After doing my AAR for my Combat Commander ladder game last week, I decided to take the week off from my Storm Above the Reich campaign, just so you don’t think I post nothing but After Action Reports.
Six missions into the second season of the Staffel Roy campaign and things are going much better now.
I’m not worried that I’m going to fail the season. You have to reach 30 victory points to “not fail” (40 victory points to win) and it was looking bad after the first couple of missions.
But after Mission #12, we were at 17 VP with four missions left. That’s barely 4 VP a mission!
We can do that easily, right?
Anyway, it’s time for lucky Mission 13 and let’s see if we can pull this out!
(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.
As usual, the first thing to do is see if Clausen, Grislawski, and any other wounded pilots are still wounded or if they might, you know, actually come join us again.
I’ve heard Clausen has set up a cushy little side business selling schnapps out from under his hospital bed with Grislawski as his courier.
Anyway, sure enough, they’re both still wounded.
On a surprisingly good note, the roll for mission type was actually “Inbound,” meaning that we’re intercepting the bombers as they approach Germany. This gets you the most victory points when you shoot them down.
I didn’t even have to spend any points to do that!
I also rolled 6 Operations Points (OPs) so I chose five of my guys (Ehrhoff, Knoken, Oesau, Ullmann who is still Green, and Specht) along with three Bf-110 auxiliary fighters to bring us to a cool eight.
Since I rolled an Inbound mission, I spent the points to make sure there were no Escorts around this time. They have been getting in my way too much lately.
Now there are nothing but naked bombers.
The bomber formation is Anchored at Nose High, so my fighters can’t go into that box and depending on my direction of approach, it may make things more dangerous for my guys.
However, there is Sun at 2:00 High, so that will be nice for the 110s!
Prior to the mission starting, one bomber had taken a 4-point Wing hit. If I can knock it down, that one will be easy pickings (5 points of Wing damage automatically downs the bomber during Pursuit)
We also have 9 turns to work with.
Here’s the situation at the beginning of Turn 1 with my fighters entering.
I have the 110s coming in from 8:00 Low while my guys come in from 2:00 Low.
This will make it easier to move them all around since I only rolled one Tactical Point (TP) to use during the mission.
However, one Advanced rule that I’ve started using is the “Regroup” action, which lets you burn a turn off of the time limit but in exchange you get a number of TPs equal to the number of fighters that are regrouping.
Four of my guys moved to Tail High while Specht moved to Tail Level.
Since the 110s used a TP to move to 10:00 High, the regrouping means I have four more TPs.
It’s also amazing how easy it is to move around when there are no Escorts hovering anywhere.
Anyway, on Turn 3 all of the fighters move into their Approach boxes. Since the maximum number of fighters in a wave is six, these will be split into two groups.
For the first wave, Ehrhoff, Knoken, Oesau and Specht along with one of the Bf-110s move in to attack the element with the wounded bomber.
Specht comes in Level instead of High to give Position Advantage, so they do get all of the Advantages (Rotte and Schwarm as well).
Position and Rotte are a good way to negate hits to your fighters while Schwarm lets you do two extra hits at your discretion. It’s nice to have!
Oesau and a 110 go after one bomber. Specht and Knoken another one and Ehrhoff goes after the wounded one by himself. Maybe they’ll get lucky?
However, in the Collision check between Knoken and Specht, Specht takes an Elevator hit. That’s not a good start.
Ehrhoff does another 4-point Wing hit to his bomber, but he runs out of ammo! Ammunition was definitely a problem last time and it seems it still is. Fire the Quartermaster!
Knoken does a 1-point Cockpit (Gunner) hit to his bomber but takes a Wing hit himself. He uses the Position Advantage to negate a second hit. He also uses one of the Schwarm hits and destroys Ehrhoff’s bomber outright!
Ehrhoff’s not exactly happy his kill got away, but that’s 2 VP and 2 EP for the Staffel.
Specht takes a Fuel hit and “Rides the Tail” (meaning he can either attack again or bail to a Tail Return box). He attacks again and does a 2-point Wing hit to the bomber but takes a Wing hit himself. And he runs out of ammo!
Oesau does no damage and would have taken a hit but uses Rotte to avoid it.
The 110 has a Collision Check with the bomber and has to spend 2 TP to avoid it and go back to the Tail Low Return box.
Continuing Fire (the fire that happens after your fighters attack) could be lucrative with a couple of factors.
First, Knoken uses the second Schwarm hit but only does a 1-point Fuselage (Gunner) hit. Secondly, he draws a Strafe event for Continuing Fire, which is only useable by Experts (which he is one!).
