We go Fourth at ProtoTO

Part 4! If you’ve been following along from the beginning of this series, you’ll know that I’ve only written about 4 game sessions so far. In this part, you’ll find out about the fifth and final gaming session, after which I played another game that I want to tell you about.

For session 5, I was signed up to play Wolfpack Interception, a German submarine vs. Allied convoy game which involved breaking codes. I was intrigued, although I was concerned that I might have been a bit too tired to focus that kind of brain power on a game. Luckily, I sat in the role of convoy captain and just had to move the ships after getting advice from my communications guy who intercepted the code transmission.

Here’s what the board looked like:

Wolfpack Interception - The board smaller
We had to get our ships across the Atlantic (not to scale) safely, avoiding U-boat attacks.

The German intelligence officer could see the board as well, and he used a code to pass the coordinates of one of the ships to the U-boat commander, who was on the other side of the screen and couldn’t see the board.


Wolfpack Interception - Ryan smaller
This is Ryan, passing the code to his partner. I used to work with Ryan at GW over 15 years ago!

The U-boat commander would use the code to guess which co-ordinate to attack. There are a limited number of paths from each co-ordinate, so if he knows where a ship is, he can make a good prediction about where it will be after we move it. I didn’t get a picture of Henry, who was playing the U-boat Commander, but you can imagine he looked kind of like this:

Das Boot smaller
Henry actually looked nothing like this, but if you get the reference, prove it in the comments you old fart.

After Henry had looked at the code and decided he knew where the ship was that Ryan was indicating, he passed the code sheet to my partner, Chris Cormier, of Geeky Goodies. Henry knew the code, which could have been a combination of lines circles or dots on a sheet, drawn by Ryan with dry erase marker. Chris had to figure out patterns based on Henry’s guesses for where our ships were going to be to see if he could figure out the code. If he had an idea, he would indicate to me which ship he thought they were indicating and going to attack. I would then move all of my ships based on this information, generally moving forward with the ships that we felt were safe, but making an unpredictable move (usually backwards, which didn’t end up working out well for us) with the one we thought was in danger.


Wolfpack Interception - Chris smallerjpg.jpg
Chris was a good partner and we had fun.

Chris thought he had figured out the code a couple of times, but second guessed himself when Henry made attacks that were way off where he thought they would be. After the game (that being after we had our ships sunk) Henry told us that he made some wild shots, missing on purpose, to confuse Chris, who, it turns out, actually had figured out the code before Henry’s sneaky misdirection.

This game was was made by Robert, Greg, and Becky with the hella cool hair all from the Laurier Game Design and Development program and at the BGN Lab.

Greg demos UTW smaller
Here Greg is running a demo of our game, Universal Turf War which I just showed him how to play.

Also in the picture above is Robert’s arms, and another Robert: Robert Newton of Coin Flip Games.

Session 5 being over, you’d think that this blog series about my wonderful time at ProtoTO 2018 would be finished as well. But wait, there’s more! But not today. There’s another game to tell you about, and people to mention and thank. So check back for the exciting conclusion of…

My adventures at ProtoTO. (That was anti-climactic.)


One response to “We go Fourth at ProtoTO”

  1. David Clay Gonsalves Avatar
    David Clay Gonsalves

    My favourite submarine movie of course – Das Boot!

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