Thursday, March 5, 2009

First Impressions: Atlantic Navies

I received my pre-ordered copy of Atlantic Navies, Command at Sea Volume VII by Clash of Arms Games (CoAG) a few days ago. This is the latest edition of their World War II Naval wargame series which started with Rising Sun in 1994.

The game box comes with 4 booklets: The Command at Sea 4th ed Rulebook, Gruppe Nord (the Kriegsmarine), Le Guerre Navale (the French Fleet) and Home Fleet (the Royal Navy). Also included is a 10-page "Jump Start" rule book to help players get started right away.

For those not wanting to invest in miniatures, the game includes 4 sheets of gorgeous ship and aircraft counters. The artistic quality of the Command at Sea counters has improved tremendously since the publication of the first edition. Each counter is illustrated with a top-down view of a specific ship or aircraft. The ship counters also bear a faded image of each navy's national flag along with the vessel's name or class and type.

I've only managed to glance at the rules and haven't playtested any of the previous editions. Created by Larry Bond as part of CoAG's Admiralty Trilogy, Command at Sea is for the serious student of World War II naval warfare. Therefore, the rules lean more towards "simulation" rather than "game." As such, Command at Sea provides first-rate reference material to naval-war enthusiasts. The fleet booklets provide the naval historian with everything he needs to know, whether its the wind direction and speed during the Battle of the River Plate (SE at 13 knots), or type of torpedoes carried by the Prinz Eugen (G7a's), in order to set up historically accurate encounters at sea.

The ratings for the Command at Sea series posted on Boardgamegeek range from 7.15 to 10.0 and are well deserved.

With pre-orders complete, Atlantic Navies now retails for $125.

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