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SC2(or 1.08) - Submarine War in Atlantic

Edwin P.

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A German Submarine war in the Atlantic could be encouraged by adding a new tech: Submarine Production. This would reduce the cost of producting submarines by 10% per tech level and would reflect increased production rates made available by a concentrated effort on submarine production ( a similar case could be made for American Bomber Production)

A German player that acheived Tech Level 3 in Submarine Production would have subs that cost 30% less to produce. This would make the naval war in the Atlantic a viable option.

In fact, if Hubert decided to add Submarine and Bomber Production Techs to SC I would suggest that the US start with Bomber Production Tech Level 1 or 2 to reflect the mass production capabilities of US industry during WWII as reflected in the large number of Bombers that the US produced.

[ August 27, 2003, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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Industrial Tech already performs the cost reduction role, so having a specialized tech that does an additional cost reduction I believe is unnecessary. In some ways, you can achieve the effect you want by simply reducing the initial cost of submarines.

Even with the above, I don't think you will find any renewed interest in the battles of the North Atlantic, until other things are fixed. The most notable being the amount of hexes. The North Atlantic itself is as large as the existing map, at a 50 mile per hex scale. This one change, would make it extremely difficult for submarines to be found. Now you'd have more strategical interest in the North Atlantic (and calls for more Allied ships upon setup).

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For SC2, Hubert has already talked about having a "run silent" feature for the subs, which would make them even more stealthy.

Then you could add destroyers, set (... by right click, drop-down box) to ASW patrol, or "normal."

In this event, you wouldn't have to have an Atlantic that is all that much larger... just stretched a bit at the edges.

**There is also that feature, I forget who first came up with it, but... some sort of "collapsed" line all along the Atlantic from north to south, where you would have to expend Xtra MPs to navigate through it.

These sorts of thing, in some combination, would allow greatly expanded naval Ops, and satisfy those of us who really REALLY want a more complex Battle of Atlantic. smile.gif

And consequently, you wouldn't require a HUGE Atlantic map.

***As for bombers... I would much prefer to see a separate category... NAVAL AIR.

(ANY feature that increases choice dynamics, ipso facto... increases re-playability)

This would give us 4 possible Air Fleet purchases: 1) Fighters, 2) Tac Bombers, 3) Strat Bombers and 4) Naval Air... which, incidentally, would be smaller sized and specifically armed, ie, much weaker VS ground targets, thereby solving the vexing issue of Carrier attacks on ground units being too potent.

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I'm going have to disagree here, about how to handle the North Atlantic in a future SC.

If you are going to have 50 mile hexes, then you need an massively expanded map to represent the North Atlantic.

If, for whatever reasons, that cannot happen, then go to sea zones. The memory requirements to track the sea zones is already in SC partially (the Suez loop) and while a higher requirement than currently, alot less than the above.

It makes no sense to add a few hexes here or a few hexes there, and keep the existing naval concept. Even with "silent running" subs or "additional AP cost" hexes. You're still gonna have the same problems with scale, just like you do today. As it is now, with the right location and/or some Long Range tech, Air units can cover the "North" Atlantic for either side. That makes no sense.

The only place that needs a "few more hexes", is North Africa. I'd rather have a larger land area with sea zones, than a expanded North Atlantic, even if the North Atlantic is twice as large as what we currently have.

And strategic level games don't require destroyers, because having them as a seperate "unit", doesn't reflect how they are used.

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I tried the submarine way.

I found it a was of MPP for the return of MPP damaged done to UK.

The max per round I did was 40MPP with 6-7 subs at level 5 tech.

Sure I had a nice blockade going versus the US but any good player would have easily taken out some my subs earlier one as well as made the most of my spent MPP on subs rather than planes and tech in planes.

I'm disapointed at how much no emphasis is put on the might of subs in wargames like these. Being an ex submariner I know how deadly they are and how a fleet of submarines should completly cripple all shipments.

Hitler sub commander stated that if Hitler went to war as planned (1942) he would have 10 times more subs in service from 1939. War strategist have stated over and over that this would have been a death blow to the UK since shipping would have been virtually 0.

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"Hitler sub commander stated that if Hitler went to war as planned (1942) he would have 10 times more subs in service from 1939. War strategist have stated over and over that this would have been a death blow to the UK since shipping would have been virtually 0."

