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Subject: Recommendation for Modern Naval Warfare Games rss

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Gene Abercrombie
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Any recommendations for a modern (post WWII) naval warfare game?

Thanks!
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Brian Morris
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The first name that comes to mind is the Fleet Series...It's also the second and third.

You might also look at Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations if the aviation side of modern naval warfare interests you. It's solitaire but has a neat expansion Hornet Leader: Cthulhu Conflict if fighting Cthulhu with modern naval aircraft strikes your fancy.
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Lance McMillan
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Red Dragon Rising: The Coming War With China and its successor/companion Red Dragon / Green Crescent are pretty good, but can take a bit of getting used to (the "only do one thing at a time" mechanism seems counter-intuitive, until you realize what it's trying to reflect).

Fleets 2025: East China Sea is a fairly simple and fast playing game on a hypothetical Taiwan Straits crisis.

Sixth Fleet is an old S&T magazine game that uses a rather odd combat system that a lot of folks dislike, but actually does a reasonable job of reflecting things once you appreciate the abstrations involved.

The Hunt for Red October is an excellent entry level game (and is about more than just the Clancy novel of the same name) that's a lot of fun to play.

Finally, I'll agree with mrbeankc that the Fleet Series are very good games, but they're more for veteran/experienced gamers -- not a good "entry point" for someone trying to understand the nuances and subtleties of modern naval warfare.
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Martin McCleary
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Go here:

http://www.navalwarfare.net/

scroll down look on right side.

Almost forgot: the recent Compass Games - "Breaking the Chains". Hypothetical near future showdown with the Chinese.

and Red Sky Morning which is an older game with a hypothetical future rematch between the US and Japan. It's actually a good game despite how the subject may strike you initially.

Oh, I LIKE the old SPI Sixth Fleet.

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Michael Sommers
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Some older games:

TaskForce (SPI)
Up Scope! (SPI; subs, 20th century)
SSN (GDW; more subs)
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Michael Sommers
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Lancer4321 wrote:
Sixth Fleet is an old S&T magazine game that uses a rather odd combat system that a lot of folks dislike, but actually does a reasonable job of reflecting things once you appreciate the abstrations involved.

This is one of the silliest games I have ever encountered. Modern navies do not try to form solid lines of ships across the sea in order to avoid being surrounded, which is what this game advises players to do, and what the combat system requires.
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B. Lenting
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If you want to go crazy you could try Harpoon 4 or High Tide. High complexity level though.
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Rodney Clowsewitz
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I've been playing Breaking the Chains: War in the South China Sea for the past few months and it's a lot of fun. It's not terribly in depth but the rules are pretty simple, once you get the hang of things and the game flows really smoothly.
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R K
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I've been thinking about picking up Harpoon 4 or the High Tide box, but not sure which. I know that High Tide is all the 80s Cold War, so what is in the main box, '90s and '00s modern stuff?

My other issue is that I'll never find a local group to play with, so is there enough there just to be an interesting read and study? Solitaire possibility or online play?

Thanks for any tips.
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Paul Amala
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I like the Fleet Series from Victory Games i.e. 2nd Fleet, 5th Fleet etc. A bit dated (cold war 80's time frame) but plays smoothly and quickly.
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Ron A
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tms2 wrote:
Lancer4321 wrote:
Sixth Fleet is an old S&T magazine game that uses a rather odd combat system that a lot of folks dislike, but actually does a reasonable job of reflecting things once you appreciate the abstrations involved.

This is one of the silliest games I have ever encountered. Modern navies do not try to form solid lines of ships across the sea in order to avoid being surrounded, which is what this game advises players to do, and what the combat system requires.


Parts of the system ARE sily (forming lines of ships + aircraft as you say), but I always liked playing it. Submarines are VERY difficult to pin down and sink, and THAT seemed pretty realistic. Aircraft are incredibly vulnerable, they always dropped like flies, and again, it appeared realistic. If you look at loss rates in Vietnam then I think 6th Fleet was on to something there.

I have never played the Fleet series, so can't comment there.

Have heard good things about TaskForce, but one big thing going for it is hidden movement, so having somebody else to play with looks like a must.
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John New
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+1 on SPI's Task Force



A bit long in the tooth, to be sure, but I've always thought it was an elegant system
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Lance McMillan
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SBGrad wrote:
tms2 wrote:
Sixth Fleet is one of the silliest games I have ever encountered. Modern navies do not try to form solid lines of ships across the sea in order to avoid being surrounded, which is what this game advises players to do, and what the combat system requires.


