Sample Play

Below is an example of the type of story that No Soldier Left Behind can evoke. This is from an actual playthrough of the Hippocratic Oath scenario. The text in the left colun is what is happening mechanically, and the text in the right column is what you might be seeing in your mind's eye as you play the game.

Here is a map of the game scenario.

The players have selected the Hippocratic Oath scenario to play, a scenario for two players.

They begin the scenario in the Outskirts location at the far northeast of the map.

Five medics are attending to some wounded soldiers in a barn just outside of Ouren when they hear over the radio that some soldiers have been wounded and need help. After a quick discussion, they decide that two of them need to attempt a rescue.

As ranking officer, the decision of who goes and who stays falls to Cpt. Abbas. He decides he can only spare himself and one other man, and he selects Cpl. Blake to accompany him on this mission.

Leaving the makeshift infirmary to the other medics, the two soldiers take their rifles, lace their boots up tight, and trudge out into the predawn snow.

The players draw two Allied cards each. These cards give the soldiers unique abilities or personal reserves during play.

Abbas draws the Father Was In The Military and Natural Leader cards for his solder. These give him special reserves of Leadership and Training, and when he uses Leadership symbols to help Blake, Blake will get to roll two dice instead of one, taking the best result.

Blake draws Combat Aptitude and Endurance as his Allies cards. These give him special reserves of Stealth and Tactics, and when he moves to a new location, the cost in Movement symbols is reduced by one.

Abbas comes from a long line of military families, and has natural leadership abilities, so it is little wonder how he rose to the rank of Captain so quickly.

Abbas chose Blake to accompany him because the young medic, though largely untested, has shown considerable combat aptitude and endurance, both of which Abbas fears will be necessary on this mission.

Turn One

There is an unknown wilderness between their current location and the village of Ouren, so they will need to clear the Fog of War before they can proceed.

So, they both choose Recon, Training, and Leadership as their resources to accrue.

Recon ♦ ✕ ✕
Training ♦ ✕ ✕
Leadership ♦ ✕ ✕

(In No Soldier Left Behind, soldiers accrue these symbols on tracks of length three. They are placed in the first column or space on the track. Above, the ♦ represents a symbol token on the track, and the ✕ represents a space on the track that is empty, with no symbol on it.)

They stop for a moment, looking down into the snowy forest that stands between them and Ouren. They will need all their attention and training, but they will also need to rely on each other.

Abbas decides he will try to clear the central Fog of War to give them a direct route to the center of the target area.

He takes a a Training ♦ off his track to spend it. This lets him roll the Soldier die to accrue ☆.

He rolls a blank, so he earns no ☆ to clear the Fog of War.

However, Leadership tokens may be spent to let another soldier reroll the die until he rolls at least one ☆. So Blake spends a Leadership ♦ to let Abbas reroll the die. He rolls one ☆, which is enough to clear the Fog of War.

He flips over the location hex tile, revealing Open Field:

Open Field Hex

Since the hex has a Recon value of one, they place one Threat Token (a little black cube) on the tile. If they were to move into that tile without clearing it, they could accrue Threat, which makes enemy encounters more likely to come out.

The players do not like the looks of that open field because it affords no Stealth or Tactical advantage against attackers.

Abbas trudges through the snow in the direction of Ouren, trying to scout ahead. Blake accompanies him.

Abbas asks what the terrain is like off to the southwest, which is the most direct approach to Ouren. Blake tells him that it is mostly an open field. Their movement would be quick, but they would be exposed to detection and attack.

There is another adjacent Fog of War. Blake attempts to clear it. He spends a Training ♦ and rolls ☆ on the Soldier die, which lets him flip it over. It is a Sparse Forest:

Sparse Forest Hex

The players like this approach to Ouren better, because it can at least offer a Stealth Advantage, even if it requires more Movement to get through.

Because of the tile's Recon value of two, they place two Threat Tokens on it.

Blake motions to Abbas, pointing through the sparsely-forested region just to the east of the field. They could approach Ouren with at least some cover, with only a slight delay.

Abbas thinks for a moment, and agrees that they should head through the forest. The wounded soldiers need their help, but the medics will do them no good if they don't even make it to Ouren. They head off towards the forest.

Blake spends a Recon ♦ to try to clear the Threat tokens from the Sparse Forest. He rolls a blank, so Abbas spends a Leadership ♦ to assist. Because of Abbas' Natural Leader ability, Blake can roll two dice and take the best result.

Blake rolls a ☆ and a ☆☆, so he takes the latter result, and clears the location.

