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Subject: Sinking the Tirpitz-- any potential game there? rss

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Dan Owsen
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I've recently been reading about the Tirpitz and it got me to thinking if there was any potential game to the situation, even a solitaire one. To the BB search! I saw there was one already: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/12525 however, it got very low ratings.

It seems like there might be some potential for a more interesting game if the allied player had to balance resources to keep the Tirpitz under watch, losing victory points if he had too many allocated, but allowing the Tirpitz to sortie if he didn't allocate enough. Random cards or something could allow for different kinds of missions to sink the ship (mini-subs, air strikes, etc).

Boring or maybe cool? And is the existing Tirpitz game from Minden (Panzershrek) really as poor as its rating? I've never played any of their games.

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Ralph T
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I think a good sink the Graf Spee would be better. There's not a definitive Graf Spee game out there.
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F H
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ralpher wrote:
I think a good sink the Graf Spee would be better. There's not a definitive Graf Spee game out there.


Battle of the River Plate
 
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Chris Geggus
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I think that Minden rather missed the target on their game by trying to be all-inclusive on a subject that probably warrants looking at in rather more detail.
Certainly solitaire seems to be the way to go and, in my opinion, the specific topic to recreate would be the X-craft attack on the 3 German vessels that actually did partially/eventually succeed. Playing the X-craft during ocean transit, coastal approach and actual attack would be intriguing and difficult and if represented well by a gaming system could lead to a very good game. There's a target for a designer with some innovative ideas and interest in the subject.
Recreating the final attack by RAF Lancasters would seem, from a gaming viewpoint, to be of little worth in playing through. I can't see much interest in a stationary target and a hit or miss outcome by the active player.
Good suggestion, particularly for us naval gamers out here who always feel that we are being short-changed.
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David Rauscher
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Absolutely. I hear there's this really popular game out there all about farming, so that suggests to me that you can make a game out of anything!

More seriously, it would be harder to do as a classic hex-and-counter (or similar) "wargame". Taking a Euro tack at it would be more likely to succeed (think, e.g., Duel in the Dark).
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Erik Nicely
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Try Second World War at Sea: Bismarck. I know the Tirpitz is in there.
 
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Pete White
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Fjord is a game which is half about Arctic convoys, half about trying to sink the Tirpitz. Each season you get to send in another attack against the Tirpitz and can choose to use midget subs, an air raid, or a few other alternatives. The Germans have to try to defend with no idea what kind of attack is coming.

It's let down by implementation but had some very clever ideas. Much like the rest of the Sandhurst wargame set, really.
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Neil Whyman
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Ahiksking wrote:
. . . the specific topic to recreate would be the X-craft attack on the 3 German vessels that actually did partially/eventually succeed. Playing the X-craft during ocean transit, coastal approach and actual attack would be intriguing and difficult and if represented well by a gaming system could lead to a very good game.

I agree. Though in my own reading of the X-craft attack I got the impression that success and failure in the part of the operation that involved simply delivering the X-craft to the mouth of the fjord was governed substantially by mother nature and "O Fortuna". Perhaps it might be better to make it an entirely tactical scale game (ie located entirely within the confines of the fjord)?

That the result of the operation was a partial success, and that both total failure AND total success were well within the realms of possibility bodes well for a game of it.

Just want to say that it was an astounding feat of bravery.
 
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F H
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Ahiksking wrote:
Playing the X-craft during ocean transit, coastal approach and actual attack would be intriguing and difficult and if represented well by a gaming system could lead to a very good game.


Sounds like you could retheme Chainsaw Warrior for a dice-fest type game.
 
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Ralph T
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FNH1 wrote:
ralpher wrote:
I think a good sink the Graf Spee would be better. There's not a definitive Graf Spee game out there.


Battle of the River Plate


But that's a card game, and it's vaporware. Some sort of hidden movement game with the Graf Spee over the whole Atlantic Ocean has been something never successfully made.
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Dan Owsen
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Great ideas and references, guys. Thanks a lot!

I would definitely want a game where there was a possibility of the Tirpitz coming out of the fjord and the allies would have to scramble resources to track it down (need some way to simulate the panic that caused to convoy operations).

Through the course of the game there would have to be a variety of ways you could go in and attack the ship too, as was tried historically. The balancing act would be getting enough resources to stage the attacks while not over-committing to the area.
 
