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Thursday, March 10th 2016, 7:10pm

Atlantic Fleet

Atlantic Fleet is an interesting little game that I picked up for cheap off of Steam recently after I saw a review on YouTube. I've only played it for one evening so far, but it's pretty fun and I recommend it.

First, Atlantic Fleet is not World of Warships. WoWs is real-time online, while Atlantic Fleet is like playing a computer-based version of tabletop miniatures. The ships you command don't have hit-points; your first hit on an enemy (or the enemy's first hit on you) can cause anything from minor cosmetic damage to a catastrophic magazine explosion. If the ship takes flooding damage, it goes lower in the water; if a turret is damaged, it will stop firing.

Gameplay: The core of the game is turn-based. You can control a single ship or a squadron in battle against an AI opponent. During a turn, each ship gets a move and then an action (for example, firing guns or torpedoes). The player adjusts the bearing and elevation of the guns, taking into account the various factors: wind speed and direction, enemy course and speed, and the previous fall of shot. For every turn you're tracking a target, you get a more accurate assessment necessary for a gunnery solution. This is all simplified for the user interface and the turn-based system, but nevertheless is pretty realistic.

If you're fighting at night in a snow or rain squall, you can fire star-shells to get more accurate targetting data. One of my most challenging battles to date involved defending a convoy from the Admiral Hipper... at night... in a thunderstorm. Despite closing the range and raining starshell salvoes down, it took me well over ten rounds to get a viable targetting solution. Whereupon I hit Hipper once, and it turned around, made smoke, and threw all my targetting data off. Argh! Start all over again...

As I said above, ships don't have hit-points. I ran a custom battle taking two County-class cruisers up against the Graf Spee. Due to the way I managed to maneuver, I avoided most of the pocket battleship's fire - but the one hit I took caused heavy damage to HMS Norfolk, and one or two more hits like that probably would have forced me to withdraw to avoid being sunk or crippled. Meanwhile, Graf Spee shrugged off a half-dozen 8" hits without any apparent problems to its fighting capability.

There are three main modes that I've found so far. First is the single battle function, which has a bunch of historical battles (for instance, Denmark Strait, River Plate, North Cape, Barents Sea) and a custom battle feature. There's what appears to be a strategic-level gameplay mode which I haven't played yet. There's also a 'campaign', where you start with a destroyer and build up points to acquire larger ships like cruisers or battleships. I started with HMCS Athabaskan, and things went along just swimmingly. I bought a Dido class, and then a Flower to fight some U-boats... and that didn't go very well at all. Cheating bottom-dwelling ungentlemanly pirate U-boats.

Technical Stuff: This game was designed to be played on mobile devices, and was reworked for PC. Its a graphics and OS requirements should not be demanding for any reasonably up-to-date computer.

What the Game Has: All major German and British wartime combatants are represented in the game, including HMS Hood, the escort carriers, Bismarck, U-boats, etc. The game also includes, as a bonus, two Lion class battleships and two H39-type battleships for the Germans. The Americans are represented by the North Carolina and the Washington. A few Canadian and Australian ships - for instance, the RCN's Tribals and the RAN's County-class CAs, are also represented, albeit under the RN flag.

What the Game Doesn't Have: Not enough other ships! I'd love to see some US cruisers and destroyers, as well as the French and Italians. This would make a pretty good add-on pack someday, I think.

The game also doesn't have an online multiplayer component (at least that I can see). It appears you can play on the same computer with people taking alternating turns, though. My biggest complaint about the game is that the turn-based engine doesn't take the various rates of fire for the guns into effect. So Bismarck can fire once per turn, at exactly the same rate as a Tribal-class destroyer and a York class cruiser. I think this kinda makes torpedo attacks by DDs on larger warships a lot more difficult a proposition than it was historically.

Final Review: 4.5 / 5.0 Happy Hedgehog.


Thursday, March 10th 2016, 8:36pm

With this, do you even have any time left to spend with your friends and family?


Thursday, March 10th 2016, 9:59pm

With this, do you even have any time left to spend with your friends and family?

Usually. It'll be a good game for me to play while my wife is playing Final Fantasy.


Thursday, March 10th 2016, 10:06pm

"Playing Final Fantasy" sounds pretty vague to me considering that there are a few dozen or so of them. :)


Thursday, March 17th 2016, 1:11am

From tonight's "destressing" session:

HMS Anson, cleared for action! Let's hear that British lion roar.

"Hun in the sun! Gneisenau bearing off the starboard bow, range long!"

Gneisenau starts ranging.

In a long-ranged gunfight (~24,000 yards), Anson managed to cross the T and score early hits.

Excellent German gunnery managed to achieve significant fires and two major secondary explosions on the British battleship, but in the end, superior British radar-rangefinding and weight of metal clinched the battle.


Keeper of the Sacred Block Coefficient

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Friday, March 25th 2016, 4:44pm

Sounds like a lot of fun...

What about costs?


Saturday, March 26th 2016, 4:16pm

Sounds like a lot of fun...

What about costs?

I got it for $10 USD (~8.95 Euros?) on Steam. Not sure what other purchasing options are out there besides Steam, though, but it should be around that price...


Sunday, March 27th 2016, 11:09am

I've got to admit it looks like the naval sim I've always dreamed about.


Monday, March 28th 2016, 5:40am

I agree, it looks good though I might get a bit annoyed by the turn based rounds.