STORM ABOVE THE REICH – AFTER ACTION REPORT – MISSION #22

Allied Bombers over Germany have been in short supply recently (i.e. I haven’t been able to play Storm Above the Reich lately and thus the campaign has been stalled), but they suddenly appeared one day and the brave pilots of Staffel Roy scrambled to be up to the challenge! (i.e. I finally was able to get it to the table again a couple of weeks ago).

Yes, this is another episode in the continuing saga of Staffel Roy and its pilots for this awesome solitaire wargame.

We are 5 missions into the Late 1943 campaign with 5 to go and doing really well on victory points!

Sadly, I could still lose this campaign very quickly, even with enough victory points!

Each campaign requires a player to have a certain number of pilots available. They don’t have to all go on a mission, but they have to be available (meaning not wounded). Of course, as you’ve seen, once a pilot is replaced, if that same lettered pilot is killed, you can’t replace them again. I have a few missing letters because of that.

For Late 1943, that limit is 10 pilots.

How many available, unwounded pilots do I currently have?

Eleven.

That’s assuming nobody comes back from the hospital at the beginning of this mission.

Did any come back?

Of course not!

I guess that’s a spoiler for after the break.

Can I manage to average 4 points each over the next 5 missions?

I think that’s more of a possibility!

Let’s take a look to see what happened.

(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.

As I spoiled above, that would be a nope!

Doppler, Haase, Imboden, Munster and Piffer all decided that they’d rather watch the football game instead.

Of course, that 0-0 tie was riveting, so I can’t really blame them.

This mission was Inbound (I didn’t even have to pay any EP for this! Because I’m never doing Outbound or “Over Target” again if I can help it) on Map 7.

I rolled 12 Operations Points (14 technically, but I have -2 points because of my two auxiliary fighters that were downed last mission).

With 10 of those OPs, I brought in 10 of my pilots (always go with the best!): Bar, Clausen, Ehrhoff, Grislawski, Knoken,  Osborn (a Zilla greenie!), Specht, Ullmann, Wurzer, Zick

With the two extra OPs, I brought in two IAR-80s.

And I just realized as I was typing this that I short-changed myself! Two OPs should have given me four IAR-80s.

Oh well…just means less chance to lose OPs for next mission.

I had to pay 7 EP to avoid having Escorts (I really hate Escorts).

Even worse, I had to pay 7 EP because I rolled that the bomber formation was Anchored at Tail High! That means that no German fighters can go into that box.

Yes it is!

Instead, the bomber formation was unanchored.

The sun was at 4:00 High, which didn’t really matter to me but it might have to the IAR-80s.

There was already damage to two bombers (one with a 1-point Wing hit and one with a 1-point Fuselage hit) and one bomber was already downed.

Three Tactical Points was all I got, and I also rolled a really low mission length, which meant I had to spend 7 more EP to get 12 turns.

That should be enough!

Here’s the situation as my fighters approached (no overall map picture…told you I was out of practice!)

As usual, all 12 fighters (should be 14!!!!) came in at 10:00 Low to position themselves.

Surprisingly, the element with the Fallen bomber actually loosened! (Rolled a 1 since there is only one marker in the element)

That will make things a bit easier.

On Turn 2, my 190s went to Tail High while the IAR-80s stayed put.

The Loose element actually went Kaputt! The element with the wing-damaged bomber loosened. (My cohesion dice rolls were great early on).

Too bad it would probably go back to Loose before I could get there.

On Turn 3, the fighters approached.

And the Loose element went Kaputt!

Not only that, but the already-Kaputt element lost another bomber. (1 EP for the Staffel, and after spending 21 points, I really needed those).

Remember that when a Kaputt formation loses a bomber, it goes back to Loose

That’s two bombers out of that formation.

It was time for the fun stuff, though.

With 12 fighters, everything was broken into two waves: four 190s and an IAR-80 attack one element and a lone 190 attacked another one (the severely compromised one, of course).

Zick, Knoken, Bar and Grislawski, along with on IAR-80, went after the Kaputt element. Ehrhoff went after a bomber from the formation that had already lost two bombers.

Trying to get Schwarm advantage (free hits! You can’t pass those up), the fighters came in like this, meaning that Zick and Knoken had to do a collision check.

Knoken has the Flyer skill, so he got to draw two chits and pick which one to implement.

And they both sucked.

A “V” result meant that I had to roll equal to or higher than the number of fighters in the element to have both fighters break away to the Tail Return boxes. That would mean no Schwarm and no Rotte advantages.

But it was better than the alternative (I don’t even remember what that alternative was, but it was worse!)

That resulted in this.

Not quite as effective!

The IAR-80 missed completely and had to do a collision check, which he passed.

Bar took a hit and did no damage. He nullified it with the Position Advantage.

Grislawski did a 4-point Wing hit but took a Wing hit himself.

