The thing that has struck me most forcibly from the film was the scenes in the naval operations centre. The large scale map of the North Atlantic, complete with wooden ship shaped blocks (complete with oversized Union Jacks for the RN and swastikas for the Germans) being moved around based on contact reports etc must be crying out for a game – not only for the Bismarck affair but any other naval operation you can think of. It would be incredibly cheap to set up as all that would be needed would be plenty of paper and some wooden blocks for the ships – you would not even need to buy any models (heresy I know!)!
I suppose in a sense this has reinforced my long held conviction that map games are the truest representation of the command experience – more so than perhaps the tactical game. To run such a game would certainly need an umpire or two but the rewards would be many as the sheer ‘fog of war’ (literally, in the case of the Germans entering the Denmark Strait – in the film the shot of Bismarck emerging as huge mountain of steel from within the murk and the shadowing County Class cruiser quietly slipping away looked really evocative) adds immeasurably to the playing experience.
I need to revisit this operation again methinks!