RAF The Battle of Britain 1940 – The GrogHeads AAR, part 1 of 5

Michael’s got England in his sights ~

Michael Eckenfels, 3 April 2018

Introduction

This AAR covers the game RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940 (2009). It is a most excellent solitaire game with bodacious amounts of fun, given that there are three games in one in the box – a solo game where you play the beleaguered RAF, a solo game where you play the Luftwaffe, and a two-player game as well. GrogHeads just reviewed the newest version of the game, and I did a review of this game a few years back for GrogHeads here.  I was also a fan of the original RAF game that was put out back in 1986. That last one was one of my staples growing up; it was fast, challenging, and always kept you on the edge of your seat.

This AAR is full-length and yes, before you even ask, it is complete. I’ve been working on it for a few weeks now, wanting to ensure it gets done one way or another before I even try to post it to the site.

I’ve also included a bit of padding/narrative to try to tell a (non-historical) story as I am wont to do on occasion. I hope you will find it entertaining and not a distraction. Though, honestly, it was a bit hard to write considering the viewpoint – I’m playing this from the perspective of the Germans, and as such, it means I have to ingrain myself in as the leader of the Luftwaffe. Or, the sub-leader. You see, in my alternate history, here, Goering choked to death on a goat meatball sandwich, and “I” take over on the eve of the Battle of Britain.

Writing from the perspective of the head of the Luftwaffe (or ersatz head, however you feel like interpreting it) makes it incredibly difficult to come off to a wide audience without looking like a Nazi sympathizer, but I know that 90% of the members on this site will get it and go with it. If you’re offended by this, well…I suggest you find something else to go and be offended by, or better yet, spend your energy learning excellent solitaire games like this rather than getting mad about a (very) fictional account that only exists in the form of a paper map sheet and cardboard counters. If the narrative is good enough to lose you in the story, well…I guess I’ve done my job, and that includes if you get mad about it.

LOSS EQUIVALENTS

From the beginning, I wanted to try to keep an accurate record of aircraft losses, based on in-game results. I reached out on BoardGameGeek and started a thread where a very helpful gent named Simon Blackwell did exactly what I was looking for, and posted his notes there. If you’re interested, go check out the thread. I’ve done my best to stick to his system and I recognize it might not be historically accurate, but that’s okay as it’s just a game. Still, his work helps add some flair and color to what I’m attempting to do. Many thanks to Simon for his efforts.

As I am not playing with the optional night rules, the British Bleinheims will not make an appearance.

The first set of figures are unit strength when Full/Fatigued.
The next are casualties at full strength LT/HVY/ELIM and then at fatigued strength LT/HVY/ELIM

RAF

(e.g., 12 aircraft in a Full counter, 6 in a Reduced counter; a Full counter with Light, Heavy, and Eliminated results would suffer the loss of 2, 4, and 6 aircraft, respectively).
  • Supermarine Spitfire 12/6 2-4-6, 1-2-3
  • Hawker Hurricane 12/6 2-4-6, 1-2-3

Luftwaffe

  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 25/15 2-5-10, 1-5-8
  • Messerschmitt Bf 110 25/12 3-6-12, 2-6-8
  • Junkers Ju 88 30/15 3-7-14, 2-6-10
  • Dornier Do 17 30/15 4-9-16, 3-8-10
  • Heinkel He 111 30/15 3-8-15, 2-7-10
  • Junkers Ju 87 25/12 4-9-14, 3-6-9

PROLOGUE

The Reichslftfahrtministerium

19 JULY 1940

The camera flashed.

“Goering is an idiot,” I whispered.

Erhard Milch heard me, but none of the other stuffed peacocks did. Milch snickered.

He was a bit slow in the head, though. It was a wonder that some of these men made it this far – me included.

When Hitler awarded the Field Marshal rank to us, I was more than a little taken aback. I just wanted to be in the field, but my meteoric rise in rank and responsibility wasn’t just on my shoulders, but also on the “galaxy” of officers around me. As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.

Wasan idiot,” whispered Milch out of the side of his concrete chin. Indeed, the fat slob had died at a buffet table just a few days prior, celebrating our win over France with a goat meatball sandwich. With the reorganization of the Luftwaffe into several Luftflotte, I figured I was headed to a desk job in Berlin, which is the last thing I wanted, especially as many around me were going on to posts that would put them on the edge of the war.

That was my thought in the weeks leading up to the ceremony, even upon hearing of Der Dicke’s demise. At least, until Herr Toothpaste-mustache requested my presence immediately after and asked that I take the reins of the OKL over, to directly command both Luftflotte 2 and 3 in the upcoming air war against England.

Talk about being careful what you wish for.

August 3, 1940

The day was drizzly as we climbed out of the staff cars in northwestern France. Luftflotte 2 was headquartered in Brussels, and Luftflotte 3 in Paris, but I wanted to be closer to the action, so a headquarters had been built here, roughly equidistant between the two, with excellent telephone lines and at least three bases within walking distance.

The plan? Well, it had been communicated that we were to take the RAF out of the picture to pave the way for an invasion of England. Can you imagine? ENGLAND.

In any case, after a few conferences and planning sessions, I decided we’d be all in for most of our raids. Targets would be fed to us from Berlin, and I’d make the decisions that would set LF2 and 3 into motion. However, I would have discretion insofar as choosing which of the “prioritized” targets Berlin wanted us to attack. We were also slaves to the whims of Der Fuhrer and his ever-shifting prioritization demands. What might be high priority one day could slip to the basement of obscurity the next. It was a maddening thought.

This is the start of the Eagle scenario for RAF. All Squadrons (which are what RAF aircraft counters are called) are present, as are all Gruppen (likewise, German Luftwaffe counters).

 

Come back next week for the start of the raids


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