Air War Germany 1944

Our new Society campaign for 2019 kicked off with the first day of gaming yesterday.

The campaign uses GMT Games “Bomber Command” board game (see https://www.gmtgames.com/p-302-bomber-command.aspx) to set up tactical actions, which are then played out using 1/600 aircraft from the Tumbling Dice range (see http://www.tumblingdiceuk.com/product-category/1600) and GMT Games “Nightfighter” rules (see https://www.gmtgames.com/p-233-nightfighter.aspx).  The action is set in early 1944 and the Bomber Command Force is controlled by the Umpire.

The Bomber Command Force. Lancaster MkI/IIIs of A and B Flights, 460 Squadron RAAF and 4 De Havilland Mosquito Mk IV bombers of 692 Squadron

In our first session the five German players each commanded their own JagdDivision of Night Fighters, aiming to intercept the incoming bomber Command raids that night.

The NachtJagd force. From left to right – Bottom: five Messerschmitt Bf-109 G6s of JagdGeschwader 300, 301 and 302 and one 262 B-1a/U1 of NachtJagdGeschwader 11.  Middle Messerschmitt Bf110s – four G4 and one F4.  Top: five Junkers Ju88 C6s of NachtJagdGeschwader 1-5

The Germans were lulled into a bit of a false sense of security as they did not spot any incoming raids until turn 3.  The air picture then clarified and the main force raid was identified using a northern route, with a mosquito raid to the south and two other diversionary raids emerging from the main force attack.

Junkers Ju88 C6 radar equipped night fighters of the NachtJagdGeschwader

The first unit to strike were the Ju-88 C-6 of Mike’s II Gruppe, NJG3, which had been placed on overwatch under control of the defensive radar chain in Northern Germany.  They attacked as the Main Force Raid Lancasters passed over the radar line.  However, this unit had been dispersed by the poor weather on take off, reducing its impact.

Lancaster MkI/IIIs of A Flight, 460 Squadron RAAF. The Lancaster had become the main type of heavy bomber in Bomber Command by 1944. “D Dog” was crewed as a Mid-Upper Air Gunner by the Society Treasurer’s father, then RAF Sergeant Ray Harris in 1945

Fighters were given only a very general indication of where the bombers were by their heavily jammed ground radar and mainly relied on their own airborne radar to find targets.  However, only 2 of the players had the new sets that were free from British jamming.

In the action that followed, it was Chris that got in the first attack, badly damaging Lancaster C for Charlie in a hasty attack.  However, he’d picked the wrong plane to mess with and his Ju88 was shot down by return fire from the defending gunners.

The first air to air attack. Lancaster ‘C for Charlie’ is winged, but shoots down the attacking Ju88 C6 of Chris

Next up was Bob, who homed in on Lancaster E for Easy.  However, this plane’s gunners were really on alert and they opened fire first and shot the Ju88 down before it had a chance to land any hits.

The second air to air attack. Lancaster ‘E for Easy’ plays a blinder and shoots down the attacking Ju88 C6 of ‘Experten’ rated Bob

However, at last the NachtJagd managed to get off the scoreboard as John locked on to Lancaster H for How, damaging the target on his first pass.  A second pass shot the Lancaster down.  The gunners never saw what hit them.

The first score for the NachtJagd as ‘H for How’ is shot down by the attacking Ju88 C6 of John

With the first attack completed the players returned to the raid map.  Here diversionary Mosquito raids were beginning to hit their targets in Duisburg, Witten and Hamburg.    The Duisburg raiders got clean away without being intercepted.  However, the only unit equipped with high-speed specialised He-219 A-2 Night Fighters, Chairman John’s  I Gruppe NJG1, was now placed on overwatch in the radar line astride their return route and were vectored in to attack the Mosquitos that had raided Witten.  The Ju-88s and Me-110s in the air in the area were too slow to catch the Mosquitos.

De Havilland Mosquito Mk IV bombers of 692 Squadron, part of the Light Night Striking Force. These delivered small high level raids as diversions from Main Force raids. They were unarmed and relied on their speed to escape interception.

In this second action the unarmed Mosquito Mk IVs played a cat and mouse game as the Heinkels tried to home in on their targets, relying on their speed for protection.  Mike managed to get into position to make a power dive to pounce on one of the raiders, but his approach was spotted and the Mosquito attempted to shake him off with a corkscrew turn.  Mike second guessed this and followed the Mosquito through the turn, then shot it down with a well-aimed burst, as it began a second corkscrew evasion.