This figure is tossed about very often, along with other Z-Plan objectives such as tripling the size of all three branches by 1942 or 1944 or 1946 . . . according to whose recollection the person is quoting.

Most of the Z-Plan was as grounded in reality as Operation Sealion.

In 1939 Germany was already in trouble economically.

The great 16" 45,000 ton BBs she was planning couldn't be built, the peacetime resources didn't exist for them, but the Hindenburg, Ludendorff and four or six others were laid out on paper all the same.

A pair of sister ship aircraft carriers launched in 1938, the Graf Zeppelin and Perter Strasser, modest efforts at 42 aircraft each, sat unfinished on the water throughout the entire war because even these meager resources were diverted to U-boat construction.

The U-boats themselves, the best of them capable of oceanic operations, were virtually identical to the vessels of 1918!

Meanwhile Britain and the U. S. were already developing sonar (asdic in UK) as well as hedgehogs and other anti-submarine techniques. Despite the photos of Chamberlain foolishly waving his piece of paper, nobody was really deceived by Hitler, especially not after he finished swallowing Prague and Slovakia in the Spring of 1939.

The other nations were preparing for war, exactly as Germany had. The reason Hitler chose late 1939 to trigger it was because he rightly understood that Germany was enjoying it's greatest period of dominance. A year later Germany would have been only slightly larger while Britain, France and Italy would have narrowed the gap. Two years later, only 1941, the gap would have been even narrower and by 1942 Germany might not have held any advantage at all.

I enjoy reading about the Z-Plan, and even designed a scenario for it, along with several refinements, but everything ever written about it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Hitler told the head of each service he would back him to the limit; the navy would have it's battleships, aircraft carriers and submarines, the army would have it's larger, faster and more numerous tanks, the air force would fill the skies with newer, faster and more deadly aircraft. Then he made a few calls to his largely inept economic and financial underlings and took a nap with Eva. When he awakened and asked how things were going they said, "Oh, we can build all these things, but to do so we'll need all the resources and manpower of Russia.

That would have been sometime around early summer 1939.

In order to have the arms to win his war, Hitler needed the resources attained after the victory!

Which is why he made the big gamble of Sept. 1939; eliminate the buffer zone, assume Britain and France would settle for another piece of paper, then instigate a war with Russia where the western powers wouldn't interfere.

And after that, complete the Great Z-Plan for the later war, in the West.

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Blashy, what would have happened in 1942 if Germany started with 10 times the subs is VERY open to debate. What Germany needed was Subs with much better tech than just more subs. (Which they were getting finally and too late in 1945). The allies won a decisive victory over the subs with the new tech they developed and of course ultra which was the greatest weapon of all. But my point is simply that we will never know for sure what would have happened. Also many do not put much stock in what Donitz said after the war.

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Tech Proposal

Industrial tech reduces the cost of all units by 5% per tech level.

It does not reflect the industrial focus that allowed governments to achieve massive production rates of certain units. US factories in WWII were able to produce planes and bombers and merchant ships at a much faster rate than UK factories.

I think that a second unit specific tech would reflect this.

Players could decide if they want to go for a 5% accross the board reduction in production costs or if they wanted to aim for unit specific reductions of 10%. It would provide an editor with a simple way (ie easy to program) of assigning different production costs to different nations.

The US with Bomber Production 1 would have a base 10% cheaper cost of producing bombers but not a lower cost of producing air fleets or battleships.

The Germans with Sub Production 1 would have a reduced cost of producing Subs but not armor or infantry.

Map Size

Option 1 - Larger Map

Option 2 - Sea Zones

Option 3 - Spotting Percentage

Air units have a 50% to spot subs in range.

Surface units have a 80% to spot subs in adjacent hexes.

Option 4 - Pass through Chance

In pass through a surface unit would have a chance to move through, but not stop in a square occupied by a submarine unit based on how many hexes the submarine moved in the following turn.

If a sub moved 1 or 2 hexes a ship would have a 50% (+5 % per Sub Tech Level -5% per Sonar Level) to move through the sub hex without knowing that it was there and the sub unit would get 1 free attack on the ship without the ship knowing where the attack came from.

[ August 27, 2003, 06:11 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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Agree entirely with Curry

Consider also that ten times the number of U-boats would have meant allocating ten times the manpower to the U-boat arm of the Kriegsmarine, meaning support personnel as well.

