Last night saw the second game in the club's Battle of Britain campaign and this time my camera worked, so I thought I'd post a report here.
For this game I took a couple of scenarios from the BoB sourcebook and had 2 flights of Luftwaffe bombers, each of 6 aircraft. One flight consisted of Ju-88s and the other He-111s. Escorting these were two schwarms of escorts, one of Bf-109s and one of Bf-110s, each of which was assigned to a bomber flight and had to start and stay within 5 hexes of any bomber until attacked or any bomber was fired on. The ranking German player was given the option of holding 2 aircraft of his choice off table as hunters. He opted to keep 2 of the Bf-110s off with orders that they could deploy the turn after any bomber was attacked, but must not start within 5 hexes of any enemy fighter.
The RAF players had three flights of 3 aircraft each, 2 flights of Hurricanes and 1 of Spitfires. The ranking British player rolled a die for each flight to determine the table edge they would appear on. Fortune favoured the RAF here and the Spits appeared directly ahead of the Heinkels and both Hurricane flights off their starboard side. It was going to be a tough day in the office for the Heinkel pilots!
The Hurricanes came at the Heinkels through the far cloud bank in the picture above and split their fire amongst the escorts and bombers. They very quickly damaged one bomber and drew the Bf-109 escorts away, leaving some of the RAF fighters to get amongst the bombers.
The very next turn saw the hunters descend into the fray and attempt to bounce the attacking Hurricanes (this elicited the classic quote of the day from Michael - 'Where did they come from?!').
Unfortunately for the Luftwaffe, the hunters didn't press their advantage well enough and failed to bag any of the RAF aircraft. More disastrously, 2 of the 109 escorts were shot down in very quick succession and a third suffered a lucky hit that saw the pilot lose control and spin out. This pilot only managed to salvage the situation after dropping from TAL 5 to TAL 1 so was effectively out of the combat. By now the concentrated fire had sent the damaged Heinkel into the Channel and damaged a second. Meanwhile, the Spitfires had looped around the front of the Heinkel formation to take them on from the far side (you can just see the bases past the nearest clouds in the following picture).
In the last few turns the Spitfires attacked and the damaged Heinkel was shot down, quickly followed by a third. A fourth Heinkel was damaged late on, too, effectively destroying the striking power of that half of the bomber formation. Two Hurricanes had to disengage after expending all their ammo, too. The Ju-88s all managed to slip into the clouds and proceed to their target, but the RAF had done their job. The British actually only lost one green pilot when he decided to attempt to take on the Ju-88s himself and was pounced on by the escorting Bf-110s. The last photo really tells the tale of this game. You can clearly see how the Heinkels escorts were separated from their wards and kept out of the fight while the RAF managed to keep very concentrated.
All in, this was a very fun game to run and I think everyone really enjoyed the game. The clouds added a nice dimension to the game and the random RAF deployment and Luftwaffe hunters added some spice to the proceedings.