Harpoon is more than a computer naval game … it’s a true naval warfare simulation! Advanced Gaming Systems, Inc. (AGSI) is the developer of Harpoon distributed through Matrix Games. Harpoon is the premier modern naval warfare simulation. It grew out of the Harpoon board game designed by Larry Bond in the 1980s, the one used by author Tom Clancy in writing The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising.
Harpoon underwent a number of evolutions, including Larry Bond’s Harpoon Classic Edition (HCE), Harpoon 2, Harpoon 3, Harpoon Advanced Naval Warfare (ANW) and Harpoon 3 Pro. Presently, HCE and ANW are available to hobbyists, while H3 Milsim is a simulator for naval warfare professionals.
The culmination of the Harpoon series has led to….
Advanced Gaming Systems and Matrix Games are in the final production steps for Harpoon Ultimate Edition. The product includes an updated Harpoon Commander’s Edition and a massively updated Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare. A special bundle with over 20 historical versions of the Harpoon series, including the original prototypes from 1987! Stay tuned here and the Matrix site (http://www.matrixgames.com) for more information for this summer release.
Historical Games: For Our Hobbyists
In ANW, players may undertake a number of different missions involving naval, air and submarine forces of various countries. The conflicts vary from actual engagements to hypothetical confrontations, such as World War III, China-Taiwan, or a spat between Third World countries; to historical confrontations. These are all packaged into seven battlesets with more than 120 pre-built scenarios ready for single- or multi-player action. There are also eight separate tutorials instructing the player step-by-step on everything from navigation, use of sensors, to combat. Features include single-player action, multi-player capability for up to six players via the Internet, scenario editors, and the ability to VCR record and playback games.
For those who may find ANW a little overwhelming, there’s HCE. Not quite as complex as ANW, HCE puts the player in the position of a fleet commander making life and death decisions on the high seas. There are 269 scenarios spanning a time frame from 1989 to 2008 with a database of more than 2,900 ships, aircraft, helicopters and submarines. GamersInfo.net says of HCE, “… fans of naval warfare are going to be hard-pressed to find a better expenditure of funds.”
Author Tom Clancy used Harpoon as his database for his book The Hunt for Red October and again with Larry Bond to game out the convoy battles in Red Storm Rising. It was the naval miniatures rule set Harpoon authored by Bond.
Those rules were successfully computerized in 1989 (Harpoon) on Macintosh and IBM PC compatibles. A second product, which was intended as a replacement (Harpoon II), was created in 1996. In spite of problems with various publishing firms, both products continued thriving, thanks to the international fan base connected by the Internet.
Harpoon Classic was the first computer version published in 1989 for Amiga and DOS. So popular was this version that it survived through the years with improvements as technology advanced. The most recent incarnation, Larry Bond’s Harpoon Classic Edition (HCE), was recently released by Matrix Games.
Harpoon 2, released in 1994, was a major step in the evolutionary ladder. A true simulation rather than a game, it functioned on both the Macintosh and DOS operating systems.
The next major step was Harpoon 3 for Mac and Windows. This version was especially popular with users and many scenarios were written for this version by the players themselves are are freely available on the Internet.
Harpoon Advanced Naval Warfare (ANW), released in 2006 by Matrix Games for the Window platform, not only included the latest improvement, including 120 pre-built scenarios, but also allowed for multi-player games. Before the release of ANW, players could only go up against the computer’s artificial intelligence. With the release of ANW, players could go up against human opponents.
Soon, naval warfare professionals took notice of the Harpoon phenomenon. Its potential as a learning tool for potential modern conflicts, ranging from piracy in the Indonesian archipelago to confrontations near the Korean peninsula, attracted the attention of both American and friendly foreign defense establishments. Advanced Gaming Systems, Harpoon’s developer, released a professional version designed specifically to help modern naval warfare establishments train their personnel to handle potential modern conflicts around the globe.