The raid will continue at the next session in April.

At the end of session 1 the league table points scored are as follows (it is worth noting that the Germans were stupendously unlucky in their dice rolls to lose 2 Night Fighters in air to air combat):

Mike (2JD)                       3            +2 for Mosquito shot down, +1 for GCI attack

Chairman John (3JD)  2             +1 for Lancaster shot down, +1 for GCI attack

Dave (1JD)                        0             no gains, no losses

Chris (7JD)                     -1.5       +.5 for Lancaster damaged, -2 for Ju88 shot down

Bob (4JD)                         -2         -2 for Ju88 shot down

 

FoG League 2019

This year’s Field of Glory tournament started with a 3-a-side game on the first meeting of the year. From the scores it would seem to have been a very close game, with the triumvirate of Paul, Pete and Brett just edging out Colin, Jack and Chairman John 11-9. The FoG league page has now been moved to the blog from the club website – the page can be found here.

Tombstone 2018

Tombstone at the end of the shoot-out

The end of year Society wild west shoot out for 2018 has gone down in the Annals of the West.  The town photographer captured the action!

This saw Sheriff “Frontier Steve” Walters defending the good citizens of Tombstone against raiding gangs led by Black “Texas Bob” Jang and Frank “Bexley Dutch Mike” Schmidt.  The Sheriff was later reinforced by a mercenary crew led by No-Eyes “Chairman John” Luke.  A motley range of citizens were controlled by the host and umpire, “Treasurer Mark” showing varying levels of commitment to help defend their town.

Bashful Baz heroically (and ineptly) confronts Frank “Bexley Dutch Mike” Schmidt

The gang led by Dutch Mike made a beeline for the bank, whilst the gang led by Texas Bob made a bee-line for the Drink n Drop Saloon.  Patrolling deputy Ted ‘The Lawman’ spotted Dutch, raised the alarm and opened fire with his trusty Colt,  while Sheriff Steve Walters moved round the general store to outflank Dutch’s gang, only to die in a hail of bullets from Quick-Draw Mc-Graw.  Several citizens waded in to help – the general store owner shot down Dutch from the window of his store before rashly coming out and in turn being gunned down by Quick-Draw.  Ted the Lawman fell to the shotgun of outlaw Heath Robinson.  The hapless citizen Bashful Baz placed himself squarely in the line of fire and then spent the rest of the game rooted to the spot and twice trying to unjam his Colt in a hail of bullets, emerging unscathed with only a few bullet grazes.  The only Deputy left standing, Camp Freddie, despatched outlaw Doc Savage through a window, having fled for cover in the bank.

Black “Texas Bob” Jang goes head to head with No-Eyes “Chairman John” Luke

At the other end of town Texas Bob went head to head with the newly arrived John ‘No-eyes’ and gunned him down in a hail of lead, then laying out his gang-side kick Jimmy Six-Shot with a ‘real-bad’ hit in the legs.  His rampage was finally stopped with a hail of bullets from ‘No-Eyes’ number 2, Yankee Seb.  Texas Bob’s side-kick, Stick-up Joe moved in to rob and recruit in the Drink n Drop.  Joe won over his secret admirer, saloon girl Rosie Williams and saloon ‘resident’ Whiskey Will.  All hell broke lose as the jilted and alcohol-fuelled Hallelujah Jones attacked Rosie.  Stick-up laid him out cold and Rosie completed her journey to the dark side by finishing him with her trusty Deringer.  However, as Stick-up Joe emerged from the Drink n Drop, he was gunned down by hired guns Yankee Seb and Ugly Trev.

Stick-up Joe and Rosie Williams emerge from the Drink n’ Drop to their doom

Meanwhile outlaw Sam Sharpshot went after town resident ‘The Butcher’ who had been gunned down after emerging from his livery stable and wildly shooting his shotgun at Texas Bob’s gang.  ‘The Butcher’ was heroically rescued by the town Doc, Sweeney Todd, but both were then pursued and ‘The Butcher’ was killed by the hard-bitten Sam assisted by Whiskey Will – Sweeney Todd was badly injured trying to save him.  Meanwhile last member of Bob’s gang, the outlaw Maximillian met a sticky end at the hands of Yankee Seb, Deputy Camp Freddie and hotel owner ‘Hurricane’ Higgins, who suddenly found the ‘courage’ to shoot him in the back as he faced Yankee Seb.

