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New Scenarios for Bismarck
By Steve Cabral
January 2015

These bonus scenarios for Bismarck: Commerce Raiding in the North Atlantic cover the first six months of the war at sea, including U-boat, minelaying and fleet sorties. These early months saw much naval activity as the Kriegsmarine sought to keep the Allies off balance. The liner Athenia, carrier Courageous, battleship Royal Oak, AMC Rawalpindi, armored cruiser Graf Spee (covered in Cone of Fire) and several lighter ships along with hundreds of merchants were sunk. Mines damaged and crippled dozens of ships, including CL HMS Belfast, which was lost from service for three years.

Bonus Operational Scenarios

Operational Scenario A
Bite of the Little Grey Wolves
15-17 September 1939

Admiral Donitz, the commander of Germanyís U-boat arm, was tasked with disrupting the Alliesí seaborne shipping lanes. To do this he unleashed the submarines that he called the grey wolves. After the sinking of the liner Athenia by U-30 on September 3rd the Nazi government put the boats on a tight leash, as in WWI, but with U-boat attacks mounting the Royal Navy assigned fleet carriers to hunt them down. On the 14th of September HMS Ark Royal was unsuccessfully attacked by U-39, which was quickly sunk by three F-class destroyers. HMS Courageous and 5th Destroyer Flotilla (Lord Mountbatten, HMS Kelly) were assigned the Western Approaches to protect shipping to the main port of Liverpool.

Time Frame: 16 turns
Weather Condition: 1 (Clear)
Note: Only the south map is used

Axis Forces

Submarines

In any sea zones within five of Belfast (AT 41) per 16.2.

Flotilla 1:

  • 1 x Type-VII U-boats U-29

Flotilla 2:

  • 1 x Type-VII U-boats U-53

Allied Forces

In any sea zones within five of Belfast (AT 41)

  • CV Courageous (use CV01 Furious)
  • 4 x DD K-class
  • 6 x Swordfish (use DD 119, 121, 123, 127)

Special Rules

1. Ports and Airfields

Neither side may use ports or airfields in Norway, Denmark, Netherlands or Belgium, or airfields in France. All ports in France are Allied-controlled.

2. Air Allotments

The British player rolls one die plus one for air recon and bombers. The British get just the recon and bomber die rolls. The German player receives no aircraft.

3. Merchants

Each turn the German player rolls one die for each sea zone where he has at least one U-boat after submarine movement. On each roll of six a transport is sunk, and each roll of 5-6 on one die causes a distress message to reach Royal Navy forces. One or more RN ships must proceed to a distress zone. If any U-boat sinks six ships it must be removed from the game, returning home.

4. TF and Flotillas

The U-boats must be in separate flotillas; the British may use as many TF as desired.

Victory Conditions

Victory goes to the side that receives the most VPís. Each merchant sunk is 1 VP.

Aftermath

On 17 September 1939 HMS Courageous with two DDs was torpedoed and sunk by U-29. The other two DDs were detached to respond to a sinking. Fleet carriers were withdrawn from ASW duty. It was decided that escorted convoys would be the bait to attract U-boats to their destruction. The escort carrier in the future would later seal the U-boatsí doom. The September toll was 110,000 tons of shipping and one CV with the loss of two U-boats.

Operational Scenario B
Ambush
7-10 October 1939

In the first attempt of a sortie by major units of the Kriegsmarine, the Germans set up a U-boat ambush for the Royal Navy. This was in addition to the pocket battleships Deutschland and Graf Spee then in the North and South Atlantic respectively. The Germans did not want a surface action but did want a U-boat ambush; perhaps some Luftwaffe support would be forthcoming but it was not planned. The Home Fleet was ready to sortie at a momentís notice.

Time Frame: 24 turns
Weather Condition: 2 (Cloudy)
Note: Ships marked BA are available in Bomb Alley

Axis Forces

At Wilhelmshaven (AZ 58)

  • Leader Boehm
  • BC02 Gneisenau
  • CL04 Koln
  • 9 x DD04-class DD (use 0-0-2 DDs)
    (Historical ships: Z-3, Z-4, Z-5, Z-6, Z-11, Z-14, Z-15, Z-16, Z-17)

Submarines

In any sea zones per 16.2.

