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Subject: Victory : How it plays / works rss

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Lawrence Gamehappy
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Victory in the Pacific


The game mechanics were classic Avalon hill Die cut counters on a new area map board. Unlike the classic hex design, VITP using a world map covering sea areas from Hawaii west to the Asian coast made this world map was not easy to identify. Land masses sectioned off by approximately twelve large 8 inch randomly shaped Areas which were bordered by ¼ inch wide white boarders. Modifying land masses, positions and abbreviated distances did create a board that was almost unrecognizable as the Pacific. Gone are the classic Avalon hill imaginative heavy hit table charts, graphs and odds calculations for combat, to be replaced with simpler faster dice assignment based on firepower brought to bear on the target. Gone are Hex distances and strategic maneuvering which can also slow the contact of enemies and game play usurped for faster contact with a board much like chess board squares.


Units are declared to be dedicated to defense or attack by flipping double sided printed unit counters declaring each ships status. Combat steps then dove tail unto attack and counter attack until all units have acted. A retreat moved phase followed by reinforcements.
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VITP’s mechanics are represented by a classic Avalon Hill Die Chit using the following mechanics. (1-2-3 on the counter) : first number represents dice thrown in combat attack - second number hit points to destroy on attack roll ( 2d6 ) - third number an abstract speed factor. Day and night combat factors allowing or negating the use of Carrier / land based air involvement are determined by one throw of the dice. Highest number decides spicing up the day/nite functions and adding the luck factor. Ships either sunk or damaged. Damaged units retreated to nearest port for repair! Finite points given with no hold over each turn.



One over simplified failure of the game is the lack of attention /respect to submarines. Only the Japanese possess submarines with a one shot and then submerge action. One unit representing the entire sub fleet. Yet actual history places the US submarine fleet to be the Savoir of the US navy until more navy vessels could be built.



VITP faithfully reproduces the historical war in the pacific quite well. Allowing little game improvisation as the designers intended the game to be less a multi variant chess match and more a yellow brick road of strategy and calculated movements re-enacting history. With eight turns in the game and reinforcements of ships to be introduced from the US mainland as turns are completed it could be seen than American US might did ramp up after the first turn Pearl Harbor attack and theater as the game progressed r. Japan of course possessing the larger fleets at board set up resulting in turn one obviously attacking Pearl Harbor. Yet the luck of there dice was the final arbiter, variation was the spice of undoing of many a fine plan which did show the basic beauty of all war game systems.

Victory conditions called for victory-points to be culminated from captured island squares at game end of the eighth turn.

Yet even with simplified play system mechanics, four hours did consume only 2 of eight turns!! Albeit as a new player and teaching the concepts involved, did occupy time.. These two facts of game art and time consumption prevailed to be the obstacles to my hoping to add this game to my collection.

If there are other gamers who can recommend other naval war fare games I would be in your debt to absorb other recommendations which I have only heard of: that includes mechanics like double blind systems, of radar searches and subs, oh the subs!!!


If this was helpful to you I would appreciate a thumbs up or a small geek gold tip to help me get closer to that fancy Avatar image so I can look official!
Happy gaming!
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Jose Augusto Moreira
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It is a review, no a Session report
But excelent..thanks
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Bill Eldard
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malstrom wrote:
. . .Modifying land masses, positions and abbreviated distances did create a board that was almost unrecognizable as the Pacific.


Really?

malstrom wrote:
Units are declared to be dedicated to defense or attack by flipping double sided printed unit counters declaring each ships status.


Actually, the colored side is the PATROL side, and the white side is the RAID side. The order of movement (and the prospects for successfully reaching a destination) depends greatly on whether the ship is patroling or raiding, and its speed roll. The raiding role is critical to game play, particularly the US Navy early in the game, where it pays to hold the carriers back until all the Japanese units have deployed, and then concentrate the raiding carriers on a single sea zone.

Both patroling and raiding ships may be defending a friendly sea zone or attacking a neutral or enemy sea zone. The visible side has nothing to do with offense or defense.

malstrom wrote:
One over simplified failure of the game is the lack of attention /respect to submarines. Only the Japanese possess submarines with a one shot and then submerge action. One unit representing the entire sub fleet. Yet actual history places the US submarine fleet to be the Savoir of the US navy until more navy vessels could be built.


Actually, the abstract submarine rules -- while little more than chrome for the game -- function rather well.

1. It is not correct that only the Japanese have a submarine unit. The US has one, too. It comes into the game on the turn that the Japanese submarine comes out, and functions the same way.

2. A submarine gives a free shot on an enemy ship. In WW2, a sigificant number of US carriers were sunk or damaged by Japanese submarines (USS Saratoga, USS Yorktown, USS Wasp, etc.), and a US submarine sank the HIJNS Shinano.

