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A New Scenario for Bismarck
By Steve Cabral
January 2015

Earlier we released several new operational scenarios for Bismarck: Commerce Raiding in the North Atlantic, covering the first six months of the war at sea. Here Steve Cabral provides another one, bringing the U.S. Navy into the action in late 1941.

Operational Scenario F
Kingís War
1-13 November 1941

U.S. Admiral Ernest J. King ordered U.S. forces to intercept the Scheer and positioned Group 1 (TG 3.1) in the Denmark Strait. This was a response to the damaging of DD Kearney on 17 October 1941 and the sinking of the DD Reuben James on 31 October 1941. King believed Tirpitz would also sortie.

Time Frame: 78 turns
Weather Condition: 2 (Cloudy)

Axis Forces

At Brest (BJ 39)

  • BC01 Scharnhorst
  • BC02 Gneisenau
  • CA03 Prinz Eugen
  • 2 x Z-25
  • 4 x DD04
    (Historical Ships: Z-4, Z-5, Z-7, Z-14, Z-25, Z-29)

At Ostend (BD 50)

5th Torpedo Boat Flotilla

  • DE02 Kondor
  • DE06 Falke
  • DE03 Seadler
  • DE08 Iltis
  • DE09 Jaguar

At Bremen (BA 59)

  • BB02 Tirpitz
  • AC02 Scheer
  • CL04 K_ln
  • CL Nurnberg (use CL05 Leipzig)
  • 3 x MS Class Minesweepers

Off-map at Trondheim (see Special Rule 7)

  • CA01 Hipper
  • Z-26 (use Z-37)

At Bergen (AN 57)

  • 3 x Type VII
  • 1 x Type IX

At sea (in Groups of one to five subs)

Three U-Boat aces: Endrass, Hardegen, Topp

  • 3 x Type IX
  • 9 x Type VII

Allied Forces

Submarines

Within three hexes of Brest (BJ 39)

  • 2 x S-Type

At Portsmouth (BD 44)

  • ML Manxman (use ML04 Ariadne)

At Scapa Flow (AL 47)

  • BB13 King George V
  • BB08 Royal Sovereign
  • CV06 Victorious
  • 3 x Swordfish
  • 3 x Fulmar
  • CA01 Berwick
  • CA06 London
  • CA Shropshire (use CA07 Devonshire)
  • CL59 Kenya
  • CL33 Birmingham
  • CL39 Liverpool (BA)
  • DD Oribi
  • DD Escapade (use DD44 Eclipse)
  • DD Laforey (use DD133 Lance)
  • DD Impulsive (use DD77 Icarus)
  • DD109 Somali
  • DD97 Ashanti (BA)
  • DD100 Eskimo
  • DD110 Tartar
  • DD107 Punjabi
  • DD177 Anthony
  • DD98 Bedouin
  • DD Lightning (use DD134 Legion)
  • DD16 Antelope
  • DD Onslow
  • DD Offa
  • 3x Hunt DE

At sea within one hex Scapa Flow, en route to Reykjavik (U 26)

  • CL42 Edinburgh
  • CL36 Sheffield

At Dover (BD 48)

  • Two Primary gun factors
  • ML Welshman (use ML02 Abdiel) BA

At Reykjavik (U 26)

USN TG 3.1

  • BB42 Idaho
  • BB41 Mississippi
  • CA37 Tuscaloosa
  • CA45 Wichita
  • DD433 Gwin
  • DD434 Meredith
  • DD436 Monssen
  • 6 x four-stacker DD (see Gold Club countersheet)

U.K.

  • 3 x Flower-class DE

Convoys

SC.52

Enters anywhere on the west edge on turn 20 on a dieroll of 1-3. On 4-6 the convoy does not enter ó the Axis player rolls one die and receives VPs equal to the number rolled.

  • 1 x Flower-class DE
  • 34 Slow Transports

SC.53

Enters anywhere on the west edge on Turn 30.

