In Grey Ranks, you will assume the role of a young Polish partisan before, during, and after the disastrous 1944 Uprising against the Germans. Together with your friends, you’ll create the story of a group of teens who fight to free their city, one of countless Grey Ranks “crews” that take up arms. Your characters – child soldiers – will have all the faults and enthusiasms of youth. Across sixty days of armed rebellion, they will grow up fast – or die.
The story you create is informed by many things. Grey Ranks has a scene structure, and each scene corresponds to a specific date in 1944. A broadcast of the Polish underground radio station, Radio Lightning, prefaces each scene and provides some background. In addition to Radio Lightning, you’ll choose historical and dramatic elements that pique your interest to include in each scene. The game is collaborative, and together with your friends you’ll work to create challenging, exciting, and poignant scenes for your crew – some mission-oriented, and some strictly personal.
As the game progresses, success becomes increasingly difficult and you’ll be faced with difficult choices. Is achieving a goal worth destroying the Thing your character Holds Dear? How will Reputations change over time as youngsters have adulthood thrust upon them? The emotional state of your crew is tied to the Grid, which tracks their individual condition as they are drawn to the opposing extremes of love and hate, enthusiasm and exhaustion. Success or failure will pull them in unexpected directions, and where these strong currents intersect lie death and heartbreak.