The card pack was the usual high standard from DVG with several new ships for existing fleets, a representation of the Indian Navy with some "interesting" stats; Additional targets both land and sea based; Strategy and Mission cards to create the scenarios and a new rules sheet.
We played a mission from the short campaign option to get a feel. I took the JMSDF and Josh took the Indian Navy to give them a try out. Resounding victory for the Indian navy. They have a good range of ships with Cruise missile capability which destroyed the 3 land targets in succession. I couldn't get ahead of the curve despite limiting his hand with a surprise attack in the first turn.
- There is now a mechanism to limit the number of shots when launching high damage strikes with missiles and torpedoes.
- You are now limited on the number of defensive cards you may play in a turn.
- You can only buy ships or Strategy cards from your fleet during a turn. New additions to your fleet come by deducting points from your VP total.
- Initiative in the campaign switches back and forth.
- Your Strategy cards come off your fleet total and your mission limit.
- You can buy new strategy cards using VPs but you cannot buy a replacement strategy card for one you have already played.
- Some missions limit the number of VPs on the table which probably affect your Fleet choice.
The Game played like most standard missions. The Viraat is a command vessel which added +1 card to Josh's hand. He used Inspiration quite early on as well which gave him an additional three cards in the second turn. The Indian ships have a good mix of SSM and Cruise Missile capability which was hard to stop as I forgot to enforce the Ordnance depletion roll. He had brought on a Sub as well which I couldn't deal with. The mission was about killing his missile shooters and protecting the targets than killing things for me which meant he could do some attrition as well. I managed to get a larget bomber strike onto his fleet however screening ships moved two of the attacks onto one of his FFG which didn't disrupt his shooting. I think in my last turn I had one ship active which I chose not to commit. 30-0 and Josh only needs 10 to win. As we played the game using today's date his reinforcement options are limited and he has used some of his strategy cards up early so if we carried on I could probably scrape some points back, but as he scored maxmimum points early on it would be hard.
Lessons Identified (because we always fail to learn from them)
- Some of the Indian Navy ships have an evade capability which isn't to be scoffed at and makes them harder to kill. Don't think you have an easy kill.
- The Campaign rules need a thorough reading a couple of times before playing.
- The new defensive limitation can be a killer so be aware.
- Remember to use the Ordnance depletion rules