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Old 24-04-2005, 11:32 PM   #11
Christian IV
Game freak

Join Date: Apr 2005
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Posts: 129

Yes this is one of the classics of Naval wargaming, it is a nice balance
of the visuals with the complex issues of speed, range, strategy,
tactics, and overall history and game play. I may have the manual
somewhere, will look to see about the instructions, it has been a while
indeed since i set sail with this one.
ahoy for now,

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Old 25-04-2005, 01:11 AM   #12
Christian IV
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Nice review by The Picard on the game on the site. I am refreshing my memories, played this and many other naval games years ago, as in over 30 years ago.....had family in the navies on both sides of WWII, so much lore comes back.

This game, Great Naval Battles of the North Atlantic is from a series of five games, the Great Naval Battles Series published by Stategic Simulattions Inc and designed by the IO Design group, this was perhaps the best in the set. It focuses on re enacting the main naval engagements between the German Kriegsmarine and Royal Navy between 1939 and 1942, with some of the major ship classes, battleships, battle cruisers, cruisers, Aircraft carriers (though when you are playing the AI it is hard to get it to deploy its carriers any distance out to sea) the game included most of the most famous battles between those navies plus a campaign mode that is still unique even today among naval games.

In single scenario mode the player controls all ships of his side (but can switch each ship to computer control if wanted). The game is set in a 3D world, the ships are shown as bitmaps, displaying them from different angles. You could manouver the ships, select their targets, assign single guns or gun groups to individual targets, fire torpedoes and even use a ships float plane for improving gunnery control by spotting the shell hits. A lot of time needs to be spent in the damage control view. There the ship is displayed in three layers below the waterline, waterline and superstructure. Large warships are divided into watertight compartments to make the overall ship more safe when damaged. This allows the gamer to watch over each section of the ship which can be damaged or destroyed. This can be run by the computer but sometimes the computer AI does not make good choices about damage control. You have three points of view available: the Captain's view from the bridge of the ship, damage control officer below decks and the Grand Admiral's Ariel view with allows one to see the overall tactical and strategic situation. There were great sound tracks, and sound effects in the full game, not sure yet what will be in this version.

For its time, the visuals, and graphic (VGA, 320x200) was ok. As later versions of the game were released, bugs were corrected such as having the running lights still on when the enemy ship was sinking. The computer AI is rather slow witted at times, it uses any torpedo carrying ship including destroyers, and cruisers like they are all PT boats (what were called MT boats in the Royal Navy or E Boats in the Kreigsmarine), which was NOT the historic reality. :blink:

The big ships rarely made torpedo attacks in World War Two. And the AI does not compute sufficient damage on small ships allowing them to absorb 10 or more large caliber shell hits from a battleship which was certainly NOT reality. The thin steel plate used in the little ships was little protection against 12 and 16 inch shells.


The game has some carrier operations. the torpedo planes launch from carriers and attack other ships. One of the best features of the game is the dynamic campaign mode in which the gamer can conduct an overall strategic campaign, with taks forces out to attack British convoys from the German fleet, or trying to find German raiders such as the Graf Spee playing the Royal Navy. The game shifts to 3D mode when the ships get close enough to engage in combat. There are ancillary forces such as U Boats and Bombers included in the game as well. But you do not control them directly. Originally the game was released in this play mode, then there were later expansion disks released, to allow the gamer to use the planned but never built Z Plan ships of the German Navy, and other campaigns and scenarios and also a mission editor to create your own scenarios. Then a "Captains Game" verison was released which started the player out in a destroyer and they gain rank and larger ship command as the game progresses. There is a web site that has patches for the game and also an add on scenario that has the Z Plan ships and other ports including more German ones and Hull in GB.

The controls are with menus which pull down with the right mouse, as I remember, like the Picard says, but I need to remember more. Thanks for putting this fine
game up, it is the best of the series.
Ahoy and Avast

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Old 15-06-2005, 01:23 PM   #13
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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I like this game! But then I am fond of strategies. Few questions though....

1: I didn't know that to repair and rearm ships, the task force must return to port, then you click to disband it (instead of refuel it).

2: The computer can't seem to use torpedoes very well at all, especially if you tell it to make a torp attack. Only seems to try short range, never med-long range attacks.

3: How the heck is armour calculated/factored into the game? I can't find the armour info anywhere.

Also, 2 bugs I came across in the game.

