Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sometimes you need to fill a gap

I enjoy Axis & Allies War at Sea naval miniatures as a game in its own right, as well as a good source for painted ships suitable for other naval wargames, including Larry Bond's Command at Sea system, represented in my collection by Atlantic Navies. But Bond's game is not for the faint-hearted or casual gamer. What I really lacked was something in between the two.

Or, more accurately, something in-between them that I'd likely get someone to play. My previous gap fillers comprised Panzerschiffes TG-2 and ArmourSoft's Shipbase III computer-assisted rules -- both of which are now really obscure. The Shipbase III game is a DOS-based computer program that's awkward to try using on newer machines. And Panzerschiffes replaced the dice-based TG-2 with a card-based TG-3 some time ago. I got a lot of good gaming out of both titles, but they're out-dated now. I also have some "antique" naval rules, Fletcher Pratt's and a set called "Victory at Sea" from 1971, but neither is playable by current standards.

So I picked up Mongoose Publishing's Victory at Sea (no relation to the 1971 game of the same name) which seems to hit around the same spot as far as complexity goes while being reasonably popular these days. I'm aware of some criticism on realism grounds, but it seems pretty passable on that score. If needed I'm sure I can borrow a rule or two from Command at Sea, but if I need a detailed simulation I'll use Bond's game anyway.

A&A War at Sea is really a board game that uses miniature ships, so it doesn't really fill the need for a real naval miniatures game (although the model ships do). So I decided Victory at Sea was my best choice among the similar titles out there. Now I need to play it a couple of times to see if I'm right.

1 comment:

  1. I have the Victory at Sea rules but have not made it through them yet. I'm anxious so here how you like them with the A&A ships.