Scotland, will hopefully act as a check against any sortie by the “non-raiding” German TF of CL’s, DD’s and DE’s. A British TF from Plymouth (including the mighty BC Hood), and a French one from Brest, will initially make threatening moves east to give the German “on board” TF something else to think about, then guard the western Channel against a potential, if highly unlikely, German breakout attempt in that direction.
Allied minefields of various strengths are scattered in coastal waters of Great Britain and France, heaviest in the approaches to Liverpool.
The British air contingent, determined somewhat randomly per game rules, consists of 4 steps of Hudsons, 6 of Blenheim bombers, 3 of Beaufort torpedo bombers, 4 of Spitfires, 2 of Hurricanes, 3 of Catalinas [these are really proxies for more Sunderlands in 1939 since Catalinas were not truly available to the British until May 1941] and 4 of Sunderlands. (Each step is six aircraft.) The Hudsons, the fighters, the Beaufighters and most of the Blenheims start at RAF Digby, in the southeast of England, where perhaps they may sortie against German ships in the North Sea. The Sunderlands are at Rosyth to hunt for subs; the Catalinas at Belfast and Reykjavik, for sub-hunting or air search as needed.
Besides the enemy, both sides will be battling the weather and the short days. 3 of every six turns (half of each day) will be night, and the preliminary weather condition is Squall. Although technically each calendar day starts with one night turn, the scenario starts at daylight of the first day, and I will count each scenario “day” as three day followed by three night turns.
The German plan is simple. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau will make a beeline for the Scapa/Shetlands and Scapa/Faeroe passages while the Light Cruiser Task Force makes a diversionary run toward the western Norwegian coast. This is pretty much preordained because there is no way in the game system to have the Light Cruiser task force provide ASW coverage for the Raiding Task Force even through the North Sea. Once they have broken into the Atlantic, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau will move as quickly as possible to intercept Convoy HX.9 since HX.8 is too close to port to be attacked or raided by the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. If the British move an unidentified task force out of Greenock and it subsequently merges or moves with HX.9, the Germans will confine themselves to Convoy Straggler Searches with Scharnhorst and Gneisnenau. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau will chance a direct attack on HX.9 and its defender the BB Warspite. If the British both reinforce HX.9 and run a cloud of ships around to prevent Convoy Straggler Searches, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau will either go after cruisers or risk chasing down the BC Repulse and CV Furious, if the latter two enter the map.
Since the VP cost for losing the Bremen is much higher than the VPs gained, the Germans will only enter dummy transports to keep the British distracted. This will be enhanced by occasional sorties by the light cruiser task force out of Wilhelmshaven. With any luck, the British might get rash enough to bring a small task force either across the German Type II U-boat flotilla or into the range of a German air attack.
The Type VII U-boat flotilla that starts near the Irish coast will first focus on attacking Convoy HX.8 and then HX.9. Normally, the second German Type VII flotilla