Das Football Boot

You wouldn’t guess it from looking at him, but Roman, my Chief Foxer Setter, is something of a ludological pioneer. His parents were strict Bethelites, and growing up he wasn’t allowed to watch TV, read comics, or listen to pop music. Dice were forbidden, as were playing cards. Denied chance-spiced diversions like Monopoly, Mouse Trap, Newmarket, and D&D, he and his siblings began devising their own alternatives on the sly. They were ‘slow gaming’ and using ERNG* decades before the terms entered common parlance.

* Environmental Random Number Generation

Not all of their entertainments were homemade.

Roman has vivid memories of sitting on the wall at the bottom of his garden playing Car Cricket with Cheryl, his older sister. Some of these carbon monoxide-steeped test matches went on for days.

Mostly though, they forged their own fun. Lord of the Ring Pulls was a fantasy RPG played on local pavements and footpaths. Litter drove much of the action. Bottles and cans represented various monsters, sweet and snack wrappers loot and environmental hazards. Roman still mutters “Courage -1” every time he sees a discarded Quavers packet, and finds it hard to stifle a fist-pump when he spots a dropped 7-Up can.

Last Saturday, his tongue loosened by several pints of chilled Tom Tumper, THC’s indispensable foxer fashioner introduced me to Das Football Boot, a game he devised in the summer of 1983. Inspired by a playground copy of Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s famous novel, DFB is a leisurely WW2 U-boat sim in which real-world football matches act as dice, and the phrase “His number came up” is more than just a figure of speech.

It sounds a bit doolally, but having listened to my colleague talk about the fun he had back in the day, trying (and failing) to top Otto Kretschmer’s 47-ship war record, I knew I had to try soccer-powered convoy clobbering for myself.

Now Roman has tweaked the rules slightly to reflect recent changes in the world’s most popular sport (the number of substitutes your side uses during a match is significant in DFB), and I’ve picked the club on which my nautical narrative will be based (Swindon Town), I’m ready to start my first patrol.

I’ll be including news of U-52’s escapades in future A2Zs, and posting my pre-match Caution settings in comments under this article so my triumphs and tragedies can be independently verified.

If anyone fancies joining me in the the North Atlantic, be my guest. You don’t need to be a football fanatic or expert to captain a DFB Type VII – I’m neither. Simply follow the instructions below, and apply a bit of commonsense vis-à-vis Caution – the game’s solitary tactics lever – and you’ve as great a chance of glory as the next depth charge dodger.

Anyone who wants to be in with a shout of winning an end of season award (Highest Career Tonnage, Longest Career, Most Destructive Patrol…) will need to post their Caution settings before matches so that their patrol records can be checked next summer. Fail to post a Caution number before kick-off, and the one set for the previous match will be used automatically.

* * *

INSTRUCTIONS

First off you need to select a real-world football club, ideally one near the start of its season, to act as your dice roller. To ensure theme-appropriate difficulty, this side must not be in the top six of its division when you select it.

The smaller the division, the more chance you’ll survive the season, the less chance you’ll break tonnage records. As the success of your Type VII will be closely linked to the fortunes of your chosen club, obviously it pays to pick a club with good prospects if you can.

Your Type VII’s identification number is a “U-” followed by your age (For reasons that will become clear, DFB is only suitable for players aged between 6 and 85)

Your submarine departs its base with 14 torpedoes and 36 ‘fuel’ aboard. To discover your first Patrol Area (PA) find the name of the last first-team player to score for your club and count the number of letters in his or her surname. If the scorer in question has a double-barrelled or two part surname, use the second half of the name only to establish your PA. The number of the PA indicates how much fuel is required to reach it.

Calculated risks

Before your club plays its next domestic league match (cup games, friendlies, and play-offs are ignored by DFB) consider the opposition, and set an appropriate Caution level. Until you reach your Patrol Area, your Caution setting must be either 2 or 3.

Caution cancels out goals, and, in DFB, goals represent both your torpedoes and Allied depth charges. For instance, a Caution setting of ‘1’ would turn a 2-2 scoreline into 1-1, and a Caution setting of ‘3’ (the maximum possible) would transform 5-1 into 2-0 (scores can’t be negative). Don’t fancy your side’s chances in the next match? Consider setting a high Caution level such as 3 to minimise potential risk. Of course, if your team finishes up winning 4-0, the result will become 1-0, and you’ll kick yourself for being lily-livered.