Blake takes point. He scans the area, looking for the telltale signs of Wehrmacht solders in the blowing snow.

Untested, he is not sure what to look for, but Abbas backs him up, pointing out the locations he should check as they progress.

Finding no threats in the direction they want to go, they trudge towards Ouren.

Abbas decides to conserve his last remaining Recon symbol, so they end the Allies turn. It is now the Axis turn.

Both soldiers roll the Soldier die to accrue Threat. Luckily, they both roll blanks, so no Threat is accrued this turn.

They draw a Wehrmacht Fire Team as the Axis card, but since there is no Threat in the Threat Pool to pay for it, it is discarded.

They roll for the bleeding soldiers in Ouren to see if they survive into the next turn. Sadly, the southernmost solder dies.

The Axis turn ends, and the Allies turn begins.

All is quiet in the forest. As far as they can tell, they have gone undetected.

As they trudge through the snow, they get notice over the radio that one of the soldiers they were going to help has died from his wounds. They pause for a moment, wondering if they will be able to save any of them, then continue on.

Turn Two

The soldiers "drain" their symbols, moving them one spot to the right on their reserve tracks.

Then, the soldiers accrue three symbols each. Their reserves now look like this:

Movement ♦ ✕ ✕
Recon ♦ ✕ ✕
Bravery ♦ ✕ ✕
Leadership ✕ ♦ ✕

Movement ♦ ✕ ✕
Recon ♦ ✕ ✕
Leadership ♦ ✕ ✕

They both move south into the Sparse Forest. Because the destination has a Move of two, they must spend two Movement ♦ to move there.

Abbas spends one Movement ♦ and one Bravery ♦ as Movement. (Bravery has the special property that it can be spent as any other symbol, representing your ability to stay calm and achieve more when under pressure.)

Blake, thanks to his Endurance ability, has his movement cost reduced by one, so he spends Movement ♦, and accompanies Abbas.

They enter the sparse forest area, watching intently for enemies. Abbas struggles with the deep snow, but he powers through it. Blake, with his natural endurance, moves through the snow with ease.

Directly south of them is a Village hex tile, where one of the soldiers lay wounded.

Village Hex

Since it has a Recon value of three, it starts the game with three Threat symbols on it.

Abbas spends Recon ♦ to try to reconnoiter the Village location directly south of them. He rolls ☆☆☆, and so can clear it of all three Threat symbols.

Blake spends Recon ♦ to try to reconnoiter the Village location to the southwest. He rolls a blank, but Abbas spends a Leadership ♦ to let him reroll until he gets at least one ☆.

Thanks to Abbas' Natural Leader ability, Blake picks up another Soldier die and starts rolling. Blake rolls double-blanks on his first reroll, but on his second reroll, he rolls a blank and a ☆☆☆! They have cleared both adjacent village locations of Threat.

Abbas and Blake reach the edge of the forest, and crouch down in the snow to reconnoiter the village of Ouren. They watch intently, looking for a safe approach. Just as Blake thinks it is clear and gets up to start his approach, Abbas grabs his arm, pulling him back down - a Wehrmacht soldier shouldering a rifle was walking the perimeter of a building a few hundred yards to the west. They wait for him to complete his circuit.

They do not have the symbols needed to move into the Village yet, so they end their turn. The Axis turn begins.

Rolling for Threat, both players groan - they have both rolled ☆☆☆, adding a whopping six Threat tokens to the Threat Pool.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

They draw the MineField card from the Axis deck this turn. The MineField has a Threat Cost of 8, so there is not enough Threat in the pool to buy it, so it is discarded, but the threat level is increasing as the soldiers get closer to Ouren!

They roll for the bleeding soldiers. Thankfully, none of them die this turn. The Axis turn ends, and the Allies turn begins.

All remains quiet on the outskirts of Ouren. There is still no sign of them having been detected. Checking in over the radio, they confirm that the wounded soldiers are still alive.

Turn Three

The soldiers drain and accrue symbols. Their reserves now look like this:

Movement ♦ ✕ ✕
Training ♦ ✕ ✕
Bravery ♦ ✕ ✕

Stealth ♦ ✕ ✕
Training ♦ ✕ ✕
Bravery ♦ ✕ ✕
Leadership ✕ ♦ ✕

The two soldiers move south into the Village. The Village only has a Move value of one, so Abbas only has to spend Movement ♦ and Blake can enter for free.

Waiting for the opportune time, they hustle across the narrow open area between the forest and the buildings of Ouren, crouching in the shadows and keeping their eyes peeled for danger.

