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Harpoon - Game Designers Workshop (GDW) & Clash of Arms Games


Harpoon - Modern Naval Wargame Rules

Harpoon: Modern Naval Combat (1st Edition)
Adventure Games Incorporated, the publisher, was a brief venture by gaming giant Dave Arneson.

1981 ... L.L. Bond & Jeff Thierault (illustrator) ... 58 pages ... Adventure Games Incorporated (#817950001)

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Harpoon II (2nd edition)

Harpoon II was released by Adventure Games. It consisted of one 40-page book, one 48-page book, and an errata sheet.

"1.1 Background
This game depicts modern naval warfare using equipment of the 1970s up to the present day with a few projected weapons. The information in this game is as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but hard data like weapon kill probabilities, exact ranges, and number of rounds carried is always classified. Even prestigious books like Jane's All the World's Ships and Combat Fleets of the World must sometimes publish best guesses on a weapon's or a ship's performance. Information is suspect in any case because it is based for the most part on test firings made under ideal conditions. There is only a small body of combat data by which to judge effectiveness. All information used in this game has been drawn from unclassified Navy or civilian sources listed in Annex O, Sources.
1.2 Scope
The rules simulate surface, submarine and air attacks on naval units and aircraft. They include modules on surface gunnery, cruise missiles, surface to air missiles, and electronic and antisubmarine warfare. The annexes provide characteristics for ships of the United States, France, the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Canada, the People's Republic of China, and the Soviet Union. The ships of other nations can be added to the game by using Annex Q, while their weapons can be drawn from other annexes. The rules do not cover amphibious assaults, ballistic missile submarines, or towing, due to the time required for these evolutions or to tactical doctrine that would tend to not involve them in a sea fight."

1984 ... AGI 020

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Harpoon: Modern Naval Wargame Rules [BOX SET]

Harpoon -- in its most recognizable form -- was released in its 3rd edition by GDW in 1987, designed by Tom Clancy and Larry Bond. -W


* 180 counters
* Game Rules Book
* Data Annex Book
* Scenario Book
* 2 Player Charts

"The era of modern naval warfare began on October 22, 1967 - Egyptian missile boats launched three Soviet-made Styx surface-to-surface missiles and sank the Israeli destroyer Elath at a range of nearly twenty miles. The face of naval warfare was changed forever. Harpoon is the pre eminent naval wargame for the modern era. It handles all aspects of maritime combat: surface, sub-surface, and air. Harpoon is a system of detailed but comprehensible rules covering the many facets of modern naval actions. Consistent rating systems and evaluations of the capabilities of modern naval vessels, aircraft, submarines, and helicopters make it possible to achieve realistic results when simulating known situations; by extension, Harpoon also achieves realistic results with hypothetical scenarios. Harpoon can provide answers to questions like —

* Can transatlantic convoys survive in a modem wartime environment?
* In the cat-and-mouse game between a Soviet and a US submarine, which one has the advantage?
* Are US carriers powerhouses or sitting ducks?

But Harpoon is more than a detailed simulation of modern naval tactics: it is an award-winning game which provides hours of enjoyment and recreation. Its treatment of modern naval warfare follows in the tradition of Jane's pre-dreadnought Naval Wargame of the 1890's and Fletcher Pratt's Naval Wargame of the 1940's. For a few hours, players command a naval task force cruising the high seas and braving the dangers of modern naval warfare.

Harpoon simulates modern naval warfare. Its rules tell how ships and aircraft move, detect enemy contacts, and attack them. Weapons inflict realistic effects, and proper naval tactics produce accurate and believable results. The die cut counters included in the game make it possible to take this game home and start playing tonight.

Harpoon: The Naval Wargame Series
Harpoon is the basic rules set for the Harpoon Naval Wargame Series. Additional titles in the series will include —
Battles of the Third World War- a collection of naval warfare scenarios.
Convoy —gaming out the problems of crossing the Atlantic under wartime conditions.
Blue Water Navy—a grand strategic boardgame of global naval operations in the Third World War which serves as a scenario generator for Harpoon.

Harpoon's rules provide an assortment of modern naval situations to demonstrate the tactics and strategies that win and Ion battles at sea. Each is a lesson in an aspect of naval warfare - submarine encounters, ASW operations, air-to-air combat, and surface actions. Among the scenarios in this game are-
'The Hundred Fathom Curve,' taken from a chapter of bestselling The Hunt for Red October, and
'Keflavik Turkey Shoot,' originally used to game out part of the best-selling Red Storm Rising.'"

