By Juan Echenique
A secret inside an enigma, wrapped in mystery. That’s how a good plot has to be for the top members of SPECTRE. These villains work together as part of the same organisation, but they also backstab each other at any given chance. No loyalty amongst thieves, it seems!
One of the keys to succeeding in SPECTRE: The Board Game, is to pay attention to your Secret Plans and plot your strategy according to them. Each time a Mission is successfully completed, each player who took part in it will draw a Secret Plan. These can be anything from “Being Number 1” to “Holding 4 Majorities”. Completing Secret Plans gives the players points in the SPECTRE track.
The winner of a Mission — the member of SPECTRE that has contributed the most to a successful Mission — also gets the chance to complete one of the Secret Plans in their hand. So, careful planning can lead to winning a Mission, which can lead to completing a Secret Plan, which will lead to advancing in the SPECTRE track, which will potentially lead to gaining free SPECTRE actions. All in all, this level of attention is the very least one can expect from a professional backstabbing criminal mastermind.
But what about those arch-villains among us who are not so keen on flashy moves mid-game? Nothing to worry about. All Secret Plans in hand can be completed at the very end of the game. It is always very satisfying to play the underdog, never rising over being Number 4 or 3, only to surprise your co-villains at the end with a winning hand of Secret Plan cards. The only risk with that strategy is that you don’t get to enjoy the free SPECTRE actions as you complete your Secret Plans. But I’m sure that the faces of shock and horror of your fellow players are totally worth it.
Some Villains have different approaches to Secret Plans. Our dearest Blofeld, for example, is very good at winning Missions, so players using him often try to complete as many Secret Plans as possible on the spot. That gives them what Blofeld always needs: a lot of distance between them and Number 2. Raoul Silva, playing the extreme opposite of Blofeld, very rarely gets to win any Missions, or even to contribute in most of them. Thus, the player generally ends up with a very limited hand of Secret Plans. The goal in that case is to get as many points as possible before the end of the game, as the rest of the players most probably will be able to gain a massive advantage with their Secret Plans.
But we cannot talk about plotting, conspiring, conniving and truth twisting without mentioning our true queen of the Secret Plans: Rosa Klebb. Ms Klebb has a Scheme on her board that, once unlocked, allows her to complete a Secret Plan as an Action. That level of control over her own destiny makes her the true one to watch for. If you truly want to know what Secret Plans are in Klebb’s hand, just take a look at how she switches and reforms her strategy every turn — more so thanks to her ability to control Region 8, which gives her great mobility across the whole board.
One last note regarding these Secret Plans: our dear evil geniuses have a single, common, fatal flaw: once they have 007 against the ropes, and they are about to finally murder the agent, they cannot help themselves, and they have to rant about their favourite Secret Plan. In terms of the game mechanics, this is translated quite simply. Every time 007 visits one of the players, the player must place one of their Secret Plans face up on the table. This doesn’t only work as a mark of their shame, but also gives the player fewer points upon completing theat Secret Plan.
That’s it for today. Remember to plan, plot, connive, conspire, betray, machinate, intrigue, collude and scheme as much as you need to defeat your fellow criminal masterminds. There might be such a thing as loyalty among thieves, but there’s also only one spot for Number One!