Tropic of Capricorn tells the story of the Second Great War in South American waters in Avalanche Press‘ popular story-arc format. The Second Great War is Avalanche Press’ alternative history setting in which WWI ended with a negotiated peace that allowed the great empires – Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia and Ottoman Turkey – to survive for another generation’s war. The books in this series tell the story and present new scenarios from this war that never happened waged by fleets that never were. Tropic of Capricorn extends the story in the setting’s first complete boxed game. There are 24 scenarios, tied together with a narrative of the wider events they represent.
Tropic of Capricorn
- Players: 2
- Play Time: 30 minutes – many hours
- Scale: 36 miles/sea zone
- Complexity: 4/10
- Solitaire Play: Fair
Alternate History Background
Provided by game designer and developer, Mike Bennighof, Ph.D:
The war ignites when fascist Argentina—aligned with Italy—attacks a Brazilian fleet training exercise to start the war in South American waters.
The Brazilians, economically aligned with the Central Powers—Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary—but not formally allied, then must fend off an Argentine campaign against merchant shipping all along their lengthy coastline as well as terror bombardments of coastal cities. The Brazilians strike back, attempting to interrupt the flow of Argentine convoys of meat and grain to Italy and France. Argentina has speed; Brazil has firepower and a pair of very capable airships.
Once Britain joins the Second Great War, their Chilean clients enter on the side of the hated Argentines. This takes place amid a great deal of inter-allied friction. Eventually the British themselves take a hand, intervening with a task force of three aircraft carriers – a new, innovative weapons system with which the Royal Navy has taken the lead among world navies.
Argentina’s Italian-influenced Armada is built around five battleships: three heavily-modernized older ships, and two new Italian-designed units of the Vittorio Veneto class. They also have a pair of Italian-designed battle cruisers, the 1929 design proposed for the Regia Marina but never actually built, and two of the Ansaldo export design for a fast “pocket battleship” armed with 10-inch guns.
Argentina’s air power centers on a pair of Italian-built airships, each of which can also carry an airplane. Otherwise they have some rather short-legged fighter planes, and a fair number of Italian-made seaplanes. Aircraft technology is about a decade behind that of our own World War II, so the airplanes are those that actually saw service in the early 1930’s (Cr.30 fighters and SM.78 seaplanes).
Like Argentina, Brazil has a pair of coast-defense ships and another of modern heavy cruisers (all built in Germany), four old light cruisers (two of them very old) and two modern American-built fast light cruisers. Brazil likewise has a pair of airships, but these are far more capable than the Argentine gasbags and operate either fighters (Ar65 biplanes) or dive bombers (He50 biplanes, the original Stuka).
The British contingent is the most unusual. It has three aircraft carriers, two of them converted battle cruisers, and the third a modernized version of the early carrier Vindictive. They’re escorted by two modernized fast armored cruisers (seen in their original form in Jutland 1919), two old light cruisers, two old destroyers and three examples of the proposed but never built anti-aircraft version of the big Tribal-class destroyers (intended as carrier escorts, the role they fill here). The flight decks have older biplanes: Ripon torpedo bombers and Flycatcher fighters.
Avalanche Press’ Alternative Histories
Avalanche Press published complete alternative-history boxed games in their early years. These included games like Plan Orange and Plan Black, but those came out well before they had developed their story-arc format. The ships and scenarios included in those games were added by aesthetic choice. Inversely, Tropic of Capricorn tells a story, and we think players will find it very satisfying to play. And it does have some really cool stuff in the box, too!
- 1 32-page Rulebook, with 24 scenarios
- 1 34″x22″ Operational map
- 100 1″ Counters
- 80 1/2″ Counters
Tropical Storm picks up where Tropic of Capricorn leaves off—a large German squadron arrives to reinforce the Brazilians. Pick up Tropical Storm to continue the story of the Second Great War at Sea!