Last week our class played a game called Captain Sonar. This game is played with 2 teams and 4 roles on either team. The two teams are separated by dividers in the middle of a table. Technically you can play with 2 players on each team (4 total), but that would be chaotic. The best case scenario is 4 players on each team (8 total). The goal of the game is to move your submarine around the map without crossing your line or without running into stuff. Within that you’re supposed to use powers to inflict damage on the other submarine. One of the roles is the captain, who decides the direction of the submarine and must say the direction (north, east, south, west) aloud so the other team can hear them. They keep track of their route on a map. The captain can also choose to use the submarines powers such as sonar, drones, torpedos, mines, as well as silencing. If a captain wants to use a power they must have everyone stop to make it happen. Another role is the radio operator who’s job is to track the enemy submarine by listening to the opposing captains directions. You will not know where they started, but you can get a general idea of where they are based on the layout of the maps. The next role is the first mate, who has to responsibility of charging up the powers of the submarine. There are white spaces to fill in next to each power, and each move the sub makes, the first mate can fill in one space. Once the spaces are all full this power is fully operational. The ability to use these powers is also controlled by the engineer. They have a sheet in which there is a column for each cardinal direction with circuits going across each. For each move the submarine makes the engineer must cross out one of the decals in the circuit. Each decal corresponds to two of the powers that the submarine has, and if one of the decals is crossed out, the power may not be used. The only way to allow the engineer to erase all of the crosses is when each piece of the circuit is crossed out, at that point, the circuit is operational again. The game we played was simultaneous, which meant players could go as fast or as slow as they wanted.
For me the most difficult part of the game is that we played with only 3 people on each team, which meant that the captain was also the first mate. This was only a problem because the game couldn’t move as quickly as with 4 people on a team. The extra responsibility also made our team get confused and mess up the rules a few times. Beyond that it was difficult to find a strategy that worked well the first time, because as the engineer I had no idea where the other team was. I think my team could’ve worked together more in order to understand what our goals were going to be. That way as the engineer, I could know which decals to cross out, so that the right powers were available. Overall it worked pretty well, but I think more communication would’ve made this game better.
The leadership ability that I found would come out well in this game is strong communication and multitasking skills. It was very important for everyone to know what was going on with the team so that you knew which strategy to take. The captain needed to know where they were trying to go in order to inflict damage on the other submarine, but they also needed to know from the first mate what powers were able to be used and with the engineer to know what decals needed to be crossed out. These are only a few examples of what you need to know, and there were so many moving parts within this game, that it’s a necessity to multitask.
I would like to play this game again with 4 people per team this time, but with my friend Pete. I think he would be really good at a few of the roles within this game, and being good friends, we work well together. I really think that this is a game that would be fun to play with your close friends.