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Keep an Open Ear

The Radio Operator’s Role in Captain Sonar 

2 August 2016 | Captain Sonar

 

Your team of submariners is almost ready for action. In Captain Sonar, you and three other players—a Captain, a First Mate, an Engineer, and a Radio Operator—must venture beneath the waves, find your opponents’ sub, and destroy it. In our past three previews, we’ve taken a closer look at the first three roles, and now, it’s time to complete our series.

Today, we’ll dive into the role of the Radio Operator in Captain Sonar and explore just how you’re going to find your opponent’s sub among the darkness of the deepest oceans!

One Ear to the Waves

Welcome aboard, sailor. You’d be the new Radio Operator for the Canterbury, then! Yes, she’s quite the marvel, wouldn’t you say? A triumph of modern engineering, as I just finished explaining to our Engineer belowdecks. 


The Radio Operator's map is very similar to the Captain's map, but the Radio Operator has a transparent sheet laid over their map, allowing them to try the enemy route in numerous possible locations.

Who would you say is the most important person aboard the Canterbury? Well, the Engineer may keep your vessel afloat, but everyone on the ship knows they’d be lost in an instant without a crack Radio Operator like you at your station. You’re the one responsible for tracking and locating the enemy submarine, and because of that, you’re the Captain’s closest advisor. Only you know where we can expect to find the enemy, and in order to destroy them, you’ll need to discover their location and relay your information to the Captain. 

As you I’m sure you know by now, all submarine Captains are kind enough to broadcast their movements on all channels, giving you a perfect track of all their movements—so long as you pay attention and don’t miss a single direction, which is no easy task in the chaos of a submarine duel. Still, you might catch every direction, but there’s one piece of information you won’t know: your enemies’ starting location. And without the starting location, there’s no way to immediately tell where your enemies are. 

There are ways to narrow your search, though. As you listen to the enemy Captain’s directions, you can keep track of them by drawing a path on your own map—very similar to the map that the Captain uses to track your own submarine’s movement. The difference is that your map is covered by a transparent sheet of plastic that you’ll draw your path on, and by moving the transparent sheet around over the map, you can narrow down the search and see where your opponents can and cannot be. 

For instance, as you can see on the left-hand side above, your enemies’ route could not have followed that path, since that would take the enemy sub through an island. However, if you slide your transparent sheet and move the track just one league to the west, the track would fit with a submarine skirting the chain of islands, giving you a possible clue to the enemy location!

Closing the Net

I can see you shaking your head—you think there’s too little information to go on. And you’re right; this isn’t like those simulations they set up in the naval academy. This is the real world, and the real world is messy and doesn’t fit into little boxes. It’s up to you guess which box fits, and you’ll almost never be completely certain. Still, there are some other clues that you can draw upon.

The first, and perhaps most telling, is that when the rival team surfaces to repair their ship, they are also bound by naval law to call you up and let you know which sector they’re surfacing in. This information, paired with the track that you form while listening to the enemy Captain, might be just enough to pinpoint your foes—or at least get close enough for the Canterbury to fire a torpedo. 


The enemy sub has surfaced in Sector 4, and based on your tracking, this is one possible location for the enemy submarine! It's time to tell your Captain.

You’ll also have the benefit of the Canterbury’s finest surveillance equipment at your disposal, so you’ll want to work closely with the First Mate to ensure that the right systems are charged when you need them. Drones can help you confirm your suspicions about the enemy’s location, while sonar gives you two coordinates that can provide more useful information. 

At the end of the day, though, you’re left with your intuition to make your final decisions. When your Captain asks you where the enemy submarine is, you’ll need an answer, and to do that, you’ll need to put yourself in the feet of the enemy Captain. Would he dare passing so close to you? Would he really pass right between two islands where he could be so easily tracked by the enemy Radio Operator? Finding the right answers to these questions is what makes you the best Radio Operator we have in our fleet. 

I can hear the klaxon now—they’re calling all hands to the Canterbury. I do believe your first mission is about to begin. You’ll meet the rest of your crew on board. I’ve already spoken to them, and I can truly say you four are the best crew we’ve ever sent out to sea. Good luck.

Dive Beneath the Waves

Whether you’re the Radio Operator desperately listening for any whisper of enemy movement, or you’re playing another role aboard the submarine, your crew will need you if you’re going to achieve victory in Captain Sonar. Join us at Gen Con Indy 2016 for a demo of the game, and pick up your copy there or at your local retailer!