War @ Sea: U-Boat Terror Update

At Battleground Games one of the gamers playing War at Sea, Steve, has developed a U-Boat fleet that fixes most of the weaknesses in the one I showcased in Axis & Allies War at Sea Axis U-Boat Terror.

I’ve hounded him for his list and he finally posted it today on Battleground’s Axis & Allies Message Board.

I first encountered his U-Boat Terror in a small 100pt game. Steve fielded the following totaling 101pts:

2x U510
2x Stuka
2x Karl Galster
1x Vittorio Veneto

Steve’s tactic was for the Subs to range ahead of the Battleship and her escorts (two Z 20 Karl Galsters) and provide cover/disruption of enemy fleet. The Stukas are exactly what they are…bombers of opportunity, either they sit on the land airbase and wait for a lone ship or just easy pickings or they get thrown at the biggest thing right away since there won’t be easy pickings. Other than that he used the fleet like anybody else; move up, take objectives and move on.

It was a close game but ultimately won by a slim margin. That aside I knew his fleet would be very difficult to beat at a full 200pts. Steve flipped through my collection to upgrade his 101pts to the 200pt behemoth below:

2x Kondor
2x Koln
2x Stuka
4x Karl Galster
1x Scharnhorst
3x U510
1x Vittorio Veneto

The beauty of Steve’s 200pt U-Boat Terror is immense. The U510s deploy 5 spaces into the board. They grant Wolfpack on them (+1 Torp dice) and control the center of the map near the objectives, denying the opponent 150pts. The Kondors fly near enemy ships, 1 space away, and Pinpoint the ship (+1 Torp dice against target) giving the U-Boats a greater chance of sinking the vessel. The U-Boats will have 4-5 dice, each, of Torpedoes depending on distance from target.

The Stukas will dive bomb the Destroyer escorts, and even Cruisers. At worst they tie up enemy aircraft. The Scharnhorst and Vittorio Veneto are the power hitters. Keep them back to fire at range 4. The Koln will move up and snatch objectives.

The main downside to this fleet is its susceptibility to air attack. Your opponent can field an overwhelming number of planes, especially if Americans, to sink your U-Boats. If they do, they won’t have enough points to sink into power hitters to take out your two battleships.

Even in that instance the you hold the advantage. There’s been a lot of talk about the power of Battleships and aircraft in this game. But, we cannot underestimate the U-Boat. They struck terror in the hearts of WWII mariners and they can strike terror into the hearts of War at Sea gamers.