The add on provides several new ships; all those present at Coronel and the Falklands, and new scenarios covering the various phases of both battles, along with “Isla Guafo,” a what-if that presumes that Cradock took the old battleship Canopus with him up the west coast of South America instead of setting off without her. Let’s take a look at some of the scenarios.
Here’s how I set my machine.
My desktop is several years obsolete. I have an ATI Radeon 5700 graphic card, an AMD Athlon II x4 620 processor, and 4GB of RAM, over Windows 7 Enterprise-N/SP1. But with these options, I can run a small squadron action like Coronel or the Falklands without a hitch. As you can see, the ships look great! Here are von Spee’s twins, at Isla Guafo in the rain:
Take a look at the first one. That’s Scharnhorst in the lead, taking a 9.2 inch hit from Good Hope. But wait, there’s more eye candy. How about this one, from Gneisenau’s bridge?
And of course, we want to see Cradock’s ships:
Take a look at the pasting Good Hope was getting at about the same time she made that hit on von Spee’s flagship in the first image:
Those damage shots look like period photos of shell hits I’ve seen in several books.
And of course, there’s Canopus:
And the battlecruisers:
And von Spee’s small-fry:
Here’s one for your desktop: Scharnhorst letting fly at Good Hope, in the rain!
The ships seem to take realistic damage. Not every hit is a critical, and in the mission-creator you can set all sorts of preferences, up to and including the boldness level of the ship captains. This is beginning to resemble the old Close Combat games, where the developer tried to model a soldier’s psychology. I think it’s ambitious, and interesting. You can also set options that take into account the notorious unreliability of some British ammunition, and the tendency of some of the ships to explode… unpredictably. Also, I believe that weather makes a difference. In the Isla Guafo scenario, Cradock’s cruisers can get to knife-fighting range of von Spee’s twins in the rain, and that close in all those 6-inch guns even the fight a little, especially with the weather and smoke interfering with that great German gunnery. All in all, satisfying. But… all is not perfect.