Probably most of you naval war aficionados are already aware but for those of you not aware, NWS finally released their title Rule the Waves a few weeks ago.
For those familiar with the earlier Steam and Iron (stand alone or campaign), this title is a further refinement and expansion of that system. It retains Steam and Iron for the tactical battles but now includes a dynamic political and financial system along with a sexy ship design feature. You basically play one of a number of nations starting at the turn of the century and command your navy though 1925. You will have to deal with getting your navy funded, designing the ships in that navy, fighting her wars on the seas, dealing with public pressures, government pressures, colonial holdings, training, tech development, treaties, and politics and world events. Being that it is not a monster game I was a skeptical about how it could handle all these things in a sensible and realistic manner...but they have. This is one of the most addicting games I have played. They have done a marvelous job of balancing the game without any of the features being burdensome or distracting. Most importantly it has a very realistic feel.
One of the key features is financing, developing the technology for and building your navy. While this sounded interesting to me, I lean towards preferring the historical. I was also skeptical that the system would not lead to far out ships that would be more fantasy than reality and their would inevitably be ways to game the economic or political systems to make uber nations, etc. My fears have been unfounded thus far and this area of the game is one of my favorites...it just feels right.
Anyway, great job by NWS and for any of you naval aficionados that have not taken a look at or bought this game yet...I highly, highly recommend it. It is a true, just one more turn type of game. It really captures the feel of the era of big iron from 1900-1926.
You can get more info and check out the manuals here at: Rule the Waves info
If you are a PBEM only player, sadly...yet again...this title will not fit the bill as it is single player only. When, oh when will we get a naval game that supports PBEM (at least one that we can complete a game in days or weeks instead of years)!!!???