C’mon in. I know it’s been a while, but it’s time for another tale from my Storm Above the Reich campaign.
We’re only a few missions into the “Late ’43” season of the campaign. Things were looking good but last mission kind of sucked.
Only 4 VP last mission means that I’m at 32 for the season. Counting this one, there are only 6 missions left in the season and I need 40 to “not lose” and 60 to win.
Is that going to be possible?
Oh ye of little faith…(whispers: but I kind of agree with you)
With Mission #21, I decided to really experiment. This time with Rockets!
Still no different auxiliary fighters, though. I really like my IAR-80s.
I did include some oldies but goodies.
Can we actually improve my VP track?
Is the Pope Methodist?
Let’s see how it goes.
(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, as always, is to check the hospital and see if anybody has checked themselves out.
We have a crowd in there now with Doppler, Imboden, Piffer, Haase and Munster.
As I said in my previous AAR, that’s 9 pilots (letters) out of 20 that are unavailable (4 fully KIA where the letter can’t be used again in addition to the wounded).
Sadly, nobody checked themselves out, which means that Doppler has recruited a staff for his business!
Hopefully he doesn’t pay more than we do.
I didn’t pay any EP to make this mission an Inbound mission (that won’t happen again) but I did pay for no Escorts. Thus this mission is Outbound again.
I rolled and received 18 Operations Points and Map 7.
With 10 of the OPs, I brought in 10 of my 11 pilots: Bar, Clausen, Ehrhoff (the original Zilla Greenie!), Grislawski, Knoken, Oesau, Specht, Ullmann, Wurzer, and Zick.
Then I used 3 OPs to get cannons for 9 of them (only Zick didn’t get one).
Then 2 OPs for 4 IAR-80s. With 3 OPs left and Rockets costing 2 OPs, I decided to buy 3 Bf-110s as well. So seven auxiliary fighters. Is that a good idea?
The 110s along with Zick get the rockets.
The formation is Anchored at 2:00 low, which isn’t much of an issue for me.
There’s also no Sun.
Preliminary damage is one bomber in each element, though two of the five are actually Fallen (that is both good and bad).
I have 7 Tactical Points and it goes 12 turns (I spent 7 more EP to get 12 turns since I wanted time to actually be able to do something)
All of my guys came in at 10:00 Low.
On Turn 2, as usual, my 190s moved to Tail High but the 110s this time actually moved to Tail Level because…rockets! The IAR-80s stayed at 10:00 Low.
Nothing else happened (it was a boring beginning).
On Turn 3, all of my fighters went into their approaches.
Except the 110s…which fired the rockets! (rockets actually get fired from the position the fighter’s at rather than going into the approaches).
Rockets are fired in the Blast & Flak phase rather than the attack phase. They can only be released from the Tail Level position (which is why they went there).
When firing rockets, you aim for an element, not a specific bomber.
You then have to roll to see how effectively you placed them.
You roll both dice and whichever is the highest number (red or black) determines where the rocket actually hits.
Assuming the blast didn’t move away from the element and explode where nobody is, the lower number is then used on the hit table to see what effect it had. A 1-4 is no damage, 5-6 is one hit, 7 is two hits, 8 is three hits and 9 is one bomber is destroyed and a second gets hit.
These effects only happen to bombers that border the space where the blast ends up, so it may be that nothing happens.
So the three 110s fired their rockets.
Did they hit?
It was kind of a mishmash, actually.
One bomber took a 1-point Wing hit (a bomber that already had a 2-point Wing hit). Another took a 1-point Fuselage and a 1-point Fuselage (Rudder) hit (shown above). The third rocket did no damage.
Even though not a lot of damage was done, rockets do have one more beneficial effect.
Whatever the result of the element cohesion check (whether it Loosens or stays together), the Detonation counter of the rockets degrades the element’s cohesion one level. So if it Loosens, then the Detonation will cause it to go Kaputt.