When Saturday comes

Once the match has been played, you use the Caution-modified score to ascertain whether you’ve sunk any ships or suffered any damage.

If Caution was set at 0, every goal your team scored equates to a sunk ship. Simply take the minute each goal was scored, add two zeros to the end of it, and you have your haul. Let’s say your side netted in minutes 37, 45, 48, and 90+2. You would add ships of 3700, 4500, 4800 and 9000* tons to your tally.

* Goals in injury time are always recorded as either 4500 or 9000 ton ships.

Things are a little more complicated when Caution has modified a scoreline. When determining the ships sunk during, for example, a 3-1 win turned into a 2-0 win by a Caution setting of 1, you’d ignore your side’s first goal, and use the second and third as ship definers. Say those three goals had been scored in minutes 8, 42, and 45+1 – your two victims would weigh in at 4200 and a 4500 tons respectively.

Depth charges in the water!

Okay, now you’re ready to check for depth charge hits. When Caution is 0, all enemy goals are potential hull splitters. If you see a number that’s identical to, or within one of, your sub’s identification number on the opposition’s scoresheet*, hard luck, it’s curtains for you and your crew. Ash cans that explode more than one but less than six ‘minutes’ away from your sub’s number, damage your Type VII, assuming it’s not already damaged, in which case they’re lethal.

* Goals in injury time are always treated as either 45 or 90.

The maximum Caution that can be used by the captain of a damaged sub is 2.

When Caution has modified a scoreline, it’s necessary to ascertain which of your opponent’s goals imperil and which don’t. You do this by cancelling-out goals chronologically when your club is playing at home, and reverse-chronologically when they are playing away. See above for an example.

DFB doesn’t much care whether a depth charge or shell is delivered by an aircraft or a warship, but study the badge of the club that struck the fatal blow, and all will be revealed. If you were sent to Davy Jones’s by a side with a winged creature, or a star, moon, or sun on their crest then you were slain by one of Coastal Command’s aerial assassins.

Bookkeeping

Recording kills and checking for depth charge damage aren’t the only post-match tasks in DFB. Before you start thinking about adjusting your Caution level in readiness for your next fixture, a bit of bookkeeping is required.

Every ship you sent to the bottom during the match costs you one torpedo unless it was under 1000 tons or it was dispatched with a penalty kick in which case it counts as a ‘free’ deck gun kill.

To check whether you expended any additional eels due to misses, duds, and double hits, subtract your Caution level from the number of yellow cards your team received during the match, and, if the total is positive, subtract it from your torp tally.

Next, find out how many substitutes your team used during the match, and reduce your fuel total by that number. As fuel doubles as distance in DFB, by comparing your current fuel level to a ‘full tank’ (36), you can work out whether you’ve reached your assigned Patrol Area yet. The status of a sub that has covered the requisite distance to its PA (the voyage may take several turns) changes from ‘outbound’ to ‘patrolling’ before the next match. Assuming a ‘patrolling’ U-boat isn’t damaged, it is free to use the full range of Caution levels: 0 to 3.

This is probably the right moment to mention milk cows. While your sub is ‘patrolling’, hat-tricks scored by your side’s players completely replenish your fuel tank and stock of torpedoes.

Kiel or be killed

No DFB skipper would dream of quitting their patrol area and heading for home unless…

a) Their Type VII was damaged.
or
b) Their torpedo count was 3 or fewer.
or
c) Their fuel total* was equal or less than their Patrol Area + 5.

* Run out of fuel before reaching base, and it’s GAME OVER.

When and only when you find yourself in one or more of these states at the end of turn, are you free to change your sub status to ‘inbound’. The same Caution restrictions that apply when travelling to the PA, apply when heading back to base (Only Caution levels 2 or 3 can be employed).

Reach your base by burning the requisite quantity of fuel (your PA number), and the next match is devoted to rest, replenishment, and repair. In effect, you must sit on your hands for one fixture. Once this enforced combat-free break is over, it’s back to business. Before the next match, determine your next Patrol Area in the prescribed manner (Find the last player to score for your club and count the number of letters in his or her surname) and decide on a Caution level.

Topp seadog?

