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  Bismarck Solitaire by Worthington Publishing   The Bismarck, and its sistership the Tirpitz, are engrained in our memories because of coun...

Bismarck Solitaire by Worthington Publishing Bismarck Solitaire by Worthington Publishing

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War at Sea

 Bismarck Solitaire


Worthington Publishing

 The Bismarck, and its sistership the Tirpitz, are engrained in our memories because of countless books and a good number of movies. To be honest, I have never really understood the fuss. She was far from being the best battleship in the world when she was launched. She was really just a beefed up Bayern class (World War I German battleship) battleship. Her one claim to fame was that she sunk the British Battlecruiser the Hood. The Hood itself had taken on a mystique all her own in the years between the World Wars. The Hood was a beautiful ship, but she suffered from the same problem that all Battlecruisers did. To get their speed faster compared to battleships they had to have a lot less armor in places than a real battleship. The Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen (a Heavy Cruiser), had left Germany to disrupt the convoy lanes to England in the North Atlantic. Thanks to code breakers and a close watch on Germany, the English knew they had to set sail almost from the start. The English set to sea with:

6 Battleships
3 Battlecruisers
2 Aircraft Carriers
16 Cruisers
33 Destroyers
8 Submarines
Large Amount Of Patrol Aircraft

 On the morning of May 24th, 1941 the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen met the Hood and the British Battleship the Prince of Wales. The Hood was sent to her watery grave with only three survivors. The Bismarck was hit and lost some precious fuel. Through most of the hunt for the Bismarck, the English Cruisers dogged her every move. The one advantage the Bismarck did have was her speed. She was somewhat faster than most World War I Battlecruisers and a lot faster than most of the British Battleships. The Bismarck's demise came because of an attack by English Swordfish aircraft. These were biplanes that had the nickname of 'Stringbags'. One of their torpedoes hit the rudder of the Bismarck and jammed it. Now it could only steer in circles while waiting for the hounds to catch up. On May 27th, the English Battleships Rodney and King George V opened fire on the Bismarck. The Bismarck was only able to make some near misses on the Rodney, but the English shells turned her into a blazing wreck. Thus was the short operational life of the Bismarck.

 This game comes as a Booklet. The thinking behind this type of game is here in Worthington Publishing's words:

"We, like you, are frustrated by the pandemic and supply chain disruptions. We asked ourselves what could be done about it until things improve? We looked at our upcoming board game designs and tried to find one that could be converted to a portable style like a book and could be delivered quickly. 

Presto! The Bookgame idea was born. And BAM, our Bismarck Solitaire game was a great fit. We took the board game and modified it to work in a book format. Next we set it up within the Amazon book format. That way anyone worldwide can order it through Amazon which has the best delivery distribution network in today’s environment. And, if you are an Amazon Prime member, the shipping cost is covered by your membership, and it will be delivered to your door within days."

 This is a very good example of not only thinking outside of the box, but also shows some caring for their wargaming fans. Kudos to you Worthington Publishing. This is a writeup about the actual game from Worthington Publishing:

"The Bookgame Bismarck Solitaire puts you in command of the German ships Bismarck, Prinz Eugen, and U-boat support as they take on a determined Royal Navy that has one goal, Sink the Bismarck! You have 8 missions of varying objectives and difficultly. Each mission gives you 3 tries to best the Royal Navy. This gives you a total of 24 games. Some missions require you to find convoys, others expect you to sink a few British warships, while some just hope your ships can survive the sortie. They only thing you are required to provide is 2 dice, a pen, and a sense of daring adventure."

 So, what you get when ordering the game is:

One game Booklet

 It seems strange after doing so many reviews to just list one item as a component for a game. The Booklet is in full color. Each two pages give you the Charts and Events to play a game. As mentioned, there are a total of twenty-four games in the Booklet. The pages one through nine give you the Rules, Designer Notes, History, and a Training Cruise. All you need to add is a pencil/pen and two six-sided die. The Game Sets are also on a graduated scale of difficulty going from Easy, Difficult, to Hard. 

Back Cover

 So, let us look at the game play itself. Is it fun and enjoyable? Yes, Virginia it is. Does it give you a sense that you are playing a wargame? That too is a resounding yes. Is this just a gimmick? Hell no, it is a wargame with a lot more nuance than it should have for its size. You can also play it wherever you have space to roll two die. This game is meant for at home or in trains, planes, and automobiles. Thank you Worthington Publishing for letting me review this miniature classic. Thank you also for thinking of us wargamers during this stressful time. Please take a look at their other fine games and especially their line of Bookgames. These now include:



Worthington Publishing: