Showing posts from August, 2015

Harpoon: Captain's Edition - Surface Encounter

So I just got Harpoon: Captain's Edition, which is a nice little beer and pretzels game released by GDW in 1990.  If you're a fan of modern naval combat games and you want something lighter than, say, the Fleet series then this is actually a pretty fun game.  It's probably set at just the right angle for introducing a kid or a spouse to wargaming.  The first few scenarios are basically just training scenarios.  As you read the rulebook and learn more rules, it tells you to play certain scenarios that use them.  This is a nice gradual learning curve approach that makes this game even more friendly for introducing non-wargamers into the hobby.

Anyway, I'm going to show a recent playthrough of scenario 1, which uses the bare minimum of rules.  This is the scenario that you're supposed to be able to play within 30 minutes of opening the box.  You don't need to use the detection rules.  Both sides start out detected.  There are no air units or large collections of …

Harpoon: Captain's Edition (GDW) - 1990

Harpoon: Captain's Edition is not one of those games you hear people talk much about these days.  There are quite a few good reasons for this but mainly it was a victim of incredibly bad timing.  This 1990 release from GDW focused on naval combat in a hypothetical World War III between the Soviets and Americans in the GIUK gap.  Designed by Larry Bond, the same man who designed the Harpoon series, Harpoon: Captain's Edition was an attempt at creating sort of a "Harpoon Lite" version that was accessible to a wider audience.

A Victim of Timing

Looking at the components and the rules, it seems to be aimed at the "dad-son" gaming crowd.  Unfortunately, by 1990 the Cold War was over and done with and everyone just sort of wanted to move on with things.  I don't have any proof of this but I get the impression that Harpoon: CE may have been one of the very last games that was in the pipeline when the Cold War abruptly ended in 1989 and GDW was left standing ar…

Aegean Strike - Closing the Curtains

I've been playing out scenario 2 of Aegean Strike lately and I've finally made it to a point where I can see a resolution coming along to it.  Basically, the Warsaw Pact is set to lose this scenario for a couple of reasons.  Just to recap, the objectives in this scenario are for the Pact to capture Istanbul within 7 turns.  They're fighting against the combined might of Greece, Turkey, and the American Sixth Fleet.

The Bulgarians made some nice initial gains into western Turkey at the start of the scenario but they soon got bogged down in fighting several tough Turkish infantry divisions that stood their ground and occasionally pushed back.  The Greeks tried to take advantage of the relatively few (and weak) Bulgarian divisions that were guarding the homeland.  Greek infantry poured across the border and engaged in arduous mountain fighting with the Bulgarians, without managing much success.  Eventually, the Soviets stepped in and started to slowly get some divisions down…

Aegean Strike - Learning the Lessons

I've been playing Aegean Strike for the past several weeks and I'm slowly putting my way through the scenarios.  The first scenario featured a battle between the US and Soviets over North Africa.  The Soviet player got stomped the first time around but after fiddling with the Soviet setup a little and replaying the scenario, it was a clear win for the Warsaw Pact.  Since then, I've been playing scenario 2 from the game, starting and restarting it and trying different things.  It has been a long time since I've played the Gulf Strike system and I'm starting to relearn it again, which is no easy task.

Mark Herman's creation is an intricate system that has all sorts of moving parts.  It's smart and it makes sense but it takes a long time to get it down to where you can take your focus away from the rules and concentrate instead on the strategy.  I'm still very much in the process of learning the system and I've always approached complex games by curbi…