Roman says there are various ways to ‘win’ Das Football Boot. Surviving until the end of the season is no mean feat, even if you choose a club in one of the smaller divisions as your fate fount. Stay alive and sink more steel than the Kriegsmarine’s ‘Tonnage King’, and my Chief Foxer Setter will be seriously impressed!

* * *

In a nutshell

To start a game, choose a football club not in the top six of its division, use your age as your U-boat’s identification number, determine your first Patrol Area using the name of your team’s last scorer, and choose a Caution level (2 or 3 as you are ‘outbound’) for your first match.

After every match, using the result, work out if you’ve sunk anything, then ascertain whether you suffered any damage in the process. Amend your torpedo and fuel totals with the help of yellow card and substitute counts. Finally make changes to sub status (U-boats can be outbound, patrolling, inbound, or repairing and replenishing), and choose a Caution level for your next fixture.

Happy hunting, fellow Sea Wolverhampton Wanderers!

* * *

Addendum

Captaincabinets, the skipper of U-37 (Brescia Calcio), is using a Google Sheets spreadsheet to keep track of the DFB U-boats.

Captains are welcome to update his leaderboard and create and curate log sheets dedicated to their own vessels. To create your own U-boat log just right-click on one of the existing tabs (U-37, U-34 etc) and “Duplicate”. Then right-click on the copy and click “Rename”. Now go in and change the details on the sheet. Colours can be customised by clicking anywhere inside the table, then going to Format > Alternating Colours. Saving is automatic.

Thanks to Whistler, the table comes with a handy rules summary too.

74 Comments

    • Are there two minor errors in the instructions, TIm?

      “Goals in injury time are always recorded as either 4500 or 9000 ships.”

      Should that be 9000 *ton* ships?

      “When determining the ships sunk during, for example, a 3-1 win turned into a 2-1 win by a Caution setting of 1…”

      Should that be a 3-1 turned to a 2-0, or a 3-2 turned to a 2-1?

  1. Go on then sounds fun:
    U-36 (Chelsea Football Club) will be setting off for patrol area 5 tomorrow, with a caution level of 2.

    Last match would have been difficult for me…

    Repeating my question from last week Tim, what happened to the mugs?

    • No trouble, was worried I had missed a call to pay!

      AAR 1 misfire, 4 travelled, nothing sunk.
      U-36 (cfc) is outbound 1 away to Southampton on a caution of 2.

      The U-50 had some happy hunting!

      • At the final stage of U-36’s outbound leg we are caught by an unexpectedly well drilled escort. Outclassed we have to lie low and luckily escape without further incident and the expenditure of 4 fuel.

        Now on patrol, at home to West Ham caution 1.

    • Starting its patrol for real after a fruitless run out to sea U-36 gets its first kill a lost freighter that had fallen behind its escorts at a chunky 8800 tons. Boyed by that good news we will hunt tomorrow (Fulham away) at caution 0.

    • AAR: Due do doctrinal caution settings out of patrol areas, U-30 dove at the first sign of trouble and did not even try to engage any enemies.
      Patrol area is almost reached, two to go before caution level will be decreased. For now it stays at 2.

      • U-30 spotted an enemy convoy, but decided to play it safe. No torpedoes fired. One enemy ship launched a depth charge, but it was far ways off, probably more of a warning shot than anything else.
        Either way, U-30 arrived at the patrol area and will throw caution to the wind (but not completely) and dial the caution level down to 1.

        • Congratulations on your safe passage to PA-5.

          A quick rules clarification (maybe Roman can let me know if I’ve interpreted this correctly or not). I think that on a turn that you reach the patrol area (or get back to base), all fuel spent is counted, regardless of whether you only needed some of it to reach the patrol area? So in your case, you only needed 2 more fuel to get to PA-5, but had four substitutions, so your fuel drops down to 29 from 33.

          That’s the way I’ve been playing it, anyway. I’m open to debate and/or correction!

        • Schnapps for all!
          U30 finaly had its first kills. And what fat beauties they are: one of 7200 tons and one of 8600 tons.
          This of course does not lead to a raise in caution levels, the U30 thrundles ever forward!

  2. U-50 (Liverpool) – Undamaged – Fuel 36 – Torpedos 14 – outbound – 0 tons sunk

    U-50 sneakily takes advantage of unexpected delays leaving the harbour (erm, bottom of the table) and cautiously (2) heads off to Patrol Area Salah (erm, 5).

