Friday, 7 December 2012

Operation Seeadler


KM Bismarck - mad, bad and dangerous to know....;-)

Way back at the end of 2008 PB (pre-blog) I devised and ran a very successful club night mini-campaign based on a German breakout into the North Atlantic during 1941. The game was run using Axis and Allies: War at Sea 1/1800th scale models and rules and was great fun to both fight and organise. Essentially the operation was a beefed up version of the Bismarck chase although with a few changes due to model availability (or lack of, as we had no Repulse and Renown at the time).

Well, after a long and complicated email exchange with Tim Gow, of Megablitz and More fame the decision has been taken to run the operation again, only with several rather novel features.

To begin with, yours truly will assume the mantle of overall umpire for the strategic side. In a nutshell this means devising the operation and collating the map moves from the two commanders. I will adjudicate contact and sighting reports, control the weather and generally play the part of the God of War. Mr Gow has a rather more challenging role in that he will responsible for setting up and running the resultant actions using his 1/1200th models where applicable and with Fletcher Pratt being the rules of choice. Between the two of us we will then report the actions on the blog while I will be recording the whole 'back story' for publication after the operation has drawn to a close. If the last time this was run is anything to go by then it will be a tale of near misses and of ships that pass in the night, or even that of  tale you will be able to tell your grandchildren, and mightily bored they will be....;-)

The action will be taking place in Tim's neck of the woods (aka Yorkshire!) and so at this stage my involvement will probably be entirely electronic in nature.

There will be the occasional post on this project but they will obviously be subject to wartime censorship.

I was very fortunate in being able to find some of the key files from the original campaign (especially the map!) and so this new version will be largely similar in concept to the first version - the main difference being that the ships are rather more aligned to their historical counterparts - simply because Tim's collection of models for the period is rather substantial.

The Bismarck operation has probably been gamed to death and so the casual reader could be forgiven for thinking that this will be just another rehash of a well-worn theme. To a point that may be true but for me the big attraction of running this operation is the perennial wargames standby of  'what if?' It is also a very challenging operation to run from both sides as follows:

  • The Germans are outnumbered and have to avoid action where possible
  • The Royal Navy has a lot of sea to cover and has to ensure that should they find the Germans they are in the position to be able to do something about them.
I have always really enjoyed unbalanced scenarios as they really make you think about what you want to do and how you should be doing it and for this reason I am really looking forward to running this. I should also point out that for reasons that will become obvious in due course essentially this operation is the naval equivalent of the old school playground game of British Bulldog.

My thanks to Tim Gow for indulging me in my latest bout of insanity!

10 comments:

Steve's Wargame Stuff said...

Look forward to the (censored) reports David. I've been threatening to give naval wargaming a bash for months now but still haven't gotten around to it.

Jim Duncan said...

Wonderful, can't wait for the first contact reports!

Jim

Tim Gow said...

What could possibly go wrong? How many Bismarcks do we need?

David Crook said...

Hi Steve,

One of the great thing about naval wargames are that they are really inexpensive in terms of kit and that a really challenging game can be fought with very few models. You should set yourself a budget of £10 for models and download some free rules and trawl the net for 'history' and the take it from there - trust me, you will not be disappointed!

Reports will follow as and when.

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Jim,

Trust me, you will enjoy it!

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

The short answer to the two questions is anything and plenty....;-)

Relax, don your fez and sit cross-legged with a hooker, ahem, I mean hookah - you will be fine....;-)

All the best,

DC

Peter Douglas said...

DC

I am looking forward to seeing what's next on this front.

Cheers
PD

David Crook said...

Hi Peter,

So am I! Seriously though, this is going to be a lot of fun And I am looking forward to both running it and writing the after action report!

All the best,

DC

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Mon Kapitan I salute your endevour!

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

I will be posting about the idea behind the mechanics of this undertaking alter this weekend - it is a first for me but I am really looking forward to it - and writing it up as well!

All the best,

DC