franck Leopold
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This is absolutely not an important thread at all, but i wonder ...

The 4 ranks accessible to the Kommandant in the game (portrayed p.4 in the manual) are identical to, for example, this internet link :

https://www.google.fr/search?q=ranks+in+the+imperial+german+...:

but many other websites, including wikipedia, portrays rank uniforms that are different to those in the game (see in the "ranks and ratings" chapter) :

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_German_Navy


They are in fact similar to those of the Nazi Kriegsmarine, (except for the crown symbol above the bars in ww1) :
- KorvettenKapitan : as in the game.
- KapitanLeutnant : two bold bars with a third thin one between.
- OberLeutnant Zur See : Two bold bars.
- Leutnant Zur See : One bold bar .

Is there are any expert around ? This game is so interesting that i love learning all things about the subject !
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Rumpelstilskin
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I am with Wikipedia.

...but no expert.

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Ian Cooper
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Hi Franck,

To be honest, until you brought it up, I'd never seen an image of a kapitänleutnant with the little line of braid sandwiched between two larger braid stripes. Of course, now you mention it, I'm starting to see it everywhere. It's even in "German U-boat Crews 1914-45" as an artist's rendition of a WW1 kapitänleutnant.

It's possible the cuff insignia changed later in the war. But it seems that, at least early in the war and up to early 1917, the cuff ranks were as they are in the game. Here's Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen - he became a kapitänleutnant in 1912. This photo is taken after 24 September 1914 (when he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class). He died - still with the rank of kapitänleutnant, on 18 March 1915:



Here's Max Valentiner. He held the rank of kapitänleutnant from March 1914 until November 1919. Here he's shown with the Pour le Mérite, so the photo has to be taken after 26 December 1916:



Here's Kapitänleutnant Lothar von Arnauld after he won his Pour le Mérite on 11 Oct 1916. He held the rank of kapitänleutnant throughout the war:



Here's Kapitänleutnant Hans Walther with the Pour le Mérite, so this photo has to be taken after 9 January 1917:



So it seems that the sleeve ranks in the game are correct at least from 1915 until 1917.
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franck Leopold
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Wow ! Now THAT is a documented answer ! thumbsup

I was pretty certain that there was some errors in the ranks depicted in the game, but now i start thinking you're right !

Is there someone that could confirm (only for curiosity purposes) if the rank symbols on the uniforms have changed during WWI (or between WWI and WW2) ?
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Ian Cooper
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SangDragon wrote:
Wow ! Now THAT is a documented answer ! thumbsup


Yeah, I'm a geek. Guilty as charged.

Quote:
Is there someone that could confirm (only for curiosity purposes) if the rank symbols on the uniforms have changed during WWI (or between WWI and WW2) ?


Yeah. I'd definitely like to know whether they changed during the war. They definitely changed between the wars. I suspect that the alternative ranks may have something to do with Weimar Germany (where - I believe - they DID seem to have that alternative sleeve rank system, but with a star above the rank stripes - same as in WW2), and/or there may be some errors made by artists who assumed the sleeve stripes from Weimar were also used in WW1 (I'm thinking of the graphic in "German U-boat Crews 1914-45" which shows a U-boat kapitänleutnant with a kaiser's crown above the three rank stripes.

Or it could be that in 1914, or in 1918, they changed the sleeve rank system. After all, the British Army did it in 1917, so it's definitely something that could happen during wartime.
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franck Leopold
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This is the proof you're absolutely right :

If you go on the German Wikipedia website and search the "Kapitanleutnant" word, you'll can read on the "Kaiserliche und Kriegsmarine" chapter : "Im Kaiserreich trug der Kapitänleutnant nur 2 (mittel-)breite Streifen am Ärmel", which means (i think) : in the Empire, the KapitanLeutnant had only 2 bars on his arms"

Hurrah for Großadmiral Ian Cooper (and shame on me blush ) !

EDIT : and on the same German website, if you go on the corresponding pages (also reachable from the kapitanleutnant page), you'll see (after a little translation) that :

- In the Empire, the OberLeutnant zur see had only one bar on his arm (two since WW2)
- In the Empire, the Leutnant zur see had only a thin bar on his arm (bold bar since WW2)
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Ian Cooper
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No worries. There's never shame in asking for info and questioning whether the info we have is right. I try to do a good amount of research, but there's always the possibility that I could be wrong.
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John C
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Fantastic stuff, great thread. What a fantastic game and experience this has been.
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I agree!
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franck Leopold
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This is not exactly the subject of this thread, but as the uniforms, this question is about ww1 naval history :

First, i must confess that although i've read the .pdf manual & the errata, i will receive my copy of Raiders of the Deep only in two days (can't wait !!!).

