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Subject: IJN: Some nice chrome without a lot of complexity rss

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Dan Hyer
United States
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Washington
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This is a quick review out of the box, rules and components. It is primarily aimed at those who have already purchased Silent War and are considering whether to purchase this expansion.



Overview
Overall this is a very nice and simple expansion. It adds some chrome and flavor but does not substantially alter the play or length of the game. This is a fairly inexpensive expansion, at least for those of us living in the US. I purchased it for under $20 and combined it with another order and so shipping was negligible. Given that, this was a no brainer purchase for me. Now for those contemplating whether to purchase Silent War or Steel Wolves, it boils down to which theater appeals to you more.

Components
The game components consist of the following:
* Game box
* 2 full countersheets representing Japanese naval warships and auxiliary ships. In addition there is one German commerce raider, the Michel
* Sequence of Play sheet - mounted on cardstock similar to the player aids in Silent War.
* 8 page rulebook (2 pages of this are a ship removal table)

My feeling is that this really was developed hand in hand with Steel Wolves. There are no additional scenarios or major game changes, and is consistent with what I would expect with updating Silent War to keep it current with the new developments in Steel Wolves. It does lengthen the game somewhat as you now have one additional step, and many additional counters. At some point in the future I would not be surprised to see this expansion rolled into a reprint of the Silent War base game.


The Sequence of Play sheet


Countersheets



The counters are very nice, functional and readable. The ship names are very small for those of us with old eyes, but that's why I have reading glasses.

One note on the countersheets. My copy was very deeply punched, much deeper than I have seen in other games. The good news is that it minimizes the chances for accidental tearing of the artwork when you are punching the game, but for those of you who are collectors or going to play on Vassal and don’t want/need to punch the counters, this is bad news. It is very possible that counters may have fallen out of the sheets by the time you first open the game or do so with very little handling. I know that I have several counters that are hanging on by a thread.

The biggest part of the expansion consists of the countersheets. Their use is very simple and is just an added step in the base game. Whenever you draw a naval counter, for example, destroyer or battleship, you simply do a blind draw of an actual ship of the correct class out of a cup. When that ship is sunk, the counter is removed from the game. If you draw a named ship from the original Silent War counters, you simply draw a ship of that class from the IJN counters.

If an IJN ship is damaged but not sunk it is removed from the game for the rest of that war period. For those who wish, there is an optional table that you can use instead for determining how many months a ship is out of action before being returned to active duty. If you’re ahead of the game, and succeeding in your naval war, it takes longer for the ships to be repaired and returned to active duty.

Diligent Escorts
When drawing a Diligent Escort, you simply now draw an actual DD or DE out of the destroyer pool, and give it a +3 modifier. The final ASW factor on a diligent escort can never be more than +6. Yikes! As many DDs and Des have a base ASW factor of 2, seeing a 5 total is going to be pretty common.

New Rules
My impression is that these are pretty much straight ports from the Steel Wolves rules. Here are the major changes.

1) Loners
It is now possible to encounter a lone ship, especially a warship in those white boxes on the Area Activity charts

2) Crash Dives
This is a way to escape from sudden attacks (aircraft, diligent escorts, and malfunctioning torps). Low probability of success so don’t count on it.

3) Targeting an Escort
Rules for surprising and attacking escorts.

4) Early advancement to Period 4.
If you are doing really well, there are conditions for moving into Period 4 early.

5) Removal
2 of the 8 pages of the rules are a table listing when many of the ships are removed from play (dates or events). I’m assuming that this is when they were sunk as the result of aircraft or surface ship activity, or removed from active duty for other reasons, but nothing is explicitly stated. If there are no remaining ships of a certain class, such as BBs, the draw is treated as ‘no event’. It looks as if by 1945, there was very little left of the Japanese navy.

Conclusions:
For those that are happy with the base game or are budget constrained, there is no compelling reason why you must run out and buy this expansion. It does not add scenarios, fix a broken game or add another level of strategy to an existing game. However if you’re searching for some additional chrome, this is probably for you. The components are high quality, very readable, and are comparable with the base game. For me, this may be a Vassal only game, so I wish the countersheets were not so deeply punched, but I can live with that. The price is great. Personally, I’m very happy that I purchased it.
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Gunther Schmidl
Austria
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Is there confirmation that IJN will be rolled into the Silent War VASSAL module?
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Dan Hyer
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I would assume so, but I haven't heard anything.
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Reg Stock
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I got tired of waiting so I made up my own Vassal extension which runs with E's Silent War Module. Works a treat....

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Craig Davis

Missouri
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Can you up load it?? pretty please
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Christopher Schall
United States
Evans City
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Yes, this looks fantastic!! I've been playing the full campaign using VASSAL and IJN (by drawing out of cups when called for). This would be great for a VASSAL only game. Please make this available.
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This extension contains scans of original artwork (Intellectual Property) so I have approached Compass for endorsement before I will publicly release it.

It's really up to them if it fits into the corporate strategy for their products though I don't see there will be an issue since they are supporting modules for Silent War and Steel Wolves. I just posted this to let you know that there is something in the pipeline.

Hang in there......



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The IJN Vassal Extension has been posted on the Vassal site :D

http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:IJN

Enjoy.....
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