Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Short Update

The last month has been busier at work and home that I expected, meaning I haven't had much of a chance for gaming and other hobby activities. But last week Kevin and I got together for a couple hours of gaming. This gave me a chance to pull out my version of Naval Battle in Archipelago.
My Kickstarter version of the game
The game is sort of the spiritual successor to Seastrike, in that it is an easy, fast-play modern naval game. The version I got came with some extras, including two game boards and miniatures.

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.
Starting forces
I had four ships (a torpedo boat, a destroyer, a frigate with a helicopter, and a missile corvette) and a base (the base roster is in the upper left and has extra ammunition for the ships and helicopter, along with repair tokens for the ships). Pretty much all the information you need for running your ships is on the forms and is pretty easy to read, once you figure out the symbols. The game also comes with a couple reference sheets to help remind you of movement and combat restrictions.

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
When you fire a weapon, the marker on the ship form is removed and you roll dice to see if you get a hit.
My helicopter lining up for an attack on Kevin's frigate
The number and type of dice used depends on the weapon. If the roll is greater than or equal to the range to the target, you get a hit (there are a couple other things to, but those are the basics). If you get a hit, you place the weapon marker on target do show damage.
My torpedo boat sunk by a surface to surface missile with one torpedo still onboard
During the game, Kevin rolled poorly for his attacks, while I rolled about average. I ended up losing my torpedo boat and having a couple damaged ships, while sinking all of Kevin's ships.

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.