So in the meantime, this is my question : The German Admiralty changed its 'policy' about u-boote several times during ww1, from unrestricted naval warfare (attack at sight) to more restricted since 1915 and then back to unrestricted warfare since 1917 (not 100% sure i'm right) : i'm curious to know if this successive changes have been 'modelized' (simulated) in this game, and if yes, how (in what manner) ?

Thank you very much !
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Paul Thompson
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It does, it follows the actual history of the changes so during the periods of restricted warfare you have to abide by Cruiser Rules. Which means that unarmed/unescorted merchants have to be attacked on the surface (Which models allowing the crew to escape etc).

Most of the effects of this are part of the attack rolls for example if you attack with the gun/crew which reprsents both deck gun attacks, but also sending a boarding party across, and you fail to sink the ship you can interpret this to be the crew playing for time. You are free to extend the combat to a new round but that means there is always the pressing danager that a destroyer will invite its self to the party and being on the surface when that happens is a bad thing...


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franck Leopold
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Thank you for your answer ! I feared that this game could be too similar to The Hunters, but historical details like this one included in the gameplay (added with all the historical researches of the game designer -like the long list of real ships sunk in WW1 by the U-Boote) seems to give it a true originality, authenticity & flavor !

I truly love all these solo story-telling games (B-17 QOTS, B-29 Superfortress, Hell over Korea, Target for Today, A Wing and a Prayer, The Hunters, Silent Victory, Raiders of the Deep, and Legion of Honor) !

Now waiting for The Hunted, Beneath the Med, and B-26 : the marauder strikes ...
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Gregory Smith
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SangDragon wrote:
Thank you for your answer ! I feared that this game could be too similar to The Hunters, but historical details like this one included in the gameplay (added with all the historical researches of the game designer -like the long list of real ships sunk in WW1 by the U-Boote) seems to give it a true originality, authenticity & flavor !


I have to agree with Franck here. I'm sure a lot of people might think it's "just a Hunters clone" but boy oh boy, are they wrong.

As I've said before, Ian went the extra mile here in his research, and it shows. Kudos to him again

Cheers,
Greg
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Ian Cooper
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Yeah, it's definitely not just the rules for "The Hunters" with different U-boat mat images and targets from WW1. Having said that, at first glance the rulebooks seem quite similar, because most of the time, the general procedure of play is the same for both games, and the general practical aspects of U-boat warfare in WW1 were quite similar to the way they were at the beginning of WW2. But there are important differences that are very significant, both in terms of gameplay, theme, and (I hope) the overall "feel" you get while playing "Raiders of the Deep".

In short, if I've done my job properly, players who are coming to "Raiders of the Deep" after having played "The Hunters" should find the rules very familiar, but they should also find that the experience of playing "Raiders of the Deep" is quite different.

What I did, as I was developing the game, was look at every single rule in "The Hunters", and I asked myself if the rule worked well as a simulation of WW1 U-boat combat. If a rule worked perfectly, I left it alone; if a rule didn't quite work, I changed it. Most rules stayed close to the way they are in "The Hunters", because most rules are about the procedure of patrolling, refitting, getting awards and experience. The remainder were changed - some subtly, some fundamentally - to reflect the theme of the Great War and the differences in the way U-boats were employed in WW1.

There were some cases where I felt new rules were needed. One example is the career starting date: in "The Hunters", the game starts the player off in September 1939, and ends the game in (IIRC) March of 1943; for "Raiders", I wanted players to have the option of starting in any month of the war - after all, many WW1 commanders only got their first U-boat command during the war (one example is the ace of aces, Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière, who started his career as a U-boat commander in late 1915, after serving on the general staff and in the naval airship division).

Another new rule is the encounter multiplier: the game has to mainly simulate the standard patrol where targets were relatively few, but in WW1, there were rare times and places where commanders could achieve amazing per-patrol tonnage records that were unmatched in WW2 and remain unmatched to this day. So the game needed to model this: the encounter multiplier allows players to take advantage of these opportunities to match the record-breaking patrols of the top aces, and perhaps even exceed their greatest successes.

Another example: Q-ships. These didn't exist in WW2, so new rules were needed to turn what appears to be a harmless freighter into a heavily armed U-boat killer. The Q-ship rules simulate this threat.

There are many new rules that could be implemented by modifying rules that already existed - for example, ramming, boarding, prize-taking, mines, submarine nets - these all are fitted into rules that existed in "The Hunters". Other rules needed to be simplified or made less effective - for example, aircraft, which were nowhere near as threatening in WW1 as they were in WW2.

It's the same story with the charts - if they worked fine, I left them alone. But it's here that players will see the biggest differences: the most obvious difference is in the target rosters, which separate targets by the month they are encountered, and which include the vast majority of ships that were sunk by U-boats during WW1. Another big difference is the patrol assignment chart, which had to be much simpler than that of "The Hunters" because in WW1, your patrol area was based purely on your flotilla assignment. Conversely, the encounter charts needed to be more complex, to reflect political vacillations that U-boat commanders were often constrained by, and sometimes freed from, at various times. We know from the memoirs of von Trapp and others that these restrictions were significant and incredibly frustrating, so they had to be in the game.

