Turkish Wars
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Wars fought by one of my favourite countries: Turkey. Conflicts, campaigns and battles of the Ottoman Empire and Turkish Republic, until the War of Turkish Liberation (1919-1923) and the Korea War (1950-1953).

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1. Board Game: Byzantium [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:9170]
Javier Romero
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Byzantium is a game covering the high point of the Byzantine Empire, from the 8th century defeat of the Arabs to the fall of Constantinople in 1204 AD.... Byzantium can be played with up to four players: the Byzantines, the Franks, the Khazars, and the Muslims. Each player represents a single great power or alliance. Players must use a combination of military strength and cunning strategy to maintain and increase their power.

"Muslims" may be represented by Seljuk Turks in several of the game's scenarios.
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2. Board Game: The Siege of Constantinople [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:9845]
Javier Romero
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Historical simulation of the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. There are rules for two games included; one which covers the final assault, in which most of the action occurred (~2 hrs), and one which covers the entire siege (~4 hrs).

Considered to be the "fifth quad" game from The Art of Siege set.

S&T 66 (1978)
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3. Board Game: Fall of Constantinople [Average Rating:5.60 Unranked]
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Fall of Constantinople was published in Panzerschreck Magazine #6 (Summer, 2001). The game consists of an 8.5 x 11 inch map, several dozen colorful but unmounted counters, and twelve pages of rules. The rules include many examples of play, several optional rules (among them two-player possibilities), and designer notes.

From the introduction:
Fall of Constantinople is a solitaire game about the climatic battle, following weeks of assaults and bombardments, that occurred during the great siege of 1453. The gamer commands the Ottoman Turks, and the system plays the Byzantine Christian defenders.
 
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4. Board Game: By the Walls of Constantinople [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Javier Romero
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From the One Page Wars game series.

A simple game of ship to ship combat in 1453 from the One Page Wars series. Four Byzantine galleys try to break through a large contingent of Ottoman vessels and get to the Golden Horn. The mapsheet uses irregular shaped areas and the game abstractly covers boarding and ranged combat.
 
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5. Board Game: Lepanto [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:12140]
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Spanish really-hard-to-find game simulating the historic naval battle of Lepanto. This is the same game as Waddington's Campaign, except with a naval theme.
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6. Board Game: The Battle of Lepanto [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:10894]
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S&T depiction of the famous battle of Lepanto.

The Battle of Lepanto is a two-player or multi-player (Ottoman versus Christian) operational level game, designed by Robert Cowling. The game includes 280 die-cut counters, with the each warship chit representing two ships per counter; there are three primary ships types: Galleys, Galliots and Galleasses, each with different capabilities. The colorful map features the Ionian Sea, printed with the historical set up of both sides just as the two opposing fleets were arrayed to begin battle, as well as various charts and tables for easy reference during play. The land area featured represents the peninsular areas of the Grecian mainland.

The rules entail a variety of mechanics pertaining to 16th century naval combat, such as Wind Direction, Ramming, Boarding, Small-Arms Fire, Gunnery Ranges, Exhaustion, Galliot Shoreline Movement, Christian Small-Arms Advantages, Ottoman Maneuver Advantages, as well as the designations of the historical admirals in the battle, such as Don Juan, Ali Pasha, etc.
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7. Board Game: The Ottomans: Rise of the Turkish Empire [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:10955]
Javier Romero
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Joe Miranda's strategic-level simulation of the rise of the Ottoman Empire during the 16th -17th centuries.

Published in S&T #222 (2004)

Ottomans is a historical simulation of the rise of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th and 16th centuries. That era saw the Ottomans go from a small nation competing for survival in the Near East to a regional superpower, forming a state that lasted until the end of the First World War. To build their empire, the Ottomans conquered the remnant of the Byzantine Empire, won smashing victories over other Islamic states and twice pushed to the gates of Vienna.

