Surface Battle Group is a new and refreshing approach to modern naval surface combat. It takes away the micro managing of lower levels of command on ship(s) and allows you to concentrate on tactics of higher command, thus allowing each player to comfortably handle up to about 6 ships. The rulebook is written in an orderly manner with examples and summaries after each chapter. There are 50 pages of ship and aircraft forms that contain all relevant information, which is used during play as your record sheets. Important to the ship forms is the fact that the author, Tom, has given you the formulas for determining the ship characteristics (hull points, speed, damage control capacity, etc.) of ships not available in the rules; so, you can expand your ship list. Surface Battle Group still gives a feel for the variety of radar and weapon systems and their functions in a more simplified form that permits greater playability. Crew quality comes into play in the form of fighting ability, damage control, initiative, and more importantly morale. In summary, the rules are very playable and yet offer the feel of realism. I fully recommend Surface Battle Group, give them a try!
The “Pirate Expansion” to Surface Battle Group has ship forms for generic type boats (speed and fishing) and ships (freighter, tankers, and super tankers) along with 2 new U.S.N. ships (Freedom and Independence) to fight such events as Somali Pirates. The expansion is great and I’m looking forward to hunting down more pirates.