Submarine, in the Next Line of Departure

Tentatively, I've reserved a space in the next issue of Line of Departure for a feature on Avalon Hill's Submarine game. I definitely owe the readers a game supplement, and Submarine lends itself well to that kind of project, just as much as scenario design.

This name of the article that I'm finishing now is "The Reich's First U-Boats," and it starts with brief historical background on the first two classes of u-boats procured by the kriegsmarine in 1935 and 1936, the Type I and Type II. Coastal boats, they do not get a lot of attention next to the long-range Type VIIC and Type IXC u-boats that bore the main burden of fighting the Battle of the Atlantic. Neither of the earlier types did very well when they got out of the confined waters of the North and Baltic Seas.

Yet they were important to the redevelopment of the kriegsmarine's submarine arm. The Type I, though a failure terminated after two boats, formed the basis for the Types VII and IX. The Type II's were smaller but had better performance, despite such a tendency to roll in rough seas that they were nicknamed "dugout canoes." These were withdrawn early in the war to training purposes, where they served to keep the bigger boats stocked with crews.

There were four subtypes of the Type II altogether, A through D. In terms of Submarine, they are represented as equal, as their main differences were in attempts to give them greater endurance. But in the scope of Submarine, there are no perceptible differences.

With this article, OnLine of Departure Support is returning to the magazine as well. Like a supplement, I feel that I owe the readers a free, downloadable countersheet as well. So this time I'm going to give a sheet with both types of coastal u-boats.

What Submarine, and most player-designed scenario packages, have done in the past is use a few representative units for submarines and escorts. Then when something else is needed, the dreaded words "Use [blank] to represent [blank]" appear.

The downloadable countersheet format makes that unnecessary. Instead of just presenting the data for the coastal u-boats, and perhaps a few counters, I put together a sheet that contains all fifty-three boats of both classes, in all variants. Therefore if I or someone else want to design a scenario using them, the precise boat will be available.

I am planning on including all of this in Issue 62 of Line of Departure's print edition, hopefully in the next couple of weeks. It definitely has a high priority.

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Comment by Jeff Kosiorek on August 5, 2008 at 7:55pm
Thank you, I did join! Cool site this is. I have 4 copies of many AH games.... I was obsessed with numbers ( so was Hitler I have read), Flat Top is my fav but I have no one to play with ( woe is me, right?) I am using A&A Euro and Pac to teach my current friends that there are games out there to be played. I have many many titles that I have never played... just opened and read and set up etc etc etc.
Comment by Eric Walters on June 17, 2008 at 2:12pm
Jim, this is exceptional. Some of us in the Tidewater Area Naval Gamers (TANG) have talked about playing SUBMARINE for some time now (most of us haven't in years). This will encourage us to pull out this venerable title...and give it a spin with some very new situations. Talk about breathing life back into older games. And SUBMARINE is truly a classic--nothing really has ever taken its place (and I include SPI's old UP SCOPE! in that evaluation!).

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