About Me

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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, 6 June 2012


Remember a few months ago I posted about creating a CY6! scenario for the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway? Well, I started building the ship and buying the planes ages ago, but I got bored of it and started painting other things like the supers. I didn't forget about this project, though, as it was booked into a First Tuesday slot at the Phoenix club. So, over the past couple of weeks I knuckled down and got everything finished just in time and the game was played tonight. We had about 12 or so players evenly divided between Japanese and American pilots. I refereed the game and moved the bombers. The scenario was based on the Japanese counterstrike against the Yorktown, but with some concessions to playability and decision making.
Historically, the dive bombers hit the Yorktown about an hour and a half before the torpedo bombers arrived. They hit it with 3 bombs and caused some fires to breakout, such that they thought they had crippled her. However, American firefighting and damage control techniques were up to the task and an hour later the fires were out and she was back under way. The repairs were so effective that the torpedo bombers actually thought they were attacking a second, fresh carrier. So, as far as the scenario goes, I decided to compress time and have both the dive and torpedo bombers attacking at roughly the same time. The dive bombers (D3A1'Val') were placed closer to the target, though, to ensure that they would arrive a few turns ahead of the torpedo bombers (B5N 'Kate'). The numbers were:

6 Vals
6 Kates (3 in the clouds)
6 Zeros 
12 Wildcats

The bombers were placed on the table and then the Wildcats were placed around the carrier. Finally, the Zero fighter support was placed. Three Kates began off table and appeared from a cloud bank to the north of the carrier on turn 3 (roughly as it occurred on the day).  The Vals were placed in a wide arc to the south, basically all coming in individually. The American players decided to weight their forces against the closer dive bombers and left only 4 Wildcats to take on the 3 visible Kates. The Japanese players then decided to escort the Kates with all 6 Zeros.
The Wildcats mob the Vals while a deadly wedge of Kates and Zeros approach from the north.
The initial pass of the Wildcats bagged 3 of the Vals, but their head on tactics meant that they lost too much speed turning and only one more Val was shot down, leaving 2 to dive on the exposed carrier.
Two of the 2 Vals slips past the Wildcats. The rearmost is shot down by the tailing Wildcat, but the furthest begins it's run amidst the flak.
The first Val to dive misses. The second can be seen off the starboard of the island about to tip over. It  is pursued by a trail of flak, but the Wildcats are too far away.

The last Val sores a direct hit!
Meanwhile, the 4 Wildcats to the north engaged the Kates in another head on pass, but the resulting furball only sees one carrier attack plane in the Pacific. The Zeros pounced from behind the formation and summarily destroyed over half the enemy fighters, but not before they emptied their magazines at the Japanese torpedo bombers. Somehow the airframes were up to the pounding, though and they slipped past the defenders and on to the target with their deadly Type 91 torpedoes. 
As the Vals begin their dives the Kates press on past the Wildcats and through the ever  present flak.
The critical point of the game! The first Kate delivers it's torpedo and the Yorktown  is heavily damaged.
After the first torpedo struck home a second Kate managed to drop its payload, but that missed the carrier by a whisker. A third plane was also inbound and may have managed to drop it's ordinance, but we had to call it a day as we'd run out of time. I called this a Japanese victory due to the torpedo attack. As per the history, the Yorktown was damaged enough to remove her from the fight, but not finish her off and I think that was probably all that could be hoped for. The Japanese carrier fleet was soon to be finished off and the Yorktown would meet her demise in a couple of days at the hands of a Japanese submarine.

Final thoughts! I think this was a really good game. The players all seemed to have fun and the focal point of the carrier gave a real excitement as the Japanese planes started to break through. The flak was simplified for the size of the scenario, to speed things up a bit. Rather than rolling for every battery I made some flak markers (mostly for the aesthetic of the puffs of black) and if any plane flew through them they would roll to be hit. Throughout the game, though, not a single Japanese aircraft was hit. There were plenty of rolls to hit, but even when the 1" guns came into action no hits occurred. I think this was slightly down to bad rolls, but when I run this game again I think I'll adjust the rolls to make the flak a bit more effective. Overall, though, I was very satisfied with the scenario design and look forward to trying again at some point!


  1. That was damn good, well done sir....

  2. That was damn fast! Thanks TAL! Glad you enjoyed the AAR! :)

  3. Cool. I played my first game of this a few weeks back - might have to steal this idea for a game at the local club.

  4. Steal away! You may want to tinker with the numbers of aircraft to fit your player base, though. I specifically designed the roster for the anticipated number of players. They're not really representative of the numbers that actually took part (there were twice as many Kates as Vals, for example). But for playability, I found that a ratio of 2 Wildcats to 1 Zero and 1 Wildcat to 1 Kate/Val worked, as it gave the Americans a superiority in fighters, but they were outnumbered 3:2 overall. If you add any bombers then you should add Kates, though.

    Depends on how experienced your group is, of course, and whether they're comfortable flying more than one or two aircraft.

    Oh, and good choice on picking CY6! up! It's a great system for air combat. I've never had a poor game of it and I've played in many! :)

  5. Very nice....I recently picked up a copy of Cy6 as I had been paying WoW/WoG and had seen it at cons and my favorite game store for a few years now. What scale and brand of models do you use?

  6. I actually have 2 scales, but use the same size bases and hex mat (which is a 2" Hotz mat). My Battle of Britain planes are mostly 1/285 Raiden with a few 1/300 Scotia thrown in (if Raiden did a Stuka when I needed them then they'd all be Raiden!). The planes in this game were 1/600 from Tumbling Dice. I picked that scale to give the game a bigger, more sweeping look to it, coupled with the availability of 1/700 waterline ships. My jets are all 1/600 from Tumbling Dice, too, as they're a bit bigger than WW2 planes.


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