There are four factions in the game, each represented by a color: the Turks (Ottomans and others), the Holy League (mainly Catholic Europeans), the Orthodox (eastern Christians), and the Caliphate (a general term for the more established Islamic states). Within each faction there are individual nations. For example, the Turks include the Ottomans and the Seljuks. Each player controls a “core nationality”; that is, one nationality within a faction of which he may never lose control. In the course of the game players may gain control of additional nationalities, some of which may be inimical to each other.
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8. Board Game: The Lash of the Turk [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:10430]
Javier Romero
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Four scenarios, Mohacs, Vienna, Güns and Vienna 1683. Ride with Louis of Hungary, Suleiman the Magnificent, Kara Mustapha or John Sobieski as cultures and armies clash along the Danube.

With the fall of Jerusalem, Europe learned a new synonym for bogeyman - "Turk." Organizing the Moslem forces of the Middle East with discipline and training, the Turks recaptured the Holy Land and gradually took over the rest of Asia Minor and spread into Europe like a slow tide, including capturing Constantinople and swallowing the remnants of the Byzantine Empire and the Balkans. Presuming extreme cruelty, various European leaders called for new crusades, to free fellow Christians from "the Lash of the Turk."

The game covers the tenuous period in history when all of Christian Europe felt threatened by Suleiman the Magnificent, Turkey's greatest sultan. Would Hungary be the next prize for the Ottoman Turks? Would Vienna follow, and the dam of resistance collapse entirely? You decide.

One side features various forces from Europe, who sometimes seem more divided than united by their "common religion." The other side includes the might of the Ottomans with new "allies," vassal states who prefer their new overlords to being part of the Holy Roman Empire.

Designed by Andy Nunez, The Lash of the Turk features 176 large counters and a 22 by 34 inch map covering the area from Graz to Bucharest. Units represent various columns of infantry, artillery, and cavalry. Game rules stress ease of play, but give players lots of options, including river movement and combat, siege rules, forage, and political turncoats. Four different scenarios let you juggle the strengths and weaknesses of the principal leaders for both sides, along with Austrian, Hungarian, Transylvanian, Tartar, Turk, Bavarian, Polish, and Franconian troops and appearances from other nationalities. Can you can hold off the Turks? Can you conquer new lands for Allah? Find out, in ATO #30.

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9. Board Game: Suleiman the Magnificent [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:7832]
Javier Romero
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Suleiman the Magnificent is a game covering the massive battle on August 29th, 1526 between the Ottoman Empire and the army of the Kingdom of Hungary that eventually resulted in the fall of the latter kingdom and the disappearance of Hungary as an independent country for 400 years. The Hungarians numbered around 35,000 (including artillerist), the Ottomans, about 60,000. While there is much disagreement about numbers at this battle, all sources agree that the Ottomans did outnumber the Hungarians significantly. The Hungarian front line was stretched rather thinly to match, or attempt to match, the frontage that would be presented by the Ottomans. The Hungarians had, as was the practice for the last 200 years in European warfare, dug a trench in front of their front line infantry and artillery to give them a defense advantage. The actual battle, which started at around 3:00 PM, lasted but a few hours, maybe less.

Each combat unit represents about 750 men. The map scale is about 225 yards per hex and depicts the flat and, because of the proximity of the oft-overflowing Danube, somewhat soft and, in many places, slippery battlefield at Mohacs.
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10. Board Game: Battaglia di Lepanto 1571 [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Javier Romero
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Self-published Italian game on the battle of Lepanto (1571)

The game includes a hex map depicting the sea and part of the coast, on which the players will setup their fleets of wagalleys. Each wargalley is represented by a hexagonal tile with all important data on it, and with two side (normal and damaged).

Taking turns, the players will give orders (move, board, fire or ram - this last one only available to Ottoman galleys) to their fleet and move their ships in order to win the battle. Orders are issued using Order cards, while the combat is resolved with 6-sided dice. Boardings are resolved by playing tactic cards, attempting to outmaneuvre the opponent. When a player cannot play a tactic card that "parries" his opponent's the boarding is resolved with a roll of dice.

The game lasts 7 turns under the basic rules, and ends when a flagship is captured or destroyed. The game comes with advanced rules for capturing ships, playing the game in 14 turns, adjusting cannon fire, and using different victory conditions. The full colour manual comes with a good historical background and original illustrations.

