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Hey everyone,

non-wargamer here with a simple question: The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43 and Silent Victory: U.S. Submarines in the Pacific, 1941-45 are often mentioned in the same sentence and from what I have seen so far, they appear to be quite similar games.

But what are the exact differences between both games (besides the theme) ?

Thanks !
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George Monnat Jr
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Hey!

I've only played SV. I've pre-ordered Hunters, so I'm curious about the answers you're about to receive here.
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Foster Caldaroni
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Life expectancy is a lot higher in SV than in the Hunters. Allied ASW is a lot more deadly then it's Japanese counterpart.


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Dennis Canning
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SV covers the whole war in the Pacific from December 1941 to July 1945. Hunters starts in September 1939 and ends in mid-1943 (don't have it in front of me to be more specific).

SV has a bit more types of special missions (recon, evac, transport, and mine) than Hunters (Abwehr agent insertion and mine). SV has two classes of subs that always do a transport mission, whereas I think Hunters has one type of sub that is an anti-aircraft specialist and another that does mine missions (I think).

Some differences in random events. More potential historical targets in SV, but Japanese merchants tend to be smaller than Allied ones. One patrol area in SV forbids diving below test depth.

SV has skipper cards with historical skippers with some special abilities to see if you can match them using the same abilities and same patrols. Hunters doesn't.

SV has maps of the Pacific with some historical sub bases (Pearl, Brisbane, etc.) Hunters doesn't.

SV has U.S. medals for the skipper (including the Purple Heart, Navy Cross, Bronze and Silver Stars, Medal of Honor ...) and unit awards (Presidential Unit Citation and Navy Unit Commendation). Hunters has the various Knight Cross levels only.

However, the upcoming The Hunted (on P500 on GMT site and it has a Boardgame Geek site as well) will add skipper cards, maps, and a host of special devices the Germans used from mid-43 thru the end of the war (snorkel, special torpedoes) and additional types of U-Boats. Of course, the Allied ASW weapons and aircraft get deadlier.
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Matt R
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As Dennis said. Basically, The Hunters came out first and Silent Victory is practically the same game "under the hood" but with some slight improvements and tweaks to the core mechanics (I think?) and different "chrome" because of the different nationalities and campaigns involved. Silent Victory has a couple of bonus things that the Hunters does not as Dennis mentioned like the "skipper cards" and the improved patrol maps.

You can't go wrong with either game however the Hunters (and certainly the upcoming "The Hunted") I understand to be the more difficult between the games. I only own "The Hunters" by the way but have been following Silent Victory forum threads since before the game came out.

Hopefully someone how has both games (and has played both games a lot) will chime in.
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James Moore
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The main thing you can take away from a comparison of the two games, is, as previously mentioned, The Hunters is a much harder game, due to vastly more effective Allied escorts and aircraft.
Or, another way to look at it, The Hunters gets harder as time goes on, while Silent Victory gets easier.
The Hunters, being older and the original game design, lacks some of the refinements like patrol maps, commander cards etc. Other differences are that escorts cannot be attacked, there is no sub vs sub and so forth.
These issues have been addressed in The Hunted, and The Hunters Deluxe will be similarly improved..
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John Lee
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Both great games as I own and play both. SILENT VICTORY just seems a little bit more interesting with the bigger counters, different encounters, super cool patrol maps etc.

That being said, I like them both and find myself appreciating them more and more as I play them.
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Matthew Roskam
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Another difference is that you can attack escorts in SV. This is integrated into the system nicely, and provides an additional point of decision.
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Thank you all for your answers, really insightful ! thumbsup

As I said before, I'm a non-wargamer, but I also try to leave my comfort zone from time to time. I did this the first time in the wargame genre with Thunderbolt Apache Leader and Phantom Leader Deluxe and I eventually traded Thunderbolt Apache Leader away, because it was just too much bookkeeping for me and the game felt too slow and like actual work. (I am pretty sure that quite a few people will now frown at me for favouring Phantom Leader Deluxe over Thunderbolt Apache Leader. )

To be honest, I'm a bit worried about The Hunters and Silent Victory here, as the amount of sheets and lists look quite daunting. But who knows, I definitely want to give it a try some day and see how compatible it is with an Ameritrasher/Eurogamer like me.


The other submarine game I'm looking at is Nemo's War (second edition), which is also categorised as a "solitaire wargame".
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Matt R
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Neither the Hunters or Silent Victory really takes up much room. Keep in mind from that photo you posted that the person who took the picture had everything laid out - in reality all you need to have in front of you is your log, the player mat (or two - if you are using the additional patrol map that comes with Silent Victory), a counter tray or at least a stack of the most regularly used counters, and you can simply stack all of the tables and charts that you can just flip through. Oh, and for combat you will want the combat map. Still - none of this takes up much room and really shouldn't be a big deal. I find the Hunters takes up the least amount of room of my solitaire wargames and very quickly "sets up" and "breaks down".

EDIT: Oh and there even really are not that many charts or tables. At least half of the charts are just lists of ships (and their tonnage) broken down into different groups. So there really isn't as much complication here as you might think...
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Thanks, Matt. I'll watch 1-2 playthroughs to get a better impression of everything.
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Matt R
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Kyur wrote:
Thanks, Matt. I'll watch 1-2 playthroughs to get a better impression of everything.


And listening to youtube videos or mp3's of old submariner songs or submarine noises while playing is purely optional of course... whistle
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George Monnat Jr
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Noonespecial wrote:
Kyur wrote:
Thanks, Matt. I'll watch 1-2 playthroughs to get a better impression of everything.


And listening to youtube videos or mp3's of old submariner songs or submarine noises while playing is purely optional of course... whistle


He's the perfect person to put that together
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Krzysiek
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Hi,

Just as Matt has stated above, the game does not take up much space. What you will need in your games is just the u-boat play-mat and the combat resolution mat. The other tables are well organized and you will only look at them in specific moments, but can put them away afterwards. The maps are completely optional as you have all of your patrols listed on the submarine play-mat. All of the tokens can be easily organized into one GMT counter tray. There is no need to use to separate token organizers as shown on the above picture.

Thus said, the game can look a bit overwhelming with all the charts and the long rulebook with the three column text, but you will quickly discover that it is actually a very easy to learn game with great narrative and options for both advanced and beginner players.

- K.
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