After the disappointing end to the 1943 Mid season for the Staffel Roy campaign of Storm Above the Reich, it was time to regather ourselves, have a team meeting, maybe bake some cookies, and forge ahead into the 1943 Late season.
This season also consists of 10 missions, but there are a few changes.
First, I have access to some fairly cool stuff and some new auxiliary fighters. I don’t have to settle for Me-110s anymore. I can use the new IAR80 fighters (though only two of them per Operation Point (OP), not three). These are Romanian fighters and they are a bit better than the Me-110s, if only because they don’t automatically increase the Lethal Level of the space they’re in when in combat.
Is that historically accurate?
I have no idea.
But it sounds good.
Also the fact that you only get two of them for an OP, I think that means they must have been at least slightly better.
You also get access to a couple of other auxiliaries which I haven’t used yet. If I do, I’ll let you know.
You can also get Rockets! I may play around with those, but haven’t yet.
Anyway, the second major difference is that it now requires 40 VP to “not lose” and 60 VP to win. That could be difficult!
Then again, looking at the sheet, you do get more OPs than before.
It’s a cornucopia of OPs!
And all missions are on either Maps 7 or 8. No more of Maps 5 or 6, so that board has gone to the bottom of the box.
Let’s take a look at the first mission of the 1943 Late season, Mission #17 in the campaign.
(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. For a rules walkthrough of everything, here’s my review!)
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.
Once again, the first thing we need to check is the status of our wounded pilots.
It’s only Doppler this time, as Clausen miraculously survived his first mission out of the hospital!
And Doppler’s still wounded.
I think he’s taking over Clausen’s business!
I had some good rolls for the setup, so much so that I didn’t have to use any of my Staffel Experience Points to change anything.
I rolled another Inbound mission, so VPs will hopefully come quickly.
The mission will be taking place on Map 7, but I only rolled 10 OPs. That’s like the worst you can get in 1943 Late. I probably should have adjusted it, but I figured “what the heck?”
Maybe that’s because I’m not used to having so many options. Ten OPs was the best you could get in 1943 Mid, and I never got it. So I would still be playing with more than I usually had.
For those 10 OPs, I decided to bring in 6 of my fighters. Ahrens, Clausen (tempting fate once again, but maybe he’s heard what Doppler’s trying to do), Ehrhoff, Haase, Oesau and Zick. That cost 6 OPs. (Sorry, no greenies for Zilla! First mission of the season and all of that)
Then I brought in two pairs of the new IAR80 fighters (4 fighters in total) for 2 more OPs.
Finally, I used the two extra OPs to outfit all six of my fighters with cannons.
Cannons let you choose two damage chits and choose one when you do damage to a bomber. However, they actually hinder you a bit if you are facing off against Escorts.
But lo and behold, I rolled a 10 on the Escort roll, meaning I didn’t have any Escorts to deal with!
The bomber formation was Anchored at the 2:00 Low position, meaning nobody can enter that space. That’s usually not an issue.
The Sun was at 10:00 High, which could actually help the auxiliaries.
Preliminary damage was one bomber with a 1-point Wing hit. Nothing much.
I rolled 3 Tactical Points (TPs) and the mission would go 8 turns. That means there’s enough time for two passes, which should be enough.
Something new to these two maps is the possibility of Contrails. If Contrails exist, then I can pay 1 TP to have all of my fighters come in at Tail Level instead of Low. It also lets you skip the first Escort Phase.
Since I like to split my fighters and come in Tail High with the 190s, this doesn’t really help me. In addition, spending 1 TP when I only have 3 is not good tactics, I don’t think.
Everybody comes in at 10:00 Low.
On Turn 2, the 190s move to Tail High while two of the IAR80s move to 10:00 High (where the sun is). The other two stay low so I can get Position advantage during my attacks.
On Turn 3, all fighters enter their Approach boxes.
Attack waves can only consist of 6 fighters, so I went ahead and split them into 5 and 5.
The first wave consisted of Ahrens, Oesau, Haase and Zick, along with one of the Low IAR80s.
In order to get the Schwarm advantage (do two extra hits during the attack), I need to have four fighters coming in from the same Approach box in three adjacent spaces. That means that two of them are definitely going to be in the same space and have to face a Collision check.
Ahrens and Haase are those two, since Ahrens has the Flyer ability that lets him choose two collision chits and pick one to use.
The IAR80 comes in Evasive just to hopefully lessen the chance of getting hit and losing me 1 OP next mission.
Ahrens and Haase pass the Collision Check with ease, getting me all three advantages! Position and Rotte Advantage let me cancel hits while Schwarm was explained above.
Zick does nothing but takes a Wing hit that I nullified with the Position Advantage.
Oesau uses his Quick ability to switch to Evasive and avoid a hit. He also does nothing (idiots).
However, Haase blows his bomber out of the sky with a Fuselage hit!
That’s 2 VP, 2 EP for the Staffle, and 2 EP for him. That’s his first EP in this campaign of 17 missions (though he obviously hasn’t been on all of the missions).
Ahrens now has nothing to shoot at but has to pull a card anyway.
He does take a hit that’s nullified with the Rotte advantage.
The IAR80 will use one of the Schwarm hits as his attack just has him pass through, taking no damage but not doing any either.
That knocks the bomber from the formation! (1 EP for the Staffel)
Zick will use the second Schwarm hit during Continuing Fire, where he takes no damage and does a 2-point Wing hit.
Oesau takes no damage. Haase has to switch to Evasive but also takes no damage.
Ahrens and the IAR80 also avoid taking any damage.
Now it’s time for the second wave!
