Saturday, August 6, 2011

Anchor's Aweigh!

Yes, it's time to set sail on the Buccaneer blog. Let's see now, where shall we begin on our warblings?..... The beginning is always a good place to start. As Maria Von Trapp so aptly put it , " Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start "....but I'd rather we pass on introductions and About Me's - it's much more interesting discovering things about each other over time. So I'll start at a different beginning :  the first thing that pops in my head. And matey, that happens to be on the topic of Naval Boardgames. Not the ideal topic to begin with, I agree, but nevertheless that's what me mind was a-thinkin' 'bout!

This morning my sister and I slept in late and stayed in bed watching " The Caine Mutiny " ( watching Navy pictures with breakfast on Saturday mornings is a favorite past-time of ours - one I doubt we'll ever outgrow ) and afterwards I felt like sitting out on our patio and putting together a plastic model of a carrier, or a destroyer, or even an Air Force fighter plane but alas! no unassembled models could be found i the house, and so we went to PLAN B - play Mission Command : Sea Game. And what a great backup plan that always is!

Mission Command : Sea , is a simple strategy game which was released by Milton Bradley in 2001. The object of the game is to destroy your opponent ( what else? ) and this is accomplished by either missiling their carrier twice or by elimating their aerial combat units...ahem....fighter jets.

What I really love about this game is that it is so simple to play and yet the strategy involved can become complex. Much like a game of chess. That's pretty much the only two ingredients to making an exciting and engaging game - simple rules and deep strategy, but unfortunately many game designers haven't grasped this bit of knowledge yet.

So in the field of naval wargames you have the extremely simple ones, aimed at a younger crowd ( notably, Battleship ) and the extremely difficult ones ( that last days on end ) aimed at the die-hard war gaming enthusiasts....and very little in between.

Mission Command : Sea Game is one of the few navy games on the market today that fall in that "in- between" catagory, and even this game isn't a product of modern ingenuity; Milton Bradley simply repackaged a line of war games from the 1970s ( Tank Battle and Carrier Strike ) and retitled them under the Mission Command series of games.

The board is pictorially pleasing with a computer generated print of an ocean and little plastic islands that players can place where they will along with their carrier and the pieces are well detailed too. The games are always swift ( a great boon ) and yet like I said earlier, have enough strategy involved in them to satisfy you if you are looking to have an enjoyable "bout" with an opponent.

Another excellant naval game - of an earlier period in seafaring history - is Broadside. This game was released in 1961 apart of Milton Bradley's American Heritage Command Decision series along with Dogfight ( WW1 aerial combat ),  Battle Cry and Civil War ( Civil War ), Skirmish ( American War of Independance ) and Hit the Beach ( WWII Pacific Theatre ).

Broadside has little miniature red and blue colored ships with detachable masts and saild. This way when an enemy ship flies at your fleet the masts that have been damaged can be removed. Clever, clever. I've been trying to get a copy of this fame for many years but it's hard to find a "complete" game and the ones that ARE available are so expensive. Broadside fits in the ideal war game catagory though - simple and yet strategic.

Other great naval games include Naval Battles ( a fast paced ship-attacking card game by Phalanx ), Modern Naval Battles, and an oldie but goodie Bombardment. But as you can see....there are not enough sea battle games out on the market!! I think this afternoon I'm going to start designing me very own. It's too good a game theme to pass up on.

1 comment:

  1. This is so cool! I've never heard of much of these games, other than battleship lol. You really do have an interest in other things besides classic films. Damn, I need to find an interest too! BTW you and your sister seem to be great friends.

    P.S. I have never seen Caine Mutiny!