Sunday, June 15, 2014

AAR: Mission Commands Air and Sea

I wanted to break out some games I hadn't played in a while:  Milton Bradley's Mission Command line of games from the early 2000s: AirLand and Sea.   If time allowed, I also had Chains to Champions waiting in the wings. 

It was Nick, Kenny, Bill and myself that night.  We decided to start with Air, as it played four.  Bill and I teamed up against Nick and Kenny.  We took out one each of their planes, but ultimately Bill's luck ran out.  As his last plane was shot from the sky, all Bill could say was "It all comes down to dice rolls.  I needed one more pip on that last roll".

A dramatic recreation of Bill's ruin.

We then split apart.  Kenny and I took on Mission Command Sea, while Nick and Bill played the classic Milton Bradley Revolutionary War game, Skirmish.

Note:  While I didn't get pictures of their game, both Nick and Bill said they enjoyed it.  What's unique about Skirmish is that it's a Milton Bradley game that featured abstracted, asymmetrical conflict.  Made in the mid-1970s, this was a rarity for a mainstream board game.  Their report of the game said that it followed history.  The Redcoats had the early upper hand, but the Colonials held on and persevered for the victory.

For a little background information, Mission Command Sea is a simulation of two carriers duking it out using aircraft and a couple of protective destroyers as 'screens'.  The carriers never move and cannot protect themselves.  You try to sink a carrier using both harpoon missiles and your destroyers. 

In our game, Kenny and I traded off destroying each others' planes and destroyers. 

Early game action

As we shot harpoon missiles at each other, they kept falling just short of their marks.  At first this was met with laughter, but after the fourth or fifth time (each) they became critical failures to finish off each other.

Near game's end...

It was a tight, intense game that ultimately ended in a tie.  Neither one of us had destroyers or planes left and I had one hit on my carrier to Kenny's unmarred flight deck.  We agreed that our carriers floated off in opposite directions, preparing to fight another day.  Fun game and probably my favorite from the trilogy.

As always, it was a fun evening with my friends.  Looking at it from that perspective, how could anyone lose?

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