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Atlantic Fleet - the CombatAce review

atlantic fleet review

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#41 Stary

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 03:55:54 PM

eh good one Johan... gotta love the microprose classics.

 

Got anything more recent? I'm always on the look out for missing naval games. They're a bit rare/tough to find.

 

Shells of Fury 1914 is an odd but somehow interesting title if you're into WW1 submarines


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#42 Hinchinbrooke

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 04:09:25 PM

Atlantic Fleet is the first game I've purchased since 2012, such is my jaundiced view of 95% of games these days.

 

Just enjoyed a slugfest between Nelson and Scharnhorst.  Nelson sunk the German......... eventually, but her lack of speed told, and she had to be scuttled, such was her damage.

 

Great fun.


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#43 Johan217

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 04:20:23 PM

I just had a more modest battle, HMS Hotspur vs T-22, but it was a naibiting experience nevertheless. And while playing I found another advantage of the turn based system: I find it makes the anticipation of the incoming enemy salvo more tense, well for me anyway!


Undercarriage lever a bit sticky was it, Sir?


#44 Do335

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 05:02:55 PM

Stary: thnx, will take a look!



#45 Hinchinbrooke

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 07:37:30 PM

Well done everyone.

 

Medals all round.

 

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#46 33LIMA

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 03:17:30 PM

I would have liked the ability in Custom Battles to be able to specify the location of the battle (which may not make much difference, as I haven't seen land and am not actually sure it exists, outside of the maps!) and to be able to set up an air attack without the need for at least one nearby ship, to 'call in the strike.' But create a little convoy, pick a sub to do battle with it, and the latter can call in the planes of your choice...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-15 20-22-42-09.jpg

 

The advantage of having a sub nearby, of course, is that he can deal with the survivors, surfacing to use the deck gun after letting go with the tin fish...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-15 20-29-10-58.jpg

 

The merchant ships are often modelled with AA or other deck guns and will certainly shoot at and sometimes knock down attacking planes, but they cannot engage surface targets, so your U-Boat is quite safe...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-15 20-38-42-07.jpg

 

I would definitely like the ability to designate targets for the AI to engage with guns, including the ability to engage in the same firing turn with different weapons; and faster rates of fire for smaller calibres.  And for when you are gunning yourself, ranging with single shots, not salvoes, and the option to have wind and ship movement taken care of by your ship's analogue fire control computer in the Transmitting Station, so your role is more like that of the guys in the Director Control Tower, complete with some initial delay while you track the target, before feeding this down to the TS for them to factor in the rest, pass this on to the guns, and then sound the firing gong (you can hear them at about 49:40 here) so you can hit the Big Red Button. However, as it is, gunnery is very interesting and rather challenging, especially if you have wind effects turned on!


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For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of his country!" when the guns begin to shoot!

'Tommy', Rudyard Kipling, 1892

#47 Johan217

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 05:02:48 PM

Just two things on my wishlist for now:

 

1) Map plotting tools (at least a ruler/compass and an angle ruler)

2) I feel that capital ships are too vulnerable to torpedos. It seems like it always takes just a single hit to sink a battleship. This is especially annoying since enemy subs tend to start at very close range. Granted I am still in 1939 so I guess the destroyer shield isn't particularly effective and maybe it will improve over time. At least the game models dud torpedos, which is a feature that has saved me a couple of times now!.


Undercarriage lever a bit sticky was it, Sir?


#48 Silberpfeil

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 05:08:13 PM

Excellent!  Make the location a day or two past Gibralter enroute to Bizerte, throw in a couple Buckley and/or Edsall class DE's to prosecute the U-boat and fend off the torpedo-bombers, and you've got yourself an historical battle! 


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#49 33LIMA

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 02:09:14 PM

I really like the Custom Battle generator, which I have been using to have a crack with some of the aircraft in Atlantic Fleet, like the B-24 Liberator, which as well as an RAF Coastal Command version, is also available in USAAF finish (or should that be USN, in which case it's a PB4Y)...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-16 19-30-31-24.jpg

 

...and there's the Short Sunderland, one of which was credited with shooting down six of Kampfgeschwader 40's Ju 88C long range fighters, in the Bay of Biscay in June 1943, only for the same mostly Aussie crew to fall victim to another KG40 formation, two months later...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-15 22-04-36-75.jpg

 

It's also a good way to set up practice missions of your own, up to the ten ships per side limit. I just got my first U-Boat kill while escorting a small convoy in an 'I' Class destroyer, though my slow reactions in turning the convoy away from the sonar contact astern meant that a tanker at the rear of the centre column caught a torpedo, before I could get after our assailant.