"Raiders of the Deep" also includes some roleplaying elements that earlier games in the series did not have. For example:

Two commander name generators (German and Austrian) customized to reflect the different names that commanders of each nation had (there were differences, so that's in the game). Each name generator reflects as precisely as possible the most popular names (first and last) of successful U-boat commanders in WW1. It would have been easy to just grab some common German names and put them in the game. Instead, I went through ALL the names of the historical commanders and picked out the most common first and last names for each nation. The charts even include rules for generating those rare noble surnames that appeared in the list of WW1 U-boat commanders - again specially customized for each nation, and carefully balanced so they appear in the game only as often as they appeared in reality.

Another roleplaying element is the "early life" and "final fate" charts: I felt that players might like to know how their commanders grew up - where they were born, who their parents were, how they joined the navy and what they experienced as young naval officers - and what they experienced after the war. These are all based on the biographies of famous U-boat commanders.

In conclusion, "Raiders of the Deep" definitely has similarities to "The Hunters", but I have added a lot of features that are new to the game system. Most importantly, I hope that I've succeeded in accurately modeling the features of U-boat warfare that are particular to WW1 in a way that makes "Raiders" a truly unique experience.
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Paul Thompson
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I think you succede in making it a very different game, I'm playing through my first career slowly but surely and have had to recheck the rules a few times to make sure I've not brought along any assumed knowledge from The Hunters.

Entered the first period of unrestricted warfare and I'm rather thankful as the first patrol after the change I netted around 12,000 tons from a pair of large frieghters that I would have had to pass on otherwise.

I've only had one close call with esoorts so far when a beady eyed escort spotted me as I tried to nab the 2nd Large freighter and actually hit me with a ram, luckily it only did a bit of flooding and I lucked out on my follow roll and got the freighter anyway (and to top it off my evasion roll after the attack was snake eyes so it was utterly clean way)

As a Hunter player one big change is how few Torpedos you have (My U-19 only has 6), its a pretty big decision to decide to use one on a ship or not, which means I'm going to have to use deck gun\boarding parties and since Q-ships are now about and I'm operating in British waters I've become one very nervous skipper.
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franck Leopold
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Again, i'm talking of something that i don't know, as i will receive my copy only tomorrow, so my knowledge of this game is purely theoric ...

For me, the aspect of this game (and ww1 submarine warfare) that appears to be the most original and fascinating is the option to board ships with some u-boat men (under the threat of deck guns) and the different choices that follows, as open the water pumps to sink it, place explosives aboard, or take the ship as a prize by letting aboard a small crew of u-boat men .

To be absolutely frank, although i'm most than grateful that these possibilities have been included in the game, i'm a bit disappointed that this aspect have been treated so 'abstractly', merged as it is in the deck gun shots mechanism and tables .

I think that there was here wonderful opportunities to render this game even more unique by developping all these options (either like a simple mini-game in the game, or with just some additionnal specific charts, including maybe a specific counter named 'assault team' or 'boarding team', these men could maybe become 'experte' with positive DRMs, or become wounded in action, negating the possibility of boarding ships until the end of the actual patrol ...

I'm surely not enough skilled to do that, but i would love to play with a variant that could expand this aspect of the game !

I would truly like to know Ian's thoughts about his creation process of the actual 'boarding' mechanism, and if he has been tempted to render it more detailed than it is actually .

Thanks !
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Ian Cooper
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SangDragon wrote:
...i'm a bit disappointed that this aspect have been treated so 'abstractly', merged as it is in the deck gun shots mechanism and tables... i would love to play with a variant that could expand this aspect of the game !


I suspect that a variant will appear that does exactly what you suggest. It's definitely something that could be expanded, for those who want more detail in this area. As you suggest, there could be individual counters for prize and boarding crews, and maybe "experte" modifiers that gave you a positive attack modifier when performing a type of boarding using an "experte".

Quote:
I would truly like to know Ian's thoughts about his creation process of the actual 'boarding' mechanism, and if he has been tempted to render it more detailed than it is actually.


I did consider it, but it soon became clear that modeling the various types of boarding actions could easily bog the game down more than I thought was necessary or useful for what is a very uneventful procedure. The words of Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière spring to mind:

"My record cruise was quite tame and dull. We stopped the vessels. The crews boarded the lifeboats. We inspected the ships' documents, told the crews how they could reach the next port and then sank the stopped prize."

