Seeing as we're just about ready to submit the final version of the game to GMT for final art and then publication I thought it would be a good time to post more details about the game and to give everyone an idea of what the cards will look like (Sorry, I don't have images I can post right now. I may in the near future).
Let me start by drawing comparisons to Atlantic Storm. If you know how to play A.S., you'll have no trouble with P.T. The game mechanics are the same. The round leader draws two "Battle Cards" (i.e. Pearl Harbor, Midway, Guadalcanal) and chooses one to fight for (there are 40 Battle Cards in the game, so the game lasts for 20 Battles). The "Force Cards" have three values, Air, Surface, and Sub (just like A.S.). The Battle can be one of those three or "Combined" (again, just like A.S.) The mechanics of play are the same in that each player may either play one regular card (plus bonuses and events), discard 1 card, or discard his entire hand. When the round is done whichever side has the highest total wins and the player who played the highest value for the winning side divides the spoils among the winning players.
As with Atlantic Storm, there are ways to get additional cards into your hand (starting size is 6 cards). Each battle is either a full, half, or empty "resource" (compared to convoys in Atlantic Storm). Each full resource adds one to your hand size (to a maximum of 9).
VP values for Battle Cards range from 0 through 8 (yes, there is a Battle Card with 0 VP's, but it is a full resource, so there is some value to it). VP values from Force Cards range from -3 through 6 (yes that is a "negative 3").
Instead of Atlantic and Arctic convoys, the battles are either Day or Night (there are some that allow the hand leader to choose day or night). The force cards are also divided into those that can play only in the daytime, only at night, or both.
Battles are sorted by year ('41 through '45) and force cards are limited by the year they can play.
"Fate" is also present, and works the same as Atlantic Storm.
Here are some of the unique things in Pacific Typhoon:
There are some battle cards that the hand leader chooses whether they are day or night battles.
The "Renewed Battle" battle card brings a 2nd-half element of excitement. The battle card allows the player who drew it to take a battle that had been won earlier in the game and bring it back out to fight again. The Renewed Battle card goes to the person being "victimized" and it is worth 1VP. The hand leader gets to choose wheather it is a day or night battle (regardless of what it was the 1st time) and he can even choose a different year than the original (but it obviously can't be earlier than what is printed on the original card).
There are several unique event cards in the force deck. There are cards (one for each side) that let you discard as many cards from your hand and draw replacements and then getting to play in the hand if you wish.
There is a "Fog" card which lets you play your cards face-down .
There are "Gremlins" which you play on another player and are worth -1 in Air, Surface, and Sub.
Many cards have "bonus" values depending on if it is a day or night battle.
There are a few more things that you'll just have to wait and see .
The cards themselves will look very similar to Atlantic Storm. Each card has it's combat values, years of play, and VP value. The card background will indicate if it is day-only, night-only, or both. There will be a photograph on each card (from the war whenever possible). The Battle Cards will each have uniquie photographs (unlike A.S. which have the same picture for all '41, '42, etc. convoys). There will also be brief histories on each card.
Obviously we couldn't include every ship from every side that fought in the war, and for the sake of hand balance we had to limit the number of each type of ship/sub/plane in play. For example, there are only four (4) heavy carriers for each side. Choices had to be made on which to include. For example, there is no Yorktown and there is no Kaga in the game (please no complaints, it wasn't personal ).
All in all I think the game is in great shape and while it shares a lot with it's older brother, there is enough "uniqueness" to this game to make it a lot of fun. Right now I've got the rules being proofread by a few people and I'm going over everything as closely as I can. I also intend to do as complete a job as I can proofing the final versions of the rules and cards (i.e. the stuff the printer will use to print with) to do my best to minimize errors (always the Game Developer's dream to have a game with no erratta ).
I'll do my best to stay "connected" here to keep everyone as updated as I can (I'll see if I can get some prototype card images posted) and to answer questions after the game comes out.
Arden Nelson Jr.
Thank you for all the great information. I've got this on my P500 list and can't wait for it to come out. It sounds like just the kind of game that my group would likely love. I was looking at the cost of Atlantic Storm on Ebay and decided ... I can wait. Obviously, sooner is better than later but it sounds like Pacific Typhoon might not be all that far off.