Skulking around the village, they find the building the wounded soldier is holed up in. The lone soldier watching over him motions them inside, and continues watching the street for German soldiers as the two medics climb the stairs into a dark bedroom.

There, lying on the bed, is a wounded soldier. His arm is a mess of blood and bone, the blood loss squeezed off with a makeshift tourniquet, but the amount of blood on the sheets, and the fact that the man is laying unconscious rather than writhing in pain, makes it clear he is in danger of dying. Another soldier is attending to him as best he can, but, no medic, has been unable to stabilize him.

Blake spends Traning ♦ to attempt to stabilize the dying soldier. He rolls a ☆. He only needs one, so he stabilizes the soldier.

Blake and Abbas get to work. After an hour of work, they stabilize him. He will lose his arm, but he will probably live. Abbas tells the two soldiers who were watching over the wounded soldier that he needs to be taken to the medic station. He gives them directions, and they head off.

Even though the Threat level is getting high, they decide to press their luck and move northwest into the other Village location.

This time, Abbas spends a Bravery ♦ as Movement to move. Blake moves for free on these easy streets.

Now, only two soldiers lay dying, deeper into the German-held village of Ouren. Rather than holing up and resting here, they steel their resolve and head deeper into the village streets.

They make their way, skirting a German patrol, to an old millery where the second soldier lies bleeding. The man is alone, but conscious. His leg has a bullet wound in it which he has wrapped a bloody shirt around and tied, but the blood-soaked fabric shows the man is still losing blood.

This time, Abbas spends Training ♦ to try to stabilize the wounded soldier. He rolls a blank, so Blake uses a Leadership ♦ to let him reroll. This time, he rolls a ☆, which is enough. Two of the three soldiers are stabilized - only one left!

Abbas rushes over and begins attending to the wound while Blake keeps watch. He works quickly, but has to call Blake over for some help holding the man down while he sutures the wound. Soon, the bleeding has stopped, and the wound closed.

They radio a nearby platoon that the man has been saved, because they need to get moving towards the last surviving soldier. The man thanks them, and grips his rifle to give them cover as they leave the building.

Since they are getting high in Threat in the Threat Pool, Blake decides to hedge his bets and buy a Stealth Advantage token. Since the Village has a Stealth of one, this only costs him Stealth ♦.

Then, they are done, and the Axis turn begins.

Blake takes point again, sticking to the shadows.

The two roll for Threat again, and are amazed that they both roll ☆☆☆ again. With a Threat Pool of twelve, Ouren is getting very dangerous!

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

They draw an Advance Patrol card. Since it has a Threat Cost of eight, there is enough to pay for it in the pool. The pool drains down to four, and the Advance Patrol is put into play.

Advance Patrol card

As Abbas follows Blake towards the shadows, gunshots ring out! An advance patrol of three German soldiers has spotted him!

The Ongoing Effect of the Advance Patrol takes effect. One soldier suffers incoming fire.

If they both had either a Stealth or Tactics Advantage, they could ignore the ongoing effects, but since Abbas has neither, there is no point in Blake discarding his Stealth Advantage.

Abbas rolls the Wound die and breathes a sign of relief when it comes up blank.

Finally, they roll to see if the remaining soldier dies. He does not, and so the Axis turn ends. The Allied turn begins.

Abbas dives for cover, bullets whizzing over his head!

Turn Four

The soldiers cannot leave a location while there is an active Axis card in it, so they must deal with the threat of the Advance Patrol before they can move to help the last soldier.

The soldiers drain and accrue symbols. Their reserves now look like this:

Firepower ♦ ✕ ✕
Stealth ♦ ✕ ✕
Bravery ♦ ✕ ✕

Firepower ♦ ✕ ✕
Bravery ♦ ♦ ✕
Leadership ♦ ✕ ✕

Abbas spends Firepower ♦ to attack the Advance Patrol, but when he rolls the die, he rolls a blank, so Blake spends a Leadership ♦ to help him. On the reroll, he gets ☆☆☆.

They put three tokens on the Advance Patrol. The Advance Patrol has a Challenge Rating of six, so they are halfway to retiring this challenge.

Abbas pops up and fires his rifle, missing. The Germans dive for cover themselves, but Blake opens fire from his position. Having caught them in a crossfire, one of the soldiers go down.

Blake spends his own Firepower ♦ and rolls ☆☆☆ on his first roll! Combined with the three damage that Abbas added, they have six, which equals the Challenge Rating of the Advance Patrol. The Advance Patrol is discarded.

Blake continues firing, and takes out the other two soldiers.

The players discuss what to do. Blake could move on to the Ruined Village, but Abbas would not be able to follow. But Blake could attempt to stabilize the soldier, so they decide to risk it.

