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M. Kirschenbaum
United States
College Park
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This is a simple Jim Zoldak game of tactical ship-to-ship combat during the American Civil
War, published by Chris Harding's Aussie DTP outfit (he who brought you Markus Stumptner's Salamanca not too long ago).

So yeah, I know what you're thinking: IRONCLADS. This is the decaf version, with a lot less chart lookups and record keeping. You do keep log sheets for damage and the vessel's current speed, but there is no movement plotting. Instead of si-move, movement proceeds in impulses, one square on the gridded playing area per movement point, with reaction and offensive fire possible at each square.

The components are fine, the four maps sheets bland and watery blue, but some crisp overhead ship views (about 30 named vessels) on a sheet of cardstock which you cut out before play. Note that since there are so few ships (and no markers) even those who normally consider themselves DTP challenged ought to find this well within the realm of the manageable. And of course you can substitute your own miniatures.

Haven't rolled dice on it yet, but it looks like a light, quick playing alternative to the venerable Yaquinto system. You get 10 scenarios, including Monitor vs. Virginia, Kearsage vs. Alabama, the Arkansas, and a bunch of riverine actions on the mighty Mississip. Most scenarios only have one or two ships per side. For < US $20 delivered to my door, Messrs. Zoldak and Harding will have to have worked pretty hard to disappoint.
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Kirk Hoffman

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I'm a fan of Ironclads but the extreme detail of that game makes fighting larger battles next to impossible. This sounds like it might be a nice, light alternative. I wonder if there may be plans in the future to do an expansion with more ships and scenarios (and maybe forts) at a later date. I could see myself getting hooked on Fighting Steam and then buying every expansion that comes out for it.
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