Chase of the Bismarck is played in turns, each representing nearly five hours of real time. In each turn, both players secretly move any or all ships and air units under their command on their own search board.
Each player may then call out zones in which he has enough search factors to locate his opponent's ships. This is the “operational part of the game”.
If opposing ships are discovered to be in the same zone, they may proceed to combat on the Battle Board. This is the “tactical part of the game”.
Battle is resolved with a fairly simplified system, with both players moving on a map indicating the distance to their opponent's ships.
The game ends if the Bismarck is sunk, arrives at a friendly port or the last turn of the game (evening of May 29th) has been played.