North Sea Campaign (Loose Leaf)(0 customer reviews)
Under Admiral Tirpitz, with the active encouragement of Kaiser Wilhelm, Germany committed to a naval construction program designed to challenge British control of the North Sea. In less than two decades the resulting Anglo-German Naval Arms Race was one of the primary causes of the Great War.
Within weeks of the outbreak of war in August 1914 millions of soldiers were engaged in combat. On the Western Front German armies violated Belgian neutrality to gain easy access to northern France. While this gambit did open a promising route to Paris, it had a fearful political price as treaty obligations brought England into war.
For a few weeks in the later summer of 1914 it looked like German armies might capture Paris, scoring a knock-out blow. When they failed, and a stalemate descended all along the front from the Swiss border to the English Channel, the North Sea became the only other theater that offered a way to quickly bring the war to a conclusion.
For a variety of reasons, including the British advantage in capital ships, a major fleet action did not occur until Jutland in May 1916. Still, there were numerous occasions early in the war when the fleets could have clashed, and the stakes were high indeed. Churchill later described Admiral Jellicoe, commander of the Grand Fleet, as “the only man on either side who could lose the war in an afternoon,” an indication of the importance for England to maintain control of the North Sea.
This campaign game, focusing on the early war, offers players a chance to fight out a series of actions that helped shape the campaign, and that offered the possibility of a major fleet action.
Players will face both strategic and tactical decisions with the fog of war (sometimes literally on the North Sea) may confer advantages or devastating disadvantages.
The campaign is compatible with virtually any miniatures rule set. The strategic decision model provides replayabililty as no two campaigns will be the same, especially combined with a wide variation in possible tactical encounters. And there is always the possibility that control of the North Sea will come down to one afternoon.