We are now three missions into the Staffel Roy campaign for Storm Above the Reich and things aren’t really progressing very well.
The “mid-1943” campaign requires 30 victory points (VP) to “not lose” and I’m at a total of 5 in 3 missions. I need 3 per mission to actually reach “not lose” and there are only 10 missions in the “mid-1943” season.
Things aren’t really looking up!
I sometimes feel like banging my head against the wall.
But I will persevere!
At least Ehrhoff has lost his Green status (sorry, Zilla, you’ll have to find somebody else to back). Clausen is wounded yet again and things are all right with the world (sort of).
Just to remind you, I am using the “Advanced Rules” for pursuing Fallen bombers, which means that I have to actually destroy a bomber to get VP.
If I survive to the next season, maybe I’ll do the Vector Map!
Anyway, let’s see what happened on this one.
I’m kind of dizzy from all that head-hitting, so I don’t actually remember.
(Reminder, you can always click on a picture to see it full size. Also, for the specific rules of what I’m talking about, see the Mission #1 & #2 report and the Pursuit rules are detailed in Mission #7)
As usual, the first thing to do is roll to see if wounded pilots return. Clausen came back last time and was promptly wounded again, which makes me believe he’s running a side business from his hospital bed.
Yep, neither Clausen nor Grislawski is coming back this mission. I think Clausen hired Grislawski as a lieutenant in the business, making sure things go right.
The roll for mission type has us over the target city. That can be dangerous but also lucrative! Especially now that I have to pursue fallen bombers. It’s nice when flak knocks them down and I just have to go after them.
We’re on Map 5 this time, which is a break. There is always a chance of Map 7 (which I’ve never used), but only if I roll a 10 for the map. The other maps come in during later seasons.
I have 6 Operations Points to use, so I decide to go whole hog and try to swarm these bombers. I need VPs!
I choose Frey, Knoken, Iffland and Rainer (trying to get rid of his Green penalty) along with six Bf-110 fighters. I know those can be dangerous, but they can also be lucrative.
Once again I have P-38 Escorts from the beginning of the mission to the end. These are getting annoying! Two Escorts are at Forward Position while three are at Below Trailing. That’s good, because the Above Trailing position is when they are most likely to jump your fighters.
The Sun is at Nose High position, meaning if any of my fighters come out of that position, they may be able to avoid some hits.
One bomber has a 1-point Fuselage hit prior to me intercepting them. It looks like it’s all up to me.
And the flak!
I have my four pilots come in at Oblique (2:00) Low while the six Bf-110s come in at Nose Low.
This will allow me some Schwarmm advantages with fighters of the same type coming in at the same altitude and position. That gets me extra hits!
On Turn 1, my fighters move to Tail High (it took me 10 missions to realize that coming in from Oblique lets you move to any Tail position for zero Tactical Points). The 110s move to Nose Level
One Escort moves to Above Trailing (uh oh) while another moves to 8:00 Level (ok, I guess we won’t be going that way!)
One bomber takes a 4-point Wing hit from flak. That’s a good thing!
On Turn 2, my fighters move in to attack from Tail High Approach. Two of the 110s move to Nose Level Approach while the other 4 move to Nose High. Since you can only have 6 fighters in a wave, it’s not like this is costing me anything.
One Escort moves to Tail High (thankfully my fighters had all gone into Approach! But that does make the Tail position untenable again) while one goes back to Below Trailing and another one goes to 8:00 Level.
One of the damaged bombers takes another hit from flak. Iffland (being in an Approach box) also takes a Fuel Line hit from flak as well.
To get Schwarmm Advantage, the four Tail High fighters need to be in adjacent spaces, which means that there’s at least one collision check. Iffland and Knoken have to do this one and Iffland takes another hit, this time to his Engine.
This time, all three advantages are earned (Schwarm, which gives extra hits, Position and Rotte which both allow you to negate one hit each) because of their positioning. The wounded bombers get priority but some of the undamaged bombers get some love too, especially from the attacking 110s.
I decided to do the two 110s first, just to see what happened. The first (going after the Gunner/Wing damaged bomber) did a Fuselage damage but then ran out of ammo! The Fuselage damage did knock it out of formation, though. Another EP for the Staffel!
