Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

UBOOT: The Board Game» Forums » Sessions

Subject: U-693, First Patrol rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Paul Williams
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
Hi all,

Having completed the training mission previously, we set out on our first real partol least night, log below!

*The mission*
Set-up: 4 players, medium difficulty. 2nd game for Captain, First Officer and Navigator (we played the training mission previously), first time for the Chief Engineer.
Scenario: First Patrol

*Rules specifics*
Played with the 'high alert once per watch at cost of blocking an order space' and the ability for sailors to operate past 3 activations at the cost of potential further lost orders based on morale variants.

*Patrol Log*

Reviewed initial state of the boat (noticeably better state of repair then the already-falling-apart training boat!), set course to our primary hunting grounds off Norway, and the first watch completed the usual speed, heading, cooking and placing of observers.

Soon encountered our first set of contacts; identified as a patrol boat escorting two merchantmen. Day-time action so submerged and looked to maneourve into position for a torpedo attack. Although the initial plan was to run at full speed parrallel to the convoy to get a more favourable position, the marginal speed difference between our submerged boat and the convoy meant we struggled to make any ground, and so decided to face in and engage directly.

Four fish away - two into each merchant, before setting an escape course, diving and slowing the boat to reduce our noise emissions. The patrol boat was well equipped however and came charging straight at us, with the ping of active sonar echoing across the table. A quick course correction failed to shake our pursuers, and as we came to a dead stop in the hope of laying undetected, crew morale began to crumble we heard depth charges in the water.

A solid hit resulted in the aft torpedo room and a hull breach in the fore torpedo room. Repair crews under the command of the Chief Engineer scrambled into position, and were able to seal the breach with mere seconds to go before the section flooded.

By the time repairs had stabilised the position our dead-stop ploy appeared to have worked and we listened intently as the patrol boat slowly moved off. Once we were left alone repairs resumed, and by the end of the next watch we were able to surface and continue on our way.

As we continued on our route, we received a request from HQ to undertake a weather report in a nearby sector, but considering the time limitations of our patrol the detour was too far off our chosen course, so we maintained heading towards the primary objective.

Rough seas continued to take their toil on the ships equipment, with it being a constant battle to maintain systems and equipment against a slew of engineering issues, however, at least in transit the chief engineer and his team remained on top of things.

As we headed into the second day out from base we picked up a second cluster of contacts, however heavy fog prevented us from getting a solid identification. Submerging to prevent detection we shadowed the convoy and waited for night; our plan this time to surface under the cover of dark, outflank the convoy and set up a midnight attack for the next watch.

This plan worked broadly as intended; the u-boats superior surfaced speed and great visibility radius at night allowed us to maneourve into position ahead of the convoy, at an optimum firing angle, without being spotted. However, the actions required to achieve this meant several repair items could no longer be attended too, costing us one of the reloaded torpedo tubes (jammed), and a fire in the galley which ended up destroying the cooker and our engima code books (no more additional orders from Donitz!).

In due course the convoy hove into view, three merchants, one of which we identified as a heavy-lift ship, guarded by a corvette. Unfortunately we had misjudged our range to target by 0.1nm (not bad considering it was a night time maneourve to get us into position with no contacts on the board), and so we unable to launch our attack as planned. However, after a hurried mobilisation to get us moving again we closed in and launched our two available torpedoes into the larger merchantman towards the rear of the cluster.

Immediately diving (deeper this time, 100m) and setting a course to try and get us under the other merchant ships to hide our sound trail, we waited to see how the corvette would respond. Although the tactic would probably have worked against the patrol boat we faced earlier, the corvettes 30kn speed meant it got on top of us faster than we could get in amongst the other merchant ships. After a couple more course corrections to try and throw them off we again heard the crash of depth charges, but this time our better maneourving and lower depth seemed to have helped us, and although we lose of the lighting in the engine room, we suffered no significant damage before the corvette withdrew.

With the ship in need of further maintenance which would likely take up most of the remaining time available, we decided to return to base.

Patrol Status: Successful, Rating B
Tonnage sunk: 18,000
Ship status: Few minor injuries and faults but no KIA or flooded sections.

*Thoughts after playing*

+ All the players commented on the tension of waiting for the depth charge attacks; this certainly didn't lessen having played the game before.
+ The revised activation rules made it possible to try and maneourve around attacking escorts, and allowed for attack runs on targets of opportunity. However, losing 2 spaces on the ordertrack (from a combination of high alert and crew fatigue) is really noticeable. We had to stop for cigratte breaks twice to recover the order spaces.
+ Using the limited visibility of escorts at night to get into position made things a lot easier. Going forward my 'standard' operating routine is likely to be to tail a convoy submerged during the day, then overtake it at night and get into an attack position.

