Four missions into the second season of the Staffel Roy campaign in Storm Above the Reich and things aren’t looking that rosy.
Victory points are few and far between. I need 30 VP to “not lose” and I’m not that close with only 7.
However, I am earning “Staffel” experience points which means that I can spend them to make sure the missions are “inbound.”
The importance of this is that bombers are worth 2 VP when destroyed during Inbound missions instead of 1 VP for the other two options (Near Target and Outbound).
So with that in mind, and 6 missions left in the season, will Staffel Roy be able to persevere?
I don’t know. I played this missions weeks ago! (Ok, maybe just a couple).
How about we check out this report so we can all find out what happened (since I don’t freaking 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)
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. I don’t get any for just knocking the bomber out of formation.
I mentioned in the Mission #10 report that if I manage to “not lose” this season, I may do the vector map for the next season.
After watching Scottgun’s videos on YouTube, there’s no way in hell I’m using the Vector Map. It sounds like a lot of hassle for not much benefit.
The first step we always get in each Storm Above the Reich mission is to see if Clausen is still lollygagging…oh, and any other wounded pilot. It’s just that Clausen stands above them all in his ability to stay out of the fight (even though he’s my only pilot who has two Experte skills).
As expected, Clausen and Grislawski are still wounded. Clausen really is a bad influence, especially because his nurse apparently has a sister!
The roll for mission type has us facing inbound bombers. Since I lost a Bf-110 auxiliary fighter last time, I have one fewer Operation Points, which kind of sucks.
Still, I manage to get 7 Operations Points, which means I can make sure there are a bunch of fighters out there.
Over the missions, I’ve learned the benefits of getting as many of the Advantages as possible. The Schwarm Advantage can really do some bomber damage! So let’s try and do that.
For the mission, I bring in Ahrens, Ehrhoff, Frisch (trying to get rid of his Green status), Knoken, Sprecht and Unger, along with three Bf-110 auxiliary fighters.
That’s a lot of firepower! Would it help?
Once again we are facing five P-38 Escort fighter markers and they are there for the whole mission. That’s the sucky thing about Inbound missions: Escorts are very prominent usually.
Two of them go to the Forward station while three go to the Below Trailing station. Above Trailing is where they get really annoying, so that’s not bad!
The bomber formation is Anchored at Nose High position, which means my fighters can’t enter that box (and that can also affect the Lethal Level of attacking the bombers depending on where you come from).
The Sun is coming in at 2:00 High, so that might be useful!
One bomber has already fallen out of formation prior to my interception, which might make things easier as well.
I have 3 Tactical Points to spend during the mission and it will last 7 Turns.
On Turn 1, Frisch, Ehrhoff, Knoken, and Specht come in at Oblique Low (2:00) position. Unger and Ahrens come in at Tail Low (Ahrens’ special ability is to draw two Proximity markers during a Collision check and choose one of them, so it’s nice he’s paired with somebody). The 110s come in at Oblique Low (10:00).
One Escort attacks Ahrens and Unger at Tail Low from the Below Trailing position. Oh no! At least the Fighters are considered “higher” when doing aerial combat. However, Unger is killed! Ahrens gets into a Dogfight.
That’s not a good start to the mission.
On Turn 2, the Oblique 190s move to Tail High. The 110s move to Tail Level (Frisch can no longer come out of the Sun at 2:00 High because I won’t have the Schwarm advantage if I do that…stupid Escort)
Another Escort goes Tail Low (thankfully there’s nobody there anymore) and another one goes Tail High Return. With Escorts all over the Tail position, I won’t be able to really use it for the rest of the mission. Not good!
Ahrens and the Escort he’s Dogfighting with both break off and exit.
On Turn 3, all fighters enter their Approach boxes to begin their first attack.
Escorts don’t really move (some jockeying on the stations but no movement onto the board).
The four 190s attack the same Element to get Schwarm advantage (3 different planes) and they also get the Rotte advantage for two fighters in the same space.
The three 110s go after a different Element of bombers, getting Rotte advantage for two of them being in the same space.
One went in Evasive (not as much chance of hitting but also less chance of being hit) while the other two went Determined against the same bomber.
Specht unfortunately takes a Cockpit hit in the Collision check (how do you get a Cockpit hit when you’re colliding?).
Frisch knocks his bomber out of formation with a Fuselage hit! One experience point to the newbie.
Knoken does a 1-point Wing hit to his bomber. Specht takes a Fuel hit and does no damage (idiot!). Ehrhoff takes a hit that’s nullified by the Rotte Advantage and passes a Collision Check.
