Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Harpoon Naval Review 2009

There's a lot of worthwhile material in this 2009 edition of the Harpoon Naval Review.

The lead article is a 16-page comprehensive accounting of the Spanish Navy as of mid-2008, something you won't find a lot of information about anywhere else. Given its very long naval tradition, it's nice to see that the Spanish Navy is enjoying something of a resurgence. The article ends with a small-scale scenario depicting a potential conflict between Spain and a Jihadist Morocco. Like many more recent Harpoon scenarios this is suitable for play between two players or a small group, useful given how hard it can be to gather a large group these days.

The second piece looks at a possible fighting between Venezuela and Columbia back in 1987 with two scenarios, again suitable for two or three players.

Venezuela is featured again in the third article, where a Venezuelan sub duels with US Navy forces in another small-scale engagement.

The fourth article is a scenario based on Larry Bond's book Cauldron and pits US forces against "EurCom" (mostly French/German) in a series of engagements in the Baltic and Atlantic. Most of these are bets for a team.

The fifth piece is, perhaps, the most ambitious to actually try to play, as it examines massive air attacks against a US carrier battle group at various times from the 60s right through 2010. In each case the CVBG is based around the USS Enterprise with the escorts and air groups changing through time as well as the attacking Soviet (later Chinese) bomber force. Very interesting but definitely needing several players to pull off.

The sixth article is very topical, as Western naval forces try to run ships past Somali pirates in a small scenario.

The last article is a Sub vs. Convoy scenario generator.

The balance of the book is made of of ship forms and aircraft forms for most of the ships and planes involved in all the scenarios except the convoy generator. Everything is brought up to Harpoon 4 standards.

A good buy.

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