3. The real contribution of the USN Pacific submarine force was not so much in inflicting damage on the Japanese naval fleet, as it was wreaking havoc on the Japanese merchant marine. Much as the U-Boats codnucted unrestricted submarine warfare against the Allied merchant marine in the Atlantic, the US subs were effectively waging unrestricted submarine warfare on Japanese commerce. But since commerce interdiction is not a function of VITP, the submarine rules are abstracted to proportionately impact fleet operations.

malstrom wrote:
VITP faithfully reproduces the historical war in the pacific quite well.


I agree, malstrom. I think it provides both sides with the historical strategic challenges confronting the actual commanders-in-chief.

malstrom wrote:
Victory conditions called for victory-points to be culminated from captured island squares at game end of the eighth turn.


The islands have no VP value. Their major importance is serving as bases for projecting land-based air units over adjacent sea zones.

The VPs come from control of sea zones. Only patroling ships (and land-based air?) can control a sea zone. At the end of each turn, the difference between the Japanese and US totals is applied to adjust the VP Track. After Turn 8, the victory goes to the player on whose side of the VP track the marker is on. This means that the Japanese can win by aggressively racking up enough points up through Turn 4 (hopefully Turn 5) to counter the regains mounted by the rapidly expanding US Pacific Fleet.

malstrom wrote:
Yet even with simplified play system mechanics, four hours did consume only 2 of eight turns!! Albeit as a new player and teaching the concepts involved, did occupy time. These two facts of game art and time consumption prevailed to be the obstacles to my hoping to add this game to my collection.


That's a long first game. Gametime for experienced VITP players is generally 4 hours or less.

malstrom wrote:
If there are other gamers who can recommend other naval war fare games I would be in your debt to absorb other recommendations which I have only heard of: that includes mechanics like double blind systems, of radar searches and subs, oh the subs!!!


VITP is the younger sister of War At Sea, and in my opinion, a much better game than WAS.

Avalon Hill published two Midway games, each with a double-blind system. The older edition had a Search Board similar to the classic family game Battleship. The later (Smithsonian Series) Midway game had a hexgrid search board. Also, the later edition had a sister game called Guadalcanal, which focused more on the naval conflict in the South Pacific 1942 than on the island itself.

SPI had a number of WW2 naval games such as Wolfpack, Solomons Campaign, USN, CA, etc.

There are more recent naval games on the market. Check the Second World War At Sea series of games (Avalanche Press), PQ-17 (GMT), and Silent War (US subs in the PTO) and Steel Wolves (German U-boats in the Atlantic) (Compass Games). I understand that both of the Compass Games are solitaire games.
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steve mizuno
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As previously noted, your session report is more of a review - and in my opinion, a rather poor one. Nice to see this game getting some attention, as it is still one of the better strategic level games of the Pacific campaign. However, you clearly misunderstood some of the simpler and more critical aspects of the game.

Four hours is a long time to spend on two turns of this game. Were you learning as you played? Had you tried War At Sea before this? Although the concepts of the game seem simple, the strategy and play of the game are intricate. The balance of the game is very fine, and one poor turn choosing patrolling ships / Land Based Air can definitely lose the game for you.

I think VITP is worth another look, especially if you've only gotten knuckles deep into the system. I think you will find it elegant and engrossing, with great interaction and opportunities for surprising strategy and tactics. The phased movement system gives you relatively short periods of time not occupied with some aspect of the game, so its not really like the AH classics with their I-Go, U-Go mechanics.

For a first timer like yourself, I suggest War at Sea. An original JEDKO design, this was picked up by AH and rebadged. The game is very playable and should give you quite a bit of enjoyment, especially for a beginner.

Once you have tackled WAS, you may want to move to VITP. However, I would recommend two other games from AH - the 1962 version of BISMARCK, and the original version of MIDWAY. Midway, in particular, is full of tension and bluff/double think. I think as a beginner, that you will find it more accessible than other modern carrier battle games. It also happens to be a very balanced and fun game, running around 3 hours if you're new or dragging your feet a bit.
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Brad Miller
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Given your description of the game, it isn't surprising 2 turns took you four hours...

Your facts of the nature of the game seem a little off.
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Ralph T
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I wonder if he played an opponent, and played long enough to notice that the Americans get subs.
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Robert Wesley
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Lawrence, you may want to delve within some other "Game" like this ONE! Pacific At War
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/8231


WE know what you prefer, so there you have this! Another, of which YOU supply the "minis" is that: Conquest of the Pacific
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/12838


to which I further ADD with this for ALL it required:

PRINT OUT THIS and assemble that into 'being' yourself with what you now HAVE!
surprise

WOULD U LIKE 2 "B" LEARNT M-O-R-E-?
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Joel Langenfeld
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malstrom wrote:

Units are declared to be dedicated to defense or attack by flipping double sided printed unit counters declaring each ships status.

Ships aren't dedicated to attack or defense - there really isn't a distinction. Ships are dedicated to their mission - either to patrol (control) a particular area, or simply show up for a particular encounter (raid).

malstrom wrote:

Day and night combat factors allowing or negating the use of Carrier / land based air involvement are determined by one throw of the dice. Highest number decides spicing up the day/nite functions and adding the luck factor.

