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The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43» Forums » Sessions

Subject: My first U-boat rss

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Richard A. Edwards
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Lacey
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Great game and the postings on BGG have really helped bring to life the experience.

I finally got to play my first game. U-44, a type IX-A.

First one patrol around the British Isles was easy with 3 ships sunk and no escorts. Second patrol was off West Africa and was easy with 2 more ships sunk, but while resupplying at sea we were attacked by aircraft and got away with minor damage but had to head back to port.

Third patrol, back off the British Isles, was going fine with two ships sunk and resupplying so we could stay on station, but then luck ran out for the U-44 and KptLt Leonhardt. Our next encounter was an aircraft who roll two sixes plus the +2 modifier and the U-44 was sunk!!!

I was stunned. 40,000 tons of shipping sunk and not a single tangle with an escort ships. But done in an instant.

I found myself combing through the rules seeking some way for our boat to be sunk but for the Kaptain to live. Sadly, I didn't see any way out. I admit I found myself wondering if historically there were U-boats sunk where their captains or crew were rescued? And if so, then how to rule a way to live, get a new boat and sail again.

Instead I guess it's time to create a new captain and crew and boat and try again. This game is addictive!
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Ian Cooper
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There were quite a few instances of crew surviving being sunk, but most of them featured commanders who managed to surface the boat before it sank.

There are a very few instances of crewmen being blown to the surface after being sunk at depth - usually just one crewman. Most often, in like 99% of cases, if a boat was sunk while submerged, it meant total loss of crew.

The sad reality of the U-boat war was that something like 80% of crewmen died in their boats. This due mostly to the fact that crewmen served for the duration of the war. Commanders had it easier - only 25% of commanders were killed in action, mainly because they were rotated out of combat duty after between 2 and 16 patrols. The standard game doesn't simulate this, but my variant, Beery's Historical Mega Module gives commanders more realistic survival options.
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Ben Goulding
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Many U-boats were caught out by Allied escorts and forced to surface, where most captains would I believe attempt to scuttle the boat as quickly as possible while the crew abandoned ship. Obviously those submariners were captured and spent the rest of the war in a POW camp.

I'm sure there is an example of a u-boat captain surviving the sinking of one boat (doubtless one of the veteran wargamers here will know), returning to Germany and commanding another, but I am sure that these events were so rare that the game designers saw little point in adding in another mechanic to account for it.

If it's any consolation, my own first cruise ended when I exceeded test depth and rolled snake eyes, meaning the boat suffered a catastrophic hull implosion and was lost with all hands.

I think the mechanics account quite well for the way luck weaves the strings of each U-boat. Some u-boats survived the war with high tonnages, some survived with hardly any ships sunk, some were sunk on their very first patrol as they left their bases, some just disappeared at sea.

When your time comes, it comes. Roll a new boat and start over! Happy hunting!
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Richard A. Edwards
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Lacey
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I appreciate the forms and information.

I crafted a pseudo-Kriegstagebuch for my doomed U-44.

http://capsulereviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/U44.pdf

Half the fun of this game is the role playing/story telling elements.

2nd U-boat (U-43, I'm working my way down) has already completed its first patrol and sunk 20,600 tons. Off to a good start.

This game is addictive.
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Ian Cooper
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I did make some Kriegstagesbuch reproductions at one point. Here they are: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/101685/kriegstagebuch

I also made a reproduction Knight's Cross Certificate: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/102546/knights-cross-cert...

I made a bunch of other award certificates too. Guess I should upload them when I get a few minutes spare time.
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Chick Lewis
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Well, I haven't played for a while, but I don't think you can roll for resupply on a partol to the British Isles. I think it is only later in the war and for Atlantic or American patrols.

Please let me know if I am mis-remembering.
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Richard A. Edwards
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chicklewis wrote:
Well, I haven't played for a while, but I don't think you can roll for resupply on a partol to the British Isles. I think it is only later in the war and for Atlantic or American patrols.

Please let me know if I am mis-remembering.

"[14.9.1] Resupply is not available for the Mediterranean (as no resupply U-Boats were in that theatre) and is not available for Caribbean/ North American patrols (as it has already assumed to have occurred in the first place)." Rules, page 20.
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