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I wish there were a free TTS or VASSAL version of this.  Fiddling around with the phone cam, Prime drive photos, and photobucket is a time killer.
Tabletop AARs / Re: Operation Crossbow: B-17 Flying Fortress Leader AAR
« Last post by bbmike on Yesterday at 05:55:39 AM »
^Nice! I also Kickstarted this and look forward to playing it. This AAR is perfect timing.  O0
Kammhuber's close relationship with the U-boat lads pays off.  Two wolfpacks hit my convoys and I lose 4 of my 14 supply points.  V-1 attacks account for another 2.

I assign the B-24 bomber group to submarine chasing but they have no luck after a week of hunting and come back empty handed.

Meanwhile, I have a look at the map and it seems as though the Germans have left the Pas de Calais region lightly defended.  As it's nice and close to England, our bombers will benefit from fighter cover there and back and the Luftwaffe won't have much time to organize their defences.  I decide to hit two different V-1 launch sites in order to make Mr. Churchill happy.  I spend 4 of my 8 supply points to recruit a 2nd recon flight and I sent each of my two flights to have a look at the suspected launch sites in Lottinghen and Wizernes, France.  The flight over Wizernes comes back with excellent photos but the team sent to Lottighen are intercepted and shot down.

Met reports show clear skies over England and partial clouds over France and Germany.  I decide to hit Wizernes first.  I assign the 3 B-17G bomber groups to this target with the 56th fighter group providing high cover.  The flights will form up over the North Sea and make a direct run in to the target, returning on a reciprocal path.  We have good intel on the target site and will be able to avoid the worst of the flak concentrations  (+2DRM to bombing accuracy and -2DRM to flak fire thanks to high intel)

Due to tight supplies, I am forced to equip all groups with M30 bombs which are better for cratering runways than crushing concrete lauch pads.  Hopefully the Norden bombsights perform as advertised.  (B-17s have a bomb load of 6 in game.  Each M30 bomb cluster weighs 2 so each bomber will carry 3 sets.  They are listed as 8/10 on the chit which means if I roll 8+ on a d10, I score 1 hit on the target.  A 10 will net 2 hits.  I get a +2 to my rolls for the high intel.  Because the groups are all inexperienced, the 379th has a +0 accuracy score while the 96th and 385th each suffer a -1 penalty.)

The flights leave England in clear weather and make for the rendezvous point.  Kammhuber defies expectations and orders an all out effort to swat the Forts from the skies.  To make matters worse, the 56th fighter group misses the rendezvous in spite of the clear weather and the bombers will have to go in without fighter escort.

As the bombers cross the French coast, Luftwaffe fighters from Normandy and Paris race to intercept them.  Three of the 4 gruppes are successful and dive in on the formation.  Two groups of Fw-190s go after the lead group, the 379th while a flight of Me-410s slices through the middle, going after the 96th. 

The lead group of 190s makes a frontal attack against the 379th.  While the extra guns in the chins of the 17Gs help a little, they're no match for 20mm cannon and six Forts are lost from the first pass.  Another two Forts are lost to the 2nd group of 190s but the gunners manage to drive them off with losses.  The 410s are low on fuel and only manage a few quick passes before turning for home.  No bombers are lost from these attacks.

The 190s head back to refuel and re-arm just as the bombers begin taking fire from the flak guns defending the launch sites.  The flak barrages are ineffective and the bombers are able to press through and release their bombs on target.  It's a decent run for rookies and the target takes some damage, but not enough to knock it out.  We'll have to come back again to finish the job.

The bombers return to England before the Luftwaffe has time to re-engage and they land without further incident.  The 379th is down 9 bombers after the raid (1 point of loss equals 3 bombers).  Could have been much worse.

Two days later, the vets from the 305th and 303rd in the B-17Fs take their turn and go after the launch site in Lottighen.  The 78th fighter group escorts.  They use the same flight path as the previous raid and, once again, Kammhuber sends up everything he has.  Luckily for the 303rd and 305th, the Gruppe commanders have rotated their newest pilots into the roster and it's these rookies who lead the attacks today.  They send up two swarms of 190s and Bf-109s.  The Thunderbolts from the 78th intercept them before they can reach the bombers and a massive furball ensues.  The 78th loses three fighters but knocks out the 109s and sends the 190s scurrying back to base.  They're badly scattered and break off for England.


The two bomber groups press on to the target but, lacking good intel, fly through the densest part of the flak defences.  The gunners find the range and bombers begin to fall out of formation.  By the time the last bombers pass, 6 Forts are down.  The bombers get good hits on target and manage to inflict some (medium damage).   The RAF hits the site again that night and damages it still more (heavy).  It's not yet knocked out but it won't take much more.

The first week of missions are complete.  Going to have to pick up the pace if there's going to be any chance of success.  Kammhuber's using his experience defending against the RAF to push for more radar coverage.  By April, his new radar installations will be complete, making both flak and fighters much more deadly.

I kickstarted DVG's B-17: Flying Fortress Leader and it arrived about a month ago.  I completed the first campaign (in chronological order) and I found the game to be a lot of fun and to have a decent amount of chrome and historical flavour.  I'm currently listening to an audiobook called Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany and I'm constantly noticing little in-game touches that mirror historical details from the book.

