Although we’ve been playing Victory at Sea at our local club for a few months now and have played a small league, we’ve never tried a campaign. Until now.
We started the first series of linked games last night – and it completely changes the way you look at a game.
Up to now it hasn’t mattered if a ship has been sunk in an engagement, it hasn’t mattered how much damage vessels have suffered during a game – because that has not knocked on to subsequent games. Now we’re all being forced to look at the way we play and even whether or not we choose to engage in a battle.
The game rules themselves are pretty simple. If anything the campaign games are more complicated.
Damage to vessels is persistent and can only be repaired under certain conditions. Ships that are sunk are deleted from the limited number of vessels that are available in the fleet. Ships that engage in battle (and survive) gain experience which can be used to improve the quality of the crew, refit the ship itself to improve it’s condition (even over it’s starting statistics) or train the crew in certain roles. Then reinforcements can be added to either replace losses or to supplement the original fleet.
We started this week with the Far East Campaign – US Navy, Imperial Japanese Navy, Soviet Navy and Royal Navy are all fighting to control territories from Hawaii, Formosa, Northern Australia, Japan and China. Holding territories means fleets more quickly gain the resources needed to maintain their vessels, but it also makes them slower to react to the events of fleets with less territory and therefore less strategic targets to support. So far the Imperial Japanese Navy are on top, but the US Navy and Royal Navy aren’t far behind. The Soviet Navy suffered some Destroyer losses trying to run the blockade of Singapore by the IJN, but still have access to some impressive Capital Ships and Aircraft Carriers.
It’s a chance to replay some historical scenarios, but also a chance to try out the “what if?” games. What if the large battleships of the Japanese and US Fleets had engaged in direct ship to ship action? What if the US Navy had lost it’s carriers?
If you want to find out more about the club you can visit the Facebook Group here, or you could just pop down on a Thursday night to the regular evening, have a look and give it a go. Get in touch for more details.