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"Research for Cruel Seas" Topic

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CptSlowhand07 May 2020 4:49 a.m. PST

Hello All, I got into WWI naval after reading *Castles of Steel*. I am intrigued by Cruel Seas, but I really want to have a fact-based historical understanding of the ships (boats?) and tactics. I don't want to rely on 'blurbs' in a Warlord rulebook. Are there any good books that cover operations in the Channel, British & German equipment and forces? Also, any recommendations for first-hand accounts would be great. Thanks!

Wackmole907 May 2020 5:12 a.m. PST

The Battle of the Narrow Seas: The History of the Light Coastal Forces in the Channel & North Sea, 1939-1945 by peter scott

tomrommel107 May 2020 5:15 a.m. PST

These should get you started:
British Motor Torpedo Boat 1939-45 (New Vanguard, Band 74),
German E-boats 1939-45 (New Vanguard, Band 59) ,
British Motor Gun Boat 1939-45 (New Vanguard, Band 166),
Gunboat Command: The Biography of Lieutenant Commander Robert Hichens DSO* DSC** RNVR ,
Hitler's Forgotten Flotillas: Kriegsmarine Security Forces,
Schnellboote: A Complete Operational History ,
Coastal Convoys 19391945: The Indestructible Highway

Personal logo PzGeneral Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2020 5:19 a.m. PST

Cruel Seas is a great game. I love it and we have great fun with it. But remember, it is kinda the "Wings of War/Glory version of MTB actions….

If you're looking for a real in-depth gaming experience, it may not be for you…

But we love it….

4DJones07 May 2020 6:58 a.m. PST

Night Action by Peter Dickens. He was there as an MTB flotilla leader.

Microbiggie07 May 2020 8:16 a.m. PST

I would say its more like the Capt Storm comic book version of MTB actions. Great minis but research seems to be based on a Wiki article.

CptSlowhand07 May 2020 10:18 a.m. PST

I figured I could treat it like Flames of War: A great intro into a genre/period. If I don't enjoy the rules, I know there are other sets out there to use with the great miniatures! Thanks so much for the responses gentlemen! That ought to keep me well occupied for a while.

Cardinal Ximenez07 May 2020 12:41 p.m. PST

The War of the Gunboats Bryan Cooper

Ryan T07 May 2020 5:50 p.m. PST

Although it deals with actions in the Mediterranean instead of the Channel, Leonard Reynolds' memoir Gunboat 658 (1955) is a great book for getting a feel for the period. The book has been reprinted in a number of editions, the last being re-titled Motor Gunboat 658: The Small Boat War in the Mediterranean (2002). Reynolds also wrote Dog Boats at War: Royal Navy D Class MTBs and MGBs 1939-1945 (1998), Mediterranean MTBs at War: Short MTB Flotilla Operations, 1939-1945 (1999), and Home Waters MTBs & MGBs at War, 1939-1945 (2000). All of these can be highly recommended.

JAFD2607 May 2020 8:50 p.m. PST

Have heard good things abuot Nick Hewett's _Coastal Convoys_

Max A Warlord08 May 2020 4:14 a.m. PST

Hello CptSlowHand and thank you for considering both our models and our game – Cruel Seas – to play games in this exciting and too often neglected aspect of WWII warfare.

Contrary to what Mr Microbiggie wrongly writes "based on a Wiki article"… those who own and have actually read the book can easily find on pages 105 and 106 the list of over 50 sources used to research and inspire the game and that has been in the works for several years by the author.

Of course there are different ways to propose a rule set in historical context and while some people may prefer for these to be as close as possible to a very accurate simulation exercise, others may look for quicker and oversimplified approach to emphasise the gaming experience.

The game is obviously meant to be enjoyable for a wide audience if possible, so choices had to be made between the most accurate representation of the historical reality of naval warfare and the end objective of creating a fast and fun game to enjoy in a few hours of play.

Enjoy the games and be careful on those waves!

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2020 5:30 a.m. PST

As always, it comes down to do you want a fairly
simple 'game' to share with friends for an
afternoon or do you want a simulation of 'the
real thing' or be satisfied with something
betwixt the two extremes ?

My limited experience with Cruel Seas, as with
MANY other rulesets for different genres and
eras, is you can tinker with them until the rules
give you the type of game you want.

CptSlowhand22 May 2020 1:30 p.m. PST

Thank you all for your input. I have already acquired some of the osprey books and just finished Night Action. What a great account. I hadn't fully understood how exclusive to night operations these craft were, nor how essential stealth was. They also seem to be woefully under-lead (at the strategic level) and supplied by the Admiralty, although this may just be one sailor's experience.

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