Tom Clancy used the Harpoon Classic database for The Hunt for Red October and used the tool again with Larry Bond to game out the convoy battles in Red Storm Rising. What was that tool? It was the naval miniatures rule set Harpoon authored by Bond.
Larry Bond’s Harpoon Commander’s Edition is the current generation of the original Harpoon computerization of Bond’s game, which was first published in 1989 by Three Sixty Pacific.
This was the first software ever sold as a professional education product by the U.S. Naval Institute.
During the long development from Harpoon Classic 2002 Gold until now — the project had some other “code” names — none of those products ever shipped. Many were available in timed out beta form only.
- Based on Larry Bond’s Harpoon 3rd Edition Rules
- Microsoft Windows compatible: 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP and 7
- Five combat areas (North Atlantic, Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom Gap, Indian Ocean/Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean and Western Pacific)
- Wicked computer opponent
- Easy-to-play, hard-to-master
- New platform editor
- Improved scenario editor
- Updated EC2003 scenarios (based on B.I. Hutchinson’s EC2000 BattleSet)
- New WestPac Scenarios and database (contributed by HarpDB — Brad Leyte/Tony Eischens and crew)
- Massive library of user-created scenarios available
- New land units (AD Fixed, AD Mobile, Armored, UnArmored) partial implementation
- New neutral and unknown (indeterminate) sides partial implementation
- New radar model, much better variability in detection ranges is possible, stealth modeling
- Area ECM upgraded
- Improved SARH logic
- Improved AI aircraft AAW evasion
- Increased weapons types per loadout/multimount
- Improved SAM firing rate
- Vista Compatible (however the Scenario Editor will NOT run in Vista 64 – use VMWare/Virtual PC)
What’s new and improved since the original release:
- Updated database
- WestPac BattleSet including seven fresh scenarios in addition to the two original WestPac battles
- Updated Sounds, Graphics and Platform Photos
- New Radar and ECM models to better model stealthiness and multiple jamming regimes
- Mobile Land Units added as well as fixed air defense unit type
- Surface gun model improvements so the player can experience running gun duels
- DLL Export interface that feeds game information that third-party modders can use to create add-ons
- Surface to Surface torpedoes work
- Added shell BattleSets for: Caribbean Basin, South Atlantic, South Africa, Middle East
- BattleSet Builder can now embed the platform database, allowing the player to distribute a map, scenarios, and database with only two files
- Split sounds and many game graphics into player editable files, allowing “skinning” the game
- Submarines and Ships become more noisy on sonar as they are damaged
Bug fixes since the original release:
- Fixed Red making sensor reports to Blue side
- SARH missiles now properly self destructing instead of continuing to guide to target
- Units circling waypoints much reduced
- List view column resizing problems, long class names, splitting all units from a group, long mount names
- Aerial refueling manually trigger always works
- Victory condition double-counting fixed
- Fixed crash that happened occasionally when a torpedo hit the target
- Fixed paths and victory conditions in WestPac 2.0 scenario
- Group icons will no longer outrun their range circles
Get HCE Demo:
Go to our demo page or HarpGamer for any current demo offerings.
This demo revisits a storied part of Harpoon’s history via the USNI Battleset. ’Pooners Brad Layte, Tony Eischens and Ralf Koelbach with the help of the beta testing team, have re-made the five original USNI scenarios. The scenarios take advantage of game capabilities added since the original USNI version of the game was released more than 15 years ago! Not only that, but the weapons of war more closely match the real-world weapons thanks to post Cold-War release of information and the hard work of Brad in the DB editing department. These are no longer easy, nor introductory, scenarios, be prepared!
In addition to the 10 USNI scenarios (there are two versions of each scenario, one for play as the Soviet side, one for the NATO side) you will find twelve scenarios in the WestPac Battleset. There you will also find an introductory scenario, “1.0 Beginner Walk-Thru Scenario” that will help you grasp the game controls and some of the new features in HCE such as more variable radar RCS, submarine signatures, and land warfare between tanks and other vehicles. Also note the excellent “Tactics 101” articles available at HarpGamer that provide both theoretical and game background/guidance.
System Requirements & Technical Information:
* The demo will operate through March 15, 2009. We hope to make further downloads available after that time.
* The demo runs on Windows 2000, XP, and Vista (both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors).
* Installer size is about 28MB. The installation takes about 75MB of disk space.
* Installing the demo will not affect your full installs of prior HC versions nor will it affect a full HCE install.
* The demo executes a rudimentary check to see if your system clock has been set back in time to defeat the demo expiration mechanism. Some computers that haven’t had clocks set back will not pass this test. The full HCE game does not have this check so even if you can’t run the demo, you will be able to run the full HCE game.
* Using the uninstaller will remove all files, registry settings, and shortcuts created by the installer. It will also remove all saved games in the HCDemo directory.
Just a few of the many benefits of buying the full Harpoon: Commander’s Edition game:
* More than 200 more scenarios built in to the game including the classic GIUK, NAVC, MEDC, and IOPG battle grounds.
* The ability to load user created scenarios and databases.HarpGamer alone hosts 250+ user-made scenarios. These user creations are where the game really shines!
* Scenario Editor for crafting your own battles, testing your ideas, and sharing your efforts with the community.
* Database Editor that allows you to modify the platforms used in the game and again model different what-if situations.
* BattleSet Builder for taking your battle to an area of the planet (real or imagined) that isn’t covered by the existing Battlesets.