Flotilla 1:

  • 4 x Type-VII

Allied Forces

At Hull (AK 47)

Humber force

  • CL42 Edinburgh
  • CL37 Southampton
  • CL34 Glasgow

At Scapa Flow (AL 47)

Battlecruiser squadron

  • BC03 Hood
  • BC02 Repulse
  • CL30 Aurora
  • CL36 Sheffield
  • DD53 Faulknor
  • DD59 Foxhound
  • DD56 Forester
  • DD Fame (use DD60 Fury)

At Scapa Flow (AL 47)

Home Fleet

  • BB12 Rodney
  • BB11 Nelson
  • CV01 Furious
  • BB Royal Oak
  • 1 x Skua (use BB09 Revenge)
  • 3 x Swordfish
  • CL35 Newcastle
  • DD109 Somali
  • DD100 Eskimo
  • DD103 Mashona
  • DD107 Punjabi
  • DD105 Mohawk (BA)
  • DD98 Bedouin (BA)
  • DD Matabele
  • DD Afridi
  • (Use any Tribal-class DDs as needed for unnumbered DDs.)

Special Rules

1. Ports and Airfields

Neither side may use ports or airfields in Norway, Denmark, Netherlands or Belgium, or airfields in France. All ports in France are Allied-controlled. All German ships must end the game in port. The Allies receive 1 VP for every German ship at sea at the end of the scenario.

2. Air Allotments

The British player rolls two dice plus two for air recon and bombers. The German player receives one die plus one of air recon. The German receives all Ju88 and He111 but no Ju87. Each side receives one die plus one of fighters. No other air allotments are rolled for in this scenario.

3. Coastal Hexes

No task force or submarine may move within four sea zones of any enemy nationís coastal hex. Entering a neutral coastal hex gives the opponent 1 VP per ship.

4. Home Fleet

The Home Fleet may not move until a German ship is spotted.

5. Luftwaffe

The Luftwaffe is on standby if the U-Boats fail. The German player rolls two dice in each Air Patrol Phase starting on turn 5. On the first roll of 11 the He-111 squadrons become available for use, and on the first roll of 12 the Ju-88 squadrons become available for use. The first die roll of 2 removes the Ju-88 squadrons from the game, and a second 2 removes the He-111 squadrons from the game. Roll once each turn (even after units are released for use) until all are withdrawn or scenario ends.

6. Merchants

No Allied merchant ships are present.

Victory Conditions

Victory goes to the side that receives the most VPís.

Aftermath

The Home Fleet also sortied but no contact occurred. Royal Oak was so slow she fell behind in the BC hunt. However, U-47 penetrated Scapa Flow on 14 October and sank the Royal Oak. On the 16th of October Ju-88 bombers made their first attack on Scapa Flow, doing light damage.

Operational Scenario C
Mines to Newcastle
12-13 December 1939

German DDs were equipped for mining missions. Many were carried out under cover of darkness so the Royal Navy would remain unaware of these nocturnal intruders, but in addition the Germans rarely told the Luftwaffe that friendly ships were on patrol. This would lead to a friendly fire incident in February that would see two German destroyers sunk by a bomber.

Time Frame: 12 turns
Weather Condition: 1 (Clear)
Note: Only the south map is used

Axis Forces

At Wilhelmshaven (AZ 58)

Mining force

  • 5 x DD04
    (Historical ships: Z-4, Z-8, Z-14, Z-15, Z-19)

Escort force

  • CL06 Nurnberg (use AC01 Lutzow, Leipzig hit records)
  • CL04 Koln
  • CL05 Leipzig
  • 2 x MS

Allied Forces

At Hull (AK 47)

Humber force

  • CL42 Edinburgh
  • CL37 Southampton
  • CL34 Glasgow

Submarines

In any non-coastal Sea Zone per 16.2.

Flotilla 1:

  • 2 x S-type (Salmon and Ursula)

Special Rules

1. Ports and Airfields

Neither side may use ports or airfields in Norway, Denmark, Netherlands or Belgium, or airfields in France. All ports in France are Allied controlled. All German ships must end the game in port; the Allies receive 1 VP for every German ship at sea at the end of the scenario.

2. Air Allotments

Each player receives one die only of each aircraft type. British get +2 on recon rolls. Luftwaffe units may only attack a target spotted by air, never by sea search.

3. Minefields

The German player must lay mines in any one coastal zone between AR 46 and AX 48 inclusive.

4. S-Class Submarines

S-class submarines are the same as T-type with one fewer torpedo.

Victory Conditions

The German player wins if he successfully lays at least one minefield and scores more VPs than the British player. Any other result is a British victory. The German player receives 3 VPs for each coastal zone boundary mined.

Aftermath

After carrying out the minelaying the CL Leipzig was torpedoed by HMS Salmon and attacked by HMS Ursula which sank a sloop. Nurnberg was also damaged by Salmon but was repaired in six months. Leipzigís damage forced her conversion to a training ship thereafter.

Operational Scenario D
Stealth, Mines and Air Recon
10-11 January 1940

The German DD forces carried out mining missions at night to try to hide the origin of the mines from the British. Unlike the 1939 mining missions the German DDs could not receive CL escort, and Raeder and Goring still refused to cooperate.

