War @ Sea Scenarios: Guadalcanal

The official A&A website has a bunch of scenarios focusing on Guadalcanal for the worldwide A&A tourney that uses the board and mini game. At Battleground Games in Abington yesterday I tried out one of the scenarios with interesting results.

Most of these prebuilt scenarios have pre-arranged fleets. It is a nice change of pace from the usual planning your fleet and it really keeps you on your toes. A major downside of this method is the required quantity of certain ships.

One scenario requires 4 USS Fletchers. Another requires 3 USS Boises and 5 USS Samuel B. Roberts (crappy destroyer). I have 3 of most lesser ships like the Roberts and Fletcher. I have quite a few of the Uboats and even the HMS Javelin or other good ships. But, some of these requirements are burdensome.

I have almost a complete set, missing only the Graf Spree, with many duplicates. How is someone just starting the game or with a small collection supposed to play these scenarios when an individual, like myself, with a complete set (or nearly complete) encounters difficulties? Especially now when the game is out of stock across the board. Some of the scenarios are unrealistic in their requirements.

If we get past the problem of fleet composition, maybe some gamers do have 10 Roberts or 13 Fletchers or can borrow sufficient numbers of required vessels, the scenarios are a nice change.

Some of them have unique victory conditions. Others alter how special abilities are played. And some have new deployment methods. All of the variations strengthen the entire game and increases its playability factor. There are only so many times a person can play the “shoot them till their dead” scenario before succumbing to boredom.

The scenarios, as a whole, can make for some great league play. Depending on the rules for the league it is possible for all of the scenarios to be played. With a little teamwork and willingness to share, we all learned that in kindergarten I hope, even the gamer with the least number of vessels can participate.

Hopefully, the scenarios will guide and encourage gamers in creating their own scenarios. It is possible to design a wonderful historical scenario to further the fun using the official ones as a guide. Many historians enjoy discussing “What If” such and such happened. In fact, there’s a couple books in print titled What If and What If 2 that discuss famous historical battles and use real data to discuss plausible other outcomes. Now the armchair general can do the same for WWII naval battles.

If nothing else the scenarios are worth a look. Be sure to check them out at A&A Minis Scenarios paying close attention to the ones that say War at Sea or Combined in the title.