Notify me if/when this item becomes available:
(you will be asked to log in first)
from 1 customer review
Please Login to use shopping lists.
Even on quiet days, they expected an Atlantic Storm.
From September 1940 through December 1943, the German Navy and Air Force sank nearly 2,000 Merchant Marine vessels carrying over 10 million tons of needed war materials for Great Britain and Russia. However, by the end of 1943 the Allies had defeated Hitler's surface fleet, and his U-boat "wolf packs" were the hunted instead of the hunters.
Atlantic Storm recreates the tension experienced by Allied seamen during those deadly times when German U-boats, bombers and warships tried to stop them. Atlantic Storm features simplicity and replayability. 2 to 6 players fight a battle for each convoy, with the winner of the battle taking the convoy as a prize. Lots of table talk keeps the game exciting as opponents negotiate with one another to thwart the efforts of the leader.
Atlantic Storm is one of my favorite games. I would recommend it to all gamers. It has good replayability with lots of pros and few cons. Although its designed for 2 to 6 players, I recommend at least 4. The ideal number of players is 6 or 7 but the game is still playable with 8 or more players. One of the most interesting parts of the game is your interaction with the other players. With fewer than 4 players, there just arent enough players to interact with.
I would also recommend playing with all the optional rules from the rules booklet since they give the players more options during their turn. With the original rules a weak hand stays weak but with the optional rules, you can replace your entire hand with hopefully a better one.
Quiz time, but no prizes:
Which company (no peeking) is likely to produce a trick-taking card game, well-themed, but possibly abstract in concept, will charge 20, and wrap it in a lead-lined box which make the contents feel twice as heavy as they look (two packs of cards and three die).
Well, and because I didn't trust any of you not to look, the answer is, bizarrely, Avalon Hill. And if this sounds like the beginning of a tirade, it isn't. More like "explain the marketing behind this game whilst keeping a straight face".
You see, although Atlantic Storm looks dinky, possesses excellent graphics (by way of the Bryce software package?) and at least evokes the history of its source material, it is, no more, no less, a straightforward card game.
Designer Ben Knight is a wargame veteran. But AS isn't really a wargame, although the self-important Historical Background, which prefaces the rule book suggests firmly that it is. Those expecting a partner to Up Front or Guerilla will be disappointed.
What we have are two packs of cards, the 'Convoy' and 'Force' decks. Cards are drawn from the Convoy deck and contested for by means of a hand of Force cards. It works like this:
Each player (two is a fudge) is dealt six cards from the force selection. These are, for the most part, warships, aircraft and various weapons (Allied or German), plus bonus 'events'. Each named and dated card is rated for Air, Surface and Submarine (typically 0-3) combat. The background picture depicts either the Atlantic or Arctic Oceans and is clearly marked with Victory Point Icons.
Rounds comprise turning over a Convoy card, noting the Ocean in which it is travelling and the relevant year of sailing (1940-43). The card's point value is indicated by a sunken ship motif.
Let's assume the revealed card is 'PQ 17', a 'half-full' convoy sailing in 1942 in the Arctic Ocean, whose value is four points. Although players may discard (and frequently do), in this instance the cargo is worth fighting over. Peter nominates air as the 'suit', and plays a Junkers 88, Arctic Ocean only and valid in '42 and '43. It has two combat points. Paul counters with the Hood Battlecruiser (either Ocean), matching the Junkers combat rating (but wasting the '5' value if used as a surface card). Mary tips the balance to the Brits with the Audacity Merchant Aircraft Carrier, worth 3 points. Mary and Paul win the hand and divide the spoils. This division of goods is handled very well. A single winner would take both the convoy and losing card(s), but in the above example, Mary can elect to take the convoy and leave Paul with the Junkers.
"Is that it?" you scream. Ostensibly, yes. But you wouldn't expect AH to extract your money without dipping into the flavour barrel. The well-researched Force deck includes several event cards, which either add to combat values, change the suit, or compel certain cards to be played. Additionally, if you are able to 'target' an opposition card, it is removed from the round and provides additional victory points. The Junkers 88, for example, can 'eliminate' the British Navy's Trinidad Cruiser. A Force card's total points value may also be invoked (combined operations), and certain boxes are marked with a question mark. In this instance, the die is rolled for the combat result at the end of the round. This brings an additional element of suspense.
The rules suggest the selection of 20 convoy cards (from 40 supplied) to be fought for. The advanced rules allow two to be revealed, and one chosen for battle (the other is discarded). In either case, AS will wrap in well-under the hour. In early run throughs, with two different groups, no-one wanted to call a halt (extremely rare!). However, there was a general look of bemusement from all, with Mike Siggins succinctly asking "why a war theme?".