The men and women of the 42nd Marine Special Forces, and the mysterious and deadly Obscura Korps of the Reich, locked in a struggle to recover the Obscura Cardinal Stones.

The French company that created this game may have borrowed the whole occult Nazis thing from Hellboy, but the alternative history magic-and-technology WWII milieu was just waiting to be given the game treatment. The result is this fast, richly thematic combat skirmish game. The game looks great but the original French rules translation was terrible; thankfully Fantasy Flight Games bought the game and updated and revised the rules completely.

The main distinguishing feature of the game is the Pathfinder system, a series of coloured circles printed on the large format boards that regulate combat and line of sight, speeding up play greatly. The game and its expansions come with very nice pre-painted miniatures and top-quality components.

My original rules reference pack includes card-sized references for the equipment packs used by the various characters. The revised FFG rules summary does not include equipment pack cards, for copyright reasons, but also includes rules from all three expansions so far.

Update Log

Date Version Changelog
Feb 2012 3 Revised summary updated with the Operation Hinansho supplement; changes throughout.
Feb 2011 2 Revised summary updated with the Novgorod and Daedalus supplements
Jun 2008 3.1 Original summary revisions
? 1 Original releases


  • CK Lai says:

    It’s a pity you never (couldn’t?) make the various Pack summaries… it would tremendously simplify playing the game. (I’ve started but haven’t finished mine). There are several on BGG, but the only complete set don’t look all that great (although I do use them in a pinch).

    • CK Lai says:

      (Or maybe now that Tannhauser is considered a “dead” game — technically, it’s not, but does anyone seriously think FFG will revive it? — they won’t be so stringent with copyright?)

  • The8thPagan says:

    Shame about Tannhäuser. Fun to play (although I’m something of an expert at losing).

    I have everything except for Union and Reich trooper packs (always on the lookout for those). The Japan army will never expand beyond the five figures which is a shame.

    I ended up making mini hero cards (strips really, as they take up less table space) with metal white board so that I could use magnets to hold the health dial (which was constantly being knocked in play).

  • CK Lai says:

    @ UH: Yeah… don’t blame you. With about 29-ish models @ 3 Equipment packs per model, that’s like 80+ cards (not including the bonus ones) for all factions.

    Re: the Shogunate faction. Yeah, I just played 2 games with them yesterday using Natalya’s expansion pack scenario “Attacking The Darkness”. Their heavy hitters are good but all melee-based. They really need some good ranged heroes. I’m looking for some good proxies for them. Haven’t found anything that works. Yet.

  • The8thPagan says:

    Have you considered Heroclix and rebasing/repainting them?

    The Marvel universe has some possibilities for oriental types, particularly some of those that have crossed paths with Wolverine. Silver Samurai, Sunfire, Yukio, are some that come to mind.

  • The8thPagan says:

    How could I forget Psylocke? And the Mandarin!

  • CK Lai says:

    Oh yeah. I’ve got the Samurai, Blade and a few others already, but decided not to use them because… again, melee fighters. Sunfire is a little to much into the superhero side of things, so again not.

    We’re looking at basically humans. Maybe a bit amped up (Edison, Natalya… probably Captain America fits pretty well in this category). But ranged fighters. The Matriarchy has Tesla weaponry. The Reich has Mental/Occult powers. The Union has advanced weaponry also.

    What does the Shogunate have?

  • The8thPagan says:

    Shuriken and bullets! Magic seems logical with the presence of an Oni. Which is why I suggested Psylocke with mental attacks. As you mention… it’s tricky.

  • CK Lai says:

    Oh, cool! Thanks. I sort of lost track with the Marvel universe about 10 years ago… but I lost track of the X-Men earlier than that.

    How does Lady Mandarin sound?

    Innate Ability: Psychic Knife. Mental Attack.

    Melee with twin Katanas, giving the double attacks of Iroh and Mizu.

    Limited teleportation. Can use once a game.

  • The8thPagan says:

    Lady Mandarin was Psylocke alias when she was working for the Mandarin. Going back a bit, around X-Men 250 (wiki corrected my memory, 256).

    • CK Lai says:

      I know. That’s where I got my info from as well. But Lady Mandarin definitely sounds more Oriental-ish than Psylocke, right? 😉

  • This all seems the good subject for a forum thread! 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.