I have always been a fan of Pacific-based games and was really happy when I discovered Empire of The Sun. There is some entrance barrier here, as the rules are rather complex – not that they are difficult, but meticulously prepared and trying to cover various accepts of this game. Still, I had so much fun, especially in my first two attempts to play that title (see here: Struggle over Pacific – EotS for the first time and 1943 over Pacific – EotS for the second time) that whenever possible I am coming back to it. Of course, it is good to have dedicated players, who are willing to familiarize with the system – and I am blessed to have such – but with forced lockdown in place, the only option for me now is solitaire. As I had one thing which was evading me for a long time – as always, lack of time – that forced isolation gave me and excuse to test it. What was it? See below!
South Pacific is an Empire of the Sun C3i Scenario Variant that uses the full scope of its parent design. While South Pacific is a complete stand alone game, all of the tactics that work in EotS work in this set-up. What is unique about South Pacific – and what is really like – is the smaller map region focuses and significantly simplifies the strategic options available to the two sides.
So what do we have here? Each side has a 24 card deck that are like the Empire of the Sun cards except they have been renumbered. The counter mix is also identical, except we have aligned the set up and reinforcement markings to the four-turn scenario. All of the relevant tracks have been redesigned by Mark Simonitch to fit on the tailored C3i Mapsheet surface that shines a spotlight on the turning point in the Pacific War.
As this is a subset of the broader war each player is playing with a four rather than a seven card hand – which speeds up the game significantly. You will also never reshuffle the deck allowing for high replayability. Definitely, if you learn to how to play South Pacific you will also know how to play its parent game Empire of the Sun.
The session report
What follows is a photo-session report – I am of opinion that picture is worth thousand words. Hope you will enjoy it! Now, I was playing that game solitaire – no possibility to meet with friends yet. You may ask how I did that?
Well, with such games there is always a problem how to introduce the bots. What I did I invited my two very eager and willing to play “planes and ships” sons – 5 and 7 year old ones. One of them was leading the US and the other Japan. Both had cards in their respective hands, they know pretty well the colors so I was asking them – “Do you have yellow card to play?”, or after offensive “Do you have blue to counter-attack?” or when playing offensive “These are two good options, which do you choose”? Believe me, they proved to be superb AI, providing so much chaos and needed randomness into the game that I think neither side was favored 🙂 And we had great, quality time in family atmosphere.
Without further delay, let us see what happened!
Turn 1 (May-Aug 1942)
Turn 2 (Sep-Dec 1942)
Turn 3 (Jan-Apr 1943)
Turn 4 (May-Aug 1943)
That was fun – both playing EotS and spending time with children. The scenario is a great entry position for all the players who would like to familiarize themselves with Empire of the Sun. And a very balanced and interesting puzzle for both sides – strongly recommended!