Only a few missions into my “Late 43” season of Storm Above the Reich, things seem to be going swimmingly. I’ve been able to use various experience points to make sure the missions are in a positive frame of mind for me, and that’s been good!
But what happens when I decide not to make it a perfect scenario for me?
With Mission #20, I decided to experiment a little bit.
I’m still not going to try some new auxiliary fighters who are even more bullet magnets than the Ju-88s! But I thought I would try to save EPs and just take the mission as it came (though still spending them to make sure no Escorts were hovering around).
Would that help or hinder my victory points?
I’m currently at 28 VP (40 VP to “not lose” and 60 VP to win) and there are still 6 missions after this current one, so let’s see what happens!
It’s been so long since I played this one, we’ll have to see what happens together.
Because I don’t know!
Still no rockets or anything else like that which is new to the Late 43 season (though spoiler alert, Mission #21 has some of that!). Basically I’m just keeping on keeping on, and we’ll see where that lands us.
Let’s see what ends up happening!
(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.
The first thing, of course, is to roll to see if any of my wounded pilots are back. We currently have Doppler (CEO), Imdoben and Piffer.
All of them are still wounded, which tells me that Doppler has them under his spell to help with his new business.
I think they’re playing too many games, actually.
Since this time I decided to save some of my points and just take the mission as it comes (except for Escorts, of course), I get a Near Target mission (only 1 VP per destroyed bomber, which may become an issue) and it also means that we have to deal with German flak possibly knocking us down in addition to the bombers.
I received 14 OPs again, which means I kept the usual configuration of German fighters.
This time I brought along the following FW-190s pilots: Adler (green), Clausen, Ehrhoff, Grislawski, Haase, Knoken, Munster, Specht, Ullmann, Wurzer, and two IAR-80s along with cannons for all of my fighters except for Munster.
It’s worked before. Let’s see if it works again!
There are no Escorts this time (I did spend the 7 EP to make sure of that). The bomber formation was Anchored at Nose Level and Nose Low, so there wouldn’t be anybody coming from that direction.
The sun was at Tail High, which is my favourite position! Let’s see if it helped them (I honestly don’t remember if it did).
The previous damage to the bomber formation consisted of two bombers with 1-point Fuselage (Gunner) hits and one fallen bomber (which means it’s totally gone, I can’t go after it).
I rolled to get 4 Tactical Points (TPs) and 5 turns, which means I only had enough time for one pass.
That’s too bad.
As usual, I brought everybody in at 10:00 Low for flexibility. Especially because I only had 5 turns, or enough time for one pass and maybe some pursuit (if I got lucky).
For a Near Target mission, you have to roll for flak too. It will damage or destroy, or just knock down, bombers, but can hit you too when you are on approach to attack.
This time, one bomber took a 2-point Wing hit and one bomber blew up!
That’s 1 VP already.
And there was another bomber with a 1-point Wing hit.
On Turn 2, I just maneuvered my fighters around, with my 190s moving to Tail High to come out of the Sun while the IAR-80s stayed at 10:00 Low.
The roll for flak did some more damage and also loosened a formation.
On Turn 3, it was time to attack!
Everybody approached, but first I needed to do the flak roll.
And another bomber was knocked out of formation!
But Munster took a Cockpit hit.
The Loose element became Kaputt, which made it even less lethal to my fighters.
Here’s the situation right before I commenced attacking.
For the first wave of attackers, all five of the 190s came from Tail High (out of the sun) and they were Dive Rolling, while the IAR-80 was coming from 10:00 Low and just Diving.
Ullmann, Clausen, Ehrhoff, Grislawski and the IAR-80 were attacking the element with the two damaged bombers while Munster was attacking the badly damaged bomber from another element (in the Kaputt element).
Clausen and Ehrhoff were in the same space, so got the Rotte Advantage. No collision due to Clausen’s Flyer skill, so we got all three!
Munster did two hits on his bomber (3-point Fuselage hit and and Engine hit that didn’t knock it down) but he ran out of ammo!
Ullmann did no damage and nullified his hit with Rotte Advantage. Ehrhoff also did no damage and nullified his hit with Position Advantage.
He did use a Schwarm hit to do a 2-point Wing hit to his bomber.
Clausen did a 2-point Wing hit to the same bomber and used the other Schwarm hit to do another 2-point Wing hit.
Grislawski did no damage and took his own Wing hit (the other hit was nullified by the Sun)
The IAR-80 did no damage and passed through to a more lethal space, also taking a Wing hit.
Now Continuing Fire came up.
Munster got a Debris event as part of Continuing Fire. He did a 1-poing Wing hit but took his own Cockpit hit.
Ullmann fell away, turning Evasive so he didn’t get hit.
Clausen also got a Debris event, knocking the bomber down with an Engine hit but he took an Engine hit himself.