    Incidentally the rules feel they penalise people aged 39 to 51, as they are exposed to depth charges for anything up to eight minutes longer than those younger or older, and don’t even get additional tonnage from successful attacks in those extra minutes.

    Coastal Forces Channel Cup Competition

    MGB-50 (Liverpool) – 0/0 H/L damage – 0 torpedoes used – 0 patrol sightings – 0 tons sunk

    MGB-50 will be representing His Majesty’s Coastal Forces in the Channel, as scored by the Cup Competitions.

    Caution: Free rein in the darkness (0-3 for mid-week kick-offs) but daylight raids (any weekend game) require minimum caution of 2

    Scoring Sunk ships:
    – if the number of team substitutions is odd, the scoring is as per U-boats for up to two goals (in reverse chronological order), where ships are sunk with torpedoes; any further goals count as light targets (see below)
    – if the number of team substitutions is even (including 0) then only light targets were attacked; all scoring is based on ‘goal minute’ plus ’00’, then divided by 5. So a 4th minute goal is worth 80 tons, and an 82nd minute goal worth just 1640

    Scoring damage received:
    – if the number of team substitutions is odd, the scoring is as per U-boats, it’s heavy damage and 2 damage sinks you
    – if the number of team substitutions is even, the scoring is as per U-boats but damage is light; 4 damage sinks you. 2 retained light damage counts as one heavy damage on subsequent missions.

    Repairs and refits: Light damage can be repaired at the rate of one damage in-between each match. Heavy damage requires a full refit, forcing you to miss the next game. This means a lightly damaged vessel can still go on raids and patrols (at greater risk), or a refit can be scheduled instead.

    Fuel and ammunition are deemed fully replenished on return to base (after each match). However, enemy activity increases in a sector following too many successful attacks, so after ten torpedoes have been used, or too many patrol sightings have occurred (i.e. accumulated substitutions is over 40), the boat will be relocated to another base. This will take a game to complete, during which the boat is considered unarmed (but can still take damage in transit; proceed with great caution!)

    The war continues until the season is over, but a boat with no remaining cup games will be decommissioned and sold for scrap, used for target practice, sold to an ally, grounded, paid off or otherwise put out of action for the remainder of the war.

    • “Incidentally the rules feel they penalise people aged 39 to 51, as they are exposed to depth charges for anything up to eight minutes longer than those younger or older”

      People aged 40 to 50 are indeed at a slight disadvantage. When Roman created FSB he didn’t think anyone that ancient would ever play it! To get around this, anyone in this range is welcome to lie about their age.

      Great suggestions. I love the idea of an up-realismed FSB, but would like to see how this season goes before complicating things.

      • Injury time goals conceded don’t count as hits, but can use up caution points?

        Something like that would be the fairest way of handling it. Can have a fluff cover of the sub slipping away from the escorts and getting a few free shots at the sheep.

        You would be particularly vulnerable in the 44-46 range as your lethal hits period has been doubled or trebled…

        One rules question on torpedo usage, you only count kills and cards right? So no torpedos are expended on caution saved goals?
        Rules lawyer questions on cards “number of yellow cards” does a red card count as a torp? Does a second yellow that converts to a red?

        • “Injury time goals conceded don’t count as hits, but can use up caution points?”

          Roman is reluctant to tweak rules now the game is underway, but will contemplate this change for 2023/24 DFB.

          “One rules question on torpedo usage, you only count kills and cards right? So no torpedos are expended on caution saved goals?”

          Correct. And yellow cards are modified by Caution too. So in a 3-0 win turned into a 2-0 win by a Caution setting of 1, you’d expend three torpedoes (2+1y) if you receive two yellow cards.

          “Rules lawyer questions on cards “number of yellow cards” does a red card count as a torp? Does a second yellow that converts to a red?”

          Straight reds have no significance in DFB right now. If your side loses a player to two cautions, both of those cautions (yellow cards) count for torpedo purposes.

    • U-50 (Liverpool) – Undamaged – Fuel 31 – Torpedos 7 – patrolling – 37600 tons sunk

      A surprise start to the war for U-50, as she bumps into an Atlantic convoy gathering in wait for its escort. An escort that’s going to wonder where their charges are, as seven of them sit upon the seabed. The only thing that slowed down the successful sinkings was the need to reload the tubes, too many targets to hit them all at once.