Germany was already experiencing a manpower drain in July of 1940, at the height of her power! The country was short 300,000 skilled workers, 150,000 of which was made up by the dissolution of no longer needed infantry divisions.

A year later, in Barbarossa, Germany had double the number of panzer divisions they'd started out with in the French campaign. They did this by cutting the existing quota of tanks per panzer division in half, not by doubling production. It turns out this was beneficial as the resulting combined arms tactics using greatly increased panzergrenedier and self-propelled artillery were better and less wasteful than the earlier tank oriented actions.

But the point is this, where was this 1000% increase in U-boat manpower supposed to come from?

Curry's point, extended to all branches is definitely the correct path. A technologically advanced U-boat fleet the historical size might well have won the Battle of the Atlantic much more readily than ten times the number of obsolete U-boats being sunk in great numbers. In the air, the same number of planes, supported by a few wings of jet fighters instead of ME 109s, might also have done the trick much more efficiently than a numerically expanded air force.

I tried to reflect that in my Z-Plan scenario, where none of the branches were tripled, or even doubled, but given instead higher tech levels. The result, tons of justified complaints that the Germans were all but unstoppable.

Does that say something?

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"**There is also that feature, I forget who first came up with it, but... some sort of "collapsed" line all along the Atlantic from north to south, where you would have to expend Xtra MPs to navigate through it."

Thanks - that was me! smile.gif

I like the idea of a more complex sub war too, but I tend to build a lot of subs as the Germans. It's much easier to sink the American armies before they get to France then to kill them with land units afterwards.

I do wish that German subs could get past Gibralter and/or Scapa Flow and/or The British Channel.

However, one thing I would also like to see is a need for Allied subs. Allied subs were actually tremendously successful. WWI was ended, arguably, because of Allied subs, for instance, and WWII was because of American subs.

JerseyJohn, I agree about how unrealistic (but fun to think about) the gee-whiz German plans were. I added most of the German capital ships that were laid down historically into my Fall Weiss Revisited, but even when I play it, I almost never finish the ships.

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Yes, exactly the spirit!

I think the scenario editor serves two puposes, a vehicle to build balanced games and also an opportunity to test historical theories. Many of those creations wouldn't be suitable for head to head play as one side or the other would receive an unbeatable advantage.

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It appears Jersey John summed up how German industry was in real life back in WW2. The fact that Germany never even reached it's WW1 production figures is not known by many and not taken into consideration when speaking of German industry.

One thing I would like to point out is that Hitler intended the Reich to last a thousand years, however by 1939, the Nazi government was so corrupt that it hampered the overall war effort to a degree it could never recover.

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I tried to reflect that in my Z-Plan scenario, where none of the branches were tripled, or even doubled, but given instead higher tech levels. The result, tons of justified complaints that the Germans were all but unstoppable.
I think that was primarily due to the lower starting war entry levels of the US and Russia, and the fact that the Axis did not have to declare war on as many minors since they were already activated. Even with standard tech/units on both sides the Axis would be hard to stop under those circumstances.

I think my tournament game will probably go to adjucation, by the way, since my opponent is on vacation and I'm not ready to surrender yet. smile.gif

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Good point in contrasting German capabilities in the two World Wars, the First has, over the decades been greatly overlooked and obscured by it's sequel. In many ways the Kaiser's Germany was more powerful than Hitler's!

Nazi leaders didn't put the country on a wartime economy till they were already floundering in Russia. The only things that made them appear to be running efficiently was confiscated items from conquered nations and massive infusions of (grossly inefficient) slave laborers. The Third Reich was a weird combination of the Future and the Feudal.


You're probably correct about those activated minors, though the Allies also had some, but the zero entry percentages for the U. S. and U. S. S. R. were also an important factor.

Anyway, using all the useful feedback from the first round I've revised the scenario so none of the neutrals are activated and Italy is neutral. It's more like Fall Weiss but with Germany having a CV Division (combined Zeppelin and Peter Strasser), some BBs, slight boosts in tech and some added understegnth units. U. S. S. R. readiness has also been increased, I believe to 15%, but with Germany having to DoW and conquer it's normal target countries the Allies should be equalized.

When Otto returns I'm sending his this version to replace the one he's current got available for download.

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As originally posted by Shaka of Carthage:

I'd rather have a larger land area with sea zones, than a expanded North Atlantic, even if the North Atlantic is twice as large as what we currently have.

