Gaming: Hidden-Move Games

[As you can tell by now, I subscribe to the Ronseal approach to Post-naming.]

I have found that there are very few games in which one player makes move that the other play either: can’t see, or, doesn’t know about. I don’t see why though – it could be quite entertaining.

Anyway, I watched Das Boot recently, so let’s think of a sub-themed game.


A simple set-up is this – one player controls a guarded convoy [Player 1], the other some submarines [Player 2]. Player 1 has to get as many of his ships to the other side of the board. Player 2 wants to kill the Merchant ships in the convoy. Pre-game, Player 1 designates some of his mechant vessels as Q-boats [Destroyers hiding as merchant vessels]. If this is a model game, then it could be written underneath, or something.

Lets give Player 1 some nice ships to play with though. For a convoy of, say, 20 ships, he has 2 Q-boats, 6 Destroyers, and 1 Dreadnought.

Player 2 has a measly 4 U-Boats.

It should be played on a large squared board, with the Merchants and Destroyers taking up 2 squares, and the Dreadnought 4. Each ship has a certain allocated HP – merchant vessels 1, Destroyers 2, and the Dreadnought 6. If a submarine takes 1 hit, it’s out.

However, in order for Player 2 to be “hidden”, Player 1 can only see along which line Player 2 fired his torpedoes. Player 2 also tells Player 1 in which areas he has submarines, but not how many. The board may be divided into a larger 3×3 grid, above the smaller isometric grid.

If the game lasts 10 turns, then each Player can have a “timer” ability. When Player 1 drops charges, he can choose to have them delayed until any turn he wants. He says he drops charges in a 2×2 grid, and writes down the co-ordinates, and the turn at which it goes off. Similarly, Player 2 can use Timed Fuses, in which he puts down the line of action (where it originated from, and in which direction), which works under similar principles.

Each player could also have an offensive and defensive ability. Player 1’s offensive is to launch a Hedgehog – a 4×4 grid of charges, that last 2 rounds. His defensive may be the aforementioned Q-Boats. Player 2’s defensive may be Silent Running – for 1 turn, he does not have to tell Player 1 where the sub’s are. His offensive may be HE Rounds – the torpedo does double damage against the target.

Each player can move his ships every turn, in order for the game to remain fluid.

The problem here is for Player 2 to keep track of the subs, but a small notepad should solve that problem, with the subs laid out in chess-like notation – i.e. Sub 2, d3to b7. Or something. You’d only need 10 lines anyhow.

Not sure how I should expand / modify this any more, so I’ll end it here.

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