I've actually had UBL for about the last year. I played a few
apprentice games then got sidetracked for a while. Overall good game.
Good components and I love the period photos on the cards. The rules
manual could use a little work.
I've just started a new game. A medium duration mission from the
1939-40 period. I have 3 Type 7 boats. Two of which have just completed
mine-laying missions and the third has made its transit to the southwest
approaches where it has just sunk a lone merchant. Now we are ready to
start scanning the horizon the bigger game.
Anyhow, down to the meat-and -potatoes of my post. Some time ago, I
noticed a curiosity in the way the skill level of the u-boats were
arranged; there is a clear distinction between a "green" crew and a
"trained" crew. Should not the lowest class simply be a "trained"
crew? Should we consider this a distinction between two equally trained
crews with one having more seafaring experience? Or would it be a case
that in some instances, the u-boat service would press crews into
service with expedited training? Anyhow, in the above-mentioned game
I just started, I chose all crews with "trained" status; it seems the
proper and accurate choice. Conversely, would it not seem unusual to
play a 1939-40 campaign and choose crews with a "veteran" or "ace"
Please share your thoughts and feedback with me.
I agree that the choice of words are a bit strange, even if I´m not a native English speaker. Maybe Green, Experienced, Veteran and Ace would be more suitable. Untrained crews would be extremely rare in the u-boat service, since these ships would kill an untrained crew right away, if they would be able to start the diving procedure.
Regarding staus of crews in the 39 campaign I think the game is balanced. It is so easy to start the "In reality"-discussion and then try to motivate why the game should use one rule or another. But with the purchasing system the player is free to try any mix of his choice in UBL, which I find is a good way to handle things.
Then again if you still want to motivate this, I guess a crew that has served on u-boats from 1936 to 1939 and then 3 months in the North sea against the English can be considered to be experienced even if they haven´t sunk many enemies (yet?)
You raise some issues worth considering. Thank you for your response.
Even in terms of game playability, I don't think I like the "green"
classification. I played a 1939 campaign wholly with green u-boats, and
by the time I got them to where I wanted them to be, they had incurred
too much stress just by drawing event cards.
I like the idea of starting the game with trained crews and then as
the battle progresses, you do, as you mention, have the option to
choose from a range of skill levels. You can choose a veteren or ace
crew to counterbalance the Allied ASW advancements, or you can still
send out crews with basic training for more of a challenge.
I believe it's just terminology. All the boat crews are trained, but green crews have no combat experience, which is something that can't be taught.
You could change "trained" to "seasoned" or something to indicate that the crew have experienced the horrors of submarine combat and are less likely to make mistakes under pressure.