would not be able to move fast enough to get a shot at even HX.9. However, since we are playing with the Daily Content sub rules, the second Type VII flotilla will eventually be able to attack HX.9 due to the ability to move on every nigh turn in addition to even numbered day turns. All German sub attacks should be very effective since the Germans will be rolling four attack dice per sub contact under the Daily Content sub rules.
And the weather immediately deteriorates.
Turn 1’s weather roll worsens the status to Storm (planes cannot fly, submarines cannot attempt contact, secondaries and tertiaries cannot fire, and no TF can move more than 2 sea zones in a turn.) The storm continues on Turn 2, then conditions lighten to Squall on Turn 3, allowing both submarine and air operations. The British air patrols produce no result; the on-board German TF has stayed well towards Denmark and Norway, at extreme range for my Hudsons and Sunderlands (a search at 12 zones away in this weather needs a lot more than 4 steps to have a prayer of finding anything) and ASW searches also come up empty.
But submarines on both sides are a different story. Through the squally murk of late afternoon, one of my T-class subs spots the imposing silhouettes of two German capital ships in Zone AP51. They can only be the twin BC’s; the obviously talented (and lucky) sub commander is able to pump a torpedo into Scharnhorst, causing 4 hull boxes’ worth of damage. This doesn’t even slow her down, though it may increase her wariness of further combat. But the encounter also has a couple of additional benefits:
Next turn I get to start rolling for variable arrival Southern Atlantic (the French BC Strasbourg and consorts) and Western Atlantic (BC Repulse and CV Furious, the latter with a small contingent of Sea Gladiators and Swordfish) reinforcements.
The sighting means the BC’s will stay on-board in Turn 4 before disappearing again (unless of course I “find” them again and keep them on-board longer), giving me an idea of where they might be headed.
This was an incredible bit of good luck for the British. Not only did it reveal the path of the Raiding task force, but it also triggered the release of several British and French task forces and made a direct surface attack on Convoy HX.9 very, very risky with the damage Scharnhorst took.
The enemy, however, has submarines too – and better ones (U-Boats, of course.) One submarine spots my dummy battleship group but cannot achieve a firing solution. Another pops up on the fringes of Convoy HX.8 in zone AP38. Aside from the BB Revenge (useless against subs), the only escort for these 34 loaded merchantmen are two small V/W-class DE’s. As they race to challenge the intruder, one is torpedoed and blasted out of the water, but the German is unable to launch any more fish before