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Subject: Ten Observations (Theses?) on Silent War rss

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Appleton
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1) The name fits well--I don't know if I have ever played a game where the game's mood and theme is enhanced so much by the fact that there is no talking in the game. Now if I could just hook up a red light in my game room, and get a klaxon, I would be set to go...

2) After three abortive starts to the war, and one successful attempt (into 1943) I would describe my overarching feeling as a maniacal focus on making sure torpedoes in the military are produced well. The torpedo value number is the most important number in the game, and the level of frustration at the -2 roll is almost palpitable.

3) One unmentioned point about oversized counters is that it is really painful to lose one. One would think that losing a sub would not hurt, but it really does, and that is exacerbated by the largeness of the counters, I think.

4) I have found that the game proceeds much faster if I roll three dice for every search and attack--for the search, the third die is the endurance in case you miss; for the attack, the third die is a "combat event" die roll or the counterattack.

5) Generally, I try to keep my subs in zones that have their defense number = or less than the red boxes and ASW. This may allow the Japanese no counter-attack on their turn, and thus speed up the game. To find such areas gets much easier as the game goes on, and the Gato class subs come in.

6) A high tactical rating is a two-edged sword--some of the poorer defense subs are actually better off with a 2 than a 4 because a 2 tends to get you into less trouble. It is less efficient, but it also reduces the chances of uncovering escorts.

7) In the early game, essentially your only chance of getting a Super Skipper is to draw Combat Event 0 (Ship Lumbers into Way), sink a big target (10t or so) and then get lucky on the next rounds. Otherwise, it probably is not worth it to try and attack with the goal of getting a Super Skipper.

8) The first time I played, I did not realize that the Special Mission Zones were in the operation area they pointed to. That really goofed up my first try.

9) The ability to say that you played a game that simulated every single sub mission of the Pacific War is an incredible feeling.

10) I think the ultimate place to play this game would be aboard the USS Pampanito, floating in San Francisco harbor, in the command room.
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Skip Franklin
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1) I suggest nixing the klaxon. It tends to wake the family at 1AM.

2) In my campaign I am trying everything possible to get better torps.

3) Knowin when to run is also crucial in not losing subs.

4) I also roll multiple dice while playing. NOTE: Use CyberBoard and save wear and tear on the counters OR order a second set.

5) I tend to keep the subs in safer zones but when the Gato class subs showed up they started going deep.

6) I noticed that the better rated subs were catching...depth charges...more than the older subs.

7) I've not tried for Super Skippers but a couple Gatos have gotten close.

8) The Special Mission Zones I figured out but some other stuff blew right by me for a while. It took about three abortive attempts to get most of the rules figured out.

9) Finally have a good game for a sub campaign (other than Wolfpack) is exciting.

10) An excellent idea. I could do that in Muskogee, OK but that sub is sitting dry and doesn't have the roll from the swells like Pampanito.
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Mark Crane
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I don't have a pc laptop to run cyberboard but it just occured to me that I can run it on the kids' desktop machine and control it with my macbook using VLC. Excellent!
 
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Kenneth Bailey
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This game sounds pretty interesting.
 
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Dale Stephenson
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philreh wrote:

2) After three abortive starts to the war, and one successful attempt (into 1943) I would describe my overarching feeling as a maniacal focus on making sure torpedoes in the military are produced well. The torpedo value number is the most important number in the game, and the level of frustration at the -2 roll is almost palpitable.


-2 is miserable. -1 isn't so good. I'm at +0 now, and until WP2 ends I expect some awfully good hunting. Torpedo improvement is so critical that it's vital to focus on ships sunk, unless you need a tonnage push to keep your job. Heck, I'm still concentrating on ships, because I want those +1 torpedoes.

Quote:
3) One unmentioned point about oversized counters is that it is really painful to lose one. One would think that losing a sub would not hurt, but it really does, and that is exacerbated by the largeness of the counters, I think.


I dread the Combat Event tile being overturned, for fear of Betty Bomber and Circular Running Torpedoes. I work hard to minimize transit rolls and prevent counterattacks at 3+, so those events represent my biggest lost sub risks.

Quote:
4) I have found that the game proceeds much faster if I roll three dice for every search and attack--for the search, the third die is the endurance in case you miss; for the attack, the third die is a "combat event" die roll or the counterattack.


A very good tip. I only use two dice, but in the early part of the game that's nearly as good as three -- two dice suffice for the search unless a 0 is rolled on the first die. In combat with the cruddy torpedoes two dice manage the most common miss/counterattack case, and even with a hit I can combine the counterattack/endurance roll if I've already decided on running (or after the second round). Multiple dice also work well for the ready/repair portion.

Quote:
5) Generally, I try to keep my subs in zones that have their defense number = or less than the red boxes and ASW. This may allow the Japanese no counter-attack on their turn, and thus speed up the game. To find such areas gets much easier as the game goes on, and the Gato class subs come in.


Also an excellent tip, and one I try to follow (by preference, I like my subs where they're one less than defense+ASW. My goal isn't just to avoid the counterattack, but to be in a good position to risk a counterattack round. If I can keep the reattack in the 1-2 defense or below column, I won't sink a sub. And re-attacking gives me another shot at a boat, which is key.

I don't think it really saves much time -- I'm attacking more often this way, and the counterattack roll is usually done as part of either the attack or the endurance roll anyway (with multiple dice). But I think it's key for maximizing attacks, which is the important thing.

My top goal in choosing zones is to get my subs where they're only one turn away from a sub base or tender. I hate spending multiple turns out and back, turns that could be spent hunting. My second goal is to put them in not-too-dangerous areas with the most colored boxes. Stationing in zones that are empty half the time will speed up the game, but not in a good way. My third priority is to eliminate congregating risk, with which careful management I've been able to do in war periods 1 and 2. In WP3 I can see that many of my favorite hunting grounds dry up, so I may end up stuffing my better regions with 8 subs instead of 4.

Quote:
6) A high tactical rating is a two-edged sword--some of the poorer defense subs are actually better off with a 2 than a 4 because a 2 tends to get you into less trouble. It is less efficient, but it also reduces the chances of uncovering escorts.


Yep. Now if only they could use 4 TDC markers on the 2 targets they uncovered! S-boats are worthless without a favorable TDC. Still, I'm more aggressive on reattacks with the lower tactical ratings (if the relative defense rating is the same), simply because they flip less flags. Plus, if they get damaged, I haven't lost much anyway.

Quote:
7) In the early game, essentially your only chance of getting a Super Skipper is to draw Combat Event 0 (Ship Lumbers into Way), sink a big target (10t or so) and then get lucky on the next rounds. Otherwise, it probably is not worth it to try and attack with the goal of getting a Super Skipper.


Agreed. It wasn't worth attempting until I got +0 torpedoes -- before then, splitting an attack reduced the net expected ships sunk 99.9% of the time. Now I'm splitting attacks on occasion (when I can get two ships down to a 0 defense or less), and if I've got 16+ tons of Maru showing I might split between two targets in the first attack round, even at a net cost. (Almost did it last week -- 2 ships for 21 tons in the first round, had an easy shot at a 3t in the reattack -- hit, damaged )
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Jeffrey McBeth
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The VASSAL module for Silent War is wonderful, and VASSAL works on Mac just fine.
 
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Mark Crane
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mcbeth wrote:
The VASSAL module for Silent War is wonderful, and VASSAL works on Mac just fine.


Ah, thanks.
 
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