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Coast Watchers P500 (GMT Games)A new title has arrived on the GMT Games P500 listing from designer Volko Ruhnke. Coast Watchers drops players into the cat and mouse game between the Allied coast watchers and their Japanese hunters in the Pacific Theater during WWII. The game is for two players, ages 14+, and plays in around one to two hours – depending on the situation. Coast Watchers can be pre-ordered at the P500 price of $65.00 with an eventual MSRP of $93.00.

About the game:

The Australian Navy after the Great War developed a volunteer service to watch for unusual ships off the country’s shores. With colonial mandates over New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, “coastwatchers” there formed a warning fence against surprise attack. Each coastwatching station had a heavy but relocatable teleradio, one or two Australians (typically) in command, and a local network of indigenous scouts, spies, sentries, messengers, carriers, and canoe men.

Coast Watchers takes you into this struggle between Allied intelligence teams and Japanese hunters. Standup blocks hide coastwatching stations, guerrillas, refugees, and stranded Allied crew. Gameboard recesses hold the blocks snug. Facedown counters hide the buildup of Japanese forces, which the coastwatchers seek to observe and report to headquarters. Other counters show where Japanese patrols are searching for coastwatchers or go into and get drawn from a cup to run Japanese searches and Allied delivery missions.

Each side has Mission cards. Allied Missions assign side tasks to the coastwatchers. Japanese Missions lay out secret military objectives for victory points, including air and sea operations against which the coastwatchers are to warn Allied forces. By hunting coastwatchers while building up military readiness and guiding operations, the Japanese player seeks to slip through the enemy intelligence net.

Players also draw Asset cards: special abilities to augment actions and perhaps add victory points.

Coast Watchers offers 15 standalone “Situations” plus 4 campaigns to tie them together. The Situations span the early-1942 Japanese incursion into the South Pacific to the neutralization of their great base at Rabaul by the end of 1943.

Coast Watchers Situation (GMT Games)

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