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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Battle ends as the Blitz begins

Last night saw the final instalment of the Battle of Britain campaign I've been running at the club. The first Tuesday of the month is traditionally given over to a multiplayer campaign game in which all club members are free to turn up and participate and, as it is the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain it seemed a good time to run a Check Your 6! campaign. The campaign lasted 5 months from July to November, covered the major stages of the battle and had 17 players in one game at its peak. I think all the players had a good time and there were some memorable dogfights.

Although I didn't blog all the game reports I felt that the last one was deserving if for no other reason than the sheer number of aircraft on the table. For the start of the Blitz we managed to gather a mighty armada of 15 Heinkel He-111s and 6 Junkers Ju-88s being escorted by 8 Bf-109s grouped into rottes (2 planes). The RAF mustered 2 flights of 4 Hurricanes each and one of 4 Spitfires. The bombers were placed on table and then the players were invited to place their flights one after another alternating from German to British (or I should say Allied...we mustn't forget the Poles, Czechs, Commonwealth  and all the other pilots that gave everything and without them...well...who knows!). This lead to a very fluid situation from the outset with the RAF mingling with the Luftwaffe from the very start, which is what I desired due to the numbers of planes on table. Even a couple of turns of maneouvring would have eaten up time. I'll not give an accurate description of the game as I pretty much can't! With that many planes it's almost impossible to keep track of everything so I'll let the pictures tell the story (with the help of some captions!) :


The inital positions. You can see the RAF are mostly bouncing the bomber formation from behind.


The RAF make their first pass at the bombers as the fighter escort tries to get into position to make their kills.

Closer view of the action. A Heinkel has suffered engine damage  and has turned for home.

On the other side the fighter escort has tangled with the RAF allowing the bombers to slip away. There are two opposing aces in this dogfight and they each really wanted to chalk up the other as a victory!

More and more bombers suffer damage and are forced to ditch their bombs and turn for home, but RAF casualties are mounting.

A large portion of bombers have got away as the dogfight develops. A plucky green pilot sets off after them in his damaged Hurricane. Despite getting hit another couple of times his airframe avoids any more damage and he would damage 2 of the bombers forcing them to abandon their mission. This pilot was awarded the DFC.

The results of the game were 1 Heinkel shot down and 7 damaged for the loss of 4 RAF fighters and 1 damaged. One Bf-109 was shot down and another damaged. Two inexperienced Luftwaffe pilots were drawn too far into the enemy territory and would not make it back to France due to lack of fuel. So, all in it was an RAF victory, but not a big enough one to take the campaign which the Luftwaffe players shaded.

I had a good time running the campaign and coming up with the scenarios and I really hope that the players enjoyed the games and perhaps you enjoyed reading about them!
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