I decided that I'd try to go through all the campaigns available in the game in chronological order so I just started the 2nd campaign, Operation Crossbow.  Unfortunately, it looks like this was another of the many little typos and errors found in the game.  The real Operation Crossbow wasn't until 1944, but in this game, it's listed as occurring from March to May of 1943.  The designer said that he'd originally had it as 1944 in his database but somehow changed it to 1943 early on in the design process and then added in the wrong available tech and so on.  As such, this is an alternate history where the Germans start launching their V-1s much earlier than in reality.

The main goal of the 8th's bomber groups is the destruction of the Luftwaffe so every campaign will have German airfields and aircraft factories as its primary targets.  In this campaign, political pressure is brought to bear on the commanders of the 8th to go after the V-1 launch sites in addition to continuing their original mission of going after Goering's boys.

In addition to the standard rules, I'm also adding in optional rules for weather, recon and intel, Luftwaffe pilot skill, and fighter engagement cohesion losses.  This will give me additional resource points with which to recruit my fighter and bomber groups, acquire technology, and assign officers.

I recruit two fighter groups, the 56th and the 78th, both flying P-47s.  The 56th is still green, but they're being led by Col. Hub Zemke, so I'm expecting big things.  The 78th has more experience but their morale isn't as good as the 56th's.  Going to have to keep an eye on them.

My bomber force is a mixed bag of B-17Fs, B-17Gs, and a single group of B-24Ds.  The 303rd BG (Hell's Angels) are the veterans of the bunch but their older B-17Fs are vulnerable to head-on attacks from the Luftwaffe so they'll fly in the middle of the formation.  Curtis LeMay's 405th BG are also in 17Fs but the pugnacious bastard insists on leading the formation so I equip his group with APT-2 radar jammers.  The B-24s will be assigned to fly with the 17Fs and LeMay.  The Liberators aren't as durable as the Forts but they carry a bigger payload.

The B-17Gs all have additional firepower in the chin to ward off frontal attacks.  They're going to fly together even though they've all just arrived from the States and are quite green.  I give the lead group's bombers APT-2 jammers.  I also recruit one reconnaissance group for now.

The Luftwaffe commander in charge of defending the Reich against daylight bombers is Josef Kammhuber (pulled off night fighter duties, I guess).  He's relatively conservative when it comes to throwing fighters up to fight off the bombers.  Instead he wants to try to choke off materiel support to England.  He maintains close liaison with the Kriegsmarine whose wolfpacks are picking off ships bringing in much needed supplies from the US. 

At the beginning of each game week, I get a number of supply points that I can use to repair/replace losses, conduct recon, arm bombers, etc.  Kammhuber can penalize my supply points with U-boat attacks.  I can assign B-24 bomber groups to try to sink the U-boats but then they won't be able to join in on bombing missions.  It's going to be a double whammy because the V-1 rocket attacks also have a chance to knock down my weekly supply point totals.  Could be a rough campaign.

Kammhuber's command starts the campaign with twelve squadrons available.  I roll 2d10 for each squadron and place it on the map according to the roll.  Bad luck.  Nearly all of the fighters are clustered around northern France and the Low Countries, right where the V-1 sites are situated.  Going to be some heavy opposition to battle through, it looks like.

Elsewhere in the world, the Brits and Americans are busy fighting in North Africa and the Yanks have pushed as far forward as Algeria.  In Russia, the Soviets are massing around Kursk.  Hopefully the fighting goes poorly for the Germans and they'll have to divert some Luftwaffe squadrons to those theatres.

Finally, I'm assigned my initial bombing targets.  I'm to go after aircraft factories in Brussels, Madgeburg, Kothen, and Gotha.  Prime airfield targets are in Nantes and St. Dizier, France, and in Bonn.  Intel has identified three V-1 launch sites in operation and a 4th being built, all in the Pas de Calais region of France. 

Time to send out some recon flights and decide on our target for today!

Tabletop AARs / Re: Taku Fort Naval Action pt 2
« Last post by nevermore on Yesterday at 12:47:21 AM »
Thank you once again
Tabletop AARs / Re: Outpost Gamma AAR: Discussion Thread
« Last post by bbmike on June 23, 2017, 05:00:00 PM »
Full roster! Let's light this candle...
Tabletop AARs / Re: Outpost Gamma AAR: Discussion Thread
« Last post by DoctorQuest on June 23, 2017, 04:57:06 PM » boy!

Yup. Card carrying graduate of the University of Hard Knocks.

I'm an alum!

We UHK grads need to stick together.
Tabletop AARs / Re: Outpost Gamma AAR: Discussion Thread
« Last post by BC on June 23, 2017, 02:44:49 PM »
Tabletop AARs / Re: Outpost Gamma AAR: Discussion Thread
« Last post by mirth on June 23, 2017, 02:27:14 PM » boy!

Yup. Card carrying graduate of the University of Hard Knocks.

I'm an alum!
Tabletop AARs / Re: Legionnaires Needed: Sign Up Within!
« Last post by DoctorQuest on June 23, 2017, 02:10:30 PM » boy!

Yup. Card carrying graduate of the University of Hard Knocks.
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