Third Edition

Brief Description Missiles flash above the sea and boomers lurk below, in this comprehensive game of modern naval warfare. The rules cover everything from aircraft carrier task forces to submarine vs. submarine combat, using a simple rules system with an exhaustive data base. Sinking your enemy is only half the battle -- you'll have to find him first.
Period present-day (1990's)
Scale Tactical. 30 seconds per tactical turn; 10 minutes per intermediate turn. 1:36,000 (2 inches per nautical mile). Units are individual ships and aircraft.
Basing Individual ships and aircraft
Contents Boxed game includes rules booklet (48 pages), scenario booklet (16 pages), and data book (136 pages), 2 reference cards, 2 six-sided dice, 1 decimal die. The inclusion of 180 die-cut counters allows one to play immediately, without miniatures.
Designer Larry Bond
Publisher This edition was put out by GDW

A detailed description is also available.

Third Edition Supplements

Data Books

Harpoon 1990-91 Data Annex

The fundamental idea behind the Harpoon system is that as time marches on, the game stays the same but the data is updated. This is the data update from 1990 (if you had the earlier edition of the rules, this book brought you up to date; if you buy Harpoon today, this book comes with the set).

More than half of this book consists of the ship listing (full game statistics for the navies of 18 major nations). This is followed by an aircraft listing for 12 of those nations (28 pages). Then comes 26 pages of information on individual systems (missiles, guns, radars, weapons directors, electronics pods, nuclear weapons, and so forth).

There are a few new rules as well. Annex N provides tables for generating a random environment for a scenario (time of day, sea state, wind, visibility, sonar variations). A 2-page rules supplement deals with long-duration air missions and in-flight refueling, and forms are provided for aircraft mission planning.

Harpoon Naval Review '94
This product was announced, but we're not certain it was ever published.

Scenario Booklets

The scenario booklets (products 711, 718, & 750) contained scenarios, background material, and sometimes new rules, data and data forms for the scenarios.

Battles of Third World War
48-page scenario anthology, product #711. Fifteen scenarios set in a hypothetic WWIII in the North Atlantic.
South Atlantic War
136-page book, product #718. Coverage of the 1982 Falklands War includes an overview, orders of battle, maps, forms, new rules, and 24 scenarios.
Troubled Waters
104-page rulesbook, product #750. Forms and rules covering the Third World. We're not sure if this was ever published.

Form Booklets

The "Form" booklets were collections of data forms for ships and planes, with check-off boxes for missiles and hits.

ASW Forms
48-page sourcebook, product #716. 32 pregenerated status sheets for ASW vessels and planes, plus a scenario generator.
Ship Forms
48-page sourcebook, product #712. American (12 ships, 8 aircraft) and Soviet (13 ships, 4 aircraft) forms, plus a North Atlantic scenario generator.
Sub Forms
48-page sourcebook, product #713. 30 sub forms.

Captain's Edition Harpoon

This GDW product was not directly related to Harpoon, though it too was designed by Larry Bond. It was a stand-alone, introductory-level boardgame at a different scale.

The announced sequel was to have been Sealift, another boxed game which had a board that connected to the original game's board. We're not certain this ever shipped.

Last Updates
28 June 1997supplements update
19 June 1997page split off
6 June 1997added Hal Smith's comments
22 July 1996reformatted
15 April 1996reorganized
Comments or corrections?