The thing is, from a gameplay perspective, these actions are also quite "tame and dull". There is no tension: it's not like the firing of a torpedo that has some chance of failure. And there is no threat, as there is when attacking escorted ships: in 99% of cases, you had time to examine the ship's log, then the freighter crews entered the lifeboats, a few of your crew rowed over and boarded the ship, they set off demolition charges or opened sea valves, or they took the ship as a prize, and you'd go on your way. Freighter crews faced with a U-boat armed with an 88mm gun virtually never put up more than token resistance. They might make some small delays, but freighter captains who made a run for freedom or attacked the U-boat were so rare and considered so heroic that such actions resulted in the captains getting the most prestigious military awards (see Frederick Daniel Parslow, who was posthumously awarded the British Victoria Cross and Charles Fryatt, who was posthumously awarded the Belgian Order of Leopold).

Even if an escort showed up, you'd still have time to get the boarding crew back aboard the U-boat before you faced a significant problem.

So in the end, the result is the same as it is for gunnery: a sure victory, as long as you can get it done before a destroyer appears on the horizon. The only possible result of me adding rules for boarding to the standard game design (i.e. not as an option) would be to mess with the game's pacing. A few hardcore simulation fans might enjoy the added realism, but I fear most players would find it tiresome.

Designing a game is in some ways like designing the pacing of a movie: you have to keep things moving, so that you get from one exciting part to the next. You need some kind of "montage" - something that quickly shows the player that time passes and boring things happen - but you absolutely must not "force" the player to experience the boring stuff. If you do, then players can easily lose interest.

Having said that, speaking as a gamer, I'm a big fan of realism, so for me, getting bogged down in the details of a game is something I love. BUT it still must not be forced on me by the designer. The game itself must be fun - and simple (at least relatively speaking - we are talking about wargames after all), and any extra detail must come as an optional rule, or as a variant. I could have expanded the boarding procedure as an optional rule, but I thought it would be nice to leave it as something for the community to pick up, so that they can get involved in the design of the game.

So I made a number of things in the game simple and/or abstract (though only where I felt I should, due to pacing issues or a lack of specific information regarding certain details): for example, torpedo types are simplified to some extent, and boarding actions are abstracted. When I made these decisions, my feeling was that players would almost certainly step up and flesh out these aspects. I felt strongly that, as a game designer, I should present a solid foundation (i.e. a game that is easy to learn and that plays well) so that players could enjoy the game and perhaps be motivated to improve it to suit their vision for what the game can be. Hopefully, I've achieved this, and I look forward to seeing if the BGG community finds the game interesting enough to expand upon the foundation that I've built.

It's kinda like a house: an architect designs it to be generally functional for any family who might be looking for a house in that price range and in that neighborhood. It's fully finished and ready to be lived in. But when a new owner moves in, he/she might decide he wants a larger kitchen, or a game room, or a movie theater room, or a basement apartment that can be rented out - so the owner makes changes, builds additions etc., to suit his needs. If the architect designs rooms that can only possibly be used for a single purpose (for example, a game room), he's forcing his desires onto the owner. I just didn't want to do that. I wanted to make a game that works for everyone who's in the market for this type of game, and leave some aspects of the design for each player to expand, if he/she wants.
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franck Leopold
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I perfectly understand your point of view, thanks as always to take the time to explain it for us in so great detail !

You're right in that including an expanded boarding procedure in the base game could have breaked (sorry for my possible conjugation errors) the pace of the game or render its mechanisms too burdensome .

As for my wishes for the boardings to be more like commando actions, i must confess that i certainly unconsciously had the boarding sequence of the german sub in the movie U-571 a little too on my mind !
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Ian Cooper
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SangDragon wrote:
...i must confess that i certainly unconsciously had the boarding sequence of the german sub in the movie U-571 a little too on my mind !


A great movie for those who like gritty historical drama... combined with the wildest fantasy elements! laugh

I mean, Matthew McConaughey as a U.S. Navy lieutenant? I ain't buying it. It's about as believable as the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz.

Still, the rest of the movie was 100% historically accurate... whistle
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John C
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Bro, don't mess with my monkeys..
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Jim P
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Beery wrote:
A great movie for those who like gritty historical drama... combined with the wildest fantasy elements! laugh

I mean, Matthew McConaughey as a U.S. Navy lieutenant? I ain't buying it. It's about as believable as the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz.

Still, the rest of the movie was 100% historically accurate... whistle


Oh man Ian, I was gearing up till I saw the emoji... [ whistle ]

If "U-571" is a historical movie, then "Das Boot" is a Hitlerian comedy! laugh laugh laugh

Or the Russian movie "Podvodnaya lodka T-9" was a motivational movie. gulp
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Ian Cooper
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jasta6 wrote:
If "U-571" is a historical movie, then "Das Boot" is a Hitlerian comedy! laugh laugh laugh


Hitlerian comedy. That reminds me - I must watch the movie "The Producers" again sometime soon. "Springtime for Hitler and Germany" - priceless.
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