Parts of the system ARE silly (forming lines of ships + aircraft as you say), but I always liked playing it. Submarines are VERY difficult to pin down and sink, and THAT seemed pretty realistic. Aircraft are incredibly vulnerable, they always dropped like flies, and again, it appeared realistic. If you look at loss rates in Vietnam then I think 6th Fleet was on to something there.


Totally agree that there as aspects of the game that are downright silly, and it took me decades (and a career as a surface warfare officer in the Navy) to realize what the designer was trying to achieve with the underlying game concept: eliminating the laborious double-blind "Call & Response" search system that almost all other operational naval games had been burdened with up to that point by trying to abstractly amalgamate search directly into the combat resolution process. That it failed to acheive its intended goal does not, to my thinking, completely invalidate what 'Sixth Fleet' was trying to accomplish, and I think it's rather sad that nobody since has tried to revise/improve the game's basic underlying premises which I still believe had promise.

SBGrad wrote:
I have never played the Fleet series, so can't comment there.


I agree with many that the "Fleet" series games are among the best on the market, but it's not a system I enjoy. I find it overly complex, filled with fiddly minutae and pointless details, and worst of all it takes way too long to play.

SBGrad wrote:
Have heard good things about TaskForce, but one big thing going for it is hidden movement, so having somebody else to play with looks like a must.


I'm completely embarrassed to have omitted that one from my list -- I actually used TaskForce as a training tool for junior officers on one of the ships I was assigned to as operations officer. Fun game which, aside from some questionable unit ratings, provides a reasonably accurate "feel" for modern naval warfare. Its biggest drawback is, again, the reliance on the traditional double-blind "Call & Response" search mechanism. Still, this one would probably top my recommendation list.
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Morten Lund
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It could be argued that the Harpoon series is more simulation than game - it is very detailed in its portrayal: platforms are depicted with individual sensors, weapons and other systems characteristics. There are no hexes, movement is simultaneous, done on tabletop or paper map.

Contrast this with the Fleet series, where the platform's capabilities are more abstracted, movement and ranges are hex-based.

The Fleet series format does facilitate larger scenarios, and plays faster for a given scenario size.

It's a question of what you want from your gaming time
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Michael Sommers
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SBGrad wrote:
tms2 wrote:
Lancer4321 wrote:
Sixth Fleet is an old S&T magazine game that uses a rather odd combat system that a lot of folks dislike, but actually does a reasonable job of reflecting things once you appreciate the abstrations involved.

This is one of the silliest games I have ever encountered. Modern navies do not try to form solid lines of ships across the sea in order to avoid being surrounded, which is what this game advises players to do, and what the combat system requires.

Parts of the system ARE sily (forming lines of ships + aircraft as you say), but I always liked playing it. Submarines are VERY difficult to pin down and sink, and THAT seemed pretty realistic. Aircraft are incredibly vulnerable, they always dropped like flies, and again, it appeared realistic. If you look at loss rates in Vietnam then I think 6th Fleet was on to something there.

I don't think those aspects of the game, assuming they truly are accurate, make up for the fundamental flaws in the basic system.

Quote:
Have heard good things about TaskForce, but one big thing going for it is hidden movement, so having somebody else to play with looks like a must.

I haven't done it (yet), but I think the game could be played solitaire, perhaps with some judicious randomization of some actions. Of course, you'd lose some of the suspense, but there's more to the game than suspense.
 
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Roger Hobden
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Seapower & the State

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Martin McCleary
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FWIW: regarding an updated SPI Sixth Fleet - there is on the Consimworld forum a dedicated Sixth Fleet thread. One individual has greatly updated the system and even taken it into the Atlantic with new maps and new rules.

I have not played it but from following the discussion it seems to be much more "accurate or realistic" and spurs some good discussion. As I understand it, it is all a free download you just have to print the new maps, counters and rules.

I'm not trying to push the game on anyone, we all have our likes and dislikes so if this doesn't work for someone that's fine as there are many others to choose from. When it was originally published there weren't many modern naval titles on the market. Realism is subjective.

Regarding Harpoon: if you just have yourself the rules and data books can be informative but solo play-ability isn't really there. I'd suggest you get the puter version if you actually want to play a game and you don't have an opponent with an interest in the topic.

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John Gorkowski
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Based on what is actually happening in the world today, Breaking the Chains: War in the South China Sea
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Sam Carroll
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It's combined naval-land-air, but Next War: Taiwan might interest you.
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Society of Ancients
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Shipwreck! is well respected amongst miniatures gamers.
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