Wednesday 28 June 2023

Based on Bismarck ‘62

The 1962 edition of Bismarck published by Avalon Hill

Way back in 1962, Avalon hill released the board game Bismarck, the components of which you see in the picture above. I have neither owned nor played this version, only the late 1970s edition which was altogether far more detailed. It was a lot of fun although the rule book was rather confusing! Fast forward to the present and elements of the original 1962 edition of Bismarck have found themselves being used in the Panzerschiffe series of rules published by Minden Games and available, you’ve guessed it, from the Wargames Vault as a PDF which you see is currently packaged with an expansion or two.

Panzerschiff from Minden Games

I was rather taken with the idea behind this set of rules which the author freely admits are designed with the novice gamer in mind. Having said that there are some add ins that make for a meatier game that would be more likely to satisfy the veteran naval gamer.

The big attraction for me, aside from the whole raft of ship counters you get in the PDF, is the fact that the rules use an 8 by 8 square grid with a square equalling some 8,000 yards. The downside from the naval gamer perspective is that the system only goes down to cruiser level - no destroyers - and air attacks are limited to torpedo bombers. It would not take much to factor in destroyers and dive bombers methinks although carrier operations are not really the aim of the game - it is primarily gun action focused. 

As is my usual wont I have acquired these for the ideas value (along with Great War Salvo - I have not gotten the WW2 variant….yet!) as there is the making of something rather useful in there.

My naval boundaries seem to have no, well, boundaries!


Steve J. said...

You really are on a roll with these naval purchases David! Nice when the mood takes you to delve into a period, as is certainly the case here:).

David Crook said...

Hi Steve J,

In many ways I am tidying up the ‘to get’ list - certainly these rules are something I have been looking at for ages. It is a project rabbit hole for sure but it is one that I will plunge into in due course rather than now!

All the best,