  • 3 x Flower-class DE
  • 35 Slow Transports

ON.31

Set up anywhere within 24 sea zones of Liverpool. Must exit west map edge.

  • 3 x Flower-class DE
  • 37 slow transports

ON.32

At Liverpool (AW 44). Must exit west map edge.

  • 6 x Flower-class DE
  • 49 slow transports

Special Rules

1. Air Allotments

The players roll up total air units normally. The British player may add three Spitfires from Bismarck, six Spitfires from Bomb Alley and four Hurricane IIís from BA to the fighter pool before drawing. The German player picks fighters from Bomb Alleyís 1942 Fighter Table and uses the Bomb Alley counter mix for fighters. Non-fighters are from the Bismarck counter mix. Any Ju87 bombers that are drawn may only be used from Norway airfields, any Fw200 must use Bordeaux. Delete the Me109G from the draw pool. Limit the number of Me110D in the draw pool to five. Every airbase on the map must have at least one air unit assigned to it at game start.

2. Breakout

Any or all of the German BCís and CA at Brest may be considered a raiding force. No German ship larger than a CL may come within 2 sea zones of any UK land area.

3. Gunnery Radar

All German BC, AC and CA have radar, and each receives a +1 bonus to each gunnery die rolled as long as its radar remains intact (normal maximum bonus of +1 still applies). For each Hull hit one of these ships receives, the German player rolls two dice and add the current number of hull boxes destroyed on that ship to the dieroll. On a modified result of 12 or more the shipís radar is permanently knocked out.

4. Scapa Flow Release

All DDs and DEs based at Scapa Flow may move without restriction. All other ships based at Scapa Flow may not leave port until released. All such ships are released when any German ship is spotted on or west of row 37. On each turn in which one or more German ships are spotted east of Row 37, the Allied player rolls two dice for each Scapa Flow ship of size CL or larger. On each result of 10 or more, the ship rolled for is released.

5. Mines

At game start the British may place up to five minefields in sea zones adjacent to Great Britain north of row AY, and two minefields within two sea zones of Belgium or the Netherlands. On night/twilight turns the RAF may designate three Hampden units (not steps) as a mining mission. They must all be part of the same flight starting from the same base, and may fly to any eligible zone within their range. They may place one minefield there per mining mission. The MLs at Dover and Portsmouth and all German DDs and CLs may also perform mining missions.

6. Battle of Britain II

No Luftwaffe unit may enter a full British land hex.

7. Trondehim

The German ships based at Trondheim may be assigned a Raid mission if desired. They may enter the map on any turn desired, in any east-edge zone between U63 and Y63 (inclusive).

8. U.S. Navy

U.S. four-stacker DDs based in Iceland may only be assigned to Escort missions with any convoys desired. They may be plotted to move out of Reykjavik, rendezvous with the convoy and join them for their remaining movement. U.S. warships may base and refuel only in Iceland. Other U.S. ships may be assigned any mission, but cannot move east of row 37.

9. Brest

British air units may be assigned to bomb German ships at night in Brest. German AA strength is quartered when firing at night-attacking aircraft. Subtract one from each bombing and torpedo roll made by aircraft. Me 110 may fly CAP Missions at night, but they receive a special Ė1 penalty to their CAP interception roll at night.

Victory Conditions

Victory goes to the side that receives the most VPís. The German player scores 5 VP for each German BC or CA based in France that arrives at a German port before the end of play. The British player receives 2 VP for each German ship of CL size or smaller based in Germany or Norway that leaves port. The British player receives 5 VP for each German ship larger than CL that leaves port but does not end the game in a German port. AC01 Admiral Scheer is the exception ó she may end the game outside a German port with no VP gain to the British.

Aftermath

Scheer developed mechanical issues and never sailed. The German surface ships stayed in port but the U-boats at sea went convoy hunting. SC.52 returned to port with a loss of five ships off Newfoundland. German U-boats were thereafter assigned against Gibraltar against Donitzís recommendations until January of í42. The USN was in an undeclared war with the Kriegsmarine with shoot-on-sight orders.

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