Behind the LInes #5

By Scott Parrino 24 May 2003 0

Like the weather around here lately, this column will seem a bit "soggy". Things have been jumping on the naval computer game scene and many things need to be said so much of this piece will be nautical.

Neat Sites

Gamers can be excused if they thought Subsim Review dealt only with the Silent Service. In fact, the site now encompasses such surface games as Destroyer Command, Enigma and Pirates of the Caribbean. The entire spectrum of naval affairs is covered from the latest breaking news (readers can find out the cause of the recent Chinese sub tragedy) to articles going back to 1996. The forums there are active, helpful and congenial. A section on tips and tricks yields answers to questions and problems. A chat room is available for those who want to ruminate in real time about their adventures on the cyber briny. Patches and other downloads for thirteen games reside here as utilities and wallpapers.

However, this site is not just talk. Subsim Review served as the gathering place for Projekt Messerwetzer, the project that brought Silent Hunter II - Destroyer Command computability to full fruition as well as the Sub Command mod, SCX II, described below. Designers and developers go to this site to see how knowledgeable gamers react to their products. The on-line store carries many games at very reasonable prices. Founder Neal Stevens and staff members Frank Kulick and Bill Nichols deserve all the praise and support we can give them for making Subsim Review one of the premier naval gaming sites.

Itty Bitty Battles

We knew it was coming but it's still a surprise when it hit. Ship Hunt is a sub game for palm computers. Using a Palm OS, players command a generic modern sub as it tackles a hunter-killer group. The player's screen is 3D, both color and greyscale are supported and tapping the screen accesses controls. For gamers on the go, the drop-dead price should make it a "must have". Check your baffles for it on this web site.

Meanwhile, Up Topside...

The black shoe navy is still alive and kicking. Naval Warfare Simulation just released version 8.0 of its Fighting Steel mod. Christopher Dean and William Miller continue to dig the promise out of this World War II surface sim.Players who already own the original or those who were interested before reading all those negative reviews check things out the game's official web site. Fighting Steel itself can still be had and can be worth the money, given the work this team has put into it.

Patches (and Upgrades) on Parade (May, 2003)

Due to The Wargamer's excellent collaboration with The Patches Scrolls, I no longer have to tediously key the intricate links into my descriptions of noteworthy patches; I'll just name them and explain them. I've used The Patches Scroll for years and can attest to the quality of their service.

  • Praetorians v1.04 - another successful bug hunt.
  • Age of Mythology v1.05 - minor tweaks.
  • Galactic Civilizations v1.03 - more responses to players' comments. If Brad Wardell ran for office in my area, I'd vote for him twice.
  • 1805/1809 v1.09 - Adds fog of war to PBEM ; fixes data in some scenarios.
  • Battlefield 1942 Realism Mod - I mention this only because some of the aging staff here at The Wargamer had a great time playing online recently. The question is: How much realism can we take?

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