Ehrhoff on his lone bomber did a 3-point Fuselage (cockpit) hit but took a Wing hit himself.

Now it was time for Continuing Fire, that bane of all German fighters’ existences.

Grislawski didn’t get hit by fire but did take some debris in his Wing.

The IAR-80 took a Fuselage hit.

Bar and Ehrhoff escaped any damage.

Now it was time for the second wave!

I used the same attack pattern as the first wave (attacking the same elements).

The second “No Impact” collision marker is from the IAR-80’s collision check in the first wave.

This time Clausen and Ullmann were paired up in the “let’s try and avoid colliding here” space.

There was no collision, getting me all three advantages!

The IAR-80 passed through and nullified a hit with Position Advantage (these guys are sucking, actually).

Clausen did a Fuselage hit that knocked his bomber out of formation! (1 EP, 1 EP for the Staffel)

Ullmann now had nothing to shoot at, but he would have done a hit too.

Too bad.

Wurzer did another 1-point Wing hit to his bomber. If that thing fell and was successfully pursued, it would go down automatically due to 5 points of Wing damage.

Did it?

We’ll see.

Specht missed his bomber entirely!

That actually wouldn’t have happened if Clausen hadn’t downed his bomber. The Fallen bomber reduced the Lethal Level for Specht by 1. At the original Lethal Level, he would have gotten a hit.

Too bad!

Osborn did an Engine hit to his lone bomber.

Now for Continuing Fire!

The IAR-80 escaped damage.

Specht used a Schwarm hit to do an Engine hit to his bomber, avoiding getting hit himself.

Wurzer turned Evasive to avoid damage but also used the other Schwarm hit to do a 4-point Wing hit to the front bomber of the element!

Lots of damage, but no fallen bombers except Clausen’s.

Osborn avoided taking damage and debris did a 4-point Wing hit to his bomber.

With the dust settling on Turn 3, it was time to regroup.

On Turn 4, Zick left to pursue fallen bombers (somebody has to leave or there will be too much time between the bombers falling and fighters chasing them).

The unwounded fighters returned to their position.

Ehrhoff’s Wing hit knocked him out (he only needed to roll a 4! But he rolled a 1).

Grislawski’s damage was superficial.

The IAR-80’s Fuselage hit knocked him out as well.

During the cohesion check, the bomber with all of the Wing damage (7 points!) fell out of formation, returning the element to Loose. (1 EP for the Staffel)

The element that Osborn and Ehrhoff attacked went Kaputt.

On Turn 5, Specht, Ullmann and Bar left to pursue fallen bombers.

The returned 190s moved to Tail High.

Another badly wounded bomber fell out of formation (1 EP for the Staffel) during the cohesion check and another element went Kaputt.

On Turn 6, the remaining damaged 190s moved to Tail High as well, making 5 in all.

Turn 7, it was time for excitement!

A Loose element went Kaputt and Osborne went after the bomber there.

Knoken, Grislawski, Wurzer, and Clausen go after an undamaged element along with the IAR-80.

The IAR-80 is backwards, should be facing the bomber, all fighters diving despite no markers.

Knoken and Grislawski are in the same space (Knoken has two Flyer skills so can do this again)

No collision!

Clausen took a hit that he nullified with Position Advantage.

The IAR-80 did a 1-point Wing hit.

Knoken ran out of ammo! But did do a 2-point Fuselage (Turret) hit first.

Grislawski nullified the hit he took with Rotte Advantage and used both Schwarm hits because he missed everything totally.

The first one did a 1-point Fuselage (Elevator) hit and the other one did a 2-point Fuselage hit.

Wurzer did an Engine hit but took a Wing and Engine hit himself.

Osborne, all on his lonesome (as a greenie, he prefers it that way) took a Wing hit and turned Evasive (his greenie penalty is changing modes when hit).

For Continuing Fire, the IAR-80 fell away, avoiding any damage.

Wurzer did a hard roll, avoiding Continuing Fire (which would have been a hit).

Knoken got a Strafe event and did a 2-point Wing hit to a bomber.

Clausen, Osborn and Grislawski all avoided damage.

On Turn 8, Clausen and Grislawski returned. Osborn’s Wing hit knocked him out, as did Wurzer’s Engine hit.

On Turn 9, Knoken left to pursue (one of the really badly bombers, since he had no ammo!)

Clausen and Grislawski moved back to Tail High while the IAR-80 returned.

Time for one more attack to see what we can do!

On Turn 10, the attack began.

Clausen and Grislawski trying to get Rotte advantage and not colliding while the IAR-80 came in from the side.

Amazingly, the collision check was passed with No Impact!

Clausen did an Engine hit. Grislawski ran out of ammo.

The IAR-80 nullified a hit he took and passed through.

In Continuing Fire, the IAR-80 fell away and avoided damage yet again!

He must be charmed.

Grislawski and Clausen avoided any damage.

