Stand easy...

Welcome aboard. You've signed on for a challenging voyage exploring the classic era of naval combat in the first half of the Twentieth Century. Whether you're an experienced hand or a newly joined lubber, you'll find this newest commission fun. Many of you are shellbacks and a few are plank owners who've earned your ratings with previous editions of GENERAL QUARTERS. You'll find much that is familiar, but subtly enhanced to provide a more detailed, authentic simulation. Glance through the pages that follow; you'll soon find a familiar berth.

Throughout, I've held fast to the key design parameters of GENERAL QUARTERS - accuracy and playability. An accurate simulation requires detail to reflect the many complexities of Twentieth Century naval warfare. Hence, GENERAL QUARTERS 3 adds much new detail:, national armament characteristics, specific damage, separate secondary and tertiary batteries, the impact of radar and sonar, a more intuitive and realistic torpedo system, morale, damage control, and a new night combat system to recreate the chaotic conditions of nocturnal encounters. An extensive set of enhanced Ship Damage Summaries have been included to provide data on the warships of all the major combatants.

Many claim that the rise of the airplane "spoiled the fun" of a good ship fight. Maybe, but it's inescapable that air power had become a dominant part of naval warfare by the early days of World War II. Accordingly, in this new edition we take the issue head on with a new aerial module that features tactical movement, altitude, detailed aerial combat, anti-aircraft fire, bombing, aerial torpedoes and rockets. Even the harrowing certainty of approaching kamikazes can be yours. Add submarines and you've got war in three dimensions. No dreary dog watches on this commission!

But, a simulation also needs to be playable ...and fun! Hence, much attention has been paid to rigging the detail and complexity into the game tables and Ship Damage Summaries (SDS) to avoid your floundering in a sea of minutia and bookkeeping. The SDS's have been re-engineered to quickly provide more data at a glance and enable you to easily track the status of each ship. The result is a more complex, textured simulation; but surprisingly, not more difficult to play.

The basic ship values and system remain. All that's new has been firmly welded to the GENERAL QUARTERS keel. And, it's backwards compatible. If there are aspects of naval warfare that don't hold your interest, just use the original GENERAL QUARTERS modules in their place. An example is the new air module. If this is not your cup of tea, just stay with the simpler simulation provided in earlier editions. Same with submarines and ASW.

Emphasis has also been placed on campaigns to provide you with ideas for the most intense and challenging command billets. And, a new scenario generator system is included to speed your getting into action. You can predetermine as much or as little of the situation as you want, and then, let the dice do the rest. Don't neglect World War 1 - the golden age of surface ship combat. But it's more than battleships. The period is full to overflowing with a smorgasbord of intriguing ships - including zeppelins and steam powered submarines - and boundless "what ifs." Jutland alternatives barely scratch the surface. Since the period is unfamiliar to many of you, an introduction to the era is reprinted and enhanced from GENERAL QUARTERS 2 to get you briefed.

During the past few years, a deluge of naval data and shoals of exquisitely detailed miniatures in a variety of scales has become available to widen the vistas of naval wargamming. So, stow your seabag and turn to!