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"Are you a sub gamer?" Topic

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20 Nov 2018 10:36 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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08 Jan 2020 7:14 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian20 Nov 2018 10:35 p.m. PST

Do you play miniature wargames involving submarines?

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2018 10:46 p.m. PST

Yes, yes I do they are delicious.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2018 10:54 p.m. PST

Are you sure that isn't a burrito?

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2018 11:45 p.m. PST

No, but I own a few miniature submarines.

advocate21 Nov 2018 1:05 a.m. PST


JimSelzer21 Nov 2018 3:10 a.m. PST

bashytubits is dead on

Dynaman878921 Nov 2018 4:53 a.m. PST

No – computer sub simulators are a better fit.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2018 5:54 a.m. PST

MB Sub Search is one of the finest game ever designed.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Nov 2018 6:38 a.m. PST

Yes, but not what you think.

No sub-sub or sub-surface/air/sub battles. I agree with Dynaman8789 that simulators are better for this. Not that you can't do blind movement with miniatures. I feel it becomes tedious when most of what is going on is blind movement and not seeing the battlefield runs against the aesthetic of a tabletop miniature game (as opposed to a computer game where I expect to only see what is presented and can be presented a "realistic" view of underwater combat).

I play 28mm skirmishes inside submarines. Something from bad from outside (spec ops swimmers, an eldritch monster) go in or something already inside (plague zombies, captive, saboteur) is loose.

I do play a number of underwater games (technology or magic enabled) and have a couple of submarines.



But I play regular tabletop games with them, not anything that represents a "sub hunt".

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2018 6:57 a.m. PST

Yes, frequently.

khanscom21 Nov 2018 7:04 a.m. PST

Played one scenario using "Fast Attack"-- Japanese WWII ASW attempting to locate USN sub that was escaping after inserting a raiding team. Mapping the sub's movement was tedious.

A more modern campaign with "Go In and Sink" rules had quite a number of subs involved (as well as surface and air units); mechanically much easier to deal with the subs and dummies. One of the players had served on submarines, and his ASW tactics pretty much reduced his opponent's subs to uselessness.

Timmo uk21 Nov 2018 7:07 a.m. PST

Yes I have done many times, as part of a WW2 naval campaign.

I also have a collection for a Stingray Sci-fi game that I'm yet to do anything with.

Vigilant21 Nov 2018 8:29 a.m. PST


Legion 421 Nov 2018 8:49 a.m. PST

I only have a couple of Subs … they are actually Epic scale Ork Krawlas … evil grin

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2018 9:01 a.m. PST

Would love to

Allen57 Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2018 9:50 a.m. PST

Yes. Mostly VSF for which I have about a dozen subs and a bit of Andersons Stingray. Whats not to like about terror fish?

Allen57 Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2018 9:53 a.m. PST

Yes. Mostly VSF for which I have about a dozen subs and a bit of Andersons Stingray. What not to like about terror fish?

Captainbrown21 Nov 2018 10:43 a.m. PST

Yes I game subs.

Micman Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2018 11:07 a.m. PST


Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Nov 2018 11:24 a.m. PST

Never, I am naturally dominate.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2018 11:44 a.m. PST

I've been working on a submarine game that uses cards and hidden movement. It's not really a miniatures game, as such, and all players control their own sub, primarily "maneuvering" to attack randomly appearing surface targets (and thus earn "tonnage points"), but you can use some tracking and guesswork techniques to attack other players' subs. My gaming group has given it two tries so far, and really likes it. The first time, two of ‘em launched back-to-back attacks on my sub, and sent down to Davy Jones' Locker, the backstabbing ingrates. grin

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian21 Nov 2018 2:03 p.m. PST

Yes.. in 1/700




mwindsorfw21 Nov 2018 2:55 p.m. PST

Only as a part of a larger campaign game. I rarely bother putting anything on the table. I can't imagine doing a sub game on a table without a referee, and that's too much overhead. Sub games are one place computers excel.

Winston Smith21 Nov 2018 2:59 p.m. PST

No. Never have, except once in an excruciatingly boring Harpoon game.

Legion 421 Nov 2018 3:04 p.m. PST

One of my Epic Ork "Krawlas" …


Lion in the Stars21 Nov 2018 3:14 p.m. PST

I wrote a mod of Full Thrust to work as a submarine game.

But sub v surface is very tedious (and requires blind movement for the subs against the surface ships)

Amusingly, Captain Sonar the board game is probably the closest to real-life sub hunting I've found.

Toy Soldier Green21 Nov 2018 3:49 p.m. PST

I hope to build a simulation game and model of the USS Batfish and conduct her combat patrols in the Pacific.

