWII. All together with your allies, you will form one of these famous commando squads that weighed heavily in the outcome of the conflict.

V-Commandos is quite accessible, yet for gamers, with a strong historical background. It aims at having the players live the commandos’ sensations, especially through its tactical gameplay and qualitative graphic design (illustrations by Vincent Filipiak and Bruno Tatti).

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The game offers operations to carry out on various terrains, with objectives to achieve (destroy an enemy bunker, capture a German officer…) but also enemy units to avoid, always more numerous and on the move…

Despite a 20-year career working for major videogame companies, creativity and freedom were what really mattered to me. Everything started in November 2013 when I felt I was ready to design my own board game: I’ve always had in mind the WWII commando books I read when I was young. Very soon, I started prototyping with white tiles and Bolt Action minis, and two months after the initial idea, it was time to initiate the playtests, which went on during the whole game development process. In the meantime, I founded Triton Noir and got an unexpectedly strong support from the community.

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WWII remains a passionate period for tabletop games to explore. Probably because as European people, we are almost constantly immersed in this part of our History, from the biggest cities to the smallest villages we can see: war memorials, street names, statues, commemorative plaques, and so on. Most of our families have stories to tell: my grandfather escaped a prisoner convoy and my great grandmother was a resistant in occupied France.

However, quite surprisingly there are not so many board games to highlight the WWII theme! So here we go!

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My experience in developing videogames helped me on many aspects, because creating a game, whatever it is, is a quite similar process in my opinion. So, besides the books, movies and documentaries, I was hugely influenced by many infiltration video games such as Metal Gear Solid, Splinter Cell, Sniper Elite, Commandos, X-Com series and others. Not to mention other kinds of video games such as Uncharted – we have a mission where the commandos must complete their objective in an underground base collapsing turn after turn for instance!

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Again, and to conclude, I must say I have always been inspired by all these players who supported the project from the beginning. I communicated with them every month, in both English and French, sharing the game progress with some WIP assets or asking for their opinion on some topics.

These guys are stealthy but very efficient commandos!

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Photo credits: Triton Noir. Used with permission.



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