In below article I would like to invite Dear Readers to the fantastic travel into the world of solitaire scenarios and campaigns for the Atlantic Chase. This will be action report saturated with many photos as I think only picture can reflect what was going on during the session. I used some pointers and arrows so you can see the flow of the action as well as grasp the dynamics of the conflict. Hope you will enjoy it!
First, couple of sentences about game (above you can check its components). Atlantic Chase simulates the naval campaigns fought in the North Atlantic between the surface fleets of the Royal Navy and the Kriegsmarine between 1939 and 1942. It utilizes a system of trajectories to model the fog of war that bedeviled the commands during this period.
That system in pretty straightforward and easy way allows for representation – on strategic level – of limited information so characteristic to Naval Warfare. On Tactical level we have a pretty easy to grasp battle system, which for fans of more detailed representation of ships engagements can also use advanced rules.
The Blockade (BL1, BL2, BL3) Scenarios
It is important to note that all 15 solo scenarios are grouped nicely into four mini-campaigns, each depicting separate period of war and also geographical location. The initial three focus on the Blockade – they explore operations from September 1939 to March 1940. It is beginning of war, both navies try to test the enemy. Royal Navy seeks to contain the Kriegsmarine to the Northern Sea while the latter focuses on disruption of British merchant shipping. Who shall prevail?
Special rules for this campaign are as follows:
- Convoys – each represents just a few ships, so it takes one hit (German one) or two hits (British one) to sunk it
- Prize Rules – whenever a lonely Convoy, without escort, is brought to battle it is automatically captured
- International Incidents – in some scenarios when one side attacks enemy Convoys on neutral waters, that could spark a reaction from the third party
- Rendezvous Markers – these are scheduled locations where two or more ships are ordered to meet for the purpose of fueling, shifting supplies, wounded, prisoners, etc.
BL1: Raiders of the North Atlantic
This is first scenario, a relatively small one where you are equipped with small German force tasked with initiating raids on the British convoys. Points are scored for damaged and sunk enemy vessels as well as some special actions, which are known as the scenario develops.
Played faction: Germans
Map Used: Main Map
The beginning was great, but the narrow passage between England and neutral Norway proved to be a real death-trap for German vessels.
That was very exciting session, with much action and completely different flow than the first one!
- Attempt 1: -3 VP – Failure! – the worst possible result (mainly due to sunken German ship)
- Attempt 2: 2 VP – Encouraging – pretty good result, significantly hampered by the sunken Graf Spee; that calamity being offset by fantastic performance from Lutzow
BL1 scenario fun factor:
Despite this being and introductory scenario, it is very interesting to play – and pretty variable and re-playable. You need to know the game mechanics well to achieve very good result, but this is not top priority at the beginning. Learning the game flow is definitely its key purpose – and it does it pretty well.
BL2: Contain & Destroy
This time we will command the British forces, trying to defend the convoys being raided by Kriegsmarine. If in the process there will be possibility to damage or even sunk enemy assets – even better!
Played faction: British
Map Used: Main Map
- Attempt 1: 4 VP – Success – a marginal success. Despite two British Convoys successfully completing and one German sunk, the Norwegian backlash and damage on Kriegsmarine asset almost offset that great performance.
- Attempt 2: 7 VP – Success – much better results, nearly a Triumph. No backlash with Norwegian, no damage on ships, all own convoys secured and enemy sunk. Great!
BL2 scenario fun factor:
Try as it might, the AI is much better as all-powerful British than Germans, who require a very subtle and intelligent play, having usually much weaker force than Royal Navy. Thus it does not too much long to identify best strategy for convoys. Also, lack of persistent strategy of the main German Unidentified Task Force allowed my convoys to slip and complete in British ports. Maybe the Germans did not developed good coordination between their naval assets yet?
BL3: Raiders of the North Sea
We will again lead the forces of Grossadmiral Raeder. This time in a much smaller theater of only North Sea, trying to interfere with the British shipments from Norway. An additional, complicating factor will be a pack of Royal Navy submarines looming around Horns Reef.
Played faction: Germans
Map Used: North Sea
- Attempt 1: 0 VP – What went wrong? – pretty poor result – as I did not manage to locate any convoy, got hit on one of the ships and only sunk one Cruiser.
- Attempt 2: 4 VP – Victorious raiders – significantly better performance; a convoy sunk and engaged, zero losses on German side and pretty encouraging performance.
BL3 scenario fun factor:
This is indeed a small scenario but a great puzzle to massage your brain and decide on bthe est action – to risk reinforcements or not? To use a special Intel marker or not? To intersect with Convoy within the range of British air-force or not? That really makes for interesting although short, neat game.
The solo games when played multiple times in a row develop each attempt in the different way. Action tables guide us well through bot actions – it is definitely better implemented for all-powerful British then Germans – and you will be not once nastily surprised what enemy can do.
The more I discover Atlantic Chase, the more I appreciate it. The tutorials were great, the first Solo scenarios – pretty interesting. Can’t wait to finally play a competitive game with one of my friends! Soon!