Feedback / "Game-y" things

Although the tactical guide explains the reduced visibility impacts of night, it's not clear when night "begins". We ended up trying to play this by eye based on the periscope, but it would have been really frustrating if we surfaced 30mins too early when the escorts still had their full sight range because a "game mechanic" hadn't triggered yet. If visibility is going to be a binary 100% / 20% depending on when the game decides it's "night" would be useful to know when that is.

Not being able to fire torpedoes at all outside the 2nm was a bit frustrating. We eventually worked out this is why we couldn't fire, but it very much felt like the app getting in the way of the game (we were between 2.1 and 2.0 nm and just had a greyed out TDC button). Given that this is a strict "ranges >2nm you aren't allowed to fire" it might be useful to have something in the app confirm when you try to launch. I'd assumed up until now this was more about accuracy / reliability rather than a binary "can't even shoot at 2.1 but 2.0 is a kill shot".

Still getting to grips with the repair levels needed; felt like if we didn't have all four engineers plus 1-2 other crew devoted to repairs every single watch we were losing 1-2 systems to 'red / broken' and/or creating environmental hazards. (i.e. we lost 2 torpedo tubes from no-issue to can't fire in a single watch). Probably not helped by us missing that the engineers could do speed-changes whilst also doing repairs, so putting this down to user-error at present.

All in all, a solid second outing, and something we'd all like to get back to the table.

U-693 signing off and happy hunting,

/P451
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Quentin Frost
United States
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Congratulations on an excellent patrol! Glad to hear of your mission details - I really enjoy reading these reports. I have yet to play my copy, but when I do, it’ll be with a Bluetooth speaker, since we play in noisy gaming halls. Don’t want to miss those hair-raising pings.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Buckley
United Kingdom
LONDON
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice write up Captain!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Catley
United Kingdom
Hull
East Yorkshire
flag msg tools
MtnFrost wrote:
Congratulations on an excellent patrol! Glad to hear of your mission details - I really enjoy reading these reports. I have yet to play my copy, but when I do, it’ll be with a Bluetooth speaker, since we play in noisy gaming halls. Don’t want to miss those hair-raising pings.


I think there's still an issue with Bluetooth speakers in the app. I couldn't get mine to work in my first training mission last night anyway.

An excellent mission report, Herr Kaleun Williams!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Gastonguay
United States
Pottstown
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Act Three! Everybody Dies!
Avatar
mbmbmb
Juggling Engineers is certainly tough, but doable. I've even given the Engineer some paper to write down what is needed where, how long until the effect will deteriorate, how long until it'll be fixed at the current rate, what time of day those will occur (for change of watch purposes). That way she can track every moment and know when pausing to help load a torpedo or something is okay, or when they need to stick to what they're doing. It's a headache, for sure, but can keep you from sinking, I wager.

Our main focus now is to stop cursing loudly as a Pavlovian reaction to hearing the 'ping' sound.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Kaufman
United States
Pasadena
CA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Paul451 wrote:
Although the tactical guide explains the reduced visibility impacts of night, it's not clear when night "begins".


On the app, check the Tutorial > Technical Data. There's a lot of really important information there that should be on the printed material. Sunrise is 0800, Sunset is at 20:00.

Last night my group was not able to attack because it was a storm. Had we known that, we wouldn't have got so close to setup a shot. The info on the Tactical Data page like speed and visibility is too important to have to dig to get.

Sounds like you had fun anyway. Good hunting.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Williams
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
kaufmad wrote:
Paul451 wrote:
Although the tactical guide explains the reduced visibility impacts of night, it's not clear when night "begins".


On the app, check the Tutorial > Technical Data. There's a lot of really important information there that should be on the printed material. Sunrise is 0800, Sunset is at 20:00.

Last night my group was not able to attack because it was a storm. Had we known that, we wouldn't have got so close to setup a shot. The info on the Tactical Data page like speed and visibility is too important to have to dig to get.

Sounds like you had fun anyway. Good hunting.


Hi Daniel,

Thank you for this pearl of wisdom; wouldn't have thought to go digging for this info, and I'll give orders to surface and flank convoys much easier in the future knowing for certain I'm under the cover of darkness!

/Happy Hunting
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.