While self-published the quality of the components is quite good. Contents list as follows:

1 Order Cards deck (movement and combat)
1 Tactical Cards deck (for boardings)
10 6-sided dice
32 hexagonal, double-faced ship tiles
1 board
60 counters (wrecks, orders given, captured ship)
1 32-pages full colour rulebook
Note: the game is only in Italian.
 
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11. Board Game: Donde No se Ponía el Sol [Average Rating:5.95 Unranked]
Javier Romero
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The Tunis scenario includes Ottoman troops. Future installments in this series will include Castilnuovo (Herzeg Novi).
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12. Board Game: Russia versus Turkey [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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War in the Crimea, 1853. The game Russia versus Turkey is played by any even number of players who are either Russian or Turk. They sit in alternating seats around the board. Each player has a marker placed on the home port and two tokens placed in the pool. The Russian is the aggressor and moves first. Whoever starts rolls and then moves. Different squares have different instructions that must be followed when landed on. If you land on a space that an opponent is on you are repelled back to the space you started your move on and you lose your turn. Many spaces cause you to lose tokens to the pool, lose a turn, return to port etc. Victory is achieved by the side that has a majority of force in the enemies port at the end of the game.
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13. Board Game: Blue Cross, White Ensign [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:5932] [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked]
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Blue Cross, White Ensign: The Imperial Russian Navy during the Age of Sail is the third volume in the Flying Colors series of games on naval combat. It focuses on the efforts of the Imperial Russian navy in its struggles against the navies of Sweden in the Baltic and Turkey in the Black and Mediterranean seas from 1770 to 1807.

This volume comes with an updated and expanded rule book that adds additional detail specific to the navies included herein. Particularly the introduction of explosive shells, fired from the mighty Russian "edinerogs" (or "unicorns").

Included are a baker's dozen of battles pitting the Imperial Russian Navy against those of Sweden and Turkey. Each battle is fought by two players (or two teams of players) across one or several conjoined maps depicting shallows and shoals with individually named vessels that have been specifically rated for their abilities in combat.

Players activate these ships through the command abilities of individually rated admirals present at each battle (including the mercenary adventurer and American naval icon: John Paul Jones). Players may also easily create their own scenarios with "design your own" rules and even pit these fleets against those from other volumes in the Flying Colors series. The command system provides an excellent solitaire experience as well.
 
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14. Board Game: Crimea [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:8218]
Javier Romero
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Designed by Frank Chadwick, Crimea is a grand-tactical (division/brigade) historical game-simulation of the Crimean War from the landings at Evpatoria through the fall of Sevastopol. The map covers the areas around the major communication centers of the Crimean peninsula on a map scale of one hex equals one mile.

Crimea is actually several games in one. The Basic Game covers the conduct of the major part of the historical campaign, and is played using only the map section showing the area around Sevastopol. The Advanced Game uses the other areas in the Crimea where fighting took place (Evpatoria and Kerch) as well as allowing both players a wider range of strategic options. The Battle Games cover each of the pitched battles of the war - The Battle of the Alma, The Battle of Balaclava, The Battle of Inkerman, The Battle of Evpatoria, The Battle of Tchernaya, and the Storming of the Malakov. There is also a Micro-Game - Into the Valley of Death.
 
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15. Board Game: Bloody Steppes of Crimea: Alma – Balaclava – Inkerman 1854 [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
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Unpublished game simulating three battles of the Crimea War.
 
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16. Board Game: La carga de la Brigada Ligera: Batalla de Balaclava [Average Rating:5.48 Unranked]
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La carga de la brigada ligera ("charge of the light brigade") another 1980s classic NAC Spanish wargame.

Simulation of the Battle of Balaklava (1854).

 
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17. Board Game: The Crimean War [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:11007]
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Released with Strategy & Tactics magazine #193. The entire campaign for Crimea.

French, Brits, Turks, Sardinians and sundry extras versus the Russian Empire. Leaders and cavalry. Three different CRTs (Skirmish, Assault & Manuever). Limited supply and command points constrict operations. Three scenarios: To Balaclava, The Second Season, and a full Campaign scenario.
 
