Scratch one flat top! Games covering tactical and strategic carrier combat .
Xander Fulton
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Astoria
Oregon
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Always interested in naval history, I've had a recent increase in interest in WW2 carrier battles (thanks to reading several books on the Battles of Leyte Gulf). What I'm looking for with this list are games that prominantly feature carriers - and, specifically, tactical combat (ship to ship/maneuver important/etc) as well as strategic combat (mission planning and execution/fleet allocation/etc).

The list of games I KNOW feature these components is...umm...short, so looking for contributions! Please, in your addition, explain how the system handles the various combat elements.
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1. Board Game: Second World War at Sea: Bomb Alley [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:3873]
Xander Fulton
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Astoria
Oregon
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I'm adding this one for Avalanche Press's naval game series - all of the 'Second World War' games feature carrier combat.

The 'operational' level component involves the various individual ships assigned to Task Forces. The Task Forces are assigned to missions ('bombardment', 'interception', 'escort', etc) and these are plotted out from several turns in advance to 'the entire length of the scenario' in advance. The fleet counters are moved on the operational map then, with the enemy unaware of their contents until a successful 'search' is made against one.

Ship-to-ship and air strike combat is resolved on a seperate tactical map when fleets encounter each other (or when an air strike launched at a detected target fleet reaches its target).
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2. Board Game: Flat Top [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:1503]
Tom Key
England
Guildford
Surrey
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Interesting as your interest sounds as if it came from the same sources as mine many years ago.

Anyway, mine led to and stemmed from Flat Top. There are arguments to say its a bit outmoded now and that computers do it better and quicker, but its still a lovely game to play...

Essentially it revolves around the carrier battles around the Solomons in 1942, although there are ships for all the US and Japanese carriers from Pearl Harbour to 1943 - the Essex classes aren't covered.

Scale is 20 miles per hex, with each turn representing one houer. Ships mostly move 2 hexes per turn.
Players manage the air operations of both ships and land bases and all units remain off the board until they are observed by search aircraft or coastwatchers. Movement is plotted on map sheets.
Air units represent 3 aircraft each, so a large carrier holds about 30 carrier planes - Wildcats, Zeroes, Dauntless, Val etc. Land bases can also support search plances (Catalina) and other bombers/fighters (B17, Betty's, P40s).
Each plane has its own movement and range allowances.

Ships are identified indiviually and how you organise your task forces is up to you. Optional rules allow for submarines (which can pick off crippled carriers) and refuelling.

Missions include the invasion of Port Moresby, reinforcing Guadalcanal and so on. These are simulations of the Battle of the Coral Sea, Solomon Islands (Oct 42) and Guadalcanal (Dec 42), and Santa Cruz, which is more of a straight carrier vs carrier battle.

Ship to ship combat is not the best, but each player uses ships from the task force in either gunnery or torpedo attack, or as screened. There is no tactical ship movement as such, but this is effectively managed by the aircraft / ship interaction.

The game does incorporate the detail of how planes are armed (torpedos, HE bombs or Armour Piercing), the necessity of combat air patrols, reconnaisance, fog of war and yes, surface combat

I'd better stop, but its worth looking at. I love this game. It needs about 16 hours for full battles, but comes with shortened versions. Ebay is cheap, but not all that common, and coz its heavy, postage costs a bit.
:-)
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3. Board Game: "Scratch One Flat Top!" [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:7708]
Mike Pranno
United States
Chardon
Ohio
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Kind of an obvious one, looking at the GL title.
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4. Board Game: Carrier [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:2546]
Mike Pranno
United States
Chardon
Ohio
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I think this is of a small enough scale to be considered tactical.
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5. Board Game: Carrier Battles [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
Xander Fulton
United States
Astoria
Oregon
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Combat around Guadalcanal
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6. Board Game: Aircraft Carrier [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked]
Xander Fulton
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Astoria
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Japanese game on carrier combat
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7. Board Game: Carrier War: The War in the Pacific 1941-1945 [Average Rating:6.38 Unranked]
Xander Fulton
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Astoria
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Don't *think* we have any tactical combat in this one, but...???
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8. Board Game: The Fast Carriers [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:11169]
Xander Fulton
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Astoria
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Small-scale strategic element, it seems - but it does combine operational and tactical components.
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9. Board Game: Solomon Sea [Average Rating:8.37 Unranked]
Xander Fulton
United States
Astoria
Oregon
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Strategic and tactical elements
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10. Board Game: Midway [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:2610]
Xander Fulton
United States
Astoria
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Uses searches on an area map, followed by combat on a smaller tactical board
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11. Board Game: Midway [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:6046]
Xander Fulton
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Astoria
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Update of the previous listed game of the same title
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12. Board Game: C.V. [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:5755]
Xander Fulton
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Astoria
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Apparently an updated take on 'Flat Top'?
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13. Board Game: Victory at Midway [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:4103]
Xander Fulton
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Astoria
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'Solomon Sea' uses an improvement on the system introduced in this game
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14. Board Game: Pacific War [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:1741]
M St
Australia
Unspecified
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A strategic game on the whole war in the Pacific that, due to its shifting time scale, plays naval campaigns like an operational carrier game with eight-hour turns. Among larger scenarios, half a dozen "Battle Scenarios" depicting all the major carrier battles.
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15. Board Game: Mission Command Sea [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:6953]
Crusher Crancko
Spain
Granollers
Barcelona
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simplistic but also uses Aircraft carriers. High fun ratio.
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16. Board Game: Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945 [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:1816]
Chris Severs
England
Birmingham
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A great game where you fight the pacific war at a strategic level, with a grat combat system!
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17. Board Game: Eastern Operation: Invade Oahu! Dec. 7, 1941 [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Elijah Lau
Singapore
Singapore
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A DTP wargame that uses a double-blind system to simulate carrier warfare in the hypothetical Japanese invasion of Oahu after the Pearl Harbour raid.
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18. Board Game: Battle for Midway: Decision in the Pacific, 1942 [Average Rating:5.58 Unranked]
Joe Lott
United States
Bellingham
Washington
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I'm a little surprised this was not added already.
 
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