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aka: GIUK Battleset

Description official description

A modern naval battle simulator based on Larry Bond's popular Harpoon board-game from 1980. The game features 13 possible Cold War scenarios, each of which can be affected by multiple factors.

You can choose from an authentic arsenal of over 100 Soviet and NATO weapons. Use sensors, radars and sonar to track enemy ships. Crucial information on capabilities can be checked from the informative database.

The original version of the game contains one main battleset called Greenland/Iceland/United Kingdom Gap (GIUK). Later, several additional battleset data disks and a Scenario editor were released.

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Credits (DOS version)

8 People



Subject User Date
Harpoon: The Next Mission Infernos (41211) 2018-07-09 11:59:47



Larry Bond first created Harpoon in 1980 as a paper-based miniatures game. Bond was a serving officer in the U.S. Navy at the time.

Book Research

Author Tom Clancy used the paper version of Harpoon while writing The Hunt for Red October, published in 1984. Clancy later teamed up with Larry Bond writing Red Storm Rising, published in 1986. The game was used to model many of the naval battles depicted in the book.

Programming Details

The Harpoon software engine contained over 115,000 lines of code, with most written in the C programming language and the remainder in Assembly. The original program was 426K and supported (through separate graphics files) CGA, Tandy, and EGA video formats. After 30-months of development, and at the cost of over $300,000, the computer game was released for IBM PCs on December 17, 1989.

Macintosh Version

When launched a year later, the Macintosh version worked with System 6.0.2 or above and used monochrome graphics; however, a 16-color Macintosh version was available as a $15 upgrade.


  • Computer Gaming World
  • September 1990 (Issue #74) – Wargame of the Year
  • March 1992 (Issue #92) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
  • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #40 in the β€œ150 Best Games of All Time” list

Related Games

Harpoon BattleSet 2: North Atlantic Convoys
Released 1989 on DOS, 1990 on Amiga
Harpoon Battleset 3: The MED Conflict
Released 1991 on DOS, Macintosh, Amiga
Harpoon BattleSet 4: Indian Ocean / Persian Gulf
Released 1991 on DOS, Amiga, Macintosh
Harpoon Cat
Released 2018 on Windows
Harpoon II
Released 1994 on DOS, 1995 on Macintosh
Harpoon Classic
Released 1994 on DOS, 1994 on Macintosh, 1995 on Windows 3.x
Harpoon Classic '97
Released 1996 on Windows, Windows 3.x
Harpoon 3 Pro
Released 2001 on Windows
Harpoon Scenario Editor
Released 1989 on DOS, Macintosh, Amiga

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 8308


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by tkcmd.

Macintosh added by Rola. PC-98 added by Infernos. Amiga added by Martin Smith.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Indra was here, Rola, Patrick Bregger, Retro Viator.

Game added January 30th, 2003. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.