 

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I had a few cracks at the periscope with my guns, one of which I think did some damage, as the submarine seemed more intent upon putting another tin fish into the tanker, rather than getting away. I had a forward-firing 'Squid' but in my excitement, turned the wrong way at the last minute. Damn and blast! A rapid course reversal managed to take me over the U-Boat so I was able to let fly with my depth charges. I had slowed down a bit and was probably lucky they didn't blow my stern off, but nobody was more surprised than I, to find we got the sub.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-16 19-39-55-01.jpg

 

A great game. Simplified, but it just 'feels right' - all the fun of an arcade game, but with more than enough of the wargame and the combat simulation in there, to make it not feel like you're playing one. A hard balance to get right, but Killerfish have pulled it off. Great fun, rewarding of skill, jam-packed full of content, and a joy to behold. Love it.


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For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of his country!" when the guns begin to shoot!

'Tommy', Rudyard Kipling, 1892

#50 33LIMA

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 06:00:52 PM

...and Atlantic Fleet's dynamic 'Battle of the Atlantic' campaign has got me playing, something that the mighty Fighting Steel's campaign system never managed to do. Even when a turn doesn't generate a battle that you're called to fight, the results update screens give you something really good to look at...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-16 22-06-35-85.jpg

 

And battles there are, a-plenty. I'm still finding my way and attacking cautiously to boot, avoiding risks rather than staying to fight it out toe-to-toe with the Royal Navy. At first, I keep my surface ships close to home waters and leave it to the U-Boats. Suddenly, I'm called to take over a battle that has developed. A mini-wolfpack, U-27 and U-28 working together, has encountered a small convoy and is well placed to attack, with one sub on either side. One is in a good position to have a crack at one of the two destroyer escorts, at the head of the convoy, and does so successfully, while the other goes for one of the merchantmen on the other side. The destroyer turns at the last minute, possibly having spotted my torpedoes. But my fan of three tin fish has been aimed with successive tracks short of the calculated interception point, in anticipation of a turn. He is quite badly knocked about by a single hit.

 

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Two of the other sub's torpedoes also hit home, crippling a cargo ship, which begins to go under. Before the second destroyer can intervene from its station at the rear of the convoy, my first sub uses the torpedo I kept in the front tubes for self-defence to hit another cargo ship. Then I disengage, rather than hanging around with the undamaged destroyer's asdic pinging and all our front torpedo tubes needing reloaded.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-16 21-52-06-70.jpg

 

Not long afterwards - I forget how long - the same two U-boats meet another convoy - with a battleship escort, as well as three destroyers. This time, the warships turn into my first sub's torpedoes and I have to settle for a hit from the other one, on a frieghter, which is damaged but does not sink. Again, rather than press my luck, I rather sheepishly go deep and disengage, passing up on the oportunity to sink a battleship as surprise has been well and truly lost.

 

Plucking up my courage, I decide to move Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and a destroyer, Leberecht Maas, from a holding position off Norway. The three succeed in breaking out into the mid-Atlantic, to the same zone where my two U-boats have been finding plenty of pickings.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-16 22-15-05-64.jpg

 

My new-found valour is soon rewarded - my little battlefleet runs into a convoy, with just a single destroyer for escort!

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-16 22-14-24-73.jpg

 

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We work up to full speed and begin a turn to port, to bring us onto a converging course with the convoy. Suddenly, my plans are thrown into disarray - the convoy has air cover! A Sunderland flying boat bumbles in for a bombing run, undeterred by our flak. He must be operating at maximum range, from one of those lakeland bases in Northern Ireland.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-16 22-15-51-05.jpg

 

To make matters worse, his aim is good and a 250-lb bomb hits Maas, starting a fire. Verdamt! Fortunately, the Sunderland is on his own, and has shot his bolt.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-16 22-17-28-32.jpg

 

