Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Module Suitability Review - The Last Submarine

Taken from Twilight: 2000 Wiki, IP is GDW/FFE

Last Submarine is an interesting adventure. It has the usual Twilight: 2000 adventure elements, a very important McGuffin, and a road picture, this time, of New England, which is barely holding on by it's fingernails. The players involved are myriad, and if they aren't careful, things could spiral out of control fast while they try to recover the sub. The Boston Megapunks could make good allies or enemies, if Dain could be eased out of the way in favor of his sister (and if they can get the good father who knows where the sub is away from said Megapunks), and the UBF is an interesting foil, sort of a mobbed up union with some really nasty qualities, Not to mention the little issue of a coup brewing in the 43rd MP Brigade, but nothing I think a competent group of PCs could not handle? Right?

But how does this do for miniatures fodder?

Skirmish Games

There are a lot of skirmish games to be had here, and I mean a lot. If you're smart, you could make an entire campaign for your favored rules set out of this, and really come up with some great gaming ideas.

Some of the leading ideas for me include:

  • The UBF raid on the Weymouth Naval Depot for Mk 48 torpedoes for the sub.
  • A raid by the PCs with some local help, on Nantucket and kidnap John Carlucci, the head of the UBF. (this can then be morphed into another raid to recover the submarine)
  • A raid to save Father O'Grady from the 43rd MP Brigade in the midst of a coup.
All of these lend themselves to rules sets like Black Ops, or perhaps Skirmish Sangin. I personally like the two game campaign idea for the raid(s) on Nantucket.

Larger Games

While there is not a whole lot of larger game fodder, there is some. One is gaming out either the coup in the 43rd MP Brigade, or the collapse of the Isolationists in Rhode Island. Either one has an unusual but interesting premise that lend themselves to a larger scale set of rules. 

Well, that's it for Last Submarine, next on the list is Mediterranean Cruise, the 2nd adventure in the Last Submarine trilogy. It's got quite the spread of adventure, and has some real skirmish game potential.

So, with that said, see you next time!


  1. GDW's try at a Last Ship style series of adventures. I never did buy into the wholsesale decimation of the USN....

  2. I agree with what Matt is saying - the authors of the game were way too pessimistic about the USN versus the Soviets - especially when the chances of the Soviets taking out ever single USN boomer is basically zero

  3. Playing devil's advocate on behalf of the authors, there was a lot of uncertainty regarding Soviet ASW capability in the 1980s. An American paper in 1985 ("A Possible Change in Soviet Views on the Prospects for Anti-Submarine Warfare", from Center for Naval Analyses) along with STS orbiter observations and a paper in Morsky Sbornik by Captain 1st Rank Partala suggest in combination that the Soviets were considering a satellite-based submarine detection system, most likely using synthetic aperture radar to detect internal waves caused by submerged motion. It was thought the SS-NX-13 was intended as an anti-submarine ballistic missile that would use the satellite-based detection system. With the benefit of hindsight, it's apparent that the ASW systems weren't as developed as was feared, but based on the information available at the time, it was considered that the Soviets were behind in the early 1980s, but that the satellite breakthrough might allow them to easily track every submarine NATO had, with sub-launched nuclear missiles being available to destroy them.


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