There’s something about campaigns that keeps bringing a game to the table. Especially if everybody involved is having fun.
In a solo game, the only person you need to worry about is yourself so it’s a lot easier.
And I’m enjoying the Staffel Roy campaign for GMT Games‘ Storm Above the Reich (as you can tell, since I’ve now played it 18 times!).
Mission #18 is the second mission in the 1943 Late season and I decided I wanted to try and get myself further ahead before I started experimenting with weird new things like rockets and the like.
I’m staying away from the Ju-88 auxiliary fighters because they seem like they would just attract trouble. They add +2 to the Lethal Level of the space they’re in! (+1 if they’re Evasive).
I lose enough auxiliaries when they aren’t bullet magnets.
But the IAR80 Romanian fighters have actually been pretty good. I’m enjoying having them on my team.
However, rockets are scary.
The first mission in the season went really well. The season requires 40 VP to “not lose” and 60 VP to win, and I earned 8 VP! It’s a 10-mission season, so I am on an 80-point pace.
Now it’s time for Mission #18 and let’s see if we were able to keep up that pace.
Y’all lack confidence.
Let’s take a look at Mission #18 and see if we can prove this bastard wrong.
(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.
Doppler is still the only wounded pilot because Clausen has a newfound love for his own bed.
Or maybe he just hates hospital food.
But Doppler has assumed the role of the new CEO of Clausen Industrial!
I had more good rolls for the setup. I didn’t have to spend any EPs and I actually got a fair number of Operations Points (OPs)!
The mission took place on Map #7 and I faced inbound bombers again (the best source for VPs). I rolled and got 14 OPs, which were so many I wasn’t sure what to do with them all.
I chose Ahrens, Bar, Clausen (he’s determined to test his luck), Grislawski (maybe his first mission since getting out of the hospital), Haase, Imboden (one of Zilla’s greenies!), Knoken, Munster, Piffer and Ullmann (another Zilla greenie!). That was for 10 OP.
I also chose two IAR80 auxiliary fighters for 1 OP. Finally, I spent 3 OP to get cannons for all of my fighters except Haase (somebody had to do without and he chose the short straw).
Then I rolled a natural 10 for the Escort roll, meaning no Escort again! That’s two in a row, all without using EPs to choose that option.
The bomber formation was Anchored at 2:00 Low and the sun was at 2:00 High.
I only got 3 Tactical Points (TPs) and the mission would go 6 turns.
That’s not a lot! Pretty much only one turn of attack unless things go really well.
Pre-mission damage to the bomber formation consisted of one bomber with a 3-point Fuselage (Cockpit) hit and one bomber already fallen out of formation.
Here’s the map just before my fighters came on.
Again there were Contrails but I didn’t want to waste the TP
All 12 of the fighters came in at 10:00 Low, though they’ll be splitting up soon.
On Turn 2, all of my fighters move to Tail High while the IAR80s stay where they are.
On Turn 3, everybody went into approach for their possibly only shot.
Since waves can only consist of 6 fighters, I split them into two groups of six with five of my fighters and one auxiliary. That way I can get all three advantages as long as I pass the collision checks.
The first wave consists of Ahrens, Bar, Grislawski, Haase, Imboden attacking from Tail High while one of the IAR80s attacks from 10:00 Low.
Everybody but Imboden attacks the bomber element with the wounded bomber while Imboden goes off by himself to attack a bomber in a different element.
This means that there’s only one collision check (Ahrens & Bar) and Ahrens has the Flyer skill which allows him to pick two collision chits and choose one to implement.
The collision check passed, the fighters get all three advantages!
All of the fighters are Dive-Rolling except the IAR80 which is climbing, hoping to get a chance to come out of the sun on a second attack.
Haase begins by doing a 2-point Wing hit to his bomber, but takes an Engine and Fuselage hit himself.
The IAR80 passes through and does no damage.
Grislawski does a 2-point Wing hit with one Schwarm shot and nullifies his own hit with Position Advantage.
Bar blows his out of the sky with a Wing hit!
He also nullifies his own hit with Rotte Advantage.
That’s 2 VP, 2 EP for the Staffel and 2 EP for him. First EP of the campaign for Bar.
Ahrens has nothing to shoot at. He would have taken a hit but uses his newly-learned Quick ability to turn Evasive and avoid getting hit.
Using the remaining Schwarm hit, Ahrens knocks the wounded bomber out of formation with a Fuselage (Elevator) hit (turns out I did this wrong as the Schwarm hit has to be done to the bomber that the fighter is already attacking, I believe).
Anyway, that’s 1 EP for the Staffel and one for Ahrens.
On his lone bomber, Imboden does a 0-point Engine hit.
For Continuing Fire, Imboden gets a “Friendly Fire” event, but rolls odd so no damage is done. He does get to break away and avoid getting hit, though.
The IAR80 gets an “Into the Sun” event and this is one of the rare times that the fighter actually is going into the sun!
This lets him avoid the hit he would have taken.
Haase gets Fall Away, which turns him Evasive and avoids the hit he would have taken otherwise.
Grislawski is fine. Bar avoids being hit.
