Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Portable Air Wargame - Battle Escort (Mission One)

 I posted these in slightly the wrong order, as this and the next mission (both the same scenario) were done before Galland's First Kills.  This mission is based on the outward leg of the (in)famous attack on the bridges over the Albert Canal in Belgium on 12 May 1940, again using Bob Cordery's air wargame rules from his Developing the Portable Wargame.

Bf109E: Speed 7; Damage 4; Weapons 1 red (cannon) 3 white (MG)
Hurricane: Speed 6; Damage 4; Weapons 4 white (MG)
Battle: Speed 5; Damage 5; Weapons 1 white (MG) fixed forward, 1 white (MG) rear

The Hurricane start off with 4 energy chits each, the 109s each have 5.

The only rules change I was trying out in this game was limiting energy chit expenditure to a maximum of 3 per turn.

The Set-Up:

3 Hurricanes escorting a flight of 5 Battles.

6 109s are ready to intercept (note the trailing 109 bottom-right)

And the full starting picture
The Fight:
Both sides flying more or less straight forward...

109s and Hurricanes prepare for a head-on pass

A wider shot

The fighters merge: a couple of aircraft are damaged in the pass

Another Hurricane makes a head-on pass

The leading 109s break left after passing the Hurricanes (bottom)...

...trying to draw a bead on two Battles (bottom)

the leading Hurricane spies the hindmost 109 and makes for him...

Hurricane 3 slots in behind the 109s (centre)

Sometimes the Gods favour ones shooting!  The Hurricane destroys the 109...

The leading pair of 109s are closing in on the right-hand pair of Battles

The Battles pass through the 109s on  head-on course...

A 109 slots in right astern a Battle (centre)

The 109 leaders shoots down a Battle...

But a Hurricane puts another 109 down into the river!

And Hurricane 3 spies more prey (centre-bottom)

And a third German fighter goes down!

The remaining German fighter must break for home after suffering this minor disaster...

So the 109 leader ignores these fat juicy Battles!

The Hurricane leader manages to get onto the 109...

And another one goes down

Game Notes: Another good fun game and showed that the rules can handle a reasonable number of aircraft at  time (14) without slowing down the game.  The main issue that occurred to me during this game was the rules for deflection shooting, or lack thereof.  If shooting at high closing speeds from any angle is just as easy as sitting on a target's six, then reasonably accurate air tactics will never happen.  So my tentative solution to this was to say that shots at the front quarters of any aircraft will only hit on a '6', rather than a '5-6'.
I also started to think a little about damage, although I didn't resolve the issue at this stage.  The problem is that if an aircraft has a sufficiently high damage (here meaning "above 4") then a fighter cannot shoot that aircraft down in one turn.  Now, I do not consider this a problem in the original rules because in the scale of that game, aircraft probably represent a "unit" of aircraft rather than a single aircraft and I have no problem with the idea that a large group of bomber aircraft must be attacked at least twice to be eliminated as a useful tactical force.  This obviously does not apply to games when one is thinking about the aircraft as an individual machine, which I am doing.

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