Turns 11 and 12 were simply done to see if any more bombers fell out of formation due to the element being Kaputt…and two of them did! (that’s 2 EP for the Staffel).

On Turn 12, Clausen and Grislawski did leave to pursue fallen bombers.

Here was the board situation after regulation.

That’s six fallen bombers (the seventh was already out of formation at the start of the game).

Now it was time for Pursuit.

Zick pursued the bomber with a 1-point Wing hit and a 2-point Elevator hit.

He used one Tactical Point to give him one shot at taking the bomber down (with only 3 TP, you have to use them sparingly!)

Zick came in Nose High (just to see how that works!) because that’s where the Sun was coming from.

He did an Engine hit. Didn’t knock the bomber down but it did give him 2 more TP to use.

He spent those points to come in Tail High.

He took a Wing hit that knocked him out.

The bomber escaped.

Next, Specht pursued an undamaged bomber, again taking 1 TP and coming Nose High (no sun this time).

He missed and spent 1 TP to come in Tail Low.

Unfortunately, he took an Elevator hit that knocked him out and the bomber escaped (not looking good!)

Ullmann pursued a bomber with so much Wing damage that it was automatically destroyed (2 VP, 2 EP for the Staffel).

It’s good to get the low-hanging fruit.

More low-hanging fruit as Bar goes after a bomber with a Cockpit, Engine and Wing hit.

The Wing hit knocks it down (2 VP, 2 EP for the Staffel)

Knoken and Grislawski (both with no ammo) try to guide another damaged bomber down to the ground.

This one had a Wing, Elevator, Turret and Engine hit.

If it didn’t fall due to damage, it would get away.

Sure enough, the Wing hit knocked it down (2 VP, 2 EP for the Staffel)

Finally, Clausen pursued the bomber with a 4-point Wing hit.

He took the final Tactical Point since it was possible it wouldn’t go down.

But it did (2 VP, 2 EP for the Staffel).

Now it’s time for the aftermath.

A bunch of knocked out fighters.

Specht landed his fighter from the Elevator hit he took (1 EP).

Osborn’s plane caught fire on the Wing. He’s wounded but got out alive (1 EP).

Poor greenie!

Ehrhoff landed from his Wing hit (1 EP)

Zick’s plane caught fire from his Wing hit. He’s also wounded (1 EP)

The IAR-80 caught fire from its Fuselage hit. A successful bailout, but since the plane was lost, that’s still -1 EP and -1 OP next mission.

Wurzer’s plane caught fire from the Engine hit…but he bailed out successfully! (1 EP)

That does it for another Staffel Roy mission and things are both good and bad.

With 8 more VP, that brings me to 46 VP with four missions left. That’s less than 4 VP per mission required!

I also gained 13 EP, so I have 20 to use next time around.

That means I can’t change 3 items like I did this time. I’ll have to pick and choose (I think Escorts and Inbound are the two I have to change).

That’s the good.

The bad?

I’m down to 9 pilots.

If at least one of my 7 (!) wounded pilots doesn’t return next mission, I will have to do a last resort option.

Wounded pilots can be let go, meaning it’s just like they were KIA. You get a new pilot with a new name, and if that pilot dies, you can’t use that letter anymore.

I just need one pilot to return to still be ok, and that requires a 9 or 10 roll on the hospital check at the beginning of the scenario.

Surely at least one of the seven can roll that?

From your lips to the dice roll gods’ ears, Starlight.

Once again, I’m not sure when I’m going to be able to play again, but I will try to get to it soon.

Stay tuned (but don’t hold your breath or you’ll die) for another exciting adventure for the pilots of Staffel Roy!

Meanwhile, I have to go investigate whether or not the hospital is keeping all of these pilots because I haven’t paid my bill.

Staffel Roy Campaign

1943 Early
Missions 1 & 2
Mission 3
Mission 4 & 5
Mission 6

1943 Mid
Mission 7
Mission 8
Mission 9
Mission 10
Mission 11
Mission 12
Mission 13
Mission 14
Mission 15
Mission 16

1943 Late
Mission 17
Mission 18
Mission 19
Mission 20
Mission 21
Mission 22

27 Comments on “STORM ABOVE THE REICH – AFTER ACTION REPORT – MISSION #22

    • Yeah, I like those little fighters. They help out a great deal and aren’t really much of a liability (though I keep losing at least one which hampers the next mission).

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

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    • Yeah, that part has me a little worried. I may have to turf somebody! Probably Doppler. He’s been lollygagging the longest.

      That might hurt his business, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Great success!
    …and great to see Staffel Roy back again!
    If you don’t pay the hospital bills, that’ll just make them kick out your pilots! (So maybe that’s the way to go.)
    Anyway, please, don’t put the pillow over Doppler’s mouth. My heart tells me that he has some part to play in this, for good or evil, before this is over.

    Liked by 1 person

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