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Neil Whyman
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Sounds like you would really enjoy a game like The Far Seas. It has absolutely nothing to do with Tirpitz, but seems to have everything else you like.
 
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Matthew Jones
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mummykitty wrote:
Great ideas and references, guys. Thanks a lot!

I would definitely want a game where there was a possibility of the Tirpitz coming out of the fjord and the allies would have to scramble resources to track it down (need some way to simulate the panic that caused to convoy operations).

Through the course of the game there would have to be a variety of ways you could go in and attack the ship too, as was tried historically. The balancing act would be getting enough resources to stage the attacks while not over-committing to the area.


Perhaps you should go the alternate history route and begin the game with the concept of a breakout and subsequent hunt (or even hunting...) Just a thought as I read the thread... Interesting posts?

Maybe I'm missing a definition here though... How is Battle of the River Platte vaporware? I just DLed it...
 
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Dan Owsen
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I have Far Seas and am also quite interested in the cruise of the Emden. Haven't played it though.

For Tirpitz I'm more interested in the actual strategic impact of the ship's "threat in being" and balancing resources it tied up than actually gaming out a break out. Though I think any Tirpitz game would have to allow for a breakout scenario or possibility.
 
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Neil Whyman
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mummykitty wrote:
I have Far Seas and am also quite interested in the cruise of the Emden. Haven't played it though.


I highly recommend The Far Seas. You will not be disappointed (except with solo playability). It is a masterpiece.
 
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James Hamilton
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I think that there could actually be a very interesting game just around the sinking of the Tirpitz. There were so many different attempts to sink her and some of them were amazing opperations in themselves.

I read a lot about the attempts by 617 squadron that eventually resulted in the demise of the Tirpitz but only after a bombing raid starting from Russia (the planes flew to Russia with their bombs, refueled and then came back via their target) which damaged her so that the Germans moved her nearer to Britain to try to make repairs but that in turn meant that she was just in range of Lancasters (by just in range, I mean that if you strip all the turrets bar one, fit Mosquito and Wellington internal fueltanks, scavenge new more powerful engines from freshly delivered Lancasters at other squadrons in the dead of night and then go for it).

It was fascinating and made more so by the fact that my great uncle was in charge of the ground crew for 617 at the time. If someone does do a game pop me a mail and I will dig out what information I have.
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Dan Owsen
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James, thanks for the info. Your details are exactly what I think make the situation interesting. It would be a matter of how to simulate these in a game and make it compelling.

I still need to do a lot of research but I do think there is some potential. Maybe a split scale game something like Chennault's First Fight with a strategic map for positioning the Tirpitz and for plotting raids or sorties, and a tactical map of the fjords for attacks on the docked ship.
 
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James Hamilton
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Possible,

You need to factor in both the submarine, carrier and landbased air attempts. The idea of a tactical map (maps) and trategic one makes sense. In a lot of ways you don't need to cover the Tirpitz sortieing as if it does and finds a convoy the Brits have really speaking lost.

I suppose you need to consider escorts and weather as they were mainly what kept the Tirpiz at bay. Then the attempts to sink her.

I definitley think there is a game in there but it would have to be a rather different one. Possibly even a good idea for a solitaire game.
 
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Dan Owsen
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Was just checking out Second World War at Sea: Arctic Convoy at a friend's house. Looks like a good game, and noticed it has this counter:



and a scenario to go with it. The map really looks great, and the convoy war is an interesting topic, so I added this to my wish list.

 
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Eric Feifer
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>the convoy war is an interesting topic ...

Go for GMT's PQ-17.

As an aside, maybe not a Tirpitz game, but the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, in Operation Cerberus, escaping up through the English Channel could make a good game.
 
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Dan Owsen
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Not too excited about block games...
 
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Chris Jones
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I was just thinking of a cooperative board/tactics game where you all choose from a series of mission types in which you try to take out some generic german battleship (mini-sub, bombing run, ship to ship, mine laying etc) and cards are played blind which form hazards that you face as you go through each mission. Maybe a selection of equipment would help proir to the run.

Players have say 5 mission attempts to take out the ship before she gets into the open atlantic to harry convoys and supply ships. At this point the players lose.

I think however that your intention was for a serious reenactment. In that case it seem that another ship would be better as Tirpitz saw little action and was hit by a single bomb through thick smoke (lucky hit) which doesn't (if you're playing accuratley) sound like a great result for a roaringly exciting game.

 
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