The second 110 did a 1-point Fuselage (Gunner) hit to a bomber and took a hit that’s nullified by Position Advantage (I don’t want to lose any more Operations Points next mission by having a 110 crash or something).
Rainer, attacking the Tail of the second 110 bomber, took a hit that was nullified by the Rotte Advantage. He decided to use one of the two extra hits from the Schwarm advantage and did a 3-point Wing hit.
Knoken and Iffland have nothing to shoot at since the 110 knocked their bomber down (note to self, do your own pilots first if they are sharing a bomber with an auxiliary). They get away without getting hit.
Frey takes a Cockpit hit and does no damage. Useless!
Rainer uses the second Schwarm hit on the already wounded bomber. Another Wing hit blows it up! Rainer gets 2 EP and the Staffel gets 1 VP (and 2 EP)!
Continuing Fire can be brutal, though.
Rainer takes a Cockpit hit that makes him go into Evasive mode (his Green penalty is that a hit makes him change mode). Knoken takes a Cockpit hit and Iffland is fine (but already has two previous hits).
Frey gets a “Friendly Fire” event which does a 2-damage Elevator hit but sadly doesn’t knock the bomber down. He also takes a Wing hit.
The first 110 breaks away on Continuing Fire while the second one (the one with no ammo) takes a Wing hit.
Not the best Continuing Fire!
On Turn 3, one Escort moves to Above Trailing (uh oh…).
The 110 with No Ammo has a superficial hit. Rainer’s Cockpit hit knocks him out. Frey’s Cockpit hit knocks him out. Knoken’s Cockpit hit is superficial, but Iffland’s Fuel hit knocks him out.
Down three fighters already!
The four remaining 110s come in out of the sun from Nose High. With all four of them doing that, they can get another Schwarm Advantage!
But they have two collision checks (two fighters each in the same spaces) and all of them veer off to avoid hitting each other. They all go to Tail Low Return (remember, there’s an Escort at Tail High).
On Turn 4, both of the remaining Escorts jump the 110s at Tail Low. One of the 110s is destroyed while the others break off. The remaining Escorts (one broke off) return to Below Trailing. That’s another Operations Point I’m losing next mission!
Turn 5, Knoken leaves to pursue the one Fallen bomber. The remaining 110s move to Oblique Level and Low (the No Ammo one is at Low, mainly to try and get an Advantage for the other one).
One Escort moves to Above Trailing (again, not good news).
During the Cohesion check for the Element I’ve been attacking, another bomber falls!
On Turn 6, with nothing much else to do, the remaining 110s move to pursue that Fallen bomber, while the “No Ammo” 110 just leaves.
I have two bombers to pursue now. (sadly, I forgot to take pictures, but not much happened here).
He successfully intercepts the bomber he is going after. However, it has so much Wing damage that it goes down without him doing anything. He doesn’t get an EP, but the Staffel gets 1 VP!
The 110 pursues the other Fallen bomber.
No sun and there is 2 points of Elevator damage already but that’s it.
After two unsuccessful passes, he gets an Engine hit on the bomber but takes a superficial Cockpit hit himself.
On his final pass, he does a 1-point Gunner hit and runs out of ammo.
The bomber gets away but the 110 doesn’t get knocked out. That’s a bonus!
Final result: Two bombers destroyed (2 VP) and one bomber Fallen but escaped.
A lot of fighters knocked out, so let’s see what happens to them.
Frey’s Cockpit hit causes him to crash and he’s not able to bail out. Killed! Welcome pilot Frisch to Staffel Roy.
Rainer’s Cockpit hit causes a fire and he’s also unable to bail out. Killed! And since he was a replacement, I can’t replace him again. No more “R” pilots in this Staffel.
Iffland’s Wing hit doesn’t do much. He’s able to land with no problem and gets an EP!
Two VP isn’t good, and we have to hope we can get better next time.
Though losing two pilots is also not great.
Too bad, because Rainer earned enough EP to lose his Green status. Instead, he’s pushing up daisies.
I now have another greenie though, with Frisch! Maybe Zilla will take Frisch under his wing.
We gotta start getting some VP here soon.
Stay tuned for Mission #11, coming next week!