Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Bold Breakout? part1 - A Fletcher Pratt naval wargame

For the post-Christmas games day at Sheffield Wargames Society I put together a Fletcher Pratt scenario. This was neccessarily vague as I didn't know how many players to expect, so I made sure I could cope with anything between 6 and 20.  In the event I had twelve, divided into two player teams of four and an umpire team also of four.
RN: Rear Admiral Paul B, Captain Frank, Commander Paul L, Commander Dave S
The RN team in action - photo by Wg Cdr Luddite
KM: Konteadmiral Steve T, Kapitan zur See Pete, Kommodore Dave R, Kapitan zur See Tony C
The Konteadmiral looks for answers in the bottom of a glass
Dave R (left) and Pete enjoying themselves.
Umpire Team: John A, Lloyd, Wg Cdr Luddite and your humble correspondent.

Royal Navy Briefing
It has been reported that a German force comprising the Bismarck and at least two heavy cruisers is making a break for the open waters of the North Atlantic.  A blocking force had been assembled and designated as ‘Force E’.
Sink the Bismarck, and sink or force the return to port of the cruisers.
Force E
HMS Duke of York 14” BB
HMS Suffolk 8” Cruiser
HMS Kent 8” Cruiser
HMS Cornwall 8” Cruiser
HMS Devonshire 8” Cruiser
HMS Swiftsure 6” CL
HMS Superb 6” CL
HMS Gurkha
HMS Bedouin
HMS Eskimo
HMS Cossack
HMS Aridi
HMS Ashanti

Kriegsmarine Briefing
A major force – ‘Kampfgruppe 19’ - will put to sea in order to lure out substantial but probably weaker British forces.  It is expected that the enemy will commit at least one battleship and four cruisers.
Destroy the enemy force while preserving the Bismarck.
Kampfgrupe 19
Bismarck  15” BB
Prinz Eugen  8” Cruiser
Hipper  8” Cruiser
Lutzow  8” Cruiser
Blucher  8” Cruiser
Z47  DD
Z48  DD
Z49  DD
Z50  DD


Don M said...

Tim as you know I work nights, so logging on here I'm greeted with
The site of four middle aged men kneeling on the floor with the header "Bold Breakout?"My mind went places that were comical at best...)

Other than that, looks to be interesting, looking forward to the rest.

Bill said...

Don't mind Don , Tim he turns 56 on the 11th so he's loopier than normal,

I like the these rules from what I've seen in the past, I've got a bunch of old WWII and Modern GHQ
ships gathering dust.

Peter Douglas said...


Looks like a good game. I'm looking forward to hearing more. You really have no mercy on old men's knees do you?
Happy 2014!


Tim Gow said...

Don M
You should know by now that my games can easily reduce players to their knees!

Tim Gow said...

I try to make allowances for age. Bet you ships out and used!

Tim Gow said...

Peter Douglas
They're on their knees 'cos they were begging to be released from the game! And on that note, on with 2014!

Peter Douglas said...


You beast! Have mercy on the aged knees. Perhaps you can come up with an aid for the old timers like the stick for ancient curlers (see the pic at


Tim Gow said...

Peter Douglas
I'm not sure the more delicate ship models are up to that - and the accuracy of firing arrows is poor enough as it is!

Pete. said...

Ah great fun, not sure a sailor hat is for me though....



Arthur said...

Looking at life through the bottom of the glass enables one to tell the future, namely, a refill is coming up...

Archduke Piccolo said...

Interesting match-up! You know, I would have liked to see a 'pocket battleship' - just one - in that line-up. I reckon the Kriegsmarine would have given the Royal Navy a bit of a hurry-up!

Tim Gow said...

The spirit of CPO Pertwee lives on....

Tim Gow said...

Granted - but this approach is of limited use in a naval battle! By the way, my dog says hello to your dog.

Tim Gow said...

Archduke Piccolo
The last time I commanded a force which included a pocket battleship I left it in port - they're too damn slow!

Archduke Piccolo said...

I never knew that! Makes you wonder if the German designers really did want them to chase down enemy merchant vessels...

Tim Gow said...

Archduke Piccolo
They're easily fast enough to catch merchant ships, and quite brisk by the standards of the early 1930s, but a wee bit slower then more modern WW2 vessels.