Sadly, he rolled double ones so nothing happened.
Specht gets a “Fall Away” event which makes him turn to Evasive Mode and this actually saves him from getting hit.
Ehrhoff takes no hits and Oesau takes a Fuselage hit.
Now it’s time for the second wave!
(Sadly, the photographer chickened out and there are no pictures of their wave)
Ullmann (the new Greenie for Zilla!) attacks a wounded bomber from Tail High while the two remaining 110s attack a different bomber from 10:00 High.
Ullmann does a 1-point Wing hit and avoids getting hit himself.
The first 110 does no damage and the Collision Check is passed.
The second 110 does no damage and has to break away to the Tail to avoid a collision.
During Continuing Fire, Ullmann would have taken a hit but uses Rotte Advantage to avoid it.
One of the 110s has a 2-point Fuselage (Rudder) hit happen to an already damaged bomber due to friendly fire. The other 110 takes a Rudder hit of his own.
There are a lot of damaged fighters coming out of this.
Yeah, that’s not good.
Keep in mind that for a hit to be considered “superficial,” you have to roll above the number on the counter.
Specht’s Wing hit is superficial but the Elevator hit knocks him out.
One of the 110s also is knocked out from his Rudder hit.
All of the other damage is superficial, though, so I’m only down two fighters so far.
With all of the damage markers on it, the Element with the damaged (and destroyed) bomber become looser, making it less deadly for my fighters to attack.
So you know that’s where I’m going next.
The next couple of turns involves some fighter maneuvering, and while this is happening the formation becomes Kaputt and then a damaged bomber falls out of formation! That’s the first bomber down that I have to pursue.
Ullmann and Knoken veer off to pursue it, leaving Oesau, Ehrhoff (with no ammo) and two 110s to see if they can bring down another one.
Oesau and Ehrhoff (mainly along to provide an advantage since he can’t actually shoot anybody) go after one bomber while the 110s go after another one.
One of the 110s has to break away to avoid a collision, leaving only one. This means no Rotte advantage, but only the Position one.
Ehrhoff would have hit if he had ammo! Oh well. Oesau takes a Rudder hit and fails to do any damage.
The 110 does a 2-point Fuselage hit but runs out of ammo.
Much swearing ensues.
For Continuing Fire, Oesau falls away, changing to Evasive and thus avoids a hit.
The 110 takes a Fuselage hit but Friendly Fire knocks a bomber out of formation!
It’s the last turn and there’s nothing to do but see what happens to my damaged fighters.
The 110s Fuselage hit knocks it out of the fight. Oesau’s Rudder hit also knocks him out.
Here’s the final formation map before we get to Pursuit.
With only one bomber destroyed, two fallen bombers and two fighters pursuing, it’s time to go big or go home.
I can’t live with just 2 VP.
Ullmann pursues the bomber with lots of damage on it. Since he’s only one space away on the Turn Track, he automatically succeeds (you have to roll equal to or higher to the number of spaces between the fallen bomber and the pursuing fighter on the Track).
The bomber falls out of the sky due to the Wing damage before Ullmann can shoot it down and get the experience. Too bad.
Two more VP though (four in total)!
Knoken pursues the other bomber and is also automatically successful.
There is no Sun and he makes his first pass at Tail High.
He does an Engine hit but takes a Fuel and Engine hit himself. That’s not a good trade! The Engine hit knocks him out.
Except the bomber falls with the second Engine hit, gaining 2 VP, 2 EP and 2 EP for himself!
That’s 6 VP in total. What a mission!
Now all that’s left is to see what happened to our heroic downed pilots (and to see if I’m going to be losing OPs again next mission).
Knoken’s Engine hit makes him crash but he bails out so he gets an EP.
The 110s Fuselage hit results in a fire and he’s wounded (yep, down 1 OP and also loses a Staffel EP, something I think I was neglecting to do for a while).
Specht is able to land with his Elevator hit (1 EP).
Oesau crashes but bails out from his Rudder hit (1 EP).
The other 110 successfully lands from his Rudder hit.
Wow, what an amazing mission. From worrying to exhilarating in one fell swoop!
Six VPs brings me up to 23 with three missions left. That’s barely 2 VP per mission I have to get to “not lose.”
Dare I say…could I actually win this season?
Some noteworthy bits from this mission.
First, the tremendously lucky Friendly Fire event that brought the last bomber down on the last turn really helped.
Secondly, Knoken earned his third Experte skill! He’s by far my best pilot right now.
Can we continue this run of good fortune next week?
Tune in to find out.
Staffel Roy Campaign