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18. Board Game: Crimean War Battles [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:6233] [Average Rating:6.85 Unranked]
 
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The original SPI set is a quad game, containing four battles:
Alma
Tchernaya River
Balaclava
Inkerman
The Decision Games version contained only:
Alma
Tchernaya River
Crimean War is a tactical level game on the battles that were fought on the Crimean Peninsula in the mid-1800's. Units are (presumably) companies of infantry, cavalry and artillery. The game has Standard Rules and scenario specific Exclusive Rules. Standard Rules cover the game system and include things like movement, fire combat, melee combat and rallying. Exclusive Rules are special rules that apply to the scenario in question. Each game has one 22" by 17" map and a countersheet with 100 counters.
 
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19. Board Game: The Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78 [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:8525]
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The Struggle between the Russian and Ottoman Empires was already centuries old when war broke out in 1877. It had its origins in the bitter conflict between Muslims and Christians, Slavs and Turks. The war proved to be a turning point in that it completely altered the balance of power in the east. In less than 40 years this helped produce the European catastrophe known as the Great War (WW I). Echoes of these ethnic and religious troubles resound today, as the peoples of Balkans and Near East still fight each other in a struggle for dominance. The Russo-Turkish War did not just cripple the Ottoman Empire. It made Russia into the dominant power in the East, and demonstrated the twin impact of modern technology and modern ideology on warfare.

The System rules apply to all games in the Wars of the Imperial Age series, and simulate the conditions of warfare in the late 19th century. This is a revision of the System rules presented with Franco-Prussian War (S&T #149), and completely replaces the System rules book found there. Important changes from the original version are indicated by a double pound sign (##) at the beginning of the rule. Players familiarizing themselves with the game may wish to use just the System rules. The Specific Rules that apply only to the particular game and cover military and political conditions unique to the specific situation.
Units represent historical leaders and headquarters staffs; corps, division-, and brigade-sized units; and fortifications. Each unit is rated for its combat strength, training class, and movement ability. (Specific Rules) Additionally, headquarters are rated for their Operations capability to enhance movement and combat capabilities, as well as conduct various politically oriented functions.

All units are deployed face down, and are revealed to the enemy only if he conducts reconnaissance or intelligence operations. Movement is performed by the moving force rolling on one of four March tables (Regular March, Forced March, Railroad, Naval) and applying the result. Combat is fought between enemy units in individual adjacent hexes; each player draws a Battle Results marker at random. This gives the number of enemy combat factors eliminated, effects on enemy morale, and special results for cavalry, and siege guns.The typical size of units are brigades.

Politics are a factor in the game. Each side has a National Will Index which gives the current level of popular support. This is affected by combat outcomes and other game events. (Specific Rules) Each turn, players have the opportunity to draw Political Events markers, representing various factors affecting the outcome of the conflict.
Published in Strategy & Tactics magazine #154, Sep 1992. Errata was published in S&T #157 & 159.
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20. Board Game: Russo-Turkish War [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Abstract simulation of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877. (Russia’s fifth war against Turkey (The Ottoman Empire) in the 19th Century.) One player is the Turks, the other is the Russians. Victory: Destroy all opposing units."

The game is played on a chessboard or any other 8x8 grid. Miniatures or counters are used to represent the units. Each player starts with twelve units (representing 20,000 men each). Each unit can sustain three hits.

A custom deck of cards is central to the play of the game. The players draw a hand of cards from a common deck. Card play controls how units move, attack, and defend. In addition, Recruit Cards may be played to bring back lost units.
 
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21. Board Game: Balkan Wars [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:7268]
Javier Romero
Spain
Cerdanyola
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Operational simulation of the two wars which were fought in the Balkans immediately prior to the First World War. ... There are two scenarios, one each for the First Balkan War and the Second Balkan War. In the first war, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece fight the decaying Ottoman Empire for control of the Balkans. In the second, Bulgaria fights its former allies for possession of the spoils from the just-concluded contest. In both, the possibility of Great Power intervention and even a genuine World War casts its shadow over the situation.
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22. Board Game: The First Balkan War [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Javier Romero
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Simulates the First Balkan War in 1912. One player is the Ottoman Turks. The other 3 players are the members of the Balkan League: Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece.