The Day/Night roll is influenced by who controls the area and whether or not you're looking for day or night. In practice, wandering into an enemy controlled area looking for a night battle will get you a 1 in 9 chance of success - still a roll, but not a great candidate for "let's play it by ear" planning.

malstrom wrote:
Ships either sunk or damaged. Damaged units retreated to nearest port for repair!


Hmm... Ships are indeed sunk when they've accumulated enough (heavy) damage. There is a common "disabled" result - light damage that forces a ship to withdraw but doesn't require repair facilities. Damaged ships aren't withdrawn unless they're also disabled. Ships generally have a number of options on where they may return. Only a few ports have repair facilities, and exception Pearl and Japan, they are extremely limited.

I wasn't looking to nit-pick here, but the nuances give the game considerable strategic depth. Back in the day, wargamers tended to look down their noses at games that didn't include a CRT. War at Sea and Victory in the Pacific were dismissed as "Yahtze at Sea" - grossly unfair to either game, especially in the case of a true classic like VitP.

malstrom wrote:
One over simplified failure of the game is the lack of attention /respect to submarines. Only the Japanese possess submarines with a one shot and then submerge action.


Bear in mind that the smallest ship represented in the game is a heavy cruiser (albiet a generous assessment of some of the Japanese vessels). Japanese sub doctrine was predicated on fleet support, whereas the US doctrine was focused on supressing commerce. The Japanese subs did have some isolated successes against capital ships, but by and large the subs of neither side had a major influence on fleet action.

malstrom wrote:
Victory conditions called for victory-points to be culminated from captured island squares at game end of the eighth turn.


Islands have nothing to do with victory points (POC). Victory points are awarded for controlling the sea areas. However, Island are vital strategically, in that air units you base on islands can be used to control adjacent sea areas. As the game progresses, the availability of US air bases is usually the deciding factor in whether or not the Japanese have any hope of holding a particular sea area.

malstrom wrote:
Yet even with simplified play system mechanics, four hours did consume only 2 of eight turns!!


I've played more than my fair share of four hour chess games before, so that caveat is always in play. However, unless two painfully methodical players lock horns, experienced players would expect the entire game to take around three hours, give or take.


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Joel Langenfeld
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Eldard wrote:
malstrom wrote:
. . .Modifying land masses, positions and abbreviated distances did create a board that was almost unrecognizable as the Pacific.


Really?

[...]



That's what I get for starting a reply in the morning and posting in the evening.

Well said.
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Lawrence Gamehappy
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Thanks Robert

Xeno's Pacific at war seems like a good try for me. ! Much like A&A it appears. I'll still also try VITP again some time when I can find a copy/game. I only had one play at this and I was learning at the Pacificon convention in California.

It will take more time to appreciate it. As to comments on my review/session.
A. I don't have a home computer so access is limited an I wrote up the event quickly from memory.
b. The wife a kids take a lot of my time!

I will have to look at the other games like 'Scratch that flat top' and others for that "Perfect" Pacific WW@ naval game

Lawrence

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Lee Massey
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Try Flat-Top or Fire in the Sky!! Both are good games albeit different scales!
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steve mizuno
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JackFlash wrote:
Try Flat-Top or Fire in the Sky!! Both are good games albeit different scales! :D


If he couldn't handle VITP, the suggestion of Flat Top is rather odd.
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Robert Stuart
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Try Columbia Games' Pacific Victory -- it may be just what you're looking for.

Subs: the US can build subs from the beginning, but they aren't very effective until US torpedos improve about halfway through the game. As the game progresses and the US mounts a concerted attack on Japan, subs become a powerful part of the US arsenal.

Play balance: the game as is has serious problems with play balance, but these can be easily remedied without destroying the character of the game (in fact, quite the opposite). (1) change the Sudden Death and Victory Point conditions in favor of Japan. (2) give the Japanese homeland a few extra production points.




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Grant John Gorton
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I just bought a used copy of VITP and it doesn't have the instructions!! I have all three variants of Victory at Sea so i kind of know how the game plays, but there seem to be some different rules from VAS based on your write up. Know how I can get a copy of the game instructions???

John Gorton
jgorton@knightpoint.com
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David Lanphear
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This isn't a copy, but someone typed them up and put them up on a website.

http://www.gameaholics.com

The webmaster runs a PBEM VITP ladder as well as gm'ing the BPA PBEM tournament.

Also some other good stuff in the VITP area.


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Craig Hebert
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soltan gris wrote:
JackFlash wrote:
Try Flat-Top or Fire in the Sky!! Both are good games albeit different scales!


If he couldn't handle VITP, the suggestion of Flat Top is rather odd.


Dude - old post - and at first I was sort of with you - as it seemed he really hadn't read the rules.

However, in this post you are just plainly piling it on. He's a new gamer - leave it at that - as well as the not so thinly veiled insults.
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