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Striking Effectively First

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“As a consequence, carrier battles were risky, unstable affairs that hinged on striking effectively first. To do so, a carrier force had to locate its adversary before it was detected itself, or not long after.”

– Robert C. Rubel, Deconstructing Nimitz’s Principle of Calculated Risk

This is an expansion to my ruleset There's The Effing Scheer, which allows you to wargame early- to mid-war WW2 naval combat. This game adds an operational map for moving task forces, rules for fog of war, reconnaissance and detection, and aircraft carriers launching air strikes. 

Aircraft carriers were a huge shift in  twentieth century naval warfare. The ability to detect and strike enemies beyond line of sight upended naval strategy. The warship that had taken hundreds of thousands, if not millions, to build could be sent to the bottom by a handful of aviators shrieking in, dropping some ordnance then disappearing over the horizon.

When I first published Scheer over a year ago, I aimed to add a quick little expansion within a couple of months to bolt-on a mini-campaign system and get aircraft carriers into the fray. It has taken me a little longer, but it is a more substantial expansion that me and my playtesters are happy with.

As with the base game of Scheer, I wanted something that incorporated the fog of war and confusion of early carrier combat. Operating on half-information and making crucial decisions without all of the pieces in front of you are big parts of this game (in one Coral Sea game, I was defeated as the Americans by rushing my first strike on what turned out to be some cruisers, while the Japanese, now knowing where my carriers were, stuck effectively first and crippled both my carriers). I want to put you in the seat of Nagumo as he wonders whether or not to wait for better information or to launch now and hope you hit the right targets.

This game comes with rules for incorporating aircraft into the Scheer base game, generic operational rules for fighting multi-day engagements and four operational scenarios (Matapan, Java Sea, Coral Sea and Midway).

If you want to complete an operation in a day using a game which isn't going to take up all of your time, give realistic results and allow you to roll some dice with friends as you refight the early naval operations of World War 2, look no further.

Happy gaming.

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File Last Updated:
January 14, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on January 14, 2023.
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