RockyMountainNavy, 20 May 2021
Released just this month is Indian Ocean Region: South China Sea Volume II by designer John Gorkowski from Compass Games. The game covers modern/near-future naval warfare in the Indian Ocean. Indian Ocean Region is a complete game; ownership of South China Sea Volume I is not required.
Indian Ocean Region ships in a standard 2-inch deep game box.
The back of the box talks about Indian Ocean Region but doesn’t actually offer the best description of the game. That comes from the Compass Games website:
“The game Indian Ocean Region enables participants to play out possible future conflicts, circa 2025, from their political beginnings to military endings with the same game mechanics as used in the South China Sea game. Players assume the roles of nations or groups of nations and deal cards in multiple rounds of play each representing three to seven weeks to advance their separate agendas. Each card play might trigger armed conflict. If violence comes to pass, the time scale compresses to three to seven hours per turn and players deploy their military units to resolve matters by force. Those forces include: individual capital ships, pairs or triples of smaller vessels, squadrons of aircraft, and battalions of ground troops all waging war at the far end of logistical shoestrings.”
Indian Ocean Region comes with a rule book, two identical double-sided player aids, three sheets of 3/4″ counters (390 total), three 22″x28″ map sheets, a deck of 39 cards, and two dice.
The rule book for Indian Ocean Region is 36 pages printed in full color on slightly glossy paper. Definitely an upgrade over the rule book in South China Sea Volume I. The rule book has not only the rules and scenarios, but a very nicely illustrated Example of Play.
Like the rule book, the counters for Indian Ocean Region are seemingly an upgrade over Volume I. If I had one complaint about South China Sea is was that the counters were on the thin side. Not in Indian Ocean Region! The three countersheets ship shrink-wrapped which is a good thing since the counters literally, and I mean literally drop out of the sheet. I haven’t separated individual rows yet but these counters threaten to be very crisp and clean.
Indian Ocean Region uses cards for the Political Game. The cards are printed in the same color scheme as the box. Although the cardstock feels pretty decent, I still think many players will want to sleeve the cards.
Frankly, the maps in Indian Ocean Region were a bit of a surprise. Laid out they are 66″x28″ – a bit bigger than my normal 3’x5′ gaming table can accommodate. I have not dug into the rule book yet to see if there are one- or two-map scenarios. I wonder if the map can link to South China Sea because if I recall the SCS map right it almost looks like can….
Both Indian Ocean Region and the second printing of South China Sea are available through the Compass Games website.
Thank you for visiting The Armchair Dragoons and spending some time with the Regiment of Strategy Gaming.
You can find the regiment’s social media on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and occasionally at a convention near you.
We also have our Patreon, where supporter can help us keep The Armchair Dragoons on the web, and on the podcast.
We welcome your feedback either in our discussion forum, or in the comment area below.