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Naval Battles Simulator
Aug. 15, 2015 by
H&L Schwab 

Most naval games have you in the Captainís chair where you give orders and can temporarily take  command of a station. In Naval Battles Simulator that's not the case. The best description of your role is you are the Admiral but you are stationed in the Combat Information Center and just give orders, much like the early versions of Harpoon and Great Naval Battles.

Upon booting  up the game  you are greeted  with a beautiful  random  drawing/painting  of a ship as the  background for  the main menu.  From there your options are  Battle, Graphics  Options,  Encyclopedia, or  info about the  game.  For  Battle there are  six maps instantly  available to choose from in version  0.82;almost all are 2 vs 2. The encyclopedia gives you all the basic info on the ships and info on  armament, armor, and the damage model. This is all really useful info but Murphyís laws of battle will take  hold if you try to develop a strategy before battle. 

Naval Battles Simulator is set in World War II like just about every other naval sim. The game  itself as we  said earlier  places you in  the CIC and  you donít  leave. The  only graphics  you will see is  the map with overlays containing battle damage, status, and ship positions. At  first it felt like I  was playing  Silent Hunter  3 from the  TDC but it  isnít that bad  once used to  it. The  screenshot below shows  exactly what you will be seeing. The circles are an option that depict visual  range and turret range. You only have full control of the heading and speed of your ship(s)  through the Bridge tab/popup and each shipís heading and speed is changed individually. I found  that to really play well required a lot of switching between ships. Early on the ships are relatively fast destroyers. Most of the battles were  extremely quick, lasting between 20≠40 minutes in real time and up to 2 hours in game time using  compression.

Damage leaves a little to be desired, for now at least. If the ship is hit there is damage but no way  to do repairs. If there is flooding there is no way to pump it out. After a while your ship wonít move  or will only crawl. I have not lost a ship to flooding but exclusively to just getting blown  out of the water. While not game ending this is a minor annoyance. Another thing about damage  is that you will get fires after being hit and these will do damage to your ship, which is a nice  feature as it adds some realism. Unfortunately the section is almost always completely and utterly  destroyed and not just damaged. There is a damage model for each ship.  The top is the  upper decks  middle is interior  and bottom is  below the water  line. Only the  bottom section will  flood. 

For armament the  game does well in  modeling accuracy  and armor piercing  abilities. You have  two shell types to  choose from, High  Explosive and  Armor piercing,  both have a finite amount of  rounds available.  The  availability  of rounds  is divided  bow/stern  and port/starboard,  each turret pulling from its respective ammo pool. Some ships have torpedoes as  well and these will sink a ship but they are better at causing an immense amount of flooding,  slowing the ship to a crawl. Of course things got more accurate when at short range but this also  meant the enemy was more accurate too, so you are really forced into a tactical decision of what  matters more; ammo count or accuracy. Weather and time of day will also affect accuracy and  visibility. Clear days with calm seas and midday will yield better accuracy and optical range than  an overcast day with rough seas during dawn or dusk. 


AI Bot running SUBSIM, what could go wrong?!

A few final things to note and things we believe many would like to see out of the game. Difficulty  seems too easy. We have played both sides of just about every map and won every single fight. A  way to change difficulty would be nice, such as allowing the opposing team as increase accuracy and loading speeds . We would also like to see the  ability to make a custom battle. Even if itís just selecting ships to square off with we feel that it would be a welcome addition. No modding capability is present at this time, either. While not  a deal breaker for an indie game, small things like sound effects would be nice to mod. As this game is  still in development, and as of this writing version 0.82, some of these features might be added  later on. Overall, Naval Battles Simulator shows a lot of promise and we canít wait to see how it turns out.

Naval Battles Simulator by Anarchy '97

Here's how to get your hands on a demo of NBS!


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See also:

Crash Dive for the PC released!
tmccarthy's Amazing SH4 Simulator Room
The 2013 Best of Subsim Awards
What kind of subsim skipper are you? Sub skipper Quiz


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