The enemy destroyer now makes smoke to screen the convoy as it turns away to flee, then he charges us, shooting, possibly trying to get within torpedo range. He lands a single hit on Maas, but my two battlecriusers give up shelling the retreating merchantmen to concentrate their fire on the threat steaming right at us.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-16 22-40-56-50.jpg

 

The bold destroyer soon goes down; my shooting eye seems to be in, today! And Maas succeeds in putting out the fire. She's a bit down by the bows, but still seaworthy and in action. I gather my force together. Guns silent for now, we rumble at top speed after the now-defenceless convoy. I hold my fire until we are practically on top of the fleeing ships, and after that it is really just a massacre. As I come abeam of the enemy, I switch from shooting with the forward 11-inch turrets and bring my 5.9 inch secondary batteries into play, to conserve the heavy-calibre ammunition.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-16 23-01-16-96.jpg

 

So, a good result for the tonnage war! Maas is damaged but operational, and I will send her home at once - mid-Atlantic is not really a healthy place for German destroyers, with their unreliable high-pressure machinery and endurance limited by the need to retain fuel as ballast, to counter top-heaviness. But having wiped out one convoy, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau will continue to prowl the North Atlantic for a while, slipping back to a friendly port before the Home Fleet arrives to make the area really unhealthy for us. Perhaps I will draw them onto our U-Boats!

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-16 23-01-38-48.jpg

 

I have the impression that my two submarines had not reloaded their bow tubes when they ran into the second convoy, which may be a glitch; but that apart, I'm finding Atlantic Fleet's dynamic campaign really quite convincing - and rather addictive!


For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of his country!" when the guns begin to shoot!

'Tommy', Rudyard Kipling, 1892

#51 33LIMA

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 05:39:40 PM

A few more scenes from my Kreigsmarine campaign!

 

...it's December 1939 and in mid-Atlantic, my U-Boats are seeing plenty of action, like this Type IX...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-19 19-50-42-28.jpg
 

...though this Type VII was lucky to survive this depth charge attack:

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-19 20-55-21-74.jpg

 

Two boats co-operate in a night attack on a small convoy, sinking the destroyer escort and then surfacing to sink the merchant ships with gun and torpedo...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-19 19-27-55-93.jpg

 

Starshells illuminate the enemy in the North Sea, as a mixed force of cruisers and destroyers engages a British destroyer in a night action:

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-19 20-04-11-17.jpg

 

Later, the same force engages and destroys another smaller enemy force. Last to go is the destroyer Vanoc, a famous U-Boat killer in the real war, but not in this one...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-19 22-57-31-14.jpg

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-19 22-58-00-97.jpg

 

Still having a great time with this one!


For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of his country!" when the guns begin to shoot!

'Tommy', Rudyard Kipling, 1892

#52 33LIMA

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 06:58:29 PM

Some more scenes from my Kriegsmarine 'Battle of the Atlantic' campaign!

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-21 22-33-54-23.jpg

 

Even though I have now worked out how to move ships around on the map and how to get them back into a port when they need repaired or re-armed, it's still swings and roundabouts. Lutzow (she's represented by the 3-d model for Graf Spee and [in her early guise) Scheer) met and sank a Royal Navy light cruiser and a destroyer in the mid-Atlantic...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-21 21-10-54-27.jpg

 

However, Repulse caught and sank Scheer in the south Atlantic. Revenge was sweet, duly delivered by a U-Boat, when a wolfpack ganged up on a convoy Repulse was escorting, a bit further north...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-21 20-11-28-23.jpg

 

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The remainining escorts were simply overwhelmed. They turned out and started shooting at our periscopes, scary but not terribly accurate, though the depth charge attacks sadly cost us a boat.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-21 20-29-03-52.jpg

 

Then, we went after the merchantmen...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-21 20-27-54-79.jpg

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-21 20-30-27-37.jpg

 

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Only one of them escaped, before my three surviving boats disengaged.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-21 20-46-17-29.jpg

 

I had pulled Scharnhorst and Gneisenau back east, both to avoid the likely hunt for them in mid-Atlantic, and as a preliminary to pulling them back to the heimat for re-arming and some repairs. They promptly met and smashed another convoy, sinking a 'County' class cruiser and a pair of destroyers, before running down and sinking the freighters.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-21 23-16-49-32.jpg

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-21 23-31-22-05.jpg

 

