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Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations» Forums » General

Subject: Expansions rss

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Kaleb Eubank
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Does the printed version of this game contain all the stuff for the PDF version expansions? When I went over the list of campaigns, it looked like it was missing the Vigilante aircraft and the 2 campaigns from Cold War, but I might have missed them. Just curious, because those campaigns sound like the most fun to me personally. Was hoping to pick this game up after the holiday season
 
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Ryan
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Not quite sure, but you might have Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations mixed up with Hornet Leader II.

Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations, the newest version (2010), is not available for download in PDF format. It is a very nicely produced game published by DVG. It has one campaign that takes place in 1986 during a fictional WWIII scenario.

I'm not familiar with the earlier PDF version, but I can attest that the newest iteration is a lot of fun to play. It has plenty of tough decisions to work through as you guide your squadron to victory (hopefully). Also has lots of re-playability in my opinion.

Also, there are no expansion to this version, yet.


Edited for grammar & content.
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Kaleb Eubank
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It was my understanding that HL: Carrier Air Operations was a printed and updated version of HL II, updated with better artwork and such. It has most of the stuff from the expansions from HLII, that's why I was asking.

To quote from the game description for CAO, "Hornet Leader – Carrier Air Operations is a huge game based on the material seen in our Vassal/PDF games. We have also further enhanced the game systems and weapon values to make them fully consistent with the new systems seen in Phantom Leader."

So even though it may not come with the stuff, maybe someone can offer how compatible the extra stuff is from the older version?
 
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Ryan
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Here are some obvious differences that I can see after looking through the pictures on the Hornet Leader II page:

d10-1 The map in HL 2 is smaller than HL:CAO. This would affect much of the gameplay in itself. The weapons and enemy sites/bandits in HL:CAO are designed to work on its larger map. I noticed some differences in range between the counters depicting the same munitions in HL 2 and those in HL-CAO. That tells me there is no compatibility in that area.

d10-2 Each pilot has a situational awareness rating in HL:CAO. Situational awareness gives the pilot the ability to attack more than once during a turn over target. I did not see reference to situational awareness in any of the pictures on the HL 2 page. If this is correct, pilot cards in HL 2 would not be useable with those in HL:CAO.

d10-3 Offhand, it looks like the ratings on the counters of similar enemy sites/bandits are slightly different than those in HL:CAO. Playing with 2 Mig-21 aircraft each with different stats doesn't seem to offer compatibility to me.

d10-4 It also looks like you only have 4 turns over target to accomplish your mission in HL 2. In HL:CAO, you have 5 turns over target. That seems small, but it may mean many systems such as aircraft capacity, munition stats, and enemy stats are all slightly different among otherwise identical units to achieve balance.

The 2 games obviously share a lot in common. HL:CAO is derived from the earlier HL 2. I'm sure many of the game systems are very similar. DVG also released a game called Phantom Leader between the release of HL 2 and HL:CAO. While they share a lot, they are not the same game. As you quoted earlier, HL:CAO is based on the earlier game and it was enhanced to be consistent with the game systems in Phantom Leader.

Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations comes with 8 campaigns that can be played with either a US Navy squadron or a US Marine squadron. At least two more scenarios are available for PDF download on the DVG website. There is a ton of material in this game.

It looks like you'd spend about $65 to get all HL 2 products at DVG if you don't add in the print costs for the pdf version. You can still get HL:CAO cheaper from some online retailers and it's ready to go.

Hopefully someone who has played HL 2 will come along, like you said, to provide some better insight. Until then, I'd recommend springing for HL:CAO as it's been enhanced from the earlier version. I believe it'll offer you quite a bit more.

I hope that was helpful and that I didn't come off too snotty Kaleb

Grindar wrote:
It was my understanding that HL: Carrier Air Operations was a printed and updated version of HL II, updated with better artwork and such. It has most of the stuff from the expansions from HLII, that's why I was asking.

To quote from the game description for CAO, "Hornet Leader – Carrier Air Operations is a huge game based on the material seen in our Vassal/PDF games. We have also further enhanced the game systems and weapon values to make them fully consistent with the new systems seen in Phantom Leader."

So even though it may not come with the stuff, maybe someone can offer how compatible the extra stuff is from the older version?
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Dan Verssen
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HL-CAO is the next step beyond HLII. It shares much of the same subject matter, but is much different mechanically.
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Kaleb Eubank
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Not snotty at all! You hit the high points I needed, being whether or not the map/missions would be compatible, which it appears not. I didn't know if just using the new rules/weapon profiles would be enough, but it sounds like it would throw things off still. I plan on picking CAO rather than the older version then, at least for now. Thanks guys!
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