|a game by||Conflict Analytics|
|Editor Rating:||5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||7.0/10 - 2 votes|
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In these days of corporate "product," it's nice to know that great computer games can still come from the workshop of a single determined visionary. Such is the casewith Action Stations!, the brainchild of Commander Alan D. Zimm, a career naval officer who markets the game out of his apartment and who spends most of his time as executive officer of a U.S. Navy cruiser.
Action Stations! was born during a tour of duty at a Washington, D.C. thinktank called the Center for Naval Analyses. Zimm's task was to create mathematical models that would permit computers to simulate the dynamics of tactical decision making. This was extremely difficult because naval battles can be influenced by the tiniest details, including weather, technology, fatigue, and so on — even more so than with land battles. The simulations Zimm developed were characterized by their incredible detail and "finegrained"realism.
As a result, a simply astounding amount of nuts-and-bolts data has been incorporated into Action Stations!. The game covers all the warships of every major power from 1922 to 1945, and it even includes data for advanced ship designs (such as the awesome American Montana-class battleships) that never got past the blueprints. Action Stations! allows you to refight most of the important naval encounters of World War II, and to create engagements that never actually transpired.
Maneuvers, targeting, and damage control are handled from drop-down menus, while the actual battle is depicted on a screen modeled after those found in the Combat Information Center of a real warship. The formats and symbols are likewise derived from real naval usage. All this gives the game a somewhat spare, spartan look which may alienate players in search of fancy graphics and cinematic animation. But if authenticity and white-knuckled realism are your main concerns—if you really want to know what it's like to command a fleet during a high-seas engagement — Action Stations! is definitely your game.