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.