04/03/2019 at 04:49 #110249zippyfusenetParticipant
CincyCon this weekend was another excellent gaming convention where I met many old friends and some new ones, bought a bundle of choice boodle, played some great wargames and kibitzed a few more. Best of all, my own Air Pirates game, Die Wunderwaffen des Luftwaffe, was a hit. Here are a few pix for an AAR.
I had offered my game for up to 8 players, but managed to seat 9, and a 10th joined in for a while. I hated to turn a couple more players away, but I ran out of German fighters.
Much of the pleasure I find in miniature wargaming is playing with the toys. I can play with a few by myself. It’s better when I have an opponent; we cooperate more than we compete, to play a game. It’s a rare and wonderful occasion when I can collect 10 players to join me in pushing around 21 detailed historical model airplanes in a structured wargame. And that’s why I GM games at conventions. I had a lot of fun with this game.
Here are a couple of pix of (most of) the players, first the German players planning their attack, then the middle of the table in mid-game. Don’t they look engaged? One reason that the Air Pirates rules work for big multi-player games is that the si-move structure keeps everyone busy, so there’s not a lot of standing around waiting for your turn to come. And playing on a hex grid takes all the ambiguity and finagling out of si-move.
The fighters are 1/144 scale, mostly pre-paints, a few are built kits. The B-17s are diecast toys, about 1/225 scale, converted and repainted to the best of my ability. The vinyl mats with 5 inch hexes are from Battle Masters games.
The big attraction for most players was the Me 262 jet fighters. They’re one of the more glamorous WWII fighters, but they rarely appear in a table-top game. All of the walk-up players wanted to fly the jets. I only had 4 Me 262s, so I parcelled them out to the 4 first-comers and gave 2 more German players each a pair of FW 190Ds. (I had intended to include a pair of Do 335 models in the game, but the little barstools fell apart on me, and I couldn’t repair them at the con. I’m sure you all know that part of the joy of playing with models is the continual maintenance and repair work. Hi-ho.)
Three more players were my cronies who had helped me play-test the game two weeks ago. In those two play-test games, the American fighter escorts never caught the German jets; they never got off one shot in either game. These guys knew what to expect, so I gave them each a pair of P-51Ds and wished them luck.
The American players, realizing that the Germans were likely to jump them from behind, recognizeded that flying in close formation with the bombers would be a losing proposition. They set up with elements off to either side of the map, pointed both back and forward. The Germans planned a coordinated attack from the rear, coming on the table in line abreast, with the jets in the middle going straight for the bomber box at top speed, and elements of Focke Wulfs on either flank, keeping up as well as they could. Here’s what that looked like, as the Germans closed in, while the American fighters turned to engage.
The Mustangs got off a couple of shots at the jets as they flashed past; they scored a non-fatal hit on one of the pilots. And then the jets were gone.
The Focke Wulf players saw their duty to distract the American escorts while the Messerschmitts went after the B-17s. A vicious dogfight developed among the piston engined fighters.
All 5 players with prop fighters were experienced airwar gamers, and I thought they all flew well. They used the vertical, they dodged, they took a lot of shots and dealt a lot of damage. To my surprise, none of the piston engined fightes was shot down. Here’s a pic of a dramatic moment, when three Mustangs caught a pair of FW 190s and set them both on fire. I thought they had two kills…but the German player managed to put both fires out by diving, and then climb back up and get back in the fight. He was a persistant Fokker. I was impressed.
Meanwhile, the Me 262s caught up with the B-17s and began methodically taking the bomber formation apart. It didn’t take long before one bomber was shot down and two more were crippled. Here’s what that looked like:
Ultimately, only two B-17s out of 7 survived to press on to their target. Two more cripples turned back. Here’s one Fortress, crippled and on fire in three places. That one went down. The Me 262s didn’t get away unscathed. Bomber gunners scored hits on several Messerschmitts and shot one down, the only fighter that was lost in the game.
After about three hours play, the jets were out of ammunition, so we called the game. I judged it a resounding German vistory, with an American bomber squadron shot to ribbons and only one jet fighter lost. Not a surprising result, those Me 262s are monsters, with 4 X 30mm cannon, they’ll eat anything that gets in front of them.
It looked like all my players had fun, and I know I did. I wonder what I should put on next year?
- This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by zippyfusenet.
You'll shoot your eye out, kid!30/03/2019 at 22:50 #111667Dave CroweParticipant
Looks like a great game was had. Plenty of action with that many bombers being taken down too!
As far as what to put on next year… I’ll have to have a think and see if I can come up with a suggestion. Maybe something a bit different. Some kind of ground attack on the eastern front. A swarm of Russians run a gauntlet of anti aircraft fire to take out an armoured train. Maybe throw in some fighters on both sides too.
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