Since we do not (yet) have much information on what direction Hubert is likely to go, there is surely the possibility of having both... larger land AND sea area.

I am ambivalent about this. EITHER sea zones or a moderately expanded hex-map would be fine with me. As long as we have more detailed, and potentially hectic! and exciting! ASW-Sub interactions, then I shall be one happy gamer. :cool:

Sea Zones have been used often, going all the way back to Avalon Hill's War at Sea... and used to great effect in World in Flames and also now in John Prados' New Third Reich.

As it is now, with the right location and/or some Long Range tech, Air units can cover the "North" Atlantic for either side.
I agree, this is... out of the realm.

So, what you do... the NEW Naval Air would be the ONLY way that land-based units could "spot" naval units at sea (... to include Carriers of course, since they are actually naval air and not ground-based squadrons).

You could have quite an elaborate matrix

**(... this doesn't have to be visible, or even understood... I am always in favor of a game that DOES NOT allow the player to... PRECISELY guage game mechanics and combat charts, etc.. instead, the dedicated player MUST rely on INTUITIVE understandings... this grasp of the deux ex machina is what primarily separates the players, rather than sheer memorization or use of ahistorical gambits, etc)

that would have diminishing spotting range the farther out you "search."

At this scale, Naval Air unit would be comprised of many elements... search capability, dive & torpedo bombers and Port defenses such as AA and dual purpose Fighters, etc.

Again, this kind of Naval Air, which would have to be based along the coast in order to attain maximum effectiveness, would force the gamer into another... CHOICE.

Do I place a Naval Air unit in Trondheim, or Tobruk, or Taranto, or not?

Would I rather have limited vision (... thereby giving up the advantage of surprise attacks) at sea, OR more Fighters, or Tactical Bombers or Strat Bombers?

See, these kinds of CHOICE requirements would act in the same way as our NEW! and very comprehensive "Random Events." :cool:

They would make each game astoundingly unique, without undue stress on the player, since some could be toggle on/off options, and others could simply be ignored.

After all, you could play the game with only the BASIC OOB & units.

Narayan: Sorry I couldn't remember that you had mentioned the "collapsed" Atlantic. Good idea. We shall see if it might be implemented.

BTW, I downloaded your "Fall Weiss Revisited." Will let you know how it plays out. smile.gif

Forgot to ask:

JJ ... would you let me know when your revised Z-Plan scenario is available? Very much want to try it out and see how the expanded naval game impacts the war. smile.gif

[ August 28, 2003, 10:40 AM: Message edited by: Immer Etwas ]

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Thanks for the interest. Copies have been sent around but I haven't gotten any input yet on this version. In the past I've sent scenarios to Otto before they were thoroughly checked and consequently still in need of revision; the ideas were what I wanted, but the details were off. I'm trying to avoid that now by giving everything a good test run before uploading.

After seeing several Z-Plans by other players, and going through a few versions of my own, I decided the most trod path is to take the post war comments of people like Carl Doenitz and Albert Speer literally, thus making Germany very strong. Which was my original approach.

I believe that would have been valid if Germany had gotten the quick kill she was looking for in the USSR, in other words, if Stalin had panicked and ceded the Baltic States and most of European Russia to Germany in October of 1940. This almost happened historically. Instead he chose to weather the storm. That being the case, Germany would have had virtually unlimited manpower and resources for it's war in the West. Ten times as many U-boats, sure, why not!

But given it's historical starting location, there was no way to realize any of those goals. So, to end an already long explanation, I decided to keep it a little more under control.

It seems feasable to me that the Luftwaffe would have been larger, perhaps starting with five airfleets instead of three, but I made the two new ones understegnth at the start.

It also seems feasable that the Kriegsmarine would have been larger, it's unfinished carriers completed and aviators trained for them, combining the two into a single Division. The Bismark and Tirpitz would have been completed along with perhaps one or two of the larger Hindenburg Class, and the U-boat fleet would have remained as is.

What Doenitz forgot to mention after the War is that Hitler had mixed feeling about submarines till, early in the war, one of them slipped in and out of Scapa Flow, sinking a WW I era British Battleship. He was further encouraged by the sinking of merchantmen. But, as was typical of him, even while greatly increasing U-boat production he ruined things by insisting most of them be used as pickets along the Norwegian coastline.