Yellow Admiral21 Nov 2018 6:37 p.m. PST

Only as a non-player surprise element in a surface wargame.

Like others here, I've never seen a good way (or a good reason) to use miniatures in a form of warfare that is all about avoiding detection. The pre-discovery part is boring without some very special rules and a lot of referee adjudication, and I'm not a genius enough GM to pull that off.

That said, Mal Wright is that kind of genius. I would immediately sign up to play any submarine-oriented game by Mal Wright if I were able to. I've read his descriptions of his wolf pack games and modern naval games, and they sound awesome. (For that matter, I would play any game run by Mal Wright on any topic in any place I could get to. He could probably make a simulation of recovering from polio in an iron lung into an exciting gaming adventure.)

- Ix

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2018 10:47 p.m. PST


ptdockyard23 Nov 2018 6:59 a.m. PST

I have had subs participate in 1/1200 engagements but not very effectively. I have AH's "Submarine" and will try that using minis this winter as it has a solitaire mode.

RudyNelson23 Nov 2018 6:18 p.m. PST

No, but I find the DVG solitaire sub games interesting.

codiver26 Nov 2018 8:29 a.m. PST

I ran a miniatures game of a convoy battle using the old AH game Submarine once, way back when. It went OK, but not great.

I also picked up the first of Mal Wright's Convoy rules, and tried them. Actually, I said "first". I don't know if any others came out – that first version was published by CoA (IIRC), it didn't work very well, and (again IIRC) there were a couple of big swirls about CoA changing stuff at the last minute (WRT to "didn't work very well") and stiffing Mal $. USD

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2018 11:31 a.m. PST

Since I mostly go for pre-Dreadnoughts, not really a thing.

myrm1108 Feb 2019 8:25 a.m. PST

[q]Amusingly, Captain Sonar the board game is probably the closest to real-life sub hunting I've found.[/q]
Ever tried 'They Come Unseen' – written by a sub officer and developed whle he was in service…..Captain Sonar is fun but They Come Unseen was more subby.
I do wonder about this new one UBoat that just got kickstarted.

For miniatures though they are a special element in Hammerin Iron mostly – a lot in Uncharted Seas but thats fantasy so not quite the same.

Lion in the Stars08 Feb 2019 1:40 p.m. PST

Hadn't seen "they come unseen", will have to check it out.

Levi the Ox09 Feb 2019 12:08 p.m. PST

I haven't run submarines on the tabletop yet (although I do have some miniatures). I have included them as NPC units in scenarios at the operational map level, though, to good effect.

I have run a WWII scenario in the Strait of Otranto twice. In the first game an Italian sub finished off a crippled British cruiser as she withdrew. In the second a British sub was sank by Italian ASW while another sunk a large Italian freighter.

In both cases, the spotting reports of friendly submarines and the threat of enemy ones affected the players' decision-making during pre-battle maneuver.

4th Cuirassier18 Feb 2019 6:15 a.m. PST

ASW games in WW1 and WW2 have a high inherent risk of being boring because all the sub can really do tactically is submerge and hide. Even if it thought it could set up a shot at the escort, it wouldn't because the escort's draft was probably too shallow, and it's not a worthwhile target on which to expend a salvo of torpedoes compared to a cargo ship.

I can imagine a solo sub game, where you play against a programme that makes decisions on the submarine's behalf about course, speed and depth. I guess the longer you take to sink it the fewer the points, because you're presumably an escort and while you're off hunting down one submarine the convoy you're leaving the convoy vulnerable.

The optimal sub game would be a convoy campaign game where one side operates the wolfpacks and the other operates the convoys, with new forces, weapons and intel introduced at intervals (and withdrawn periodically in the case of the intel).

That would have replayability…

Lion in the Stars22 Feb 2019 3:19 p.m. PST

ASW games in WW1 and WW2 have a high inherent risk of being boring because all the sub can really do tactically is submerge and hide. Even if it thought it could set up a shot at the escort, it wouldn't because the escort's draft was probably too shallow, and it's not a worthwhile target on which to expend a salvo of torpedoes compared to a cargo ship.

You can get around that a bit if the subs get bonus victory points for warship kills.

Yeah, tonnage is tonnage, but warships also take longer to replace, which is why IIRC the US gave additional bragging rights to subs sinking warships in the Pacific. Patrol reports would be written as "X cruisers, Y destroyers, and 20,000 tons of cargo ships."

Dameon23 Feb 2019 8:55 p.m. PST

I recently expanded my interest in naval warfare beneath the waves, so now I can say YES I am a submarine gamer too.

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