Missile BoatTactical Combat On, Over, and Beneath the Sea - 1964-1984Rand Game Associates
(1974, available by subscription)
Designer not credited
Players: 1 or 2
-- Turn: 6 minutes
-- Terrain: 1 nautical mile
-- Unit: individual vessel or aircraft
Box: shrinkwrapped folio?
Components: 17x24" unmounted mapsheet, 72 die-cut counters, rules folder, charts and tables sheet.
Also Required: Universal Command Series Equipment - Universal Turn Recorder, TAC Cards, 6-sided die.
Counter Manifest: 8 ships (4 gray, 4 green), 8 helicopters, 6 airplanes, 2 submarines, 8 forward gunnery, 8 after gunnery, 8 missiles, 8 EW rating, 8 movement allowance, 8 hull rating.
Rand says: "[R]ecreates the conditions of present day naval warfare. The subject matter is that of tomorrow's headlines, not of history books. Using the capacities and weapons of the actual ships, players can explore the fascinating ramifications of modern naval fighting. Two players each take the role of a commander - American, Israeli, Egyptian, Chinese, or one of the dozens of nationalities . . . to refight the naval battles of tomorrow, today."
Charts and tables sheet, vessel specifications are on reverse
The reviewer says: "Rand Games, a whole subunit of the hobby of game collecting. They produced 2 lines of subscription games, the first [nine] folio sized and the next series full sized . . . They did an excellent Cambrai 1917 game in their first series, as well as the classic Missile Boat, still the best simulation of small ship missile combat in the hobby, with extensive historical scenarios, a campaign system, and a ship construction system sufficient to allow you to design helicopter carriers if you wanted to . . . Fast Attack Boats, Raketny Kreyser, Modern Naval Battles and some of the Fleet Series scenarios are the only competition Missile Boat has. Considering it covers modern individual surface to surface, surface to air, air to surface, torpedo and ASW combat, it's amazing someone hasn't tried to do another and better game on the topic." Comments by Larry Marak posted at Web Grognards.
Vessel specifications chart
Comments: A lot of game in a small package. Low rules density and straightforward mechanics promise a fast and fun game. The scenarios are small engagements with no more than three vessels on a side. Statistics are given for 59 vessels (missile boats, destroyers, submarines, merchant ships, etc.), 10 SSM's, 9 SAM's, and 6 ASW weapons.
If you don't own the Universal Command Series Equipment, you can easily improvise. The TAC Cards are two sets of six numbered cards (from 1 to 6). A turn record track with around 30 spaces will take the place of the Universal Turn Recorder. [See also: Make your own Universal Command Series Equipment.]
Collector's Notes: A lesser known title that is not frequently seen. Boone's Internet Wargames Catalog (4th edition) lists low/high/average auction prices of $10/$18/$14. In the 3rd edition of Boone's, auction prices were $5/$15/$9 and sale listings were $7/$40/$18.
The other folio subscription games from Rand: Cambrai 1917, Invasion - Sicily, Lee vs. Meade, Napoleon's Last Campaigns, Omaha Beach, Rommel - The War for North Africa, Saratoga 1777, War of the Worlds II.
This article was originally published in issue 17 of Simulacrum, April 2003