It seems like you haven’t seen the sky in years. Your days pass in a seamless blur, working alongside your fellow crew members in a tiny metal canister surrounded by the pressing depths of the ocean. You don’t know if it’s day or night when it comes, but a single ping cuts effortlessly through your routine. An enemy sub has entered your sector.
The year is 2048. A new economic war has erupted. Rare earth has become a key element for building new machines, leading private companies to arm next-gen submarine prototypes to protect their underwater mines. Beneath the quiet waves, a silent war is taking place, and these new, unstable submarines are your weapon. Prepare to dive in Captain Sonar, a game of dueling submarines for two to eight players!
Captain Sonar is an innovative real-time game that challenges two teams to take their submarines head-to-head in a thrilling battle. Your ultimate goal is to find and destroy your opponent’s submarine, but this task is far more difficult that it may first appear. Your entire crew must work together to chart a course, charge systems, locate the enemy, and keep your own submarine fully operational. Communication and teamwork can lead you to victory, but if you fail to cooperate, you’ll be sunk to the bottom of the ocean!
At the beginning of a game of Captain Sonar, players are split into two teams—the crews of two battling submarines. Each team is composed of four roles: the Captain, the First Mate, the Radio Operator, and the Engineer, and every role plays a vital part in the frantic battles ahead.
Captain – The Captain of the submarine sets the vessel’s course and determines when to use the ship’s weapons and surveillance equipment. Captains plot the course of the submarine on their own map, while calling out directions to their team such as, “Heading north,” or “Heading east.” Your goal is to bring your submarine into position to attack your foes, while concealing your own true location. What’s more, the Captain must pay attention to each of the other crew members and their impact on the mission.
First Mate – The submarine’s First Mate serves by deciding how to charge the ship’s systems. Whenever the ship moves, the First Mate can charge a single space on a gauge used by a system. When the gauge is fully charged, the system is ready to be used, so the First Mate must stay in close contact with the Captain to ensure the right systems are charged when they’re needed. The First Mate also needs to consider the Engineer’s information, since a critical breakdown can prevent some of the submarine’s systems from being used!
Engineer – Engineers are responsible for keeping their submarines fully functional, but the job can be significantly more difficult than it first appears. Whenever the ship moves, the Engineer must place a breakdown in a certain section of the ship. Some breakdowns endanger the submarine with radiation damage, but others can short out systems, preventing them from being used until the breakdowns are repaired. Although the submarine does have some self-repair capabilities, if too many breakdowns occur, your submarine will need to surface and repair. Until you dive again, your submarine is extremely vulnerable… and you can be sure your opponents will take advantage of your weakness!
Radio Operator – The final member of your submarine’s team is also the only way you’ll ever locate the enemy sub. As the Radio Operator, you’ll listen to every command given by the opposing Captain and mark the route on a transparent sheet over your own map. Though you don’t know where the enemy sub starts the game, by carefully tracking its route and moving the transparent sheet on top of the map, you can determine the possible location of the enemy sub—giving your Captain the golden opportunity to fire. Of course, you’ll need to carefully listen to your Captain’s plans and the results of any surveillance systems to determine the exact location of the enemy submarine.
It’s one team against another in Captain Sonar—a fast-paced battle of wits that plays out as you maneuver your subs and attempt to discover your enemies’ location. Still, you have a few tools at your disposal throughout the game, including the submarine’s systems, charged and readied by the First Mate. Whenever your team wants to use a system, it must first be fully charged by the First Mate, and the Engineer must verify that a breakdown isn’t blocking the system. Then, the Captain may command the game to stop, forcing both teams to stop moving and working until the system has been triggered.
There are six unique systems that you can use to gain the advantage in your duel: torpedoes, mines, sonar, drones, the stealth drive, and a scenario-specific system.
Two of these systems are direct weapons. Torpedoes can be fired from your submarine, but because of their limited range, you give your opponents some information about where your submarine is located. You may choose to lay mines instead, which you can detonate at any time, even from across the map. The trade-off, of course, is that you must wait for your opponent to move within range of your mines.
If you’re going to know where to aim your weapons, you’ll first need to locate your opponents. Your Radio Operator needs every possible scrap of information, and that’s where the second pair of systems comes into play. Every map is divided into nine sectors, and by launching drones, you can ask the opposing team if they are in a chosen sector. Whether they are in that sector or not, they must answer truthfully, giving the Radio Operator vital information. Alternatively, you may activate the sonar, forcing the enemy Captain to give you two coordinates based on their current location. They can give you their current row, column, or sector, and one of these numbers will be true and the other will be false. You’ll need to put your best minds on the information to determine the truth!
Inevitably, the enemies will get a whiff of your location. At times like that, it might be best to disappear. Using the stealth drive lets you move up to four spaces in any direction—and you don’t need to tell the enemy team which way you’re going. If you’re clever when using the stealth drive, you may buy yourself enough time to disappear and regain the element of surprise. Finally, there’s also a scenario-specific gauge, with rules that change based on the scenario.
Five unique scenarios included in Captain Sonar invite you to return to your sub over and over again. Each scenario features different maps and different configurations of islands, as well as a variety of special rules. You may engage in a silent battle deep beneath the ice, unable to surface and repair your submarine without taking damage. Or, you may enter an abandoned minefield, where every narrow passage is dangerous and you can hijack neutral mines to destroy your opponent’s ship.
Furthermore, there are two separate game modes for Captain Sonar. You can play a turn-by-turn mode that allows the Captains to take turns giving orders, each waiting for the opposing team to act before their turn begins. You can also play a simultaneous, real-time mode that allows both Captains to act as fast as they want—dramatically increasing the stakes and the chaos. However you prefer to play, Captain Sonar invites you into a world of thrilling underwater battles.
Gather your team and say farewell to sun and sky. The seas are yours for the taking. Give the order to dive and lead your submarine crew to victory in Captain Sonar!
Captain Sonar News
Announcing a Family Version of the Dueling Submarine Board Game25 Jul 2017 | Captain Sonar
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The Radio Operator’s Role in Captain Sonar2 Aug 2016 | Captain Sonar
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The First Mate’s Role in Captain Sonar1 Jul 2016 | Captain Sonar
The Captain’s Role in Captain Sonar17 Jun 2016 | Captain Sonar
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