Grogheads First impressions: Fleet Commander Nimitz Update!

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Fleet Commander Nimitz is a solo, strategic level wargame from DVG Games originally published in December, 2014.  The player takes command of all Allied forces in the Pacific starting in January, 1942 against Imperial Japan.  There are four scenarios within Fleet Commander Nimitz: 1942; 1943; 1944; and 1945.  Players can do better than Nimitz and the allied forces did historically, or the player can lose and be replaced.  You can also play a linked campaign starting in January 1942 and ending in 1945.

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By: Avery Abernethy,

1942 Setup

1942 Setup

DVG Games has been updating many of their solo-wargames, and Fleet Commander Nimitz Upgrade was launched as a Kickstarter campaign in November, 2019.  At the same kickstarter updates were launched for Tiger Leader and Thunderbolt-Apache Leader.  The Nimitz update was a reasonable $20, so I backed the upgrade.  Delivery was delayed due to the dumpster fire that 2020 has been worldwide with the plague.  I got my copy in late September.

4 years linked campaign

4 years linked campaign

You must own a copy of Fleet Commander Nimitz to play the upgraded game.  The physical components are: a new battle map; a new campaign map; four updated campaign sheets, and an updated rule book.

Upgrade beside original

Upgrade beside original

The campaign map is quite large and very sturdy.  It should hold up very well for years.  The updated campaign sheets are printed well with a plastic surface.

New Strategic Map

New Strategic Map

The update should easily fit into your Fleet Commander Nimitz box even if you are using zip-lock bags to organize your punched units.

Upgrade Fits in Box

Upgrade Fits in Box

The big rule changes are how Japanese supply is handled and how Japanese supply directly impacts the aggressiveness of the AI Japanese forces.  Japan starts with a 0 on the resupply track every turn.  Resupply allows unit purchase, damage repair, and offensive operations.  The resupply count goes up and down depending on the roll for each local Japanese force.  You roll each turn for every grouping of Japanese units on the campaign map.  If the random roll provides largely passive action, then the resupply counter goes up.  Sortie’s and Offenses can only occur when the random die is 17+, and you are rolling a ten sided die.  This means that the Japanese must gain die bonuses on their resupply counter track for major offenses.

Furthermore, the resupply counter track bonuses decrease every year after 1942 – eventually becoming negative adjustments to the die.  US actions such as submarine patrols further cut Japanese supply.  The adjusted system makes it harder and harder for the AI Japanese to advance or attack as their supply situation deteriorates both through the war and as they launch attacks and eat up their supplies during a campaign year.  The major map changes incorporate these new supply tables on the campaign map for easy bookkeeping.

New Battle Map

New Battle Map

There are additional numerous minor rules clarification in the updated rules.  The new rules change the Japanese AI behavior with aggression declining every year.  Furthermore, every time the Japanese launch a sortie or a major offensive – their supplies are substantially reduced.

Until I have a chance to play Fleet Commander Nimitz, I don’t know how balanced this update is or how it influences the ebb and flow of the war.  DVG has a long history with good solo wargames, so I’m betting the upgrade is an improvement in play.  Hopefully I’ll get a chance to set it up and play a campaign or two to see how the new system works out.

This DVG Kickstarter allowed backers to include numerous other games and expansions in their purchase as add-ons with generous pricing and shipping terms.  I ordered the sequel to The Cards of Cthulhu.  Unfortunately, my shipment mistakenly included a second copy of the core Cards of Cthulhu without the expansion.  But DVG Games customer service fixed my problem after I alerted them by email – and I received my expansion within a week of alerting customer service to the mistake.


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