About game:

GMTs Atlantic Chase simulates the naval campaigns fought in the North Atlantic between the 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 was so common during this period due to technology limitations. Players arrange trajectory lines across the shared game board, each line representing a task force’s path of travel. Without resorting to dummy blocks, hidden movement, or a double-blind system requiring a referee or computer, players experience the uncertainty endemic to this period of naval warfare – you know your and enemy ships are somewhere on the trajectory, but where exactly is an unknown.


That system in pretty straightforward and in an easy way allows for representation – on strategic level – of limited information so characteristic to Naval Warfare. On Tactical level we have a rudimentary battle system, which for fans of more detailed representation of ships engagements can also use advanced rules.

The game in essence is a 2-player title but has also a very elaborate solitaire system with couple of campaigns. All in all, the content contained in the heavy box will allow for many hours of gameplay.

Would you stand-up to the task and manage to prevail against your opponent, securing Atlantic Ocean for your country?

Number of players:

First and foremost, this is a great 2-player experience, with each side taking the lead respectively of Germans or British. Still, it has such a fantastic dedicated solitaire module, that you can purchase this game solely for this purpose.

Playing time:

We have full spectrum of possibilities here. There are quick scenarios – both on a smaller, strategic map of North See but also pure battle-orientated. Max 30 minutes. There are full-fledged missions, played on the whole Atlantic. Usually 1 to 3 hours. And there is a long campaign, where results of one scenario impact the next one. That could take up to 10 hours, but can be divided into smaller chunks.

Complexity:

This is a medium-complex wargame, but requires “dexterity of mind”. You need to wrap your head around the concept of trajectory. You should not only understand all actions, but how they impact & interact with each other. You need also to learn to minimize risk and maximize possibilities. Definitely straightforward game to learn but not so easy to master!

What I like:
  • The approach taken by the author to teaching the game. The Tutorial is one of the best I have ever seen and can be used as actual scenarios. You learn by playing, reading some set of rules and then resolving the puzzle. Fantastic way to familiarize with the game!
  • Game modes – you have short skirmishes, large operations, campaign, solo system, pure ships engagement on Battle Map with basic and advanced rules – the variety of possible ways to play this game is simply mind-blowing.
  • Theme and historical appeal – I play my wargames because I love history and learning about it. Atlantic Chase is superb in that respect – the rules, components, scenarios, settings – they just feel right for the goal at hand. And the trajectory system adds further level of depth and flavour.
  • Components quality – first of all, fantastic books – rulebook, tutorial, scenario books – top quality paper, large font, tons of pictures and examples. Then wooden trajectory markers which are beautiful, and correspond greatly to the mounted map. The ships are simple counters, the least impressive part of the game, but they do their job just fine.
  • Replayability – with so many game modes, scenarios, campaigns, etc. you will get many, many hours of joy – and each time you can chose slightly different type of play! It will take months to go through the whole content which is in this box.
What I do not like or would like to see in the game:
  • Some scenarios can finish abruptly, too quickly in comparison to their set-up.

  • Some luck factor / randomness which can be pretty annoying at times. The art of properly playing Atlantic Chase is to minimize it, via evasive maneuvers and proper planning but still, there are times when that get under your skin 🙂
For whom?

I can wholeheartedly recommend this title to every Wargamer – be it a newbie but also seasoned grognard. There is so much new and interesting concepts here, served in a very digestible way, that without doubt all players will have a lot of fun with this position. 

More about the game:

And now let us have a look at the components – all pictures & videos from my plays:

Blockade #1 scenario play-through + rules explanation
Norway #1 scenario play-through
Norway #2 scenario play-through
Norway #3 scenario play-through
Trajectories everywhere – the hallmark of the Atlantic Chase
The smaller maps are used to depict the North Sea battles.
Overview on the board – all details, with references to the rulebook, are on the map.
The actual battles are abstracted on special board..

VERDICT:

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Atlantic Chase is a very innovative design, depicting UK and Germany struggle for dominance over Atlantic during early years of World War II – 1939-1942. It has ingenious set of rulebooks / tutorials / solitaire and multiplayer scenarios. It is important to note that all 15 solo set-ups are grouped nicely into four mini-campaigns, each depicting separate period of war and also geographical location. Each has tailored table of enemy actions, which change as the game unfolds. A lot of effort was put here – instead “one system to fit all situations” we have dedicate bot manual for each separate scenario.

A great and innovative position. Strongly recommended! See you in another game review!