A&B Computing1st December 1986
Published in A&B Computing 3.12
Sink The Bismarck
I've never really been keen on warfare simulations on the Beeb, mostly due to the slowness and lack of detail in the game. Sink The Bismarck is being sold as "the first of a new generation" of wargames and I think I would concur with that.
Take your mind back to May 1941, the North Atlantic. The main concern of the Royal Navy was too find and sink the Bismarck, the German's prize battleship. You have twelve ships with which to scour the sea lanes, protecting troop and supply convoys.
Ranged against you are the elements, the constraints of speed and fuel, the Bismarck and the U-boat squadrons.
The game is in 40K of code, loaded as needed in the game's sections. It is played in real time with four screens of information: the main playing area shows the North Atlantic with ships in position. On this screen you make your moves and calculations, bearing in mind your forces' speed and position. Then there is a screen showing status information about a particular British ship and a range finger for long-range shelling of the Bismarck. The next shows the aircraft carriers and the Bismarck and you must attempt to torpedo the German ship, through the AA flak.
The final screen shows a British ship under attack by U-boats and an attempt must be made here to use depth charges effectively.
Each of these screens is not very effective when viewed individually but together they add up to a compulsive and fascinating game requiring some standard arcade skills as well as ingenuity and calculation.
If you're never tried a warfare simulation before, then may I suggest that this would be a good place to start? Well-designed, playable and good value for a disc-based game.