June 1983 – world war III has begun. F-14 Tomcats and F-4 Phantoms roar off the carrier decks looking for Soviet Backfire and Badger bombers while underwater Victor and Sturgeon submarines duel. In the merchant lanes, loaded tankers make their way from the US to Japan, stalked by submarines and the Soviet fleet. Somewhere in Hawaii, a Soviet spy transmits the location of a carrier group to the Soviets, and a RORSAT satellite whizzes overhead looking for its target.
Welcome to the Pacific – the US problem is the great distance involved fighting thousands of miles from home, whilst the Soviets fight on their doorstep, though with the chance of their airfields and ports being destroyed – even then, the main Soviet Pacific ocean ‘warm water’ port of Petropavlovsk, being remote, has no rail or road access and must be supplied by sea – the Soviet fleet will have to take up this challenge. Vietnam also – a 5 day cruise from Vladivostok – must be supplied by sea.
The US will hope that Japan will make their forces available – but what if the Soviets have arranged for neutrality? If neutrality cannot be arranged will the Soviets take the initiative and destroy the Japanese air on the ground?
China states its neutrality, but could join either side – perhaps choosing this moment to make their move for Taiwan, or to stay neutral – if they do will the Soviets invade and solve the Chinese communist problem once and for all?
And what of North Korea – eager to profit from a fight but answering to both China and the Soviets; a South Korean victory could be disastrous here – if war is declared, US marines and convoys must not get through!
Blue Water Navy: The Pacific covers the action from the West coast of the USA over to Vietnam and is the sister game of Blue Water Navy, which covers Europe. This game can be played standalone; ownership of Blue Water Navy is not necessary to play.
Game System Features:
- Card driven, each card provides points to move units or trigger events – all the chrome is on the cards
- Reaction events spoil enemy plans, keep both players on their toes and deliver a story
- Interactive IGO-UGO system is fast and keeps both players playing, not watching
- Task forces must be detected to be attacked – if you can’t see it you can’t shoot it
- Submarines are powerful but need to be queued to a detected target
- Air detection assets find task forces but are vulnerable to fighters
- Soviets must maintain their nuclear missile submarines, and their first strike capability whilst the US must sink those nuclear missile boats
- Presents the real order of battle as known in the time periods of the game – no made up units, no ahistorical superweapons
- Fun and fast, but realistic and plausible outcomes – modern naval without the maths
Pacific Theatre Features:
- Neutral nations and diplomacy – China; Japan; North Korea
- Europe and US to Japan merchant shipping – sink those tankers!
- Chinese minelaying, huge invasion fleets and hopelessly outclassed weapon systems
- Wild weasels, multirole fighters, B-52s; and F-18’s on carriers
- Both sides get to attack – the Soviets need to do damage but protect their bases.
- Anti-task force ICBM strike (!)
- Like BWN, 3 timeframes to choose from showcasing changing technology – 1983, 1985, 1989 – go for 1989 for super high-tech with cruise missiles, Akula class submarines, VLS Ticonderoga..
- A smaller game than blue water navy and more of a sandbox – there are many possible outcomes
- 20 optional potential or ahistorical variants – Monsoon; Korean unification; Philippine uprising
- Complexity: 6 out of 10 (medium)
- Solitaire suitability: 6 out of 10 (medium)
- Time Scale: Each turn = 2 days (each card play is one day)
- Map Scale: Each area represents 500 nautical miles square
- Unit Scale: Each counter represents 10 ships, 3 submarines, one squadron or regiment of air
- Number of Players: 2
- Playing Time: 1-3 hours for scenarios and 8-12 hours per campaign game
- two maps
- two countersheets: counters are a mix of 1 inch, 5/8″ and ½” markers
- two decks of 55 playing cards (110 cards total)
- eight double-sided player aids
- rules booklet
- scenario booklet
- ten 10-sided dice