From: Dorset, UK
Bru, firstly I must say a huge thank you for developing these scenarios. Since playing the boardgame “Dreadnought” when I was a teenager, through to Avalon Hill's “Bismark”, I have always dreamed of a PC game that could cover such naval encounters, where evasion and actually finding enemy vessels in the vastness of the ocean could be replicated.
Now, I speak only as a player, keen for a good historical representation of these scenarios, completely unaware of what can and cannot be achieved with the scenario builder, so please bear with me, but I have some initial observations / suggestions, having played the Bismarck scenario.
The vessel speeds did not feel quite right to me. Bismarck could make 30 knots, but in game, she lagged well behind Prinz Eugen, which was only 2 knots faster. In 1941, most convoys could only make 8 knots, but in game, Bismarck struggled to catch them. Although on paper capable in excess of 30 knots, in the heavy Atlantic seas, destroyers could not keep up with capital ships going full tilt, e.g., the six I-class destroyers with Hood and PoW (my great uncle was on board HMS Icarus!) got left behind when they steamed to intercept the Germans.
The atrocious weather also played a major factor in visibility and detection. Naval radar was still in its infancy, and very few ships had effective sets – HMS Suffolk was one of them. However, given the constant U-boat / submarine threat in the Atlantic, ships would always zig-zag, so even Suffolk could not keep in contact with the Germans. So, in this scenario, spotting and contacting the enemy should be much more difficult than normal, with positions usually given away by radio transmissions. Maybe I'm the only person who would like this to be the case – the suspense of it all is as exciting as the action, for me!
And is there any way that the Atlantic map could be made even bigger? :)