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Posted on Oct 17, 2007 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Victory at Sea (Mongoose Publishing) Review

By Brandon Neff

In the End phase, ships may attempt to repair damage caused by critical hits, although damage to certain vital systems may not be repaired. They also attempt to extinguish fires. Failure to do so may lead to crew loss.

In lieu of movement, ships may undertake special actions such as Flank Speed, Create Smoke and Rig for Silent Running.

The Advanced rules include aircraft, weather, night battles, radar and submersibles. In my opinion, the aircraft are woefully underpowered in Victory at Sea. Aircraft changed the nature of naval warfare and this is not well represented. This may need to be addressed in an upcoming supplement. Otherwise, a house rule may be appropriate.

The book contains a Campaign section which allows you to depict an entire region at war. The book includes two campaign maps, used to track who won battles in particular areas in both the Mediterranean and Pacific.  



For this review, a friend and I tackled the Historical scenario Clash of the Giants. This battle took place in 1940. The two German battlecruisers, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were caught unawares by the British battleship Renown. The British player must destroy the German ships to win. If either German ship is crippled, the British player earns a partial victory. The German player wins by sinking the Renown or escaping off the board edge, 36 inches away. The game began with a flurry of evasive maneuvers and poor visibility due to bad weather, but soon the British gunners were locked in and shells started slamming into the Gneisenau. The Germans briefly returned fire and then made a mad dash for the edge of the board. They manage to escape, taking heavy damage, but uncrippled. A victory for the German player!

Both my opponent and I enjoyed the game and were thrilled to find a naval miniatures game that was light on rules and heavy on action and fun. This is a beer and pretzels game and the serious grognard may be dismayed if expecting something different.  

Overall Impression  

This is a light, fast game. In an hour or so, you can recreate a naval battle without being bogged down by overly complicated and seemingly pedantic rules. This game can be taught in a few minutes and there is very little downtime for either player. My only complaint with this otherwise stellar game is the weakened capabilities of aircraft.


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1 Comment

  1. We’ve been playing this for a while and pleased you like it as much as we do! We are making an official mobile version so I’ve been looking through at people’s thoughts of the game!


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