Created with


Osprey Publishing Promotional Photographs

The OSPREY GAMES team at THEY COME UNSEEN's launch at SPIEL 2015 in Essen

Publisher photo credits:  Osprey Games


Designer's photographs

"Submarine" (TCU's embryo) was devised during my first stint in diesel boats in the 1970s in HMS GRAMPUS & HMS OTUS.  The shirts in the black&white photographs (circa 1974) were service issue white shirts dyed black to hide the oil and grease marks ... it didn't do anything to hide the smell after weeks on patrol with fresh water restrictions!

A NATO team: Commander Roger Bridgeman (Left) with my captain, Commander Richard Farnfield* (Right - Commanding Officer), playing the original game at sea in the SSN HMS SOVEREIGN [circa 1978]. The original game was called "SUBMARINE" - factual but a bit dull and I changed it to "THEY COME UNSEEN" in December 2013 during the game's revamp before my search for a publisher. "THEY COME UNSEEN" is a tweak to the Royal Navy Submarine Service's motto: We Come Unseen; I didn't feel comfortable using it verbatim but decided that a change to the third person would work fine.

[No fresh water restrictions here!]

*ERRATUM: Commander FARNFIELD's name is shown incorrectly as 'Fairfield' in the "History & Strategy" booklet ... a very unfortunate 'auto-correct created' typo.

The introduction page to the original 1974 rule book for  "Submarine".

A page from the original 1974 rule book - no fancy computer assistance back then.

The original (1981) hand-carved logistic fleet: Orange supply ship plus Green & Blue container ships.  Originally, the container pieces slotted into grooves cut in the hulls (as here) but as they tended to fall out as the ships were moved they were eventually glued in place, as representative loads only, and the Logistic Fleet Manifest was born.  The purple containers were fuel and the orange were weapons; the blue & red containers were an emergency refuelling rig for the container ships but this idea didn't make it through to the published game.

The copy of THEY COME UNSEEN played by Duncan Molloy, Games Developer at Osprey Games, on 11th July 2014.

Discussing THEY COME UNSEEN at the Osprey Games' stand at the UK Games Expo (UKGE) held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham in June 2016.

Photo credit (Left): Osprey Games


Copyright:  Andy Benford