Captain Sonar is a naval warfare board game for 2 to 8 players. It can be played in real time or as a turn-based game. Players divide up into two teams and take on roles that represent the crew of a submarine (captain, first mate, radio operator, and engineer). The goal is to locate and destroy the opposing team's submarine before they can they can do the same to you.
In games with less than 8 players, players of each team are able to assume multiple roles.
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Pro A great teamwork experience
All player roles have great synergy with one another, so by performing your role to the best of your abilities, it allows your teammates to work more efficiently. Regardless of which role you choose (captain, first mate, engineer, or radio operator), each and every one is important and vital to the success of your team.
For example, each time the submarine is moved, the captain decides the direction, the engineer ensures no systems are overloaded, the radio operator will be determining the position of the enemy sub, and the first mate can start getting the weapons charged and ready to deploy.
It's a lot of fun when your team becomes a well oiled machine, communicating and working together to bring down your opponent's submarine as a group effort.
Pro Pace can be as relaxed or frantic as you want
The game has rules for both real time and turn-based play. With real time, everyone on both teams is able to perform their roles simultaneously which usually results in a bunch of people shouting over each other in excitement and panic. On the other hand, turn based play is much more relaxed. Teams are able to take their time when making decisions and forming strategies.
Pro Versatile thanks to its many different roles
Each team controls their own submarine with four different crew member roles to choose from. For one game you might opt to the be the captain and plot the course of the submarine, and the next you may choose to be the first mate who prepares and deploys weapons. Depending on which role you play, your game experience will be vastly different as each role has very different responsibilities.
Pro Tense gameplay
Communicating with your team and trying to coordinate your submarine's movements, track the enemy sub, and keep all your systems running can be tense in all the right ways. Relying on your teammates to perform their crew member roles effectively while you scramble to perform your own results in an atmosphere where everyone is frantically working towards outplaying the other team. This is all compounded by the fact that a team of real human opponents is doing the same thing to you in a suspenseful game of cat and mouse.
Pro Scales to groups of various sizes
Captain Sonar scales well to groups of anywhere between two and eight players. While ideally, you'd want 4 players on each team to ensure all four roles are filled, it's entirely possible for you to take on multiple roles if needed. This means, even with 2 players, it's fully playable.
Pro Extremely easy to set up and start playing
The game consists of a game board for each player depending on their chosen role, clear plastic sheets, and a black marker. Setting up is as easy as taking the game boards out and placing a clear plastic sheet over each one. There's no tokens, dice, or other pieces to keep track of.
Con One bad player can ruin your team effort
The game is highly dependent on your team working together to track and damage the opposing team's submarine. Since each role is vital to success, if a teammate is playing their chosen role badly, it will negatively impact the entire team.