      Despite this desirable delay the U-50 has made good time and is now patrolling the designated area. Mild caution only (1) is being taken as the crew are still hungover from celebrating their early success.

      • U-50 (Liverpool) – Undamaged – Fuel 28 – Torpedoes 6 – Patrolling – 46600 tons sunk

        Caution proved necessary as the U-50 encountered a Royal Navy patrol led by a a light cruiser. The accompanying destroyer escort did at one point ping the valiant sub but its competent depth charge pattern killed only fish.

        A single torpedo did for the cruiser, and the U-50 slunk quietly into the night celebrating its survival.

        • U-50 (Liverpool) – Undamaged – Fuel 23 – Torpedoes 5 – Patrolling – Caution 1 – 46600 tons sunk

          Moments of excitement and dread as sonar reports a contact, a large one. As the crew silently prepares for combat the U-50 proceeds at flank speed on the surface, adjusting course only slightly when a plume of smoke was spotted on the horizon.

          From which ship that smoke came remains unclear as it passed swiftly across the bows, too fast to close within spotting distance let alone the range of even a hopeful G7e.

          The crew were set down from action stations, although the loss of fuel expended in the chase hasn’t helped morale. The patrol continues.

          • Following the wargames in the Bay of Naples the U-50 had a fortuitous escape from HMS Ajax, during which sadly the engine broke.

            Repairs are feared likely to take another couple of weeks, so it’s lucky that the becalmed boat is clear of normal convoy routes and outside the range of land based aircraft.

            Caution remains, even as the crew enjoy the unseasonable weather and spend their time when not on watch playing volleyball on the aft deck.

            (In related news, Liverpool have just one league game in the whole of September!)

  3. This kind of zany game is right up my alley. It took a while to find match reports with who scored and when for Combined Counties League Division South, but U-34 (Guildford City) is outbound to Patrol Area 5 with Caution 2. Hopefully reports are steady and there are no issues with comms.

    • U-34 Guildford City passed an *garbled* convoy *hiss* undetected – and she didn’t detect much herself. Halfway to Patrol Area, Caution remains at 2. *Crackling* signal unreliable. Reports *garbled* detail, so if you hear from *incomprehensible* we’re OK.

    • U-34 (Guildford City) saw its first action. A hapless cruiser escorting what may have been lost sheep was allowed to escape but the prizes were not. Despite our caution, both the 5200 and 7600 tonners were sunk.

      Now at PA. There is a feeling that a sturdier convoy is nearby. If, however, its protectors are cut from the same cloth as what we just met, all crew are due new underpants. Itching for glory, we set Caution to 1.

    • The seas stood still following the news of the passing of the Queen. The mood on board is solemn, and by way of its absence it appears convoy traffic feels likewise. Instruments picked up naught. Somewhere, a whale sings a dirge.

      At conclusion of Non-random Scheduled Historical Event, resuming patrol at Caution 2.

    • The good news is we have contact with U-34 Guildford City. It’s a good thing the boys were cautious. While the information is incomplete, we can be sure they’ve received a walloping. Though damage to the ship can’t yet be ruled out, we do know they are alive. Aerial confirms U-34 did not sink anything in it’s perilous encounter. Worse, it is feared that, in a state of panic, the crew proceeds at Caution 0. They are expected to come upon another convoy still today.

      Wish them luck.

    • Intelligence sharing with the Italians has confirmed that U-34 Guildford City is unharmed. We’ve since also heard from the crew directly. I’m afraid their lack of caution reaps a reprimand rather than a ribbon. All shots missed a plump convoy which even dropped a depth charge nearer than any of their opposition yet.

      With stern opposition approaching and performance pressure mounting, U-34 proceeds with Caution 2.

      • As ever, a scolding is followed by a stand-out performance. A textbook example in how to evade all hits with caution and score a hit to boot. A 6500 ton vessel brings our total to three ships and 19300 tons sunk.

        With 9 torps and 17 fuel left, emboldened U-34 proceeds at Caution 0.

  4. Oh, this is fun. The perfect day to come back to the Corner after some weeks AWOL.

    Just in case we forgot that there were two sides in this war:

    U-37 (Brescia Calcio) will be heading (ha!) off to Patrol Area 6 as soon as they’ve finished their coffees. Caution level 2.

