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Pursuit of Von Spee, The

Pursuit of Von Spee, The
Category: War Games
Author: Eric Grenier
Publish Year: 2010
Restockable: No
Type: Boxed Game


In The Pursuit of von Spee you are put at the helm of the German or Allied fleet. Your goal as the German commander is to disrupt Allied shipping, raid Allied possessions, sink Allied warships, and survive for as long as possible. As the Allies you are to capture the German colonies and seek out and destroy the German raiders all the while trying to keep your merchant shipping en route to their destinations and afloat.

The Pursuit of von Spee is a game of deception and subterfuge. One must keep in mind at all times that the winner of this game could very well be the best bluffer. Without knowing exactly where your opponent's ships are, a subtle look could give you the hint needed to find von Spee and send his fleet to the bottom.

The Pursuit of von Spee uses a fog-of-war system that hides the location and condition of the various ships in the game. Naval combat uses a system which takes into account the size of a ship's guns, its top speed, and the strength of its armor at various parts of the ship. The Allied player has a lot of responsibilities to take care of in addition to hunting the German player, while the German player has to choose his battles carefully and keep a close eye on the condition and coal-reserves of each of his ships. The German player also has the ability to bring two other ships into the campaign, the Karlsruhe and the Königsberg. The Allied player receives reinforcements as well during the course of the game.

In your game box you will receive four 12" x 18" map sheets which join together to make one 24" x 36" map spanning from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic. The game includes 240 die-cut counters, one 10-sided die, two blinds, four ship charts, five player aid sheets, and a 19-page rulebook containing all of the rules and setup information required.

This game is of medium complexity but has only a few mechanics to master. Learning the game comes quickly as the phases are simple and straight-forward. In addition to regular playtesting, this game was also playtested with a first-time wargamer, who was nevertheless able to grasp the basics of the game in her first session. Learning the strategy and intricacies of play can take much longer, as the options in this game are endless. Depending on how long von Spee survives, the game can last anywhere from 2 to 12 hours.