Abbas spends Stealth ♦ to buy a Stealth Advantage token.

Abbas, shaking and winded from his encounter with the Advance Patrol, staggers out from his cover position and into the shadows of the nearby building.

He knows that the advance patrol is likely going to be followed up by more soldiers. Not only would he slow down Blake, but the German reinforcements would be able to follow them in the snow.

He waves Blake on, telling him to go find the last wounded soldier. He crouches down by the edge of the building, raises his rifle, and waits for the Germans to approach. Maybe he can buy Blake enough time to save the last soldier...

The Ruined Village has a Move of two, so Blake can spend one Bravery ♦ as Movement to enter it with his Endurance ability.

Ruined Village card

However, they have not cleared the Threat tokens from the location yet, so for each of the three tokens there, Blake must roll the Soldier die and add a Threat to the Threat Pool for each ☆ rolled.

He rolls three dice, and rolls ☆☆☆.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hustling, Blake scampers towards the section of Ouren which has been pounded with artillery shelling.

He slows when he gets there. Rubble litters the streets, and it clatters and crunches underfoot as he picks his way through the bricks and broken glass. Worried that the noise may alert an alert German sentry, he presses onward as best he can, hurrying.

Blake is in the location with the last wounded soldier. He spends a Bravery ♦ as Training in an attempt to save him.

He rolls a ☆, but when you spend Bravery as another symbol to roll the die, you earn one less ☆. He fails.

And with that, the Allies turn ends, and the Axis turn begins.

Blake reaches a destroyed house where the last solder lies. Ducking under a wooden beam, he enters the gloom of the ruin.

Inside is a soldier, passed out from a bullet wound to the abdomen. Blake rushes to his side, checks the pulse. The man is alive, but barely.

He sets to work, but instantly, he knows that his skill and training as a medic may not be up to the task to save this man. He curses under his breath as he works.

The soldiers roll for Threat. Together, they roll ☆☆☆.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

From the Axis deck, they draw a Scout. Its Threat Cost is low enough to pay for it, so it is put into play. The players can choose which of their locations it can go, so they decide to put it in the Village with Abbas.

Scout card

Abbas spends his Stealth Advantage token to avoid its ongoing effect.

The players roll the die for the final wounded soldier. He does not die yet, and the Axis turn ends.

Abbas watches from the shadows as a German soldier comes walking into the area. Not knowing how many other soldiers are with him, Abbas hunkers down and watches.

The man finds the bodies of his comrades, and crouches, looking around. Slowly, he scans the area, and Abbas watches him intently.

Eventually, the man stands up, and cautiously starts checking the alleys of the area. It is only a matter of time before Abbas is found.

Turn Five

The soldiers drain and accrue symbols. Their reserves now look like this:

Stealth ♦ ✕ ✕
Bravery ♦ ♦ ✕
Heroism ♦ ✕ ✕

Training ♦ ✕ ✕
Bravery ♦ ✕ ✕
Heroism ♦ ✕ ✕

Abbas intends to take care of the Scout before he can add too much Threat to the pool, so he spends Stealth ♦ to roll the die. Before he does so, he spends Heroism ♦ to roll two dice and take the best result. He rolls a blank and ☆.

He places one token on the Scout card. He only needs two to finish it off, so he spends a Bravery as Stealth to try again. He rolls a blank.

With his remaining Bravery, he can either try to finish off the Scout, or buy a Stealth Advantage. He opts for the latter, in case he fails the roll.

Abbas creeps out of his hiding spot, and starts making his way closer to the lone soldier, but there are no places to hide between him and his quarry. Waiting until the man turns his attention in the opposite direction, Abbas scoots across the street and flattens himself against a brick wall nearer the soldier.

Quietly, he draws his knife.

Blake spends his Training ♦ and Hero ♦ to try to stabilize the soldier. Rolling two dice, he rolls a blank and a ☆. The last wounded soldier is stabilized.

Knowing that another Axis card was likely to come out, and that it would have to come out in his area because of the Scout still being in Abbas' location, he decides to buy a Stealth Advantage token, using his final Bravery ♦ and a Stealth ♦ from his Combat Aptitude reserve.

Working frantically, Blake draws upon everything he had been taught about field dressing. After some tense moments where the man spasmed and coughed, Blake was able to administer morphine and begin suturing the man's abdomen.

It was not pretty work, but when Blake leaned backwards in the rubble, exhausted, he was certain that he had at least given this soldier a chance at life.

Wondering how Abbas was faring, he peered over the broken wall into the driving snow. His combat aptitude served him well, because before he made himself visible, he stopped and watched.

