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Subject: Gameplay repetitive? Decisions shallow? rss

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Malte Menger
Germany
Nürnberg
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I'm interested in this game, but i have a few concerns regarding the choices to be made in this. It looks like this game has to be highly repetitive. You send your subs out, look if they engage, roll some dices to see if they score a hit, and then.... you move your next sub.. Sounds like this is kind of repetitive. Can someone say anything about this concern?

Another concern is, that the map seems to be very puristic. do it provide enough room for tactical choices that matter, or is it more of a game, in which you are kind of forced to do certain moves because there are no options available... with that i mean no room for flanking and such.

Thanks for answering
 
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Steven Harris
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I did find the game to be repetitive, but never boring. There are choices to be made, but they mostly concern how much risk to take at a couple of scales: operationally, by the paths your submarines traverse to reach their patrol destination, and tactically, by which categorical portions of a convoy the individual submarines engage and whether they persist in repetitive attempts at attack.

You mention "flanking", but that's the wrong thought for this scale of map. It's less about position and more about choosing risk and reward. The more capable your submarines get, the more aggressive you can be with less associated risk. You'll be forced to take more risk to meet your kill quotas.

There's also a "capacity" or "flow" maintenance aspect that's hard to see in the rules or in simple descriptions of the game's combat mechanism: you have to keep some amount of submarines deployed while others return to base for refit and repair work. If you send all your submarines into high-risk engagements together, you may find most of them having to return to base for lengthy stays, which yields a lumpy temporal distribution of killing power; you'll have your submarines out hunting maybe one week out of every four. Taking less risk and keeping them closer to bases will allow shorter cycle time, but the available targets may not be as valuable.

I can write about all this positively and I admire this game tremendously. Having said that, I did tire of the physical task of laying out convoys and TDCs, being careful not to accidentally reveal their "front" side prematurely, and sometimes returning around fifteen counters to their cups after flipping only one or two of them. Also, I came to crave a more "physical" sense lacking in this game, where positions of the counters would represent a physically significant real-world arrangement, perhaps like your "flanking" interest.

Playing this game came to feel a little bit like playing a video poker game: each hand offers a few choices, and there's an incentive to keep trying to do better in the large, but there was only so many "hands" I could play before wanting to be making more choices that had significance across a larger scale.
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Roger Knowles
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My two cents.

I have the game and played it twice.

I agree totally with seharris's last two paragraphs(4th and 5th).

I probably won't play it again.

There are enough solo games out there that are more doable(less work)and give a much better game experience,in my opinion.

My two cents.

bikerboy
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Kenneth Lury
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Blowing rock
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I have played about 5 times (never finished a complete campaign: did not pass my tonnage sunk quota).
The game is very repetitive regarding pulling target chits which quickly get wear and tear.
However, I find the game very engaging and addicting.
It is a very immersive tense simulation. No wham bam and shoot lots of ships. Early in the game, the poor quality of the torpedoes is extremely frustrating which I understand is a reflection of the reality the US Navy faced. That said, the thrill of sinking an enemy ship is huge.
This game requires patience, thoughtfulness and the ability to completely lose ones self in the experience.
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Andrzej Fiett
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For fans of the theme Silent War is absolutely perfect game as a great simulation of Pacific submarine warfare, recreating strategic, operational and tactical level of decision process.

For others it could be boring, I'm afraid.
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Tom Duensing
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Bartlett
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As far as the chit pulling goes, I'm working on a Windows Mobile 5 OS program that will handle the combat (and chit pulling) for you. It's pretty far along but still needs work. At some point it will be posted here but I'm not sure when--probably later this year.

Even if you don't have a PDA or phone to run it on you can download an emulator that will run the program.
 
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