Thursday, 3 April 2014

Return Of The Fokker Scourge

Geoff and I played 'Spandau and Lewis' tonight, trying a scenario I threw together in a hurry on Tuesday when I realised I was supposed to be running a game this evening.

I wanted to use some of the planes I painted last year, especially my DH2 scratch-builds, so I based the game around them.

Summer 1916. After dominating the skies for months, the reign of the Fokker monoplanes is coming to an end, as the Allies begin to put their own fighter aircraft into the skies. A flight of Roland CIIs are on a reconnaissance mission to gather information about British troop movements. They are being stalked by a flight of British DH2 scouts, plus a lone patrolling DH2. A couple of Fokker EIIIs are also roaming the area.

Here's the Rolands. In the distance you can see three troop concentrations. The Germans had to spot and report at least one of them to their high command, or the British got a big victory point bonus.

A flight of DH2s. And a cloud.

A lone Fokker EIII. We used spotting in this game, and this plane spent the first third of it patrolling, oblivious to the dogfight going on not far away.

The DH2s close in on the Rolands after spotting them early on.

A lone DH2 flies into a cloud. Both sides had a lone aircraft who got heavy weighting on the pilot's skill roll in favour of them being an Ace. In a foreshadowing of Geoff's rolls for the rest of the game, he managed to get an Inexperienced lone plane. Like the Fokker, this pilot missed out on most of the battle because he never saw it.

A dogfight begins, although the Germans push towards the objectives. They troop concentrations were made up of bases from my hair-roller WW1 armies.

One of the Fokkers joins the fight. A good job, as by this stage a Roland had been shot down.

The fight breaks up a little.

The Fokker pursues a DH2, and shoots it down.

One of the Rolands observes a troop formation. Now all it has to do is get the information home.

The lone, inexperienced DH2 pilot finally spots something, and sets off in pursuit. But he failed to stop the Roland escaping, and soon had to deal with the other Fokker, who also noticed that something was happening.

The British has an Ace in their DH2 flight. He downed one Roland, after I stupidly stuck to trying to observe British troops instead of fighting off a rear attack, and then went after a second. The German took refuge in a cloud.

And exciting head-on gunfight. No damage inflicted, but it looked good.

I seem to have lost a photo here. The British Ace chased the Roland out of the cloud, but a Fokker came to the rescue. Under fire from two German planes the Ace found himself in an impossible position, and was shot down.

By this stage the British had lost three of their DH2s. Only the lone rookie remained, and he was in a difficult position. Fortunately one of the Fokkers suffered a gun jam. Unfortunately so did the rookie. Geoff conceded the game at this stage, and the Germans sportingly let the British pilot go.

Two Rolands had been shot down. But the one who had observed troops got back with the information. This Roland overflew a concentration, but failed to gather sufficient information to pick up any victory points. With time running out (the game was played to a turn limit) it headed for home. The British scored points for any two-seater that didn't get off the board by the end of the game.

This was a nice initial outing for the Rolands and the DH2s. However, even allowing for Geoff's abysmal maneuver and initiative rolls, which left his agile planes outperformed by the two-seaters, the scenario wasn't really balanced . The British had too tough a job, and not enough planes to do it with. Either they need a couple more aircraft, or I'd consider reducing the German two-seater flight by one plane, making their job harder. From the point of view of the Germans, spotting the troops was difficult, as the counters were rather small. I might be inclined to only have two of them (thus reducing the Germans possible victory point options), but make them bigger so that they are easier to home in on. It's an artifact of the random maneuver system that it's not always possible to fly over a specific point on the table, so such objectives need to be of a good size to work..

I enjoyed the game, anyway. The final results saw the Germans win a fairly decisive victory, reporting one troop concentration and shooting down three enemy planes. The British shot down two German planes.

On the other table there were larger planes in action.

This was Ralph and Caesar playing Battlegroup Kursk. There were lots of lovely 20mm figures in play.

Caesar's Germans were attempting to take a Russian-held village. They had numerical superiority, but were up against the clock, and couldn't quite co-ordinate their various assets to achieve victory.

Next week I think we're playing Black Powder again.

1 comment:

  1. I like your hair roller troop concentrations. Scenarios with objectives are an essential ingredient in skirmish style games to give them purpose.

    I agree, Ralph's 20mm WW2 stuff looked lovely on the table, which I think is a cunning ploy by him to distract me from coordinating the German attack. I was so busy marvelling at camouflage designs and elevating Wespe guns that I couldn't possibly win!


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