On this sortie the Poles are outnumbered - this is due to previous losses and their CO deciding to rest a couple of pilots due to fatigue - something the campaign factors in. The initial set up sees the Poles in classic "Finger Four" facing three loose pairs of Bf109s. There is some cloud, but not a lot. The Poles have some advantages however, as they have the "Radar Support" theatre card in play, which should give them a better starting position. One pilot - J for Johnnie - didn't get the message and is starting disadvantaged - possibly a language issue with his British controllers? "Repeat Please"
The Poles make a quick decision. Not liking the odds they decide to try and pick off one pair of 109s before they others can concentrate and use their superior numbers against them. J- Johnnie trailing behind a little from his leader climbed to neutral. The 109s jockey for position and manage to outmanoeuvre J -Johnnie using a pilot action and disadvantage him - not good. Pilots have one "action" they can choose at the end of their movement - shoot, climb for advantage, or outmanoeuvre. This last one is important and harsh. Better pilots automatically outmanoeuvre lesser experienced ones, equal or better pilots can test to avoid it happening. If you fail you drop one advantage level.
|J-Johnnie is distracted by the nearest 109s|
|Overall position at the end of turn 2|
|Dakka dakka dakka...|
|Head on pass misfires|
Back to the beleaguered J- Johnnie. Activation is in sequence of advantage, then pilot skill, then speed as a tie breaker. Johnnie is in the unenviable position of being at a lower advantage status AND the slower plane. The Luftwaffe take advantage of this, mercilessly trying to hit him while he is vulnerable. Two more 109s make an attack, this time from the beam. J-Johnnie twists and turns, getting hit twice but on both occasions his Hurricane holds together - just, but two more Boom chits are added to the score - 4-0. One more will cause the Hurricanes to head for home.
|J- Johnnie in deep trouble|
|Hurricanes climbing away from the fight|
And in a moment the skies were empty again.
The Germans scored a campaign victory and returned to Abbeville for champagne and bratwurst, claiming one Hurricane shot down as they saw J-Johnnie diving into a cloud clearly damaged, and one probable. The Poles made it home but managed to write off one damaged plane in a landing accident - and it wasn't J-Johnnie! What is more, having survived the repeated attacks the pilot actually learned from his experience and increased his skill in the campaign. The next sortie he will know better and listen to his controller more carefully.
The campaign is now moving on to Phase 2 - the Attacks on the Radar Stations.
A word on the toys. The Bf109Es, dice and card tokens are from the BRS starter set from Warlord Games. Warlord has not released Hurricanes yet for BRS - they're scheduled for a summer release along with Bf110s, but we are lucky in that we have a set of the beta stats for them. The Hurricane models are from the excellent Armaments in Miniatures range. You can also see some very nice third party acrylic measuring sticks and "Zoom" counters in the pics. These are from Buy-the-same-token on ebay. The movement stick is particularly welcome as the one in the starter set is badly designed, a pain to use and also a bit wrong.
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