Ehrhoff did a Hard Roll and missed Continuing Fire.
Grislawski got a Friendly Fire event. Rolling odd, he was able to skip Continuing Fire.
The IAR-80 took a Fuel hit.
The first wave took some damage but did some damage of its own!
For the second wave, Knoken, Wurzer, Specht and Haase along with the remaining IAR-80 (evasive) attacked the same element (since not all of the bombers went down) while Adler went after the badly wounded bomber in the Kaputt element.
The collision check for Specht and Haase resulted in no collision due to Specht’s Flyer skill.
Adler knocked his out of formation with an Engine hit!
He did take an Engine hit, and his Green penalty means that he turned Evasive after the hit.
Knoken passed through with no damage. His hit was nullified by the Sun. The Collision Check from the hit card was passed with no problem.
He used a Schwarm hit to bring his bomber out of formation with an Engine hit.
Wurzer took two hits but nullified both of them with Advantages. Unfortunately the Sun didn’t help him.
The IAR-80 took a Fuselage hit and passed through, doing no damage.
Haase did a 4-point Wing hit but jammed his guns. He used the other Schwarm hit to knock the bomber out of formation with an Engine hit.
Specht had nothing to shoot at. He would have hit something, though, and the hit he would have taken was nullified by the Sun.
Continuing Fire would be where the damage could really happen.
Adler took no damage. Knoken fell away, turning Evasive and taking no damage.
The IAR-80 didn’t get hit.
Wurzer got a Strafe event, knocking his bomber out of formation with an Engine hit.
He took no damage.
Specht also got a Strafe event, but with no bombers left in his formation, nobody could get hit.
He avoided getting hit himself.
On Turn 4, there are only three unwounded fighters left who weren’t also Evasive, so they Return.
Adler’s fuselage hit knocked him out.
Haase’s Wing hit knocked him out.
Clausen’s Engine hit was superficial (he’s charmed since he left the hospital!)
Grislawski’s Wing hit was also superficial.
Munster’s Cockpit hit knocked him out.
The IAR-80’s Fuel hit was superficial, but the Wing hit knocked him out.
The other IAR-80’s Fuselage hit was superficial.
Flak did a 2-point Fuselage hit to an undamaged bomber.
On Turn 5 (the last turn), Wurzer, Specht and Ehrhoff left to pursue fallen bombers. That means only 3 of the 6 fallen bombers can be pursued, since the other fighters can’t return in time to leave.
Flak did a 2-point Fuselage (Rudder) hit to another bomber.
Here’s the final map situation, including one element that was totally wiped out (at least as far as falling out of formation went).
For Pursuit, since I only have three tries, I went after the three most damaged bombers to at least I ensure the VP (even though my fighters may not get any accoladed for them).
Ehrhoff pursued a bomber with 6 points of Wing damage, which meant that it fell to the ground even before he could engage it.
Specht pursued a bomber with two Engine hits and 6 points of Wing damage, ensuring that it would go down without a fight.
Actually, the Engine hit knocked it down.
Wurzer pursued a bomber with an Engine hit, a 1-point Wing hit, a 2-point Fuselage (Elevator) hit and a 3-point Fuselage hit.
The Wing hit knocked it down.
With the pursuit done, it was time to check on my downed pilots to see what had happened to them.
Munster’s Cockpit hit caused him to crash and he was wounded (he gets to join the growing company!)
Adler’s Fuselage hit caused him to catch fire…and he was killed!
I think Zilla’s falling down on the job.
I can’t use “A” anymore for my pilots, another letter gone.
Haase’s Wing hit explodes! But he’s only wounded.
He also earned enough points to get the Flyer skill (if he ever comes back from the hospital).
The IAR-80’s Wing hit, he landed successfully so I don’t lose any Operations Points next mission!
Knoken also earned his 5th EP, giving him another skill. He took a second Flyer skill, in case it ever comes in handy.
He is definitely my Ace now.
The mission ended with 10 EP for the Staffel (meaning I have 34 now to use for future missions) and 4 VP (32 total).
That’s not good!
It seems clear that I need Inbound missions to really crank the VP up.
Did I learn my lesson for the next mission (which I’ve already done)?
I doubt it.
But maybe the missions after that one.
I am now down 4 letters which means I have 4 pilot spaces that are permanently empty.
I also have 5 wounded pilots.
The means I’m down 9 out of 20 pilots for the next mission!
The Wounded pilots could come back, of course, but they seem reluctant to do so.
They’re either happy in Big Business or they’re scared of bullets.
I think it’s the latter, personally, but we’ll see!
That will make choosing pilots for the next mission easier, at least.
Tune in next time (I can’t guarantee next weeks since this was supposed to post last week!) for Mission 21 in the Staffel Roy Storm Above the Reich campaign.
Let’s see if we can right this ship.
Staffel Roy Campaign