Unsure of their value, I had kept many of my light cruisers destroyers close to the German Bight end of the North Sea, but they actually made themselves useful, assisted by air support in clobbering some British destroyers who rather unwisely came sniffing around.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-21 21-23-43-84.jpg

 

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My U-Boats met another battleship-escorted convoy, and one of the boats managed to put a tight fan of four torpedoes into Warspite, which refused to go down, but reeled away listing, with 'A' and 'B' turrets evidently out of action.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-21 23-36-36-61.jpg

 

Meanwhile, Hipper survived being bombed in the North Sea by a Sunderland...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-21 23-48-27-20.jpg

 

...only to be caught, run down and sunk by the fast battleship Queen Elizabeth, when she tried to break out into the Atlantic via the Faroes Gap.

 

Revenge came again when another U-Boat caught up with the Warspite - still displaying the damage she'd suffered in the attack a few days earlier - then sank her escorting destroyer. Although the old girl dodged the first fan of tin fish, the next one got her.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-22 00-09-29-91.jpg

 

Brilliant game!

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-21 22-37-49-45.jpg


For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of his country!" when the guns begin to shoot!

'Tommy', Rudyard Kipling, 1892

#53 33LIMA

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 06:26:26 PM

I just discovered that the Battle of the Atlantic campaign incorporates historical events. I got to June 1940 and saw this..

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-23 21-47-26-50.jpg

 

...so now, I have friendly ports closer to my route out into the North Atlantic, and I don't have to sail my ships all the way back to German ports, to re-arm and repair.

 

And I love these set-piece screens! They are a treat to look at, and a set of them in sequence would make a great screen saver (does anyone use these ,anymore???).

 

After putzing about for a while, I finally realised that I ought to be spending some of the 'renown' points I earned on building up my fleet. Bismarck isn't available for another year, but anyway, I decided that fun and sexy though surface ships are, I would start taking winning the campaign a bit more seriously (instead of treating it as a fancy battle generator). U-boats are what's really needed to clear the seas of enemy convoys so I 'bought' a bunch of them, a mix of Type VII and IX, saving some 'Renown' for a rainy day...or Bismarck. So, the war against the convoys has now begun in earnest.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-23 21-44-26-62.jpg

 

I split my new U-Boats, dividing them into two packs, and moving one astride each of the main North Atlantic convoy routes. It wasn't long before the first pack met and mauled a convoy. I ended up firing fans of torpedoes from both sides at longer range than I'd have liked, but it was a daylight encounter, and even zig-zagging, the convoy was rapidly drawing ahead of my submerged boats. This had the desired effect and I got the sole escorting destroyer, as well as a couple of merchantmen.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-23 22-04-04-93.jpg

 

After that, we came to the surface and hunted down the defenceless shipping with our deck guns, with only a fast frieghter managing to out-run us.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-23 23-01-37-30.jpg

 

In a U-Boat encounter, I almost invariably ignore destroyers on their own, but will tackle them if a good shot comes my way, or as a last resort in self-defence; the 'down the throat' shot being quite effective, as practiced by US subs in the Pacific:

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-23 20-25-44-49.jpg

 

Back on the surface, 'pocket battleship' Lutzow ran into the heavy cruiser Berwick and fought a stiff night battle. I faffed up the gunnery, failing to change over to AP rounds from starshells in what should have been my first full salvo. I did that twice, believe it or not.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-23 20-02-01-67.jpg

 

Berwick took full advantage, and with some holes in my hull and the pumps damaged - which seems to be a vulnerability, in this class of ship - I thought I was destined for Davey Jones's Locker. The shame, six 11-inch guns beaten by eight 8-inch! But I found the range and down went Berwick, instead, leaving Lutzow able to make an ultimately-successful run back to a home port, for the much-needed repairs...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-23 20-13-15-06.jpg

 

The Royal Navy in Atlantic Fleet seems to replicate the unsuccessful early-war tactic of anti-submarine sweeps by destroyers, with fewer dedicated to escorting convoys. I don't know if this will change as the war develops, as it did in real life. I ignore these partols when I meet them with U-Boats, but though I have reduced my German Bight surface patrol to one light cruiser and four destroyers, it is still more than strong enough to snap up an RN destroyer patrol, when it ventures too close...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-23 20-56-00-71.jpg

 

