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 These were withdrawn early in the war to training purposes, where they served to keep the bigger boats stocked with crews.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.
, 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.