Captain Sonar

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Captain Sonar

Post  DaveB on Wed 05 Oct 2016, 08:31

So we tried Captain Sonar last night.

For those unaware of the game, it's a team-based (up to 4v4) submarine game with each player taking on certain roles (captain/engineer etc) with the objective of finding and destroying the other team's sub. The game has rules for both turn-based and real-time play. Lets go into the roles a little bit:


  • Captain - Issues the orders and works with the Engineer and First Mate to make sure nothing breaks and that the various abilities are available when needed
  • Engineer - Every time the sub moves has to damage a system in that area. Ensure nothing critical breaks and tries to ensure systems available when needed
  • First Mate - Every time ship moves can add a charge to one of a variety of systems - this can be to help find the other team (sonar/drones), stealth or offence
  • Radio Operator - Listens out to the other captain's orders and tracks them with a hope of identifying them based on their movements (navigating around obstacles etc)


First thing I should note is it wasn't exactly played in the ideal setting (we couldn't get in the little room, so playing in the big room with lots of background noise) but I loved the game, thought it was really tense and interesting. We started off with a turn-based game to get a feel for the mechanics before doing a couple of rounds of the real time game. I played the Captain and Radio Operator roles and the latter in particular is *hard* to do!

One thing I (and I would guess the other people playing Radio Operator) struggled with was hearing the orders from the other side - I did think at first that the seating order should be changed, currently each person sits across from the same function on the opposite team - Like so:

E FM C RO
---------------
E FM C RO

but as the captain is constantly talking with the Engineer and First Mate a lot of orders get sent off in that general direction making it hard for the Radio Op to hear at times. Instead I wondered if this might be better:

E FM C RO
--------------
RO C FM E

as the opposite RO is at least in the right general direction to pick up commands, but as it turns out the rules state that the captain must be clear and unequivocal when issuing an actual order - which is something I think all the captains probably messed up - oops!

There were a few other things we screwed up along the way I'm sure, but the game was terrific fun - tense and challenging. Despite the less than ideal conditions for our first few games, it's the first real-time game that I've played that I've not immediately forsworn against playing again in the future, which has to be a good sign Smile
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Re: Captain Sonar

Post  PaulC on Wed 05 Oct 2016, 16:55

I think poor James copped for some flak in his role as Radio Operator (I believe our Captain threatened to fire him our of a torpedo tube!), but it is undoubtedly the hardest role of the four. Having to listen to the other team to hear their course, whilst being badgered by the captain to tell him where the enemy is located is no mean feat. Definitely needs to be played in a much quieter environment, but I really enjoyed it too.
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Re: Captain Sonar

Post  Aneurin on Wed 05 Oct 2016, 17:06

You mean not in the same room as 10 player Zombicide?
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Re: Captain Sonar

Post  DaveB on Wed 05 Oct 2016, 17:06

PaulC wrote:I think poor James copped for some flak in his role as Radio Operator (I believe our Captain threatened to fire him our of a torpedo tube!), but it is undoubtedly the hardest role of the four. Having to listen to the other team to hear their course, whilst being badgered by the captain to tell him where the enemy is located is no mean feat. Definitely needs to be played in a much quieter environment, but I really enjoyed it too.

I definitely found RO a massive challenge to play
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Re: Captain Sonar

Post  DaveB on Wed 05 Oct 2016, 17:07

Aneurin wrote:You mean not in the same room as 10 player Zombicide?

One of the two things I really don't like about that room at the Uni Arms is the acoustics - ambient noise is always a problem in there. You guys weren't being particularly noisy as far as I was concerned...
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Re: Captain Sonar

Post  eery petrol on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 15:31

DaveB wrote:
PaulC wrote:I think poor James copped for some flak in his role as Radio Operator (I believe our Captain threatened to fire him our of a torpedo tube!), but it is undoubtedly the hardest role of the four. Having to listen to the other team to hear their course, whilst being badgered by the captain to tell him where the enemy is located is no mean feat. Definitely needs to be played in a much quieter environment, but I really enjoyed it too.

I definitely found RO a massive challenge to play

Friends who feel overwhelmed by rule-heavy introductions have preferred to play as the radio operator. While challenging to do well, it is also very simple to understand.

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Re: Captain Sonar

Post  DaveB on Thu 26 Jan 2017, 15:37

eery petrol wrote:
DaveB wrote:
PaulC wrote:I think poor James copped for some flak in his role as Radio Operator (I believe our Captain threatened to fire him our of a torpedo tube!), but it is undoubtedly the hardest role of the four. Having to listen to the other team to hear their course, whilst being badgered by the captain to tell him where the enemy is located is no mean feat. Definitely needs to be played in a much quieter environment, but I really enjoyed it too.

I definitely found RO a massive challenge to play

Friends who feel overwhelmed by rule-heavy introductions have preferred to play as the radio operator. While challenging to do well, it is also very simple to understand.

Agreed, as far as roles go it's the simplest by far in terms of rules - but there is a lot of pressure on that job, more than any of the others I feel.
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