Ahrens being Evasive actually works against him, as he wouldn’t have taken a hit! But he does, taking a Cockpit hit.
Now for the second wave.
Again, all 190s are attacking Tail High while the IAR80 comes in from 10:00 Low, giving the potential for all advantages.
Ullmann attacks a wounded bomber from another element while the rest go after a fresh one.
Clausen and Piffer are the two fighters in the same space, so a collision check ensues. Clausen has the Flyer ability, so can also draw two collision chits and choose one.
The collision check is passed, gaining all three advantages again!
Ullman does a 3-point Wing hit to his bomber but takes an Elevator hit. His Green disability makes him turn change modes when he’s hit, turning him Evasive.
Knoken does a 0-point Engine hit and nullifies the one he would have taken with Position Advantage. He uses a Schwarm Advantage shot to do a 2-point Wing hit.
The IAR80 attacking the same bomber does no damage but takes a Wing hit.
Piffer is hit but nullifies it with the Rotte Advantage.
Clausen does a 2-point Wing hit but takes an Engine hit himself (uh oh!)
Munster takes a Wing hit and does no damage himself. However, he uses the other Schwarm shot and knocks the bomber out of formation with a Fuselage (Rudder) hit!
That’s 1 EP and 1 EP for him, and is also his first EP of the campaign.
In Continuing Fire, Knoken and Ullman avoid getting hit.
Clausen gets a Strafe event, rolls an even number, and knocks his bomber out of formation with an Engine hit!
That’s 1 EP for the Staffel and 1 for him.
He takes no more damage.
The IAR80 takes a Fuel hit while Munster avoids getting hit.
On Turn 4, the unwounded fighters Return. However, I have a lot of hits to take care of.
Clausen’s hit is superficial (he’s charmed now!). Munster’s also is, as is Ahrens’. Ullmann’s is superficial too.
Haase’s hit knocks him out, as does the IAR80’s.
On Turn 5, Piffer, Grislawski, and Imboden leave to pursue fallen bombers.
Bar and Knoken move to Tail Low. The other fighters that had been hit can Return.
Two of the elements loosen up due to all of the markers in them.
On Turn 6, Clausen and Munster leave to pursue. Bar, Knoken and the IAR80 approach.
Bar and Knoken come in at Tail Level while the IAR80 comes out of the sun at 2:00 High.
No collision, so they get the Position and Rotte advantage.
(You may wonder why my fighters came in at Tail Level when I like to go Tail High. For Position Advantage, you need fighters coming in from two directions and two altitudes. Since 2:00 only has High and Low (and Low can’t be used this mission), the IAR80 had to come in High. Thus, my 190s had to come in at Level instead of High).
The two 190s have to be in the same space to get Rotte advantage, so they risk a collision check.
And they pass!
Bar knocks his bomber out of formation with a 4-point Wing hit (1 EP and 1 EP for Bar, giving him 3 this mission!)
Knoken has nothing to shoot at and but also avoids getting hit.
The IAR80 does a 0-point Wing hit.
All three run out of ammo so it’s a good thing they’re not pursuing anybody!
Nobody takes any hits in Continuing Fire.
Here’s the final map before I begin the pursuit. Lots of damage to the formation.
Now for the pursuits. There are 4 fallen bombers to chase.
Grislawski goes after the bomber with two Engine hits and a Wing hit.
Surprisingly, it’s the Wing hit that makes it fall to the ground. That’s 2 VP and 2 EP but nothing for Grislawski.
Piffer goes after a bomber with an Elevator hit, a Wing hit and a Cockpit hit.
The Elevator hit already has done enough damage already to make it plummet to Earth (2 VP and 2 EP).
Imboden chases a bomber with a 3-point Rudder hit.
This is already enough damage to the Rudder to make it fall (2 VP and 2 EP).
Finally, Clausen and Munster pursue the last one that has 9 damage points in Wing hits.
Since a Wing can only take 5, it also falls from the sky (2 VP and 2 EP).
Thus, none of my pursuing fighters actually gained any glory!
With that result, the only thing left to do is see what happened to the knocked out fighters.
The IAR80 lands no with problem, meaning there’s no negative effect next mission!
Now for Haase. His Fuel hit could be dangerous.
As his fellow pilots look on, Haase struggles with his fighter…and then it explodes in a ball of fury!
As his anxious compatriots look on, hoping for the best but fearing the worst, they see a parachute fluttering in the wind.
Haase managed to bail out! That earned him 1 EP.
There was much rejoicing.
With the mission complete and nobody wounded or killed, let’s take stock.
That’s 10 VP! And a total of 18 VP in just two missions.
Take that, SNL News Guy!!
Yes, we are almost half-way to “not losing” and we have 8 missions to go.
I’m cautiously optimistic.
I also earned 13 EP for the Staffel, giving me 21 to use in future missions.
Not burning 7 each mission to get a good result has been very helpful.
Come back in two weeks (next week will be my monthly Combat Commander AAR, at least hopefully) and see what fate has in store for Staffel Roy in Mission #19.
Maybe Doppler will deign to join us this time, since everybody else seems to be avoiding the hospital.
Staffel Roy Campaign