Harpoon (series)

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Harpoon (series)
The logo used for Larry Bond's Harpoon Commander's Edition.
Basic Information
Advanced Gaming System, Three-Sixty Pacific, Applied Computing Services, Alliance Interactive
Matrix Games, Three-Sixty Pacific, SoftKey Multimedia, Renegade Software, Alliance Interactive, IntraCorp, Eidos Interactive, Interactive Magic
Real-time Strategy, Wargame
Original: Floppy disk, Current: CDDigital Download
MS-DOS, Amiga, Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh
Retail Features
This title has been rated E by the ESRB
Technical Information
Main Credits
Larry Bond
Awards | Changelog | Cheats | Codes | Codex
Compatibility | Covers | Credits | DLC | Help
Localization | Manifest | Modding | Patches
Ratings | Reviews | Screenshots | Soundtrack
Videos | Walkthrough

Harpoon is a series of realistic air and naval computer wargames based upon Larry Bond's miniatures game of the same name, which can be viewed at Clash of Arms. A player can play one side: Blue or Red, in simulated naval combat situation, both local conflicts, as well as in Cold War confrontation between the Superpowers. Missions differ from small missile boat engagements to large oceanic battles with tens of vessels and hundreds of aircraft. The game also includes large databases containing many types of real world ships, submarines, aircraft, and land defenses (i.e. air bases and ports).

Overview[edit | edit source]

The simulation has a small but very dedicated fan base with several websites offering a varying style of scenarios and discussion forum. Often described as a "niche within a niche market," development of the simulation has progressed steadily through the years in the face of the overwhelming numerical and graphical superiority of first-person shooter and real-time strategy games. Advanced Gaming Systems, Inc. (AGSI), developers of Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare, currently distributes the simulation through Matrix games with technical support being handled on a co-operative basis via AGSI and Matrix games employees.

Harpoon was originally developed by Three-Sixty Pacific and had several development paths and publishers, but now all computer rights rest with AGSI. The game's development history is quite long and sometimes confusing,

Harpoon's interface emphasizes technical accuracy rather than graphical polish, with simple 2D symbols reminiscent of a warship's radar display. There has been considerable debate in the game's user community about the decision of the developers to utilize 3D graphics in later versions of the program. As of March 2009, two releases are available to AGSI civilian customers. Harpoon Commanders Edition is a "lighter" offering based upon the game engine of the original series and Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare is the current civilian distillation of the product. Military customers are offered Harpoon 3 Pro, which is tailored for customer specifications. There is also a Macintosh version that lies between the Harpoon II and Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare called "Harpoon III v3.6.3"

Development of both commercial versions is ongoing, with the most recent release being V3.9.4 (March 2009). Other features in the upcoming release of v3.10 will include: Parametrized Missions, Encrypted databases and scenarios, and Harpoon Users Database (HUD) 3 database with all original scenarios updated as well.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

The games play in real time, with time acceleration capability in case the action slows down. The player can control single or multiple platforms (up to the hundreds if the computing power is available). The game is extremely comprehensive, although certain elements of naval warfare are not modeled, such as radar ducting, sonar bottom and surface bounce, and COMINT/SIGINT.

Professional[edit | edit source]

Harpoon 3 Pro was renamed in March 2010 to H3 MilSim

H3 MilSim is the professional version of Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare. It utilizes surface, sub surface, airborne and ground-based units based on open source data to allow for training, education and lightweight analysis. It is a simulation that accurately represents the capabilities and limitations of modern naval and air forces.

Among H3 MilSim's features are:

  • Geo-spatial Information Systems (GIS) Interface - This allows for simple geometric shapes to be imported from products such as ESRI's ArcInfo.
  • Harpoon Track Interface (HTI) - All unit tracks can be exported to a standard database product and then to products such as STK's Satellite Tool Kit.
  • "Hot Washup" or "VCR" feature - Provides the ability for entire games to be recorded, viewed, edited and replayed.
  • Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) Interface - An international standard used for simulations to communicate with each other in real time.
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Source code can be licensed - Allows for security or validation purposes.
  • Umpire functionality - Provides the ability for a training professional to oversee training activities.
  • Users can input classified values - but are responsible for the security of such data.
  • Boarding actions (as of v3.10)
  • Dedicated site: http://www.h3milsim.com

Titles[edit | edit source]

Original release date(s):[1]
1989 (NA)
Release years by system:
1989—DOS, Macintosh[1][2]

Original release date(s):
1991 (NA)
Release years by system:
  • Developed and published by Three-Sixty Pacific
  • It is a compilation of the original Harpoon which includes additional material such as a scenario editor and a strategie guide

Original release date(s):
1994 (EU)
June 1, 1995 (NA)
Release years by system:

Original release date(s):
1994 (NA)
Release years by system:

Original release date(s):
1996 (NA)
1996 (EU)
Release years by system:

Original release date(s):[4]
November 7, 1996 (NA)
Release years by system:
  • Developed by Alliance Interactive and published by Interactive Magic[4]
  • It is a revised edition of Harpoon Classic

Original release date(s):
2001 (NA)
Release years by system:

Original release date(s):
June 1, 2001
Release years by system:
  • Developed and published by Advanced Gaming Systems

Original release date(s):[5]
June 15, 2006 (NA)
Release years by system:

Original release date(s):[6]
November 21, 2007 (NA)
Release years by system:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Harpoon - Overview. allgame. Retrieved on 2009-05-09
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harpoon Release Information for Macintosh. GameFAQs. Retrieved on 2009-05-09
  3. Harpoon Release Information for Amiga. GameFAQs. Retrieved on 2009-05-09
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harpoon Classic 97 - Overview. allgame. Retrieved on 2009-05-10
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Larry Bond's Harpoon 3: Advanced Naval Warfare - Overview. allgame. Retrieved on 2009-05-10
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Harpoon -- Commanders Edition. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-05-10

External links[edit | edit source]