Earlier, I had lost Hipper when she was chased down and smashed up by battleship Queen Elizabeth. My heart was in my sea-boots when the same powerful ship intercepted Gneisenau and the damaged Scharnhorst, on their way back to port via the Denmark Straits. I had the faster ships but less well protected and with lighter main guns. This time, I decided to fight it out, rather than run. From line astern, I swung my two battlecruisers left and right, opened my 'A' arcs right away, and began raining 11-inch shells down onto Queen Elizabeth from two different directions.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-23 21-16-30-07.jpg

 

My shooting was not too bad for once, and I managed to get the range first. My Scharnhorst evidently isn't the lucky ship the real one was, by repute, for she drew the enemy's fire and took some 15-inch hits, adding to her existing damage. But between us, we soon had the big British warship reeling. Scharnhorst had to jink left and right to 'chase the shell splashes' that fell all around her - those 15-inch AP rounds hit the sea with quite a whack! So I was mightily relieved as our fires began to pummel the enemy battleship. After several minutes of this treatment, she lost way, listed to starboard and then rolled over, burning, to sink by the stern. Revenge for Hipper was sweet! And 'Salmon and Gluckstein' then made it back to Wilhelmshaven, where no doubt the RAF will bomb them, as happens in this game.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-23 21-16-43-00.jpg

 

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Atlantic Fleet doesn't have the more sophisticated ship or division handling and gunnery systems of Fighting Steel, and apart from anything else, this can increase the workload in multi-ship battles or wolfpack attacks. However, it has more than enough content (not least, the subs and planes, as well as surface ships) and depth to be a terrific WW2 naval battle wargame in its own right, with delightful visuals, sounds and effects, all presented in a polished and well-designed package, a good old-fashioned PC-sim-sized package for the price of a mobile app. Top notch stuff.


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For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of his country!" when the guns begin to shoot!

'Tommy', Rudyard Kipling, 1892

#54 33LIMA

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 03:50:15 PM

My new 'U-Boat primacy' policy is going rather well; in fact my boats are running amok in the North Atlantic.

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-24 20-50-24-96.jpg

 

First, U-47 - Gunther Prien's boat, of Scapa Flow fame - came across a small convoy, and wiped it out, including the single escorting destroyer, which made the mistake of turning into a merchantman I had just torpedoed, just as it came to a halt, straight across her bows. Before Assiniboine could extricate herself, I torpedoed her, too.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-24 20-59-12-09.jpg

 

Then it was onto the surface, for a stern chase after the fleeing survivors, two tankers and two more fast freighters. The deck gun did all the work. I left the first tanker a wrecked shambles and barely under way, chasing after the others to sink them in turn. Then it was back after the first tanker, with a starshell to show the way in the gathering darkness.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-24 21-11-49-88.jpg

 

U-37 was even luckier, for in the Denmark Straits, she fell in with battleship HMS Revenge, leading the aircraft carrier Glorious, with just a single destroyer for company. From a near-ideal position not too far off Revenge's starboard bow, I put three tin fish into her, then racing on ahead, another one into Glorious's bows, as she started to turn away. That slowed her down, and I was able to wait for a fish to be reoladed, and I then gave her that, too. It did the trick...

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-24 21-26-07-44.jpg

 

The destroyer, HMS Obdurate, had come after us and spotted my periscope, though, which was duly shelled before I crash dived. A big pattern of depth charges followed, but I went deep and was able to slip away.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-24 21-26-40-21.jpg

 

I reckon that'll be a Knight's Cross each, for the skipper of both of those boats! Looks like it's the first 'Happy Time' for Doenitz's boys, come early, and a dangerous time for Mr Churchill.

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-03-24 21-27-18-88.jpg

 

To be entirely honest, I don't ever recall having quite so much fun, with a new game!


  • dsawan and Stary like this
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of his country!" when the guns begin to shoot!

'Tommy', Rudyard Kipling, 1892

#55 33LIMA

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 01:24:31 PM

Mission reports, further illustrating single battle, dynamic & static campaign gameplay, are here:

 

Battles of Sept Iles and the North Cape

 

Battle of the Atlantic

 

RN static campaign

 

 

AtlanticFleet 2016-04-06 23-34-13-95.jpg


For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of his country!" when the guns begin to shoot!

'Tommy', Rudyard Kipling, 1892





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