The counters represent divisions of 10,000 men. The Ottomans have twenty-four divisions, Bulgaria has eleven, Greece has ten, and Serbia has eleven. In addition, the Serbian Army includes one division of Montenegro Guerrillas.

The game ends after twenty-four turns. The player with the most Victory Points wins. Victory points are awarded for spaces controlled at the end of the game, with more points being awarded for controlling cities and fortifications.
 
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23. Board Game: A Fatal Attraction: The Gallipoli Campaign [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:8944]
Javier Romero
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Against the Odds magazine #20

In the beginning, it was Churchill's idea... a way of putting the old "pre-dreadnoughts" to useful service and making a show of strength in the waters off Istanbul which would, he said, cause immediate regime-change and take Turkey out of the war. It was thought very little infantry would be needed.

In the end, when the last Allied troops evacuated, the casualty count for both sides topped half-a-million. (And Churchill lost his job.)

And yet, the big naval attack had almost succeeded. The Allies would not know until after the war ended how close they had come to achieving their breakthrough on the Dardanelles. It was the first of many "what might have been" episodes, where success was just one more push, one more aggressive movement away...in contrast to many times when failure was reinforced and repeated.

Gallipoli is held as something sacred by the Australians and New Zealanders... as though they own it. The British would point out that the ANZACs made up less than 10% of the overall force and suffered less than 10% of the casualties. (But you can still get into a fight in Sydney if you talk like this!)

A Fatal Attraction brings this campaign of tragedy and opportunity to life. The counters represent brigades, batteries, and ships, and players have the chance to do better than their historical counterparts, while gaining a greater appreciation for the difficulties faced by both sides, including supply shortages, command/control difficulties, and random events.

With A Fatal Attraction, you'll find everything you need to understand Gallipoli except the smell and the flies.
 
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24. Board Game: Gallipoli [Average Rating:7.13 Unranked]
Javier Romero
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Published by Paper Wars Games 1979

The Dardanelles Campaign, 1915

The land game is a battalion-level simulation of the landings at Cape Helles, Anzac Cove, and Suvla Bay. The naval game recreates the assault by British and French battleships on the Dardanelles forts.

It comes with:

BOX
3 MAPS (2 land & 1 naval)
Land Rules/Naval Rules (30 pages)
504 Counters (UNPUNCHED)
Charts and tables card
Allied/Turkish damage record sheet
 
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25. Board Game: Great War at Sea: The Mediterranean [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:3945]
Javier Romero
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Fleets of eleven nations vie for control of the Mediterranean Sea, with players ages ten & up taking command of their nation’s destiny at sea.

The first of the Great War at Sea series.

The first edition (Great War at Sea, Vol. I) was published in 1996.

The second edition (Great War at Sea: Mediterranean; 2001) includes

390 counters
Two 17"x22" strategic maps
One 25"x25" tactical map
Twelve-page rulebook
Eighty-page scenario book
Two organizational cards
Playing time varies from forty-five minutes to more than three hours depending on the scenario.

The reprint of second edition is slightly different (though still called second edition). This reprint happened 2006 or later as the log sheet has a 2006 copyright.

490 counters (210 1 x half-inch counters, 280 half-inch square counters) - maybe the previous entry was in error as it looks from pictures to have the same counter sheets
two 17x22" Operational maps
one 25x25" Tactical map
now 20-page series rule book, it may be the previous entry was in error about the page count as this rule book has a 2001 copyright
scenario book is still 80 pages, but it's really 64 pages with 16 pages of ship data sheets bound in the middle
three generic GWAS fleet cards
log sheet (photocopy before play)
new art on the box top and bottom
Nominee for the 1996 Charles S. Roberts awards for Best Pre-World War II Boardgame (Charles S. Roberts Awards).
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