Fight Not In Fields And Streets: Naval RTS Victory At Sea

Company of Heroes aside, generally I prefer to have my World World II strategy filtered through The Flare Path. Better to admire from afar than shame myself by attempting to understand such things first-hand. Victory At Sea has proven surprisingly accessible, however, despite its concerning itself with enormous boats and Winston Churchill soundbytes. It’s by no means Assassin’s Creed Black Flag with 1940s Destroyers in the Pacific, but it’s at least as much about good times as painstakingly-recreated times.

I’ve only had a quick blast, but while it’s got some distracting presentation issues and I’m not sure about it having separate travel and combat modes, but it certainly offers a jolly great boat fight without too much fuss. Weapons take a while to reload (unless you use the speed up time button), but other than that it’s pretty much aim and shoot.

There’s also an RPG element I’ve not seen much of yet, which involves optional missions and fleet upgrades. I’m keen to have a fiddle with that stuff if I get the chance.

Apparently it’s based on a boardgame of the same name, but the rules have been simplified which is always a risky business.

Victory At Sea has been out on Steam or direct from the devs (UK studio Evil Twin Artworks) for a little while now. Sadly no demo – and this is exactly the sort of game which really could do with one, given that it’s $25 and its main shtick is accessibility to the naval-fearful – but here’s the requisite trailer for you:

The Imperial Japanese Navy was added as a playable faction a couple of weeks back, joining the US and UK navies. Whether the notable omission there will be added in a later update I don’t know.


  1. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Controlling a single ship is great fun, managing firing arcs and launching spreads of torpedoes, dispatching bombers to sink shipping or launching a cloud of protective fighters to keep your own ships safe from enemy aircraft. Multiple ships get a bit tougher, and the friendly AI, while competent, can still get a couple of your ships sunk, which feels unfair.

    Possibly most annoying is the fact that torpedo boats are nippy little blighters which take more shots to sink than a Battleship can put out, yet they can swerve through a line of defensive frigates and destroyers to take out your carriers in a single pass. I know this is actually accurate (I love reading naval history) but it is bloody annoying.

    • Flimgoblin says:

      The torpedo boats were nerfed a bit from the initial launch (they were somewhat ludicrous before…) but they still have that “can’t hit the damned thing” going for them (getting in range with AA guns is the “proper” way to kill them, of course that often means eating a torpedo or two…)

      (since launch we’ve also improved the AI’s ability to dodge torpedoes/not get overexcited and unload a full rack of torpedoes into the side of a friendly Battleship)

  2. Velko says:

    How does this compare to Battlestations: Pacific?

  3. mejoff says:


  4. Rensdyr says:

    Reminds me a bit of Leviathan: Warships, is this game still being played?

  5. Loyal_Viggo says:

    If they ever add ze Germans then I may consider it, but until that time, a WW2 naval game without them is a terrible decision.

    • Flimgoblin says:

      The Kriegsmarine are playable in custom battles/historical battles but our plan is to add them as a playable faction in the campaign in the next major update (1.2). (they’re already there as enemies, obviously)

      • Loyal_Viggo says:

        I appreciate you taking time to reply and clarify that. Implementing ze Germans in the SP campaign would definitely be another incentive to purchase.

        If a company was bold enough to make a WW2 shooter from a German or Japanese perspective instead of the usual boring USA/UK/USSR viewpoint then I suspect it would be far more successful than people think.