Monday, September 7, 2015

Unboxing Steel Wolves on this fine Labour Day Monday.

I honestly don't have the mental energy or time to play wargames like I did when I was 13. The days of playing 15 hours of Avalon Hill's Squad Leader (an 8/10 complexity in the early 80s) is long gone. However, I can't help myself sometimes and still buy these things for "one day" in the future.

I am still on my submarine kick, so I got Compass Games' Steel Wolves. Thankfully, the game is mid complexity and solitaire, so I think I can manage it. I was daunted at first with the 3,000 minutes of estimated game play.

Everyone knows to take what Boardgamegeek says for play length and double it in the first play. Still, 3,000 minutes is quite a bit of time. I assume it's the campaign game and so, hopefully, scenarios are a lot less time consuming.

I did not read the fine print though, and this game has over 1,200 counters. Seriously?

What impresses me is that it must have every uboat that Doenitz ever fielded. Hundreds and hundreds of uboats, starting off with U-25, a piece of crap Type IIA to the Type XXIs.

I haven't read the rules yet, but why does the game include British subs when it's supposed to be about the uboat campaign? Not that I'm complaining.

The victims.. the merchies. 

 American warships..

Anyways, I spent my labour day Monday punching out these counters. It took me 4 counter trays to fill and I could barely fit them in the game box.

The map looks interesting and large though. I can't imagine someone putting it on their table for a year though playing out those 3,000 minutes, assuming playing 1 hour or so a week.  That table will not be able to be used for another purpose, unless you're meticulous and recording where counters are in the map and then filing it away until next time.

I'll have to read the rules one of these days and take a crack at breaking the Atlantic supply lines in the near future.

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