1987, 1990 ... GDW 710 ... ISBN 0943580129

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A later printing of Harpoon was released in 1990. Other than slightly altered cover graphics, the only difference was the substitution of the 136-page 1990-91 Data Annex (GDW 0715) for the original 64-page Data Annex. Even the rules are the same, version 3.11 -- but the 1990-91 Data Annex brings the rules up to v3.2.

Harpoon - Captain's Edition [BOX SET]

"Harpoon Captain's Edition is a fast-moving version of the famous Harpoon game. Larry Bond has simplified the rules and components to his classic wargame to make it easier to play and faster to learn. Captain's Edition lets you become a modern naval commander, in charge of guided missile ships, nuclear submarines, and jet aircraft. Your opponent commands similar units. Modern naval warfare can be a complicated business, but Harpoon Captain's Edition makes it easy to understand. While the game is accurate, a lot of details have been kept out so players can first learn the basics. Start reading and begin playing within 30 minutes. Everything You Need to Play is in This Box * Harpoon Captain's Edition Game Rules. * Harpoon Captains Briefing on Naval Warfare * Over 50 ship and aircraft cards. * More than 300 die-cut counters — for task forces, aircraft, missiles, and markers. * 17-22" map of the G-I-UK Gap — the most strategic ocean territory in the world."

1990 ... GDW 0717 ... ISBN 1558780548

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Battles of the Third World War
"In the North Atlantic theater of a hypothetical Third World War, the naval action will be fast and furious. NATO ships, submarines, and aircraft will clash again and again with Soviet naval forces in a struggle for control of the seas and an advantage in the many battlefields of the war.

This book of 15 naval wargame scenarios for Harpoon provides modern naval wargame players with ready-made encounters to test their own naval strategies in contemporary situations. The subject matter is wide-ranging and intriguing:
* Tattletale - NATO in the North Sea on a submarine hunt.
* Surface Contacts - ASW patrol aircraft on the offensive.
* The Russians Are Coming - A Soviet task force rounds North Cape.
* Bear Hug - NATO operations against a Soviet amphibious landing in Norway.
* Ambush - Sometimes prewar practice turns real.
* Power Sweep - Cat and mouse in the Norwegian Sea.
* Whose Minefield? - The battle for a snorkeling haven.
* Incoming Mail - A Soviet air strike against a NATO convoy.
* Get The Kiev! - Any aircraft carrier is a prize worth seeking out.
* The Experiment - What are the best tactics for submarine patrols?
* Icepick - Hide and seek under the icecap.
* Reinforcements - The Soviet defense of a captured Iceland.
* Hammer and Anvil - Support of an amphibious operation.
* Bastion - Searching under the ice, in a mine field, for a submarine that wants to kill you.
* Lone Wolf - One submarine against a coastal ASW group.

To provide greater realism, this anthology of Harpoon scenarios includes additional materials that expand on the situation, as well as provides additional details and information.

* History of the Third World War - The political, diplomatic, and military history of the background for these Harpoon scenarios.
* Secret Weapons - New weapons (for both NATO and Soviet forces! that explore the potential of advanced technology in naval warfare.
* More Ship and Weapon Data - Selected new ship and weapon specifications for use in the scenarios.
* Strategies and Tactics - Essays on the naval strategies of each side, as well as a discussion of naval tactics that is applicable to both sides.

Battles of the Third World War is a collection of Harpoon naval warfare scenarios written to provide hours of enjoyment and interesting naval wargaming. Using the scenarios requires that you have Harpoon."

Design: Larry Bond
Development: Marc W. Miller

1987 ... 48 pages ... GDW 711 ... ISBN 0943580439

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Ship Forms
"The joys of naval wargaming are in the chase and battle. The tension of not knowing the adversary's exact force structure reproduces an essential feature of real-world naval action. The moment of truth comes when the battle is joined.

This book is published to provide materials to make both the chase and the battle easy-to-produce and easy-to-play parts of Harpoon. It does so by providing two things: Prepared ship and aircraft forms, and a scenario generator."

Design: Marc W. Miller

1988 ... GDW 712 ... ISBN 0943580617

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Sub Forms
Dozens of world's submarines are detailed in this accessory.

