|My Kickstarter version of the game|
Instead of using a paper form or rosters to keep track of weapons, damage, and fuel, Naval Battle in the Archipelago comes with cardboard forms and lots of counters/markers (aka "fiddly-bits") to track those items. The photo below is my starting forces for the game.
During a game turn, each side moves their forces and then shoots. You normally don't get to move all your ships or aircraft during the turn, so you have to make decisions about which ones are going to put you in the right places. But any ship or aircraft can attack during your turn.
Since we just wanted a small game, we used the small map. But that did make maneuvering around a little more difficult, since all the ships except the torpedo boat needed deep water for movement and there was a limited amount of that.
|My forces on the map|
|My helicopter lining up for an attack on Kevin's frigate|
|My torpedo boat sunk by a surface to surface missile with one torpedo still onboard|
The game has several different scenarios that provide some interesting situation. During game play, there are enough decisions and different ship/weapon types to keep it interesting. Additionally, there are rules (and fiddly-bits) for land troops and commandos. So you can conduct amphibious landings and raids. Overall, we thought it was a fun little game.
In other developments, I saw a preview of Warlord Games new naval game called Cruel Seas. If you haven't seen the preview, it can be found on the Wargame News and Terran blog. They have some nice photos of the preview in the blog. It looks like the game will cover coastal actions during World War 2 using 1/300 scale ships and aircraft. I'm interested in seeing the rules, but I'm not sure if I want to get into another scale, since I already have a lot of 1/600-700 stuff. It is supposed to be out some time in December, so I'm sure more previews are coming soon.