Started playing Battle of the Atlantic last night. The active player controls German U-Boats, Condor aircraft, surface raiders and resupply submarines.
British air and surface ASW asset dispositions in each sea zone are determined by a card draw. Cards also determine German U-Boat production and British technological advances, as well as designating certain combat modifiers for the turn in which they are drawn.
Technological advances effect the order in which Allied ASW assets, U-Boats and Condor aircraft are placed, as well as which side resolves their combats first. Technological advances (Ultra, HF/DF, Radar) are cumulative, pushing the initiative towards the Allied player. This is critical, since losses are taken immediately.
German objectives are to a) sink as much tonnage as possible, b) maintain at least half their U-Boat fleet at the end of any one turn, and c) prevent the Allies from forming and deploying convoys.
The German commander must determine which sea zones to deploy attack assets, and what posture (aggressive, normal or shadow) they take. Aggressive subs can sink more tonnage, but are easier to destroy.
Play is quick, with straightforward CRT tables for each combatant and asset type.
After my usual stupid misplay during the first turn (roll one die, not two on the German Attack table), the first two “real” turns found the Germans falling short of their victory objectives, but suffering light losses. I’ll find out more this evening.