    Good luck all! I’m personally expecting to be riddled with more holes than a plate of penne.

    • Insane concept but I love it

      U29 setting off for patrol area 5 with a caution of 2.

      Should be higher many say (given stokes recent perfomance) but high command are prepared to Chuck the sink at it.

    • The seas are quiet… too quiet. Despite steaming ahead this round (using up 5 fuel in the process), there was no sign of those pesky Allied forces and not even a single torpedo was wasted.

      Our captain has determined that this is a cause for optimism, rather than paranoia, and will remain at caution level 2 for now.

      U-37 (Brescia Calcio) – 31 fuel, 14 torpedoes – 0 tonnage

      • Horror stories of U-50 and the havoc it has wreaked on the Axis forces have reached Italian ears. But rather than quiver in fear, i ragazzi have decided it’s time to try and settle the scores. After firing off a couple of practice rounds at a passing shadow, we’ve reached the patrol area and have dropped right down to caution level 0.

        U-37 (Brescia Calcio) – Patrolling PA-6, Torps: 12, Fuel: 27, Undamaged

        • The international crew of U-50 wish to reassure our Italian allies that they have only targeted and sunk ships of the increasingly depleted Britisch Kriegsmarine und Handelsmarine.

          (German is just so much better at military lingo)

          • Thank you to the crew of the U-50, and thanks to them also for coming and participating in last night’s war games in the Bay of Naples. Lucky we weren’t using live rounds, eh?

        • Happy hunting for i ragazzi this week, as they found a previously hidden switch next to the torpedo tubes marked “Burst Fire”. Sure, a couple of eels may have gone wayward, but they did bag 3 of her his majesty’s finest, including a 9000-tonne flagship. Only the most feeble of resistance was encountered, with a single depth charge easily evaded.

          The patrol continues, with at caution level upgraded to 1 as a counterattack is likely.

    • With i ragazzi a touch hungover from celebrating last week’s successes, the young guardiamarina, Salvatore, is sent down to man the tubes singlehandedly. For a brief moment he has another 9000-ton beauty in his sights, but with his commanding officers all asleep and a desperate wish to get back to his rosy-cheeked fidanzata alive, he hesitates a little too long and the moment is lost. He fires a couple of rounds into a blank sea, just so he can claim that he saw some action, then heads off to bed himself.

      The patrol continues, staying at caution level 1. 5 torps and 18 fuel left.

  5. Alright, seems like I finally needed to create an account here, so, Hi everyone!

    Anyway, U-33 (Karlsruhe) will be operating far from home in Patrol Area 10 and is trying to get there with Caution Level 2.
    After the 6-0 sweep they managed last week I have high hopes, but alas, Rostock is no Regensburg, so we’ll see tomorrow.
    Happy hunting all!

    • U-33 has erred on the side of caution and thus no kills to report, but she is making good progress towards the PA.
      Caution continues at 2, fuel 31, torpedoes 14, undamaged, outbound.

    • U-33 is continuing her march to the assigned PA, and this time her cautious approach is at least somewhat justified, as a single depth charge going off in the middle distance can be heard, but the lack of any follow-up makes it clear that this foe is blissfully unaware of our whereabouts. At the end of this turn, the PA would be visible on the horizon if it didn’t look like any other stretch of open sea, and U-33’s status is as follows:

      Caution level 2, torpedoes 14, fuel 27, undamaged, outbound

    • After a final leg totally free of any interesting events, U-33 finally reaches her PA and begins patrolling.
      Eager to finally see some action, Captain Kienzle (originally from a remote valley in the black forest, but the sea had always captured his imagination) orders a relentless hunt for any target, aware that his fuel reserves don’t allow for a prolonged and cautious hunt.
      The current status of U-33 is thus:
      Caution 0, fuel 24, torpedoes 14, undamaged, patrolling in PA 10.

