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Subject: Opening the box component review rss

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Seth Owen
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Norwich
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Reposted from Iron Bottom Sound 2

Oddly enough, although a long-time naval gamer, I missed both The original Ironbottom Sound and Iron Bottom Sound 2, so I can't compare this new edition to the old ones. I do have an enormous collection, having owned more than 1,000 Wargames in my 45+ years in the hobby and have seen every imaginable level of quality.

Iron Bottom Sound definitely ranks in the top 5% quality wise.

Starting with the box, we a good sturdy bookcase dimension box, a little on the thinner side. This is adequate to hold all the components, but may be too thin to add a counter tray. I generally use baggies, myself, but I know some players prefer counter trays from GMT and elsewhere. The cover includes a nice Roger MacGowan artwork, basically the same as IBS2' it appears. The box bottom tells us we are not in Kansas anymore, as it's almost entirely in Japanese. This is appropriate because this edition came about through the inititiative of Japanese COMMAND Magazine. English language players have no fear, however, as the game is fully bilingual.

Inside the box we find three glossy booklets. One is a bilingual collection of ship logs for all 12 scenarios (two more than IBS2). Players will naturally want to make photocopies. There are also two pages of generic ship logs for DYO purposes.

The other two books are the rules, one in English and one in Japanese. The English language one is clearly written, and aside from a couple of typos, contains no obvious errors on the first read through. As this is a long-standing, well-tested game system I would be very surprised if there were any major problems affecting game play. The game system, itself, will be familiar to experienced naval wargamers as a variation of the same approach seen in games such as Jutland, Bismarck (second edition), Tsushima and similar games.

Also in the box are two sets of glossy combat tables, one in English and one in Japanese and two sets of island overlays on glossy paper. One is for Savo Island and figures in several of the scenarios included in the game. the other is a point of land (maybe Guadalcanal?) that is not used in any of the scenarios included. There is a designer's note that there are extra ships in the counter mix that will be used in future scenarios to be published in Japanese COMMAND, so presumably this land overlay will also figure in a future scenario, although it obviously could be used for a DYO scenario.

Speaking of counters, there are two full counter sheets, mostly of ships, but with other markers needed for the game as well. My copy was so well die cut that the ships fell out of the sprues, frustrating my usual plan of photocopying. The ship counters are double-sided with a purely cosmetic change -- side one shows a profile view, while side two shows a top down view. As player tastes seem evenly split on this matter, doing this is a nice compromise.

Finally, the box has a very nice mounted six-panel mapboard. Given the close quarters of the night fighting this is more than adequate, especially as players can displace ships to keep them on the board if someone maneuvers near the edge.

Also included are a pair of dice.

Overall, the initial impression matches my expectations. As soon as I heard about this new edition I ordered it, expecting a high quality production and I am not disappointed.

Most of the battles are from the night fighting around Guadalcanal in Iron Bottom Sound, but there are a few outliers as well: One Channel destroyer fight between Germans and British, a couple of hypothetical US vs Japanese fights from 1928 and a couple of post-Guadalcanal fights.

All the battles assume nighttime conditions.

Jack Greene is a hobby legend, as well as a prolific author, so Iron Bottom Sound III represents a suitable tribute to his role in the h
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Richard Pardoe
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wargamer55 wrote:
Jack Greene is a hobby legend, as well as a prolific author, so Iron Bottom Sound III represents a suitable tribute to his role in the h

In case anyone was left hanging, the full sentence (copied from the original IBSII post) should read:

wargamer55 wrote:
Jack Greene is a hobby legend, as well as a prolific author, so Iron Bottom Sound III represents a suitable tribute to his role in the hobby with a very fine product.
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Matt Lehnen
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Bethalto
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I own GWAS: Jutland and Second World War at Sea: Midway. What is different about IBS compared to those games? I haven't actually played either of them yet but was curious.
 
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Michael Dittmer
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they're better jack
 
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James Wu
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NCC1701 wrote:
I own GWAS: Jutland and Second World War at Sea: Midway. What is different about IBS compared to those games? I haven't actually played either of them yet but was curious.


I own SWWAS Midway and had just ordered a copy of IBS. From my experience of SWWAS and a game of IBS with my friend who own it. A simple answer would be SWWAS and GWAS is more focused on the operational level with the operational map, but the tactical battles are handled a bit more blunt. While IBS is just a game on the night surface battles and it come in great detail (but surprisingly easy in rules). A example of such would be that in SWWAS the facing of the ships have no effect on their firepower(Well, there is one optional rule, but it is pretty generic) But in IBS individual ship have their turret positions on the log sheet, so some ships cannot have too much firepower if you didn't provide them with a broadside...
Hopefully this would help.

PS: sorry for the mess, written in a hurry
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