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"The 5th Fleet" is a modern naval warfare game where you are in command of a U.S. Navy task in the Indian Ocean. You will have at your command a wide range of ships and aircrafts, with over 160 different units like Nimitz class carriers, Ticonderoga class cruisers and F-117A Stealth Fighter.
Only ten scenarios are included in the game, but each one will probably require you several tries before you can complete it. There are indications in the manual for the time necessary to finish a scenario, given in number of turns and also expressed in hours, and sometimes even in days, knowing that a turn is equal to eight hours of real time. The game can be played by two players on the same computer or through electronic mail, or one against the computer.
The first scenarios will involve two countries, for example, the "Battle of Maldives" features the U.S.A. against India. Harder scenarios will include up to 17 countries like "The Indian Ocean War". Most of the scenarios are built around battles between Russia and allies versus the U.S.A. alone or with the allies.
Each turn is divided into six phases: three for the Green and three for the Red, representing Russia and its allies. The same three phases for both sides are the surface phase, the submarine phase and the air phase. You can decide when it is your turn to play and which phase you want to start with. You can even skip a phase if you do not want to move or attack with this phase.
After having initiated a phase, the player begins action on the Ops Display Map with the units of the selected type. When all the units have been moved, then the player will be able to attack possible enemies. This is not possible during the air phase, because both actions (move and attack) are executed together.
During the combat, you will have to choose the weapons you will use for each unit involved in the attack. There are six types of weapons featured: SSM (Surface-to-Surface Missiles), Torpedoes, Cruise Missiles, ASW (Anti- Submarine Warfare), Air Strike and Guns. Each weapon can only be used by a specific unit type. Units usually have several types of weapons on board, but only one type will be used for each combat. For example, this means that a submarine will not be able to launch torpedoes and SSM at the same time against an enemy unit.
For aircrafts, you will have to select the air bases from where they will depart and choose between three kinds of air missions: CAP mission (Combat Air Patrol), Intercept mission and Recon mission (reconnaissance).
During the game, if you require details about units present in a conflict, the Tactical Reference Display will show you pictures and provide information about these units.
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