And remember that once an element loosens, it can’t go back to being together.
All in all, not bad. I may use rockets again.
Anyway, the effect this time around was that two elements loosened.
It was time for the actual attack!
Clausen, Grislawski, Oesau, Zick and an IAR-80 went after one of the loose elements.
Clausen and Grislawski passed the collision check so they got the Schwarm Advantage!
Oesau hit nothing and nullified the hit he would have taken with the Position Advantage.
Grislawski ran out of ammo!
Clausen nullified his hit with the Rotte Advantage and did a 1-point Fuselage (Gunner) hit. He used the first Schwarm hit to knock the bomber out of formation (1 EP for him and 1 EP for the Staffel).
Zick did a 1-point Wing hit but also ran out of ammo.
The IAR-80 took a Fuel hit and passed through to the centre of the formation (ouch). He used the other Schwarm hit to do a 1-point Fuselage (Gunner) hit.
For Continuing Fire, none of the five fighters took any additional damage.
For the second wave, Bar, Knoken, Specht, Ullmann, and the other IAR-80 attacked the same element.
Ullmann nullified his hit with Rotte Advantage but did no damage.
Specht nullified a hit with Position Advantage but also took a Fuel hit. And did no damage.
Knoken did a 2-point Wing hit but took a Fuselage hit himself. He used a Schwarm hit to do another 1-point Wing hit.
Bar took a Wing hit, doing no damage. He used the second Schwarm to do a 3-point Fuselage hit.
Continuing Fire was exciting, though!
Ullmann took a Cockpit hit but a Friendly Fire event did an Engine hit to a bomber.
Specht took a Wing hit.
Knoken got a Strafe event and knocked his bomber out of formation with an Engine hit (1 EP, 1 EP for the Staffel).
Bar didn’t take any damage.
Now it was time for the 3rd wave.
Yes, 3rd wave! With 14 planes out there, there’s enough for three.
This time, Ehrhoff, Wurzer and the two remaining IAR-80s went after the two remaining bombers in the same element.
Wurzer and Ehrhoff were in the same space in order to get the Rotte advantage, and they passed the collision check.
The IAR-80 attacking the wounded bomber passed through without doing any damage.
The second IAR-80 did the same thing, but took an Engine hit for his troubles during the collision check called for by the card.
Ehrhoff nullified the hit he would have taken with the Rotte advantage.
Wurzer did a 2-point Wing hit. He nullified one of the hits he would have taken with Position advantage but took a Cockpit hit for his second one.
In Continuing Fire, the unwounded IAR-80 took a Wing hit.
The other IAR-80 took a Rudder hit himself but the Debris event did a 1-point Fuselage (Turret) hit to a bomber.
Ehrhoff took a Fuel hit.
Wurzer took a Fuel hit, but a Debris event caused a 3-point Fuselage (Rudder) hit to a badly wounded bomber.
On Turn 4, the unhit fighters (not many of them!) returned. It was then time to roll for all the hit fighters.
Here’s the list:
Ehrhoff – Fuel hit is superficial
Knoken – Fuselage hit is superficial
Specht – Wing hit is superficial but the Fuel hit knocks him out.
Ullmann – Cockpit hit is superficial
Wurzer – Cockpit hit knocks him out
Bar – Wing hit is superficial
IAR-80 – Wing hit knocks him out
IAR-80 – Rudder hit knocks him out (oh no!)
IAR-80 – Fuel hit is superficial (whew!)
Both of the Loose elements go Kaputt
It was time to reorganize.
One of the IAR-80s left to pursue fallen bombers.
Grislawski (no ammo) also left to pursue.
Zick stuck around because he still had a rocket (though he had no machine gun ammo)
Clausen and Oesau went to Tail High.
The other remaining fighters returned.
Zick fired his rocket at the Kaputt element.
No damage, but rockets automatically degrade cohesion, meaning the wounded bomber fell!
