Sniper! Game of
Man-to-Man Combat, 1941-90
This update of
Sniper! was a very much improved 2nd edition in many
respects. It combined the original Sniper! and
games by SPI into one game, improved the graphics, expanded the
scope of the game, and eliminated many cumbersome rules,
Simultaneous Movement system.
The game came in a
standard 9" x 11.5" x 2" box containing two large 22" x 34" paper
maps (double sided, with urban terrain on one side and rural terrain
on the other), a 32 page rules booklet, a sheet of vehicle pieces on
cardstock (these vehicles were square, however, unlike the original
trapezoidal vehicles in the original game), two six-sided dice, a
plastic counter tray, and 600 die-cut counters.
The maps were
identical to each other, allowing for
double-blind play. While one side
of the maps depicted urban combat similar to the first Sniper!
game, the other depicted rural terrain. The urban map made better
use of colour than the original, with grey hexes representing
pavement and different sized buildings color coded according to the
number of floors they had.The countersheets also had very colorful
unit and system counters.
The rules were at
least as complex as the original edition, but were divided into
Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and Optional rules, forming a form of
In an article in
Volume 2, Number 6 of Wargamer Magazine (May-June 1988),
designer Steve Winter stated:
I find it
immensely interesting that when I first started revising the
Sniper! and Patrol games in 1985, there were only two
other wargames (that I am aware of) that covered modern combat at
man-to-man scale. Since then, at least three more have been
published (two of which, like the Sniper! game, were based heavily
on previously published games). Yet, despite this surge of
man-to-man games, very few articles have been published about any
It's not entirely
clear which two man-to-man wargames Winter is referring to. Close
Assault by S. Craig Taylor was set in the Second World War and
released by Yaquinto in 1983. A contemporary sequel was released by
Avalon Hill in 1984 as Firepower. One of the other "modern"
games mentioned by Winter may be Ranger which dealt with
post-1945 combat (released in 1984 by Omega Games). A much earlier
game named City Fight had been released by SPI in 1979 and
may also be what Winter refers to.
The game used a
ground scale of two metres per hex and between thirty seconds and
five minutes of time per turn. The game scale meant that vehicles in
the occupied up to eight hexes simultaneously. The vehicles cards
provided in the 2nd edition (and the two follow-ups) were square
rather than geometric as had been provided in the first edition.
Two military sequels
followed (called Companion Games, they were standalone products not
requiring possession of Sniper! in order to play), one a
Second World War title, the other a contemporary Special Forces
title. A third title in a science fiction setting was also released.
Sniper! Game of Man-to-Man Combat, 1941-90
||► 2 double-sided 22"x34"
► 32 page rules booklet
► vehicle sheet
► plastic counter tray
► 600 1/2" counters
► 2 6-sided dice
All photos from the