Design: Marc W. Miller

1989 ... GDW 713 ... ISBN 155878019X

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Data Annex: 1990-91 Edition
"The heart of the Harpoon modern wargame is its information-packed Data Annex. This 1990-91 edition is the latest version, edited and updated by Harpoon designer Larry Bond. This latest edition of the Harpoon Data Annex is included in current copies of Harpoon. If you bought Harpoon before mid-1990, you can update your game with the Harpoon Data Annex."

1990 ... 136 pages ... GDW 0715 ... ISBN 155878053X

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ASW Forms
"ASW Forms provides materials for Harpoon scenarios involving antisubmarine warfare. The prepared forms in this module cover a variety of modern ships, submarines, and aircraft. The scenario generator produces Harpoon naval battle situations from around the world"

Design: Marc W. Miller

1990 ... GDW 716 ... ISBN 1558780572

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South Atlantic War: Conflict in the Falklands/Malvinas, 1982
"In 1982, the UK and Argentina came to blows over possession of the Falkland Islands. Their war grew into the largest naval conflict since World War II. South Atlantic War is a detailed (136 pages) resource for Harpoon naval scenarios which reproduce the tension and the tactics of modern naval warfare."

* 24 accurate scenarios
* Over 60 pregenerated ship and aircraft status sheets.
* Detailed historical background
* Full orders of battle.

Design: Ed Kettler

1990 ... GDW 718 ... ISBN 1558780645

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Troubled Waters: Data Sheets and Scenarios for Middle East Operations
"Patrol troubled waters in search of enemy forces in this Harpoon supplement. Troubled Waters covers the turbulent Middle East since 1973 and showcases the introduction of antiship missiles as a dominant factor in modern naval combat.

Modern antiship missiles allow fearsome striking power to be carried in tiny vessels. As commander of these 'eggshells armed with sledgehammers,' it will be your task to strike first and strike hard at the enemies of your nation, whether they come in the form of fast, vicious craft like your own, or as a huge carrier battlegroup."

* 40 new Ship Data Forms
* 10 new Aircraft Data Forms
* 10 new scenarios.

Design: Chris Carlson and Larry Bond

1992 ... GDW 750 ... ISBN 155878098X

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Harpoon Naval Review 1994
"The world is changing rapidly, and the rate of change seems to increase with each passing month. International political and military events and new developments in technology and weaponry tax the Harpoon player's ability to keep up with it all. So many potential scenarios, so many changes to platform and weapons data.

But at the same time, there are still so many interesting historical events crying out for treatment in the Harpoon system.

Enter the Harpoon Naval Review. At last, an annual forum for a wide range of Harpoon topics: current events, naval affairs, and historical scenarios. From the Bush administration's last strikes into Iraq, to naval clashes off the coast of disintegrating Yugoslavia, to the Gulf of Tonkin, the Harpoon Naval Review delivers a broad array of scenarios to the Harpoon player.

Not all of the scenarios are strictly historical. Larry Bond presents a bloody brawl in the Indian Ocean in 1999, and a harrowing scenario in which a Soviet submarine wolfpack attacks a 50-ship Allied convoy, based on a chapter in Red Storm Rising. Some of the scenarios are as topical as tomorrow's headlines: Egypt takes on Libya, and the US attempts to force the Straits of Hormuz against the newly combative Iran.

With the US post-Cold War drawdowns, how do you know which US ships to use in modern hypothetical scenarios? Harpoon Naval Review includes an update on the state of the US Fleet, with an up-to-date listing of all decommissionings and commissionings, plus reports on what the future might hold.

All of this data is supported by over 80 new Ship and Aircraft Data Forms covering the forces of 11 nations.

Harpoon Naval Review also delivers all of the latest rules upgrades. Expanded rules, including land-based SAMs, torpedoes, air-to-air missiles, aircraft maintenance, aircrew quality and much more are all here, along with all collected errata for Harpoon, collected and organized into one easy-to-use format.

With 13 scenarios and scenario generators, plus articles, rules updates, errata, and data forms, the Harpoon Naval Review 1994 is packed with material for every Harpoon player."

