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.

Sunday 29 September 2019

Portable Air Wargame in the Pacific - Fighter Sweep

Fight Three in this small "tribute series" to Just Jack's Island Hopping with The Old Breed blog uses this scenario of Wildcats contesting a fighter sweep by three Zeros over Palembang.  As ever, the rules used are my development of Bob Cordery's rules for air wargaming in his Developing the Portable Wargame.

Three Zeros SPEED 7, DAMAGE 3, WEAPONS 2 red, 1 white
Four Wildcats SPEED 6, DAMAGE 5, WEAPONS 2 red

Neither side has any energy chips.  I can't actually remember putting in any rule changes for this one (it has been a little while since I played this scenario and my notes don't mention any...), so it is all pretty straightforward.

Three Zeros (centre) are going head on for a pair of Wildcats (top-right); unfortunately for the IJN pilots, its a trap: there is a second (unspotted) pair behind them (bottom-left)

The unspotted pair of Wildcats

The three-ship Zero flight

The other Wildcat pair

...approach the Zeros head on

The Zeros turn in to the head-on pass: both the leading Zero and Wildcat take some damage

The Wildcats pull a variant on a Thatch-weave to get in position and inflict damage on the first two Zeros (remember this is mid-move for Wildcat 3)

The Zeros and Wildcats enter a turning fight with neither side gaining advantage yet (right); the other Wildcat pair approaches (left)

The wingman in the Wildcat pair in the furball gets in position to inflict more damage (right); this convinces the Zero leader to bug out...which is very, very dangerous in the current position

The Zeros (bottom) run for the farm

The Wildcats get into firing position

And one of the Zeros disintegrates!

The Wildcats gunning for another Zero...

And the Zero leader goes down too!

The remaining Zero has got the legs to escape the Wildcats and reach safety...
Game Notes: Short game but worked okay - the Wildcats' improvised weave worked quite well, plus they were shooting pretty well too, whereas the Zeros were hitting but causing relatively little damage.  One point to note about the morale rules is that the Zeros are very vulnerable to just this situation, since they have so few damage points per plane, they can end up feeling the need to run for home relatively early.  They were just very unluckly that they did so just when the second pair were merging into the fight...


  1. A nice little game and reminds me of my Airfix Wildcat and Zero models as a kid:).

    1. Thanks Steve. Making these air combats a "nice little game" is pretty much the design goal here...