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Subject: Great Mechanics For A "Double Blind." rss

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Jeffery Hatmaker
United States
Kentucky
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First of all, let me say that I am hopelessly biased for naval combat games... That being said, regardless of how you feel about the subject matter, this game is good fun. I like the way the weather and day and night are factored in, the sense of desperation during the task force searches for each other, and the scope of the battles that ensue. The mechanics are the usual, i.e., turns taken in multiple phases. I have only played a full scenario once, and it was years ago, but I'm fairly regular with the two solo scenarios. My only beef is with the way airstrikes are conducted. You have a card that represents your carrier upon which is located all the airplane chits that are assigned to it. You designate targets for groups of aircraft, and they must adhere to your instructions, viz, if the target vessel is sunk or the target destroyed, there's no "target of opportunity" option. Bummer. That's a tiny beef, though, and the way it is set up makes for awesome realism; you have planes assigned to CAP (combat air patrol) which can only fight if an enemy plane shows up, otherwise, they are cycled back through the carrier via a sequence of "steps" that render it ready for play again. The steps are logical, landing, refueling, on deck, ready, etc. I also like the fact that landing on a carrier isn't a fait accomplis in this game. Think of a carrier landing as trying to throw a football and hit a cork that's bobbing in the water about 30 meters away! It's not something just anyone can do with great ease. The rules for this game, (like almost all good wargames), are labynthine, but accessable. The bits themselves are fine, but you'll definitely want to invest in plexiglass or some other means of holding the folded maps flat. I would like a bit more experience with the Naval combat aspect of this game before commenting on it in any detail but I have read and studied them and even played them once, but as I age, my memory fades. The rules governing Naval combat seem lucid and playable. My favorite thing about S.O.F.T.? The critical hit table. This adds color and realism to what can be a very mechanical game. You read the fascinating details about how your torpedo bomber just hit this or that vessel amidships, igniting her powder magazine causing her to sink, or perhaps you've caused her elevators to jam and she can't bring any more planes into the fight! These kinds of damagages are usually quanitified and are reckoned in addition to the initial damage you roll against the vessel itself. All in all, if you want a playable WWII Naval combat game, you will have a hard time beating S.O.F.T. It IS a two player game, however, so playing with a group isn't on the table. Solution? Have more than one copy, so EVERYONE can play! Yes, it's that good.

powwowdancer out
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Charlie Sheppard
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Bought this but haven't played yet. Anyone know how it compares to Solomon Sea? Reprint supposedly on the way but haven't heard anything recenlty. :/
 
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Jim Adlard
United States
Petaluma
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The rules could be put together better as I have a question about the rules. IT states that you can launch a strike with a results of something is there even if you don't know the exact hex. My question is, how do strikes sent out to an undetermined hex make it to the correct hex. Am I missing something in the rules that would explain how to handle this?
 
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Jeffery Hatmaker
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Hey! Check out rule number 9.613: Target Location. "squadrons that fail to find are removed from the air strike boxes and placed at the bottom of the card in the appropriate Holding Box 1" You basically have to roll a 1 to blow your "find" roll. There's a lot more that should hopefully clear things up for you. Good hunting.

powwowdancer out
 
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Jim Adlard
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Petaluma
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Thanks for such a quick reply.

So, what your saying is that when you launch a strike at an indeterminate hex, it is handled as if it is a cloud hex?

What if the hex in question is also a cloud hex, do you have to roll again?

For Coral Sea, the rules for clearing the decks of the carriers are fine, but if you play later scenarios which I've found on the interent the US should always clear their decks. The better use of radar gave the US three times as much warning of incomeing strike as the Japanese. The fact is that the US never got caught after Coral Sea with planes on deck. They either took off, were put in the hanger or pushed over board.cool
 
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M St
Australia
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jadlard wrote:
The fact is that the US never got caught after Coral Sea with planes on deck. They either took off, were put in the hanger or pushed over board.cool

Actually, both USS Franklin (19 March 1945) and USS Bunker Hill (11 May 1945) were hit under such conditions. Neither ship was sunk, but both ships were out of service for the duration of the war.
 
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M@tthijs
Netherlands
Venlo
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Did you visit my www.kobudovenlo.nl? It has game info
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So, this game is very playable with 2 (no referee needed) ?

Hopefully playing my first game within the next couple of weeks.
 
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Martin Gallo
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_Kael_ wrote:
So, this game is very playable with 2 (no referee needed) ?

Hopefully playing my first game within the next couple of weeks.
Yes, if both players play by the rules.
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M@tthijs
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martimer wrote:
_Kael_ wrote:
So, this game is very playable with 2 (no referee needed) ?

Hopefully playing my first game within the next couple of weeks.
Yes, if both players play by the rules.
laugh Well, that's the best way to boardgame, isn't it?
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Martin Gallo
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I think so. Not every war gamer agrees, unfortunately.
 
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Ryan Powers
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_Kael_ wrote:
laugh Well, that's the best way to boardgame, isn't it?


In theory, yes.

In practice, I find it difficult to play unfamiliar games with significant hidden information. Not because of cheating, but because when you're learning, you tend to make mistakes. And mistakes that are hidden don't have that second set of eyes ready to help catch them. Thus we often end up not playing by the rules in hidden info games of any complexity. In a double blind game, this can be brutal.
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