PQ-17 is a 2-player game of World War II air-naval operations in the Barents and Norwegian Seas, where the Allied player strives to pass convoys to and from north Russia in the face of appalling weather and determined opposition from his Axis opponent. PQ-17 highlights the impact of reconnaissance, fuel, and the extreme climate without the drawbacks of a double-blind system or tedious bookkeeping.Each of the 1-inch square ship counters in the game depicts an individual capital ship or cruiser or a group of smaller ships, submarines, or merchant vessels. Virtually every vessel that sailed arctic waters in 1942 is included, along with others that fought (or might have) in key actions. Counters are formatted much like the units in traditional block wargames, allowing step reduction to show damage or reduced numbers without cumbersome markers or rosters. These large counters never appear on the map, however; they remain off-map on players' Task Force Displays until battle is joined.Instead, players maneuver blocks on a mapboard stretching from Greenland and Ireland to Kiel and the Kara Sea. Each block is a force of submarines or surface ships, its identity hidden from the enemy player until it is located by a successful search and the block is turned up. It may represent one ship or one hundred -- or none at all, as it may be a dummy. Reconnaissance is critical, as you must locate the enemy in order to attack him. Cards are used to resolve searches quickly and efficiently: a successful search yields intelligence of varying accuracy, while failure to relocate the enemy in a timely manner results in lost contact and generation of another dummy.Players must also cope with fuel restrictions, reflecting limited endurance (particularly for destroyers) and Axis shortages. Simple rules and the use of markers on the Task Force Displays preclude the need for record keeping while preventing unrealistic freedom of action.