Crazed with grief Rosie dashed across the street aiming to gun down lawman Camp Freddie, who calmly turned and shot her down.

With this, the surviving outlaws headed for the hills.

Black “Texas Bob” Jang – during his gun toting rampage

The winner on the day was the gang of Black “Texas Bob” Jang, who scored 7 points after robbing the Drink n Drop and the Livery Stable (1 point each), recruiting two citizens to the gang (2 points), killing Legend ‘No-Eyes’ (2 points) and two citizens (half a point each).  The only survivors were Shootist Sam Sharpshot and the now infamous ex-citizen Whiskey Will.

No-Eyes “Chairman John” Luke moves up at the head of his hired hands

In second place was “Chairman John”, who scored 4.5 points after killing Legend Black Jang, Doc Savage, Maximillian and half a point for citizen turned outlaw, Rosie.  All of the hired gang except leader ‘No-Eyes’ survived, but Jimmy Six-Shot was ‘hurt real bad’.

Frank “Bexley Dutch Mike” Schmidt – killed by the unseen owner of the general store

A close third was “Bexley Dutch Mike”, who scored 4 points, his gang gunning down Legend Sheriff Walters, Deputy Ted the Lawman and citizens ‘Doc’ Walters and Ol’ George.  Only two gang members survived, Quick-Draw Mc-Graw and gang side-kick, Heath Robinson, who was ‘hurt real bad’, but caused mayhem with his shotgun.  McGraw becomes a legend after taking out the Sheriff and his marksman deputy without so much as a scratch before avenging his fallen leader.

Sheriff “Frontier Steve” Walters – a dedicated lawman to the end

“Frontier Steve” had an unlucky day with 3 of the 4 lawmen shot down stopping Dutch’s gang with the Sheriff and Chief Deputy killed and Deputy Billy the Bloke badly shot up as he emerged from the jail to help.  Their sacrifice will always be remembered.

Sheriff Walters gunned down in the performance of his duty. Bashful Baz is under fire from Heath Robinson and Quick-Draw McGraw on the other side of the store.  Dutch Mike has fallen near the bank.
Doc Walters proudly poses in front of his store on the day it opened. He is now remembered as a fallen hero of Tombstone

The citizens held a fine funeral for Doc Walters who fell defending his store and the town, killing outlaw legend ‘Dutch’ Schmidt.  Bashful Baz can spin a fine tale showing his bullet grazes having survived a hail of bullets and shotgun shells (probably leaving out that his gun jammed twice and he never hit anything other than the side of the bank).  The severely injured doctor, Sweeney Todd becomes a town hero after his selfless rescue of ‘The Butcher’ and attempt to save him from the brutal assault of Sam Sharpshot and the treacherous Whiskey Will.

Whiskey Will and Sam Sharpshot emerge from the Livery Stable after their savage pursuit and killing of the ‘The Butcher’

The tragic tale of the doomed love of Stick-up Joe and Rosie Williams enters western folk-lore.

Camp Freddie plans to stand for Sheriff.

The game used “The Rules With No Name” and 20mm figures and buildings from the collection of our late Chairman, Trevor.

The rules use a card driven activation sequence and make for an excellent, fast, fun game.

A random roll was used to drive the action of citizens, with the potential to defect to an outlaw gang under pressure, avoid action, or alternatively suddenly gain the courage to defend the town, with limited, or excessive enthusiasm, as events unfolded in their direction.

Grendel Stalks the Night

To kick off 2019 at the first meeting in January there will be a game of Dragon Rampant based on the story of Beowulf and Grendel. Stephen sets the scene…

“In off the moors, down through the mist beams, god-cursed Grendel came greedily loping…”

The game will involve two sides – Grendel and his marsh demon minions against Beowulf and the assorted heroes of Heorot.

All models and materials will be provided. Just bring yourself and a desire to roll dice in good company. There’s no need to know the rules either. Dragon Rampant is an easy game to pick up and, though it’s open to anyone, I’d be particularly keen to have players who’ve never played the ‘Rampant’ family of games before or new players to the club.

So if you fancy a go then join us on the 12th Jan for a bit of mythological dark ages fun.

“For a brief while your strength is in bloom but it fades quickly; and soon there will follow illness or the sword to lay you low, or a sudden fire or a surge of water or jabbing blade or javelin from the air or repellent age.”

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