That’s 1 EP for the Staffel (nobody gets anything individually for rockets)
The other Kaputt element also lost a bomber and went back to Loose (1 more EP for the Staffel).
On Turn 6, Zick left to pursue fallen bombers (with no ammo, he’s not worth much, and if he pursues a bomber that is destroyed due to previous damage before he actively engages it, it does get destroyed even when he has no ammo).
On Turn 7, Ehrhoff, Knoken, Bar, and Ullmann (along with one of the Bf-110s, who came in Evasive) attacked the Loose formation.
Bar knocked his bomber down with an Engine hit. (1 EP and 1 EP for the Staffel)
Ehrhoff knocked his bomber down with an Engine hit but also took a Rudder hit (1 EP, 1 EP for the Staffel)
Knoken would have hit his bomber but it’s already gone, but he didn’t take any damage.
Ullmann did a 2-point Wing hit to his bomber. He also used both Schwarm hits: The first one knocked it down with an Engine hit.
That’s 1 EP and 1 EP for the Staffel. Thus, the second one didn’t have any effect.
The Bf-110 ran through without taking any damage.
For Continuing Fire, Ehrhoff, Bar, Knoken, and the 110 took no damage. Ullmann fell away (turning Evasive) and took no damage.
For the second wave, Clausen, Oesau, the other 110 and the remaining IAR-80 attacked the Kaputt formation.
Oesau took a Fuel hit in a collision check, but they manage to get Rotte and Position Advantage.
The IAR-80 came in Evasive from 2:00 High while the 110 came from 10:00 Low. This was good for Position Advantage (requires two different altitudes).
The 110 was hit but nullified it with Position advantage.
The IAR-80 did a 2-point Fuselage hit and ran through to a completely different element.
Oesau missed completely.
But Clausen knocked his bomber down with an Engine hit (1 EP, 1 EP for the Staffel).
He nullified his hit with Rotte advantage.
For Continuing Fire, the 110 took no damage.
The IAR-80 took a Cockpit hit.
Clausen did a 2-point Fuselage (Rudder) hit with a Strafe event and took no damage.
Oesau also took no damage.
Now for Turn 8!
The unhit fighters returned.
For the hits:
IAR-80 – Cockpit hit was superficial
Oesau – Fuel hit knocked him out
Ehrhoff – both hits were superficial
Bar – Rudder hit was superficial
For the cohesion check, the wounded bomber in the Kaputt element fell out of formation.
On Turn 9, Clausen and Knoken left to pursue fallen bombers.
The other fighters with superficial hits returned.
One element Loosened.
Turn 10, Ullmann, Bar, and Ehrhoff left to pursue bombers, as did the 110s.
One element Loosened. A Loose one became Kaputt.
On Turn 11, the remaining IAR-80 stuck around in case one of the Kaputt elements lost another bomber. If it had left, the mission would have been over immediately and I would have gone to Pursuit.
And it’s a good thing he stuck around, as another Kaputt element lost a bomber!
(I haven’t noted it, but each time an element lost a bomber to degrading from Kaputt, the Staffel did get 1 EP).
On Turn 12, the IAR-80 left to pursue.
Here’s the final situation after everybody left and before Pursuit happened.
I was quite proud of the fact that two complete elements were Fallen (though sadly none were destroyed).
There were nine pursuits, which unfortunately meant a maximum of nine VP (not good!) because Outbound destroyed bombers only give you 1 VP.
Grislawski (no ammo) pursued a bomber with 3 points of Wing damage, 1 Engine hit, and 3 points of Fuselage damage. It had to go down or there would be no VP since he had no ammo.
It actually went down due to the Engine hit, not the Wing damage. (1 VP, 2 EP for the Staffel)
Zick (no ammo) went after another badly wounded bomber. The three points of Rudder damage automatically killed it. That’s 1 VP and 2 EP for the Staffel.
A Bf-110 went after a bomber with a 1-point Fuselage (Gunner) hit and 1 Engine hit.