Anyway, my feeling is that in any prewar situation it's Raeder and not Doenitz who holds favor with Hitler and the Grossadmiral

gets his surface fleet -- even if it isn't quite the one on the outlandish list he submitted in 1939.

About that German Naval list, here's the real story. After gobbling Slovakia in the Spring of 1939, and taking possession of the Skoda factories, Hitler told each of his commanders to let him know what they'd want by 1942.

The army and air force let their imaginations run wild and the Fuhrer was very pleased with their impossible requests. Raeder and Doenitz, on the other hand, made requests that they considered reasonable and Hitler flew off the handle! The Bismarck and Tirpitz, already under construction, were glorified canoes, he wanted real battleships, and lots of them! He wanted aircraft carriers and, of course, lots of submarines as well. So the two admirals revised their requests and Hitler was very pleased with them as well. While this was going on he told Mussolini to expect the war to come in late 1941.

So, with all these impossible lists floating around and Italy planning on a two year building period, he made an abrupt about face, signed the non-aggression pact with Stalin, and promptly launched the Second World War! Italy was kept in the dark even while German Stukas were diving on Polish defenses; they heard about it over the radio instead of from the German liason.

And that was the Z-Plan. A phantom concept never properly laid out, discussed or considered in an overall context. No one in the armaments ministry ever stopped to say, "Well now, if we build ten battleships can we also build another ten panzer divisions?" -- a BB and a panzer division consumed roughly equal resources.

Anyway, having offered this overly long explanation, I'll make the last sentence the one that should have led the whole thing off; will send a copy via e-mail forthwith! smile.gif

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[For the newbies mainly]

Sea zones...um...stink. redface.gif The naval war basically

becomes a battle of the Almighty Random Number

Generators. You have simple binary choice: in or

out [with perhaps another choice if you are a sub,

Attack Warships or Sink Merchants].

Contrast that with sticking with the basic hex

movement we now have, expanding the Atlantic, and

visualizing on the map the various convoy routes,

and having the Allied player making some tough

choices as to where to send his {automated}

merchants. Then the German player has some

crucial choices of his own to make, air and tech

and other naval assets have to be considered, and

you have a >real< Battle of the Atlantic, and not

a Battle of the RNGs.

John DiFool

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As originally posted by Shaka of Carthage:

And strategic level games don't require destroyers, because having them as a seperate "unit", doesn't reflect how they are used.

All right.

(... although, a strategic level game could actually include ANYTHING at all, depending on the whims and desires of the game designer)

How about this... that grouping of ANTI submarine warfare units... light cruisers, souped-up coastal vessels, AND... destroyers, would be called ASW.

The "cruiser" would then be considered heavy cruisers with a mixture of light ones. And, a few destroyers.

The point and purpose is to have a unit that is ESPECIALLY adept and uniquely adapted to... hunting subs.

Which would have a "run silent" feature and which would merely have to fear the NAVAL AIR, and not the ground-based air.

BBs and CAs should NOT have ASW capability, and so... now, we need find some unit that does. ;)

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One of the things that bothers me about the naval part of SC is "The Search". The game, on the scale that it is, does not allow for the possibility of two or more opposing units to miss each other on the high seas. Which IIRC happened quite often in WW2. With a hex scaled at 50 miles it seems there should be some mechanism that allows for opposing naval units to pass without revealing each other as in real life. Each unit that has eligibility of being revealed should have to pass a disclosure test. The test would be modified by things like proximity of other naval units, air units, electronic tech level, unit experience, and possibly the strength of the unit(whether it is damaged or not). There should always exist the possibility that the units will not be revealed, that 6 die roll when 1 through 5 would have resulted in disclosure. This will allow the more adept unit to have first strike capability or not, choosing to not reveal itself by passing on the attack option. Something of this nature, would allow the Atlantic to remain shrunk, somewhat, and put "The Search" back into the SC naval game.

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SeaMonkey I really like your idea on the Searc aspect of Naval Warfare. Finding a ship in hexes that are 50 to 200 miles across is not easy. Especially if they do not want to be found and you take weather into effect. It's also another reason why I like hexes instead of sea zones. Why? Hex movement allows you to sneak around a unit and makes detection so much harder.

Perhaps you could have units move under one of two modes. The standard would be the defualt. A second mode - running silent/quiet - would decrease the chance of a unit being spotted but would also allow the enemy to get the first strike 50% of the time in the event of an unexpected encounter, unlike the current situation where they always strike second.

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