1: Once, when I went to fire 4 torps, it said I had 4 torps left. I fired them, but it said I still had 4 left, so I tried again. And again. And again. Then gave up. Then, I noticed that the computer was showing something like 20-30 torps heading away from my ship! Obviously, slight error in the program (since the destroyer could only carry 8 in total anyway)! Sadly, I miscalculated the angle and they all missed.

2: For the WWII naval buffs, HMS Nelson and HMS Rodney have their firing arcs modelled incorrectly. Although both had 3 turrets of 3 guns mounted in the front half of the ship, in real life, they couldn't actually fire all 9 guns forwards, since only the 2nd turret was raised above the 1st. If the 3rd turret had fired forwards, it would have simply destroyed the other two turrets!

Also, when trying the Bismark and Prinz Eugen vs Hood and Prince of Wales scenario, it's quite hard for the Germans to win, since the latter have more firepower. (Unlike in reality - the Bismark was damaged, began leaking oil, and couldn't use some of the fuel in its fuel tanks - the Hood blew up and sank not long after the battle started, and the Prince of Wales was still being "worked up", and had problems with its turrets (in the event, one of the quad turrets jammed during the fight, and the Prince of Wales had to withdraw).
Xenocide ......... end of 2004
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Old 16-06-2005, 04:14 AM   #14
Christian IV
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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:bye: :bye:

Quite right re the accuracy problem with the Rodney Class
they had turrent stops on the fore guns. And quite right
also re comparative firepower of the Bismark, though it is a
tough call in some of the details, the Bismark certainly
was much more modern and had an incredibly beteter
watertight bulkhead design layout, gun control, rador even,
but the Prinz Eugen was actually a heavy cruiser, while the
Hood was a WWI Battlecruiser, beautiful ship though she
was, and the Prince of Wales was on shakedown with still
some builders hands on board when she met the Bixmark.
The Hood did indeed blow up, due to flash damage similar
to what destroyed the Queen Mary, Inviicnible and other ships
on both sides at the Battle of Jutland...poor armour protection
sacrificed for speed. They probably never would have
caught the Bismark until she had done serious damage to
several convoys at sea in the Atlantic if an obsolete biplane
from a British Carrier had not put a torpedo into her stern
and jammed the rudder and opened a fuel line so that
a tell tale track was left on the sea. After that, it was just
a mater of time, though the Germans did rush U boats to
try to help. They should have sent a heavier force including
escorts for the Bismark, she could have refuled "small guys:'
very easily. The German naval policies in both World Wars
were quite strange at times, great care taken in design,
construction way ahead of the times, and they they
would be quixotic and hasty and even quite careless in
both strategy and tactics, and courage and great fortitude
on the part of the naval personel could not overcome these
obsticles. In the end, due to the demented nature of the
Third Reich, it was a good thing, for it was a
"very near run thing" in the Second World War with naval
matters the U boats almost cut the convoy life line.

The torpedo bug is another odd aspect of the torpedo
detals of this game. thanks for sharing it. :bye:
And Full Speed Ahead. There are by the way, three other
games by the same game makers in the Great Battles
Series including one that has Dreadnoughts in it.
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Old 08-07-2005, 12:15 PM   #15

Does anybody have original CD (or copy) of this game? I believe there are some nice photographs of ships on it, but i cant find it anywhere. Could you please send the pictures to total1304@gmail.com or send them to me by some other way (ftp, BT, http link)
Thank you!
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Old 29-07-2005, 10:24 AM   #16

i LOVE this game! but the other game that i really, REALLY hope will appear on thsi site one day is Aces of the Deep. God, I loved that too...
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Old 10-08-2005, 03:37 AM   #17

Yes, I have the original CD with about 140 pictures(70MB)

Unfortunately, I can not play the game since I've lost my password sheet. Anyone wants to help?

I've found the full version on NET, but it runs very slow for some reason. So I'd rather play the one I have on CD.

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Old 26-12-2005, 01:04 AM   #18

Anyone know the specifics on the sound format?? I know its an older game but no matter what I try I can't get the sound to work.
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Old 26-01-2006, 06:34 PM   #19

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There is a "sound.exe" file in the GNBNA directory, run it from the command line, and select the sound format you want. I run it in Dosbox and chose standard soundblaster format, and the sound works fine.

Does anyone have the expansion with the scenario editing tool?

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Old 08-02-2006, 03:47 PM   #20
Old School Gamer

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I remember playing this game. Nice game, but I never did figure out how to reload the big guns. Anyway it was still a fine game to play.
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