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- Order number: AVP09112
"In the 17th century, the Dutch built powerful fleets to protect their overseas trade, particularly the riches flowing from the Spice Islands — the region that would become known as the Dutch East Indies and eventually Indonesia. In 1880, the discovery of oil in the archipelago made them once again a potential source of enormous wealth.
But as oil became the underpinning of 20th century economies, the Netherlands this time failed to build the naval strength necessary to guard the islands from predatory enemies. Conservative economists clung to the gold standard in the 1930s, dooming the Dutch economy to a prolonged Depression. By the time the Navy began to see increased funding, it was much too late to change the outcome of the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies.
In the 1930s, Dutch shipyards stood at the leading edge of naval technology: Dutch submarines first deployed the schnorkel breathing device, for example, and Dutch warships boasted the sophisticated Hazemeyer fire control system that would be enthusiastically copied by the Royal Navy and others. The Netherlands had the means to create a large and modern fleet, and the oil wealth of Borneo and Sumatra provided the motive. But by seeing deficits as a more lethal enemy than the Axis, the government doomed both the home country and the colonies to defeat and occupation.
Spice Islands is a Second World War at Sea supplement exploring the alternate history possibilities had the Netherlands built the necessary naval and air forces to defend the East Indies and its oil: ships and planes within its financial and industrial capability. Just like Second World War at Sea: Imperial & Royal Navy, or The Tsar's Navy, it comes as a .pdf download: you get everything right away, but you will have to assemble the playing pieces yourself. It has everything you expect in a naval game supplement: scenarios, ship data sheets, and playing pieces.
The supplement includes ten scenarios, or separate game situations, based on battles that might have been waged by the Royal Netherlands Navy against the Japanese. The pieces represent modernized versions of the dreadnought battleships planned but not completed, and some of those planned or discussed but never built. This module is not playable by itself, but requires ownership of Strike South to play all of the scenarios and Midway or Leyte Gulf in addition to enjoy some of them."
Spice Islands was originally sold exclusively via .pdf download. (The playing pieces are not die-cut-and-mounted, nor are the scenario book or the ship data printed. Instead it comes as a series of .pdf files that will need to be assembled into the game's components.) It is now also available as a printed and spiral-bound booklet with die-cut counters.
There are 210 counters, 70 long ship ones, the rest planes or multi unit ships.