Shapes were moving out there.

Silently, he watched as a squad of German soldiers trudged past in the snow, and receded. He would have to stay hidden at least until the wounded soldier could be carried out.

The Allies turn is over, and the Axis turn begins. Both soldiers roll for Threat and roll a total of ☆☆☆.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

They draw another Axis card, and Mortar Shelling comes into play. Because there is already an encounter in Abbas' location, it comes into play where Blake is.

Mortar Shelling card

Stealth Advantage does not help against Mortar Shelling, and Blake cannot spend a Movement ♦, so he must roll the Wound die. Luckily, he rolls a blank.

So intently focused on the possibility of individual soldiers, Blake is surprised by the sound of incoming mortar shells! A blast shakes his skull as he falls to the ground. Dust falls from the ruined second floor above, and Blake struggles to shake off the effects of the concussive blast.

To deal with the ongoing effects of the Scout, Abbas spends his Stealth Advantage token.

After that, the Axis turn is over.

Hearing shelling in the distance, Abbas takes the opportunity of the cover of noise to jog across the alleyway into a more shadowy area beyond. His quarry does not notice him.

Turn Six

The soldiers drain and accrue symbols. Their reserves now look like this:

Stealth ♦ ✕ ✕
Bravery ♦ ✕ ✕
Heroism ♦ ✕ ✕

Tactics ♦ ✕ ✕
Bravery ♦ ✕ ✕
Heroism ♦ ✕ ✕

Abbas tries again to take out the Scout. He spends Stealth ♦ and Heroism ♦ to roll two dice in the attempt. He groans as he rolls a double blank.

Not feeling it wise to push his luck, he spends his Bravery ♦ on another Stealth Advantage token.

The cat-and-mouse game does not play to Abbas' advantage, as the German soldier he hunts takes turn after turn that makes it impossible for Abbas to get closer. He decides to hunker down in a sheltered spot and watch for a moment.

Blake uses Tactics ♦ and Heroism ♦ to try to escape the Mortar Shelling. He rolls a ☆☆☆ and a blank. He puts three tokens on the card.

He then spends the Tactics ♦ from his special reserve, and again rolls ☆☆☆.

With a total of six "damage" to the Mortar Shelling card, which equals its Challenge Rating, it is discarded. Blake is pleasantly surprised; he had held back a Bravery to spend as Movement in case he failed, but now he will not have to use it.

Luckily, the soldier he just saved is smaller than him, because Blake struggles to pull the soldier out of the rubble, just before it collapses from the thundering weight of the mortar shelling. He pulls the man into a dusty stairwell and leans him against a doorway, relatively safe from the shelling.

That is all they can do, so the Axis turn begins. Together, they roll another ☆☆☆ for Threat.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

They draw the Sniper card, but the pool does not have enough Threat to pay for it, so it is discarded.

Abbas spends his Stealth Advantage card again to avoid the Scout, and the Axis turn is over.

Abbas hears the soldier talking to someone on the radio, and watches from the shadows. Not knowing German, Abbas has no idea what is being said, but he gets the feeling he needs to get out of there, and soon.

Turn Seven

The soldiers drain and accrue symbols. Their reserves now look like this:

Stealth ♦ ✕ ✕
Leadership ♦ ✕ ✕
Bravery ♦ ✕ ✕

Stealth ♦ ✕ ✕
Bravery ♦ ♦ ✕
Leadership ♦ ✕ ✕

Blake moves to the village (for free, thanks to Endurance).

Abbas spends Stealth ♦ to attack the Scout challenge. He rolls a blank.

Blake spends a Leadership ♦, and on the reroll, Abbas scores another ☆. The Scout card is discarded.

Because all the surviving soldiers are stabilized and there are no more active challenges, the players have won the game!

Realizing he won't be able to move the wounded soldier to the medical station on his own, Blake rushes back towards where he left Abbas, hoping to get his help moving the soldier.

When he gets there, he finds the Wehrmacht soldier holding a gun on Abbas. Abbas had tried one too many times to sneak up on the soldier, and he had been captured.

With one word from Blake, the German spun around, giving Abbas the opportunity to lash out and grab the gun. After a brief struggle, the German lay face-down in the snow, a bayonet wound in his stomach.

They hustle into the snow and back to the wounded soldier. Together, they will be able to carry him to the forest and make their way back to the medic station.


Each surviving player soldier (Abbas and Blake) earn two points, plus one for every surviving scenario soldier, for a total scenario score of seven out of a possible eight. Not bad.

Mission accomplished!

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