Sunday, October 26, 2014

More Naval Games, More Foolish Spending

September and October have not been thrifty months for me. I bought a big pile of lead (modern and 15mm sci-fi) and a bunch of books and rules.

First up, is the computer game Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations by Warfare

I've never been much of a computer gamer. First-person shoot 'em ups just don't appeal to me, no matter how fantastic the graphics are. Back in the 90s, I played Doom, Ultima, Diablo, and Mythic, mainly because my friends in grad school did. The only game I really liked was the Civilization series.

So, why this one? One of my problems is finding a reasonable set of rules for modern naval gaming for my Chalupastan War campaign. I read about this game on the War Is Boring website.  The author used this game to simulate a battle between China and the Philippines over some island in the China Sea. The thing I liked about it when I looked into the game is that you can design your own scenarios, and modify ships, seemingly to the point of building your own ships. The price is a little steep ($95), but having recently been promoted to full professor, I felt I could splurge.  The game claims that you don't have to micromanage things, but the one practice game I did play, I felt like I was doing so. In the space of maybe two hours in game time, my Spruance-class destroyer was badly knocked out of commission and I had no idea if I had hit the practice target with my cruise missiles. To be fair, I have not played since then due to a lack of time, but even if I do get the time, I think its going to be a while before I start tinkering with the ships and making my own scenarios to fit my fictional campaign.

Next is the 1987 edition of Harpoon Modern Naval Wargame Rules by Larry Bond.

In an earlier post, I bought and had a cursory review the most recent version of Harpoon (4th edition). While it is very detailed, It seems overwhelming to play, especially if I dare play it solo.  Recently on TMP, someone ran a Falklands game using the 1987 version and the comments were that is much more playable than this most recent one. My used copy of it came in the mail today, so I can't say anything about it. Besides being the older edition, I wanted to compare it to other games that I already own just as Shipwreck. Bulldogs Away!, and Surface Battle Group. There are some things like in these other rules that I like better than in 4th ed. Harpoon, but there are some aspects in each I don't care for.


  1. Congrats on the promotion, just means more responsibility = more stress. LOL.
    My feeling on modern naval rules is stick to one set you feel comfortable with. I will say Bulldogs away is great for destroyer and smaller only battles, but mainly corvette level. Take rules from other sets and taylor your core set.

  2. Chris,
    The Bulldogs Away rules are great for DD and below games only. I would say depending on what you want,
    take snippits of each to make something YOU are
    comfortable with. BTW congrats on making full pooh
    bah professor!