DGS Games

Victorian Admirals Anthology – PC Flash Review

Developer Totem Games

Publisher: Strategy First

Author: Boggit

I picked this quirky little naval gem on sale at Gamersgate. It’s quite fun, being focused on four small campaign scenarios set in the late Victorian period. Ships haven’t yet made the full transition to the warships we know from the First World War period onwards, so you’ll see ironclads with rigging, and many ships organised for broadside fire, although some get turrets.

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The Spanish turret ship Puigcerda at bay. With her 8” guns and heavy armour, she played hell with my squadron .In the background one of my cruisers, the USS Boston, limps away heavily damaged.

I took my screen shots from the Marianas Incident 1887 mini campaign, where I played as a Yankee squadron commander. Whilst I won the game, all my cruisers, and my casemate ironclad had to withdraw due to critical damage, but I sank all the Spanish ships save one turret ship. I thought the AI put up a reasonable fight, although that could just be me overestimating my skills as a Commodore, or Admiral…

Each campaign features a “what if” colonial conflict in the Pacific. Conflict dates range between the years 1885 to 1889. The various sides are Spain, Germany, USA, and Chile.

The game plays out well, and graphically is well presented. Whilst there isn’t too much detail given about hits, it does at least have critical hits resulting in either flooding, or fire, together with some damage control depending on the overall health of the ship. I suspect there is more going on within the game engine than I realised, since the earlier Ironclads collection had specific hit locations in some campaigns, so perhaps it’s a design decision?

A scenario/campaign editor to add different combinations of ships, and new player made campaigns would have been a nice feature. It would add much more re-playability. I hope the developer has the resources to add this in a new patch, since it would be a major improvement to the game.

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The USS Franklin. A little roughed up – see the hull hits – but still full of fight.

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Don’t mess with us! The battered Puigcerda runs for home under 6” gun fire from US frigates.

I liked it. It is quite unique in covering this period at the tactical level. It can get a little repetitive at times, and compared to its sister product Ironclads (set in the 1860’s) has less campaign options. Nonetheless, it’s generally good fun, definitely worth getting, especially if you’re a naval buff looking for something different.
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