Clausen, Ehrhoff, and the other three IAR80s come in, all attacking a different, fresh element (there are only two planes left in the one just attacked!)
Clausen and Ehrhoff attack the same bomber from Tail High. The Evasive IAR80 attacks the same bomber from 10:00 low.
The other two IAR80s attack a different bomber in the same element from 10:00 high (coming out of the sun).
Clausen and Ehrhoff avoid the collision with Clausen’s Flyer ability.
No Schwarm advantage, but they get both of the other advantages.
Ehrhoff would have taken two hits but nullifies both. Both advantages are gone already!
Clausen blows the bomber up with a Wing hit, though! (The rolls have been good today)
That’s 2 VP, 2 EP for the Staffel and 2 EP for Clausen. He’s like a man possessed since coming out of the hospital!
You are seeing that correctly, though. He took a massive Cockpit hit himself. Maybe the hospital is calling him back. Or worse.
The Evasive IAR80 has nothing to shoot at, but takes a Wing hit anyway.
As for the two other IAR80s, one of them does a 1-point Fuselage hit and the sun nullifies the hit he would have taken.
The other one takes an Elevator hit and does no damage.
For Continuing Fire, nobody takes any damage. The luck is holding!
On Turn 4, the unwounded fighters return.
And Clausen’s cockpit hit is superficial! He must really not want to go back to the hospital. Maybe he and Doppler made a deal.
One IAR80’s Wing hit is superficial, but the other’s Elevator hit knocks him out.
One of the bomber elements loses cohesion, making it less lethal to attack.
On Turn 5, the other fighters return. Ahrens and Zick go off in pursuit of downed bombers.
The loose element goes Kaputt! This means that it’s even less lethal and there’s also a chance that one of the bombers will fall out of formation.
On Turn 6, the remaining 190s move to Tail High while the IAR80 stays at 10:00 Low. Another IAR80 goes to Tail Level. The last IAR80 returns to Tail Low.
The Kaputt element unfortunately tightens up to Loose.
On Turn 7, all fighters but the Tail Low IAR80 get ready to attack!
The one fighter is left back so that, if a bomber is knocked out of formation during the Turn 7 attack, he can leave to pursue it on Turn 8.
I’m starting to understand this game.
Clausen, Haase, and the Tail Level IAR80 (Evasive) go after the wounded bomber. Since I can assign the collision chit to whichever fighter I want, it’s good to have 3 choices.
Oesau goes after another bomber and with the 10:00 Low IAR80 (Evasive). Ehrhoff goes after his own bomber.
This is still enough or Schwarm!
The collision check makes the IAR80 exit, which is not a bad thing. Keeps my Schwarm advantage.
Ehrhoff takes a hit that’s nullified by the Rotte advantage.
Oesau misses completely.
He uses a Schwarm shot, though, and knocks it out of formation with an Engine hit!
That’s 1 EP for both him and the Staffel.
The IAR80 would have done a hit too if there had been a bomber there, but at least he doesn’t get hit himself.
Haase nullifies a hit with Position advantage and uses a Schwarm hit to knock his bomber down with an Engine hit!
That’s 1 EP for the Staffel and 1 EP for him.
Clausen has nothing to shoot at but takes a slight Fuselage hit for his trouble.
No damage during Continuing Fire.
On Turn 8, the remaining IAR80 leaves to pursue. See? That was smart!
Clausen’s Fuselage hit was superficial.
Wow, maybe he’s done with the hospital?
That’s the end of the main part of the mission.
Here’s the map as it stands.
On the first pursuit, Ahrens goes after a bomber with an Engine hit.
The bomber doesn’t fall due to its Engine hit, but Ahrens does get some TPs out of it.
Ahrens comes in Tail High.
He does a 2nd Engine hit but it doesn’t knock the bomber down. Meanwhile, he takes a Cockpit hit which knocks him out.
The bomber gets to limp home.
For the second pursuit, Zick goes after another bomber with an Engine hit.
Unfortunately for Zick, the bomber falls due to the Engine hit so he doesn’t get any benefit, though the Staffel gets 2 VP and 2 EP!
For the third pursuit, the IAR80 goes after the bomber with an Engine and a Fuselage hit.
It doesn’t go down, so he gets to attack!
The Sun is Tail High and that’s where he’s coming from too.
He does a 4-point Wing hit which brings it down! That’s 2 EP and 2 VP for the Staffel.
Not a bad start to the season!
Now to see the results of our downed fighters, though. This might not be as good.
The IAR80 with the bad Elevator crashes and doesn’t bail out. That’s -1 OP next time and -1 EP.
Ahrens, however, brings his cockpit-damaged plane in for a nice landing, earning him 1 EP!
That puts him at 5 EP, which he quickly spends to get the Quick skill (can change modes immediately).
Overall, that’s 8 VP for the first mission and 10 EP for the Staffel. Since I didn’t use any this mission, that puts me at 18 EP to use next time!
Nobody wounded or killed (ok, there’s the auxiliary guy, but do we really care about them?).
I discovered that cannons can be very helpful because you get to draw that extra damage chit and choose which one to apply every time you get a hit. Definitely need to keep getting these since I will have so many OPs at the start. Sure, they can make it worse if you get into a dogfight with an Escort.
But it may be worth it.
I may try some of the other new stuff, like the rockets, in future missions.
But I’m happy for now.
With 8 VP, that’s well past the pace needed to get 60 VP in 10 missions.
Let’s hope we can keep it up.
Come back next week for the second mission of the season, 18th in the campaign.
We’ll see if Clausen actually goes back to the hospital to club Doppler upside the head for stealing his business!
Staffel Roy Campaign