Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Salvo!» Forums » Reviews

Subject: So-so naval boardgame rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Stuart McIntyre
United Kingdom
Cambridge
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Last night we played the Sink the Bismark scenario. This was 2 British battleships and a couple of cruisers vs the Bismark.

In the box

The game is a simple hex-based fire/move/damage control game. The slim game box contains a paper board, a sheet of counters and a rulebook. There are quite a few scenarios - some historical and some hypothetical. The game plays quite fast and is straighforward to learn.

Game mechanics

The firing is a two stage process - roll for fire effectiveness, then roll on the damage table. I'm not sure why these tables weren't rolled into a single fire table, that would have been more elegant. Each ship can take up to 3 hits against movement and 3 against speed, each hit removing 1/3 of the weapon effectivness or speed. When you have 3 speed and 3 weapon hits, you are sunk.

The movement is very straightforward - especially for the Bismark which didn't do any (see below). Basically you move hex to hex, turning 60 degrees or paying for tighter turns - except that you can't turn in your final hex.

The damage control is the oddest part of the game - basically you are forever taking temporary damage, then repairing it again, then taking more damage.

Outcome

The Bismark already starts the game with 2 permanent speed hits, so after turn 1 it was repeatedly taking a third speed damage, missing it's movement then repairing it again, only to be damaged again before she could move. Very frustrating for the German captain!

While the Bismark was playing at being a sitting duck, the British ships closed in, loosing a cruiser to a well-aimed salvo, but otherwise repairing damage as quickly as it was dished out and remaining in pretty good shape.

After about 8 turns, probably due to simple random variation, the Bismark ended up with the requisite 3 weapon hits and the last speed hit, and sank. It was remarked that it looked very difficult for the German player to win.

This took less than an hour to play.

Conclusion

The most experienced wargamer present remarked that it was probably a good simulation of battleship combat. The only problem is it didn't have that spark of excitement - so it would suit someone more into realism than playability.

Hence my copy is up for trade
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
George Leritte
Ukraine
Louisiana
flag msg tools
Does it bother anyone that this and Salvo II is a direct ripoff of SPI's Dreadnought?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Humphries
Philippines
Unspecified
Metro Manila
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd call it an improved Dreadnought rather than a rip-off.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Raine
Australia
flag msg tools
Honi soit qui mal y pense, motto of Sydney Uni Rugby Club, est. 1863
badge
General Sir John Monash, victor of Le Hamel
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mark_WH wrote:
I'd call it an improved Dreadnought rather than a rip-off.


What are the improvements?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
NWS Wargaming Store
United States
Orlando
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Salvo I/II is similar in some respects to "Dreadnought" (which I also own) but it is not a "rip-off". There are several variations to the design including a 3 step vs 2 step damage system (W/S) and other improvements to the concept with the Salvo series. One ship class was definitely missing though, my personal favorite the BC Alaska class.

My only real personal hang up with the design is the rather generous ability to repair the ships - which I quickly modified. For an introductory to intermediate naval combat game I enjoy both of them considerably. They are very easy to modify without causing major changes to the balance or the rules of play, they are very fast to play and to teach new players of naval combat, and they can play larger battles without taking excessive amounts of time to resolve or bogging down the players with lots of details.

I had the pleasure to talk to Michael Smith about the designs in length last year (being a naval fanatic myself as NWS = Naval Warfare Simulations for our publishing division and I am one of the naval wargame designers on our team).

Overall the Salvo series are some of my favorite introductory to intermediate naval wargames next to War at Sea and Victory in the Pacific - two all time classics. I also own Frigate (same designer as Dreadnought) for the same reasons mentioned above. Of course our own publications are some good options as well..

Thanks
Christopher Dean
NWS Online Gaming Store
Director of Operations
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Older Gamer
Canada
Ottawa
ON
flag msg tools
mbmb
The ship silhouettes are better than Dreadnought where every ship looks
like a FMJ-boattail bullet.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.