1993 ... Dave Schueler ... 160 pages ... GDW 0751 ... ISBN 1558781552

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Harpoon 4 Rules: Modern Tactical Naval Combat
"This new edition of Harpoon is long overdue. The first edition came out in 1981, the second in 1983, the third in 1987, and the fourth should have followed it in 1990 or 1991. By rights, this should be the fifth edition. It isn't, and we've got some catching up to do.
We've learned from doing Command at Sea, and you'll recognize some of the features that made it a good game. The rules have been restructured as a reference book, with a subject index and a rules summary for those already familiar with the game. The Quickstart will help those who haven't played before.
The biggest change is the addition of a co-author, Chris Carlson, who has been my friend and advisor since the game's creation. Now, he's been "fleeted up," deservedly so, to full partner. His particular strengths are his submarine background, his engineering and mathematical skills, and his ability to take a complex physical system and boil it down to its bare essentials.
The first three editions of the game reflected a world where the NATO and Soviet navies faced off against each other. Platforms came and went, strategies changed as technology improved, but the basic geopolitical equation was as solid as a rock.
Somebody started that stone rolling, and it hasn't stopped yet. The breakup of the Soviet Union hasn't stopped Russian naval and technological development, but their existence no longer defines the threat to Western navies. Instead, the US and other navies must respond to a wider range of threats and circumstances than ever before..." ...Designers' Notes by Larry Bond

1996 ... three-hole-punched loose pages ... Clash of Arms Games 9604-57A

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Harpoon 4 Quickstart: Rules Summary and Scenarios
"This Quickstart guide is designed to show you how to play Harpoon4 in as short a time as possble. It includes a rules summary, introductory scenarios and the rules necessary for playing a simple battle. The charts and tables needed to play the game are not included here, so you cannot play a game without the full rules set. You can, however, read these rules and then play the game, using the full rules as a reference.
These rules provided here are extracts from the rules booklet. Most of the explanation, and all of the illustrations, sidebars, and optional rules have been removed. They are repeated in the full rules set. You do not need this booklet to play the game if you have the rules book.
Harpoon4 (H4) covers modern air, naval, and submarine warfare. It is a general-purpose simulation, and abstracts some detailed processes that are not the concern of a ship or formation commander.
This booklet concentrates on the movement, visibility, radar, gunnery, missile, and damage rules. These will be enough to play the first two scenarios and get you started."

1996 ... 30 pages ... Clash of Arms Games 9604-57B

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Harpoon 4 Data Annexes: Ships, Aircraft, & Weapons
"This book provides platform, weapons and sensor information for naval systems used in Harpoon, fourth edrtrtion. It covers most of the major navies of the world, concentrating on the European and North American continents. Pacific navies will be covered in a separate supplement.
Ship classes are listed alphabetically by country, and then from major to minor classes, and then from newest to oldest. Sometimes ship classes have more than one name, or for many ex-Soviet classes, a coed name in addition to a class or project name. A typical case is the British Sheffield class, commonly referred to as the 'Type 42" class in the UK. There is a class name index at the beginning of Annex A which cross-indexes all known names for a class to the appropriate listing and page numbers.
Aircraft listings include data for all the major types. Where there was no significant difference between two marks of an aircraft they are combined into a single listing. Planes are listed alphabetically by country and then name.
Although there are many books and periodicals which discuss modern weapons systems, they often disagee significantly on important specifications, or performance data. There is also a great difference in the amount of information provided by different countries. Most Western countries provide reasonably detailed statistics on their armaments, but the Swedish and Israelis publish almost nothing. The Soviets used to be incredibly close-mouthed, but the Russians, desperate for export dollars, now print an amazing amount of detail on their equipment. We have marked some sources in the bibliography that were especially useful."

1996 ... Clash of Arms Games 9604-57C

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Harpoon 4 Player's Handbook

1997 ... 28 pages ... Clash of Arms Games 9610-63

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Harpoon Naval Review 1997
"Naval Review 1997 contains articles on:
- The current state of the Royal Navy
- The Future of the US Navy
- 40 ship forms
- 15 aircraft forms
- Harpoon clarifications
- A random scenario generator
- Five detailed scenarios
* Dire Straits, a Baltic scenario based on Larry Bond's book "Cauldron"
* Operation Cyclone, UK vs. India
* Disputed Territory, Australia vs. Indonesia * Encounters in the Aegean, Greece vs. Turkey * Konfrontasi, the 1963-66 UK - Indonesia confrontation."

1997 ... 96 pages ... Clash of Arms Games 9708-71

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Sea of Dragons
A Module for the Harpoon 4 Modern Tactical Naval Rules System.

1998 ... Clash of Arms 9709-72

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