Knoken uses the Schwarm Advantage to do a hit to his bomber, and a Wing hit blows it up!
The other Schwarm hit does a 2-point Fuselage (Turret) hit to the only bomber left in the Element.
The first 110 does a 4-point Wing hit to its bomber but takes 2 hits himself (one negated by Rotte Advantage and the other is a Wing hit). He also gets a “Ride the Tail” result which means it will attack again.
The second attack does no damage (a 0-point Engine hit and it takes a Wing hit himself) but is another Ride the Tail! The third attack does no damage but it takes a Fuel hit and another Ride the Tail! The fourth attack finally knocks it out of formation with an Engine hit but he takes a Cockpit hit himself.
The second 110 has nothing to shoot at now but takes a Rudder hit anyway.
The third 110 does a 2-point Wing hit (need a 10 to destroy it and rolled a 9) and takes a Fuselage hit himself.
In Continuing Fire, Frisch, Knoken and Specht take no hits. Ehrhoff takes a Cockpit hit.
The first (heavily damaged) 110 gets a Friendly Fire result and the last bomber in the Element falls out of formation! But he also takes a Fuselage hit.
The 2nd 110 takes an Engine hit and the third takes a Wing hit and breaks away to Tail position (right next to an Escort!)
What a turn! Three bombers fallen and one destroyed!
On Turn 4, that’s where the reckoning comes. Before the Recovery Phase (where I check on all of my hits), the Escort Phase happens. One Escort moves to Tail High (now the Tail is really useless). The Escort at Tail Return High moves to intercept a wounded 110.
The final Escort that is in Position moves to 2:00 Level (that’s not good either!).
In the fight between the 110 and the Escort, both break away. The Recovery roll is done and the 110 survives both the Wing and Fuselage hit to break away cleanly. Awesome!
In the Recovery phase, the badly damaged 110 goes down due to a Fuselage hit.
The other 110 goes down due to a Rudder hit.
Ehrhoff’s Cockpit hit is superficial, which means he gets to stay in the fight.
Specht’s is also superficial but his Fuel hit knocks him out.
On Turn 5, with so many fallen bombers to chase and with Escorts all over the Tail position, Knoken and Frisch decide to leave and go after those knocked out of formation.
On Turn 6, nothing happens, and on Turn 7, the last remaining Fighter (Ehrhoff) decides to also go after Fallen bombers, and thus he leaves as well.
With no fighters on the map, we go to the Pursuit segment.
With three bombers Fallen and three fighters pursuing, I decided to send one fighter after each bomber.
It’s very possible that the bombers will be destroyed due to prior damage even before I can engage them. That means VP for the Staffel but no experience for the fighters.
Frisch goes after the bomber with 1 Engine damage marker. He successfully pursues it and comes in Tail High (there is no Sun for this one).
He does a 3-point Rudder hit that knocks the bomber out! However, he takes a Fuel hit himself which knocks him out of the fight.
Knoken unfortunately failed to pursue his bomber (you have to roll equal to or greater than the number of spaces on the Time Track between the fighter and the bomber he is pursuing).
Ehrhoff’s successfully pursues his bomber but it’s destroyed by its Engine hit prior to him engaging it.
That means 6 VP (three destroyed bombers) and 5 Staffel EP on this mission! What a great result!
Let’s see what happens to our downed fighters, though.
The 110 that got knocked out unfortunately explodes from its Fuselage hit. The pilot does not bail out, so another -1 OP for the next mission.
The other 110 lands successful from its Rudder hit, so there’s no penalty.
Specht’s Fuel hit isn’t bad enough to prevent him from landing, so he gets an EP!
Frisch’s Fuel hit causes him to crash but he’s only wounded, not killed. He gets another EP but he may not come back next mission (especially if he starts talking to Clausen…maybe I should send him to a different hospital).
Unfortunately, Unger died during the fight, so welcome our latest Greenie for Zilla to take under his wing, our new pilot Ullmann!
With 6 VP, we are in much better position to “not lose” this season and maybe continue on into the next. We are at 13 VP with 5 missions left.
I may start spending Staffel EP to make the missions Inbound so I can get more VP, though that does make the Escort situation worse. If I actually roll Inbound, then maybe I will use the Staffel EP to make the Escorts disappear? That would be nice.
Can we do it? Can we get 17 VP in 5 missions?
Stay tuned for next week’s edition of the Staffel Roy campaign!