When I bought the game Grand Fleets from Majestic Twelve Games I always wanted to replay the famous hunt for the battleship Bismarck. So I bought many World War 2 ships to replay this scenario. My ships are from Hallmark in the 1:6000 scale. I bought them from Magister Militum. On the picture above you can imagine the size of the ships compared to the 5ct coin.
The German ships
I was a long time uncertain how to paint the models. I studied a lot websites in the internet to find the correct camouflage pattern for the Bismarck. But the camouflage pattern was mainly grey, so I decided to paint the two ships in the pattern of the testing period in the Baltic Sea. I don’t like Swastika on my models so I tried to paint them in the style of the movie „The Great Dictator“ by Charles Chaplin.
Later I want to replay submarine battles, so I bought a blister of German submarines, too. (This models were not involved in the hunt for the Bismarck)
The British ships
I like painting ships with a camouflage pattern and find it more interesting than all grey ships. So I painted the British ships in some of their camouflage patterns, too. Most patterns are from later periods of the war.
Grand Fleets is a very flexible game. It has rulesets for different scale sizes and you can play the game with a hex grid or with measurement tape. I decided to play the game with a measurement tape because it is much easier to find a game board: You just need blue fabric! 😉
We replayed the Battle of the Denmark Street (Hood, Prince of Wales vs. Bismarck, Prinz Eugen). I was a bit worried because I did not know if the gameplay would work with such few models. But the game is great. You should use the option of simultaneous movement. Both players write their moves on a card and after that move the ships as written down. It is very fun to fool your opponent with an unexpected move into a very good fire position. The game mechanism allows it easy to integrate more players. We played 2 vs. 2 and had a lot of fun. After a good opening for the Bismarck, the two British ships became more than a match for the Germans. After the Bismarck has been sunk the Prinz Eugen startedt two final torpedo attacks on the Hood but the ship became itself sunk. So the two British shops won the battle but were heavily damaged. It was a great game.
I hope you like my models. In a few weeks I will write a review of the rulebook.