I'm looking for recommendations for a turn-based strategic (or possibly operational) naval wargame. I'm particularly interested in WWII Pacific theater (currently reading The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945), although not ruling out other periods/areas. I like Harpoon for cold war/modern, but I'm looking for something turn-based. When I was younger, I liked board games like Advanced Third Reich and Sixth Fleet (still have them both on my shelf). Currently, I've been enjoying Advanced Tactics Gold and Strategic Command - European Theater. I'm looking for a historical Pacific game with complexity roughly equivalent to those. I do like PBeM, but do most of my gaming vs AI or solitaire.
Games that I'm currently considering:
- War in the Pacific - Admiral's Edition
My impression is that this will be too much detail for me now. I've played and enjoyed grognard games in the past (including Pacific War, which WITP appears to be the successor to), but it's been awhile. I'm looking for something more playable/manageable. I don't know how much the new interface and manual may help. I think this is probably one that I'll have to work my way back up to.
- War Plan Orange: Dreadnoughts in the Pacific 1922 - 1930
This looks to me like it would be a good stepping stone to WITP. Full Pacific strategic war, but slightly less complexity. Also a very intriguing setting, being mostly pre-carrier. I find the idea fascinating. On the other hand, it's based on WITP, so likely still very complex and detailed with lengthy turns.
- Uncommon Valor
This appears to be a smaller predecessor to WITP. From what I can tell by the description, it has a similar level of detail, but may be more manageable due to being smaller? Is it superceded by WITP, or does it stand on its own because the scenarios are more specific?
- War Plan Pacific (Shrapnel Games)
This looks significantly lighter, more like the complexity/understandability of a boardgame. Possibly the best place for me to start, but may not be enough to sate my interest in the long run.
Should I work my way up through these from the bottom (skip any)? Are there some that I've missed that would be good intermediate steps? It seems like almost everything is either at the Pacific War supercomplex level or a tactical/action game. If there's a middle ground, I've overlooked it.