Time Frame: 12 turns
Weather Condition: 1 (Clear)
Note: Only the south map is used

Axis Forces

At Wilhelmshaven (AZ 58)

Mining force

  • 3 x DD04 Class
    (Historical ships: Z-8, Z-9, Z-13)

At Wilhelmshaven (AZ 58)

Mining force

  • 6 x DD04 Class
    (Historical ships: Z4, Z-14, Z-16, Z-20, Z-21, Z-22)

Allied Forces

At Hull (AK 47)

Humber force

  • CL42 Edinburgh
  • CL37 Southampton
  • CL34 Glasgow

At sea (AQ 47)

  • CL30 Aurora
  • CL36 Sheffield

Special Rules

1. Ports and Airfields

Neither side may use ports or airfields in Norway, Denmark, Netherlands or Belgium, or airfields in France. All ports in France are Allied-controlled. All German ships must end the game in port; the Allies receive 1 VP for every German ship at sea at the end of the scenario.

2. Air Allotments

Each player receives one die only of each aircraft type. British get +2 on recon rolls.

Luftwaffe units may only attack a target spotted by air, never by sea search.

3. Minefields

The German player must lay mines in any two coastal zones between AR 46 and AZ 49 inclusive.

4. Humber Force

The Humber force may not move until a German force is spotted.

Victory Conditions

The German player wins if he successfully lays at least one minefield and scores more VPs than the British player. Any other result is a British victory. The German player receives 1 VP for each coastal zone boundary mined.

Aftermath

The minelaying was carried out without enemy contact. P.M. Chamberlain, though, did call Russia ďunscrupulousĒ the day before and the German plans to attack the west were captured in Belgium from two lost and crashed Fallschirmjager officers. The lack of cooperation between the German navy and air force would continue resulting in no aircraft carriers for the navy and no torpedoes for the air force until 1942.

Operational Scenario E
Nordmark
18-20 February 1940

In January the Kriegsmarine sent the battlecruisers to the Baltic for training and gunnery practice. The coldest winter in years caused them to be icebound. Upon returning to Germany a quick convoy sweep was planned to hunt convoys between Bergen, Norway and Great Britain.

Time Frame: 18 turns
Weather Condition: 1 (Clear)
Note: Ships marked BA are available in Bomb Alley.

Axis Forces

At Wilhelmshaven (AZ 58)

  • BC02 Gneisenau
  • BC01 Scharnhorst
  • CA01 Hipper
  • 7 x DD04 class DD (Use 0-0-2 DDs)
    (Historical ships: Z-1, Z-5, Z-6, Z-7, Z-9, Z-20, Z-21)

Allied Forces

At Rosyth (AR 45)

Rosyth force

  • CL29 Arethusa
  • CL31 Galatea
  • DD68 Griffin (BA)
  • DD47 Escapade (BA)
  • DD45 Electra
  • DD Codrington (use Anthony)

At Scapa Flow (AL 47)

Home Fleet

  • BB12 Rodney
  • BB03 Valiant (BA)
  • BC02 Repulse
  • CL32 Penelope
  • CL36 Sheffield
  • DD109 Somali
  • DD103 Mashona
  • DD Matabele
  • DD107 Punjabi
  • DD98 Bedouin (BA)
  • (Use Tribal-class DDs as needed for unnumbered DDs.)

Special Rules

1. Ports and Airfields

Neither side may use ports or airfields in Norway, Denmark, Netherlands or Belgium, or airfields in France. All ports in France are Allied-controlled. All German ships must end the game in port; the Allies receive 1 VP for every German ship at sea at the end of the scenario.

2. Air Allotments

Each player receives one only of each aircraft type. British get +2 on recon rolls.

3. British Ships

The Home Fleet and Rosyth force may not move until a German ship is spotted.

4. The Lone Merchant

Each German task force may roll two dice in each zone it moves through north of row AR. Each roll of 12 finds a lone merchant ship and awards the German player 1 VP. Each sea zone may be searched only once per scenario. On a roll of 2 a random German DD loses two speed classes. This can only occur once.

5. Raiding Forces

Only one German TF can be given a raiding mission, but there is no limit to the number of ships in a raiding TF in this scenario.

Victory Conditions

The German player wins if he scores at least 10 VPs and scores more VPs than the British player. Any other result is a British victory.

Aftermath

In revenge for the HMS Cossackís boarding of Altmark, the High Seas Fleet sortied on a British merchant hunt off Norway. No ships were found and one DD suffered a breakdown. Hitler approved the Manstein Plan, setting motion the 1940 thrust through the Ardennes. U-boats and surface units ceased major operations after Nordmark as they were soon to be needed for the invasion of Norway.

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