    • After a long and uneventful journey far out into the north Atlantic, U-33 finally sees her first kill this turn, a vessel of 5400 tons. A second torpedo that was sent on its way was shot in the direction of a hapless seal that could luckily escape at the last minute.
      The less than cautious approach U-33 displays in her patrolling led to some enemy action, and one depth charge detonation made some of the cadets a bit uneasy, but no damage was reported.
      New status:
      Caution 0, fuel 19, torps 12, undamaged, patrolling PA 10, ships/tonnage sunk 1/5400

        • Thanks! Captain Kienzle isn’t much of a strategist, and if the OKM decides that area 10 needs to be patrolled, then area 10 it is.
          (Also Karlsruhe was more or less the last team I cared about at least a little, all the others were a bit too high in their respective leagues at the time)

  6. Just doing the bookkeeping following Bristol City’s 3-3 draw away against Blackpool. With my caution set to 2 the goal that counts for tonnage happens to be an own goal by Blackpool – couldn’t see this covered by the rules but surely this shouldn’t cost me a torp? Feels more like they hit an iceberg during evasive maneuvers or a depth charge exploded in its launcher or something!

  7. Would anyone be interested in a communal Google Sheets to keep track of the results? I feel like this comment section is going to get out of control, and I’d also love to easily watch what happens with everybody else’s subs!

  8. Due to a propeller shaft issue, U-52 (Swindon Town) made very slow progress last week. We are currently 5f from Patrol Area 7 and carrying all 14 of the eels we loaded at Kiel. Whatever tomorrow brings, we’ll face with Caution set to 2.

    • U-52’s prop shaft problems persist despite the best efforts of my Chief Engineer. At the close of Week Two we are still 3f from our Patrol Area and have yet to flood a tube or sight a worthwhile target. Rolf, the boat’s Funkgast and resident artist, took advantage of one of our unplanned stops to paint a splendid cartoon picture of Lothar the Tortoise on the side of the conning tower. Never has a U-boat’s mascot been more apposite!

      We go into Week Three with Caution set to 2, and 14 torpedoes and 32 fuel remaining.

    • Rolf added a sinking ship silhouette to U-52’s conning tower on Wednesday morning. Our first victim was the Balochistan Star, a British freighter of 9000 tons. Judging by the spectacular way she went down/up, she was carrying munitions.

      Touch wood, Kurt’s prop shaft repair seems to have done the trick. We made relatively good progress this week finally joining U-49 in Patrol Area 7. Two of the crew have birthdays tomorrow which is surely a good omen!

      Current status: Torpedoes 13. Fuel 28. Caution 1.

    • I could blame last Saturday’s missed opportunity (Doncaster 0 – 1 Swindon) on poor visibility and a convoy chaperone with a sixth sense for trouble, but the truth is my circumspection cost U-52 a second scalp. After a disappointment like that it’s tempting to throw caution to the wind. However, I’m convinced better opportunities will present themselves if we’re patient, so, for the moment, our approach (C1) will remain unchanged.

    • Qualified success this week. Two of our G7eT2s cleaved a zagzigging 4400 ton freighter, but three others either missed or failed to detonate. I’ve asked Hans to check the magnetic pistols again as I’m convinced at least two of those wasted fish were dead certs.

      Morale is high aboard U-52 despite our ‘torpedo crisis’. In the light of recent successes I see no reason to alter our tactics at present. Caution will remain at 1 for the time-being.

  9. Unfortunately U-49 (Bristol City) has been plagued with communication kit problems resulting firstly in an incorrect report of 70000 tons being sent back to HQ following our first engagement – it should of course have been 7000, thank-you Cederic for spotting this.

    We then proceeded to an uneventful encounter against Huddersfield with no torps expended nor damage taken but this did allow us finally to reach our patrol area. Alas, more sea water seeping into the the comms equipment meant I was unable to change the crew’s orders in time for the next encounter with Blackburn so on we went with a perhaps overcautious default of 2.

    At least my trigger-happy crew have learned to be a bit more economical with the torpedoes, bagging another 7300 tons for a single eel expended and no damage taken.

    Current sitrep: U49 (Bristol City) is Patrolling PA-7 with Caution now set to 1, 9 Torpedoes, 25 Fuel and 14300 tons sunk. HMS Preston has been spotted on the horizon…

    (I’ve also updated the Google sheet)

    • The encounter with HMS Preston was not to be but instead we stumbled upon HMS Norwich, managed to avoid a couple of depth charges and bag another 7700 tons for a single torp.

      Current sitrep: U49 (Bristol City) is Patrolling PA-7 with Caution remaining at 1, 8 Torpedoes, 22 Fuel and 22000 tons sunk.

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