Monday 6 November 2023
South Pacific, 1914 - Madasahatta Style
Not for the faint hearted but a great doorstop of a game - carrier battles, air strikes, naval battles - you name it, it’s all there. One of my absolute all time favourite boardgames.
Way back in 2020 I was able to reacquire a copy of the Avalon Hill version of S. Craig Taylor’s epic boardgame Flat Top, covering carrier battles in the South Pacific in 1942. It is a game that is a hugely rewarding experience to play, albeit requiring a lot of time and commitment. I recall playing the original Battleline version to death ‘back in the day’ but as yet have not done so with the Avalon Hill version you see above.
I had a brainwave, triggered off by all things, reading about Von Spee’s voyage across the Pacific from Tsingtao to the Coronel and the Falklands via the islands of Samoa. The brainwave is quite simple. Let us suppose for one moment that the Far East Squadron headed to the Solomon Islands after leaving Tsingtao. This has a certain historical resonance as originally this chain of islands was split between the British and the Germans although neither country expended much in the way of resources there.
Let us imagine that both nations HAD developed their colonies including garrisons etc and suddenly you have a theatre ripe for gaming in.
Even better, the plot maps already exist in the game Flat Top for the naval side. For the allies the Australian Navy will feature as the prominent force with the Royal Navy providing senior command and a few big and shiny ships no doubt! The Germans will have whatever escaped from Tsingtao plus a smattering of AMCs and sundry other assorted scrap metal. It will be a naval campaign of small scale actions and raids, set against a backdrop of restless natives, European soldiers of fortune, traders, missionaries and colonial garrisons.
THIS IS NOT A NEW PROJECT - just a bit of a variation on an existing one….