You’re Waifu is a Ship, Kantai Collection Arcade
I’m pretty sure, you heard of Kantai Collection, or KanCore for short, before. It was a hugely popular anime in 2015 about anthropomorph ships of the WWII era. And as it turns out, it was popular enough, that just recently, a card collecting arcade game came out. How popular is it? Well, unless you are the first one in the morning, you wait for at least one hour, more likely for 2, just to play one round. Which can be over in less than 10 minutes or may take up to an hour.
The gaming console has a lot of things going on. As the admiral, you have to take care of a lot of things at once and in the beginning, that might be a bit overwhelming. Gaming is done by physical controls as well as touchscreen. In the console is a slot to hold your ship girl cards. The cards contain a chip, I guess, that lets the game read, which of the many many girls you have in your team, a steering wheel to guide your girls on the mission, in the battle and between them, and a speed regulator. And also the button that you use the most time, Enter/Fire.
The first time you play, you can choose one of three ship girls to your liking. All three are Destroyer class ships. I went with Fubiki, the main character of the anime, and soon also got one of the other starter ship girls. After playing 3 times now, I have a total of 12 ships under my control, mostly destroyers, 2 light cruisers and 2 heavy cruisers. Unfortunately, you don’t get the cards for free.
When you go on a mission, the difficulty depends on the ships that you own and the progress you made. To save your progress, like the rhythm games, you need an Aime card. You then choose a name and go for it. You pick up to 6 girls to go onto the mission, using up fuel/food and ammunition as well as GP. You pretty much pay everything with GP. The first time you play, you only get 300GP for 100yen. After that, 300yen gets you 900GP and you have more plays and therefor can get more missions done or go on more difficult missions.
As the mission starts, you explore the territory, only able to see as far as your ship girls’ eyes reach. Everything else in covered in fog. As you explore, the fog clears and you can, if you have a girl with reconnaissance planes the you can send of, search for enemy ships and recourses.
As you encounter the enemy black ships, their strength also depending on your own strength, once you get into reach, the battle starts. Your attacks vary depending on what type of ships you have on your side. There are 3 circles around the enemy ships. The furthest one being their field of vision, the next one being your attack range for torpedos and the inner one for your main cannon. Since I don’t have an aircraft carrier yet, I don’t know, at what range they can attack. You want to be close, to have good chances to attack and hit, on the other side, the black ships also attack you more easily, as you get closer. So it’s a balance you have to keep in mind. With regulating speed and steering the girls, you try to keep them out of the target zone from the enemy, or you get hit. Going at high speeds causes the engines to heat up and uses a lot of fuel, so keep the high speeds for emergencies.
Getting hit results in damage, depicted as the girls’ clothing getting torn in various places and to various degrees, which means, more flesh is shown. I’m not sure, what happens, if the enemy sinks one of your ships and I’m actually not keen on trying to find that out. With successfully ending a mission, your girls gain experience you get a new ship girl, walking down the hallway and greeting other girls on the way to your office, where she is waiting. You should touch them all on the screen, as sometimes, that causes events. Beware, even though you paid 300yen to play, the cards cost 100yen each, so every new ship girl is 100yen that you need to put into the machine while playing. Have enough coins with you.
After the battle, you can build new equipment to upgrade your girls, refurbish them with fuel and ammunition and send them to the hot bath for repairs. Repair buckets for instant repairs and recourses for upgrading, regular game play and building come with playing for 300yen in a larger value than playing for just 100yen. You need to upgrade your ship girls relatively quickly, as the enemies become harder to defeat quickly as well.
There you go, admirals. Join the navy, get your ship girls ready and fight the black ships, trying to collect as many of your ship waifus as possible. I’m sure, I will keep playing it for a while, trying to get Kirishima, Kongo’s burning love and even Mutsu. Ultimately, having Yamato would be awesome, but I don’t think, I will get there any time soon. Let’s play and have fun. Don’t let the black ships win.