It didn’t go down.
The Sun was at 2:00 High so the 110 went in that direction too.
He did a 1-point Wing hit but ran out of ammo! Thankfully, he knocked it down (1 VP, 2 EP for the Staffel).
An IAR-80 went after a bomber with a 2-point Wing hit.
It did not go down.
The Sun was at Tail High so he came in from that direction as well.
He took a hit that was nullified by the sun but did no damage.
He spent 1 TP to go back to Tail Level.
He did an Engine hit which didn’t knock the bomber down and sadly took a Cockpit hit which knocked him out. The bomber escaped.
Clausen and Knoken pursued a bomber with one Engine hit.
It did not go down.
The Sun was Tail High, and both fighters came in from that direction (no collision possibility in pursuit).
They did get Rotte advantage for that.
Knoken got hit, but nullified it.
Clausen did an Engine hit and destroyed it! (1 VP, 2 EP for the Staffel and 2 EP for him).
Bar and a Bf-110 went after a bomber with one Engine hit.
It doesn’t go down.
The Sun was at 8:00 High, not very useful.
Bar came in Tail High while the 110 came in at 8:00 Low (to get Position Advantage).
Bar did a 3-point Wing hit while nullifying the hit he took with the advantage.
The 110 did no damage.
For the second run, Bar came in Tail Level while the 110 came in 8:00 Low again (2 Tactical Points in total). This got Position Advantage again.
Bar nullified the hit he took with the advantage. The 110 got a Fuel hit.
The Fuel hit knocked it out.
Since I was out of TP, the bomber got away.
Ehrhoff and another 110 went after another bomber with an Engine hit which didn’t knock it down.
The Sun was at Nose High.
The 110 came in at Nose Level while Ehrhoff came in Tail High (again, to get advantage…noticing a theme yet?)
Ehrhoff knocked it down with a Wing hit! (1 VP, 2 EP and 2 EP for the Staffel)
Ullmann pursued a bomber with an Engine hit and a 2-point Wing hit.
No Sun this time.
Ullmann came in Tail High but took a Fuselage hit that turned out to be superficial.
This time he came in Nose Level by spending 2 TP.
He did a 2nd Engine hit, but it didn’t go down (he did get 3 TP for that though).
Spent 2 of those to come in Nose Level again.
And he knocked it down with a third Engine hit! (1 VP, 2 EP and 2 EP for the Staffel)
For Pursuit #9, an IAR-80 failed the intercept roll so the bomber got away.
Now it’s time for the aftermath, to see who survived and who died.
IAR-80 – Cockpit hit – Crashes and doesn’t bail out (-1 EP and -1 OP next mission)
Wurzer – Cockpit hit – Lands safely!
IAR-80 – Wing hit – Crashes (bailed out but that doesn’t matter, still -1 EP and -1 OP next mission)
Bf-110 – Fuel hit – Lands safely!
Specht – Fuel hit – Crashes…but bails out!
Oesau – Fuel hit – Explodes! No parachute sighted. KIA (Welcome to our new pilot, Osborn! Zilla will take you under his wing if he ever gets out from inside the cab of his truck).
IAR-80 – Rudder – Lands safely
This mission was yet another failure, at least for the most part. Only 6 VP (though I did earn a total of 18 EP, so I can make things better next mission with a total of 28).
The 6 VP gives us 38 with 5 missions to go. To win, that means I need 22, or an average of 4 per mission.
Not bad, but that average was smaller before this mission!
I had another new KIA but the letter is still useable. No wounded pilots, so that remains at 5.
Hopefully some will return next time.
I think I will definitely be making sure the next mission is Inbound with no Escorts.
This may be the last AAR for a while as the table I play on has been co-opted for other things.
But I will continue the campaign as soon as I can!
In the meantime, let me know what you think.
Am I going to be able to pull this out?
Let me know in the comments.
Staffel Roy Campaign