Malta air campiagn - Game two
This is the battle report from the second game of our Malta campaign. This game was played
about a month before I wrote this, so the details may be a bit sketchy and some of the photos
were unusable (too blurry and bad lighting).
In this game we decided to try out the torpedo rules and get the attackers to try and sink an unarmed merchant ship. This was the first time we had tried out any kind of ground attack rules so we didn't want to complicate the game with AA rules as well.
The pictures are a bit blurry but now I have figured out how to adjust the colour balance to make up for the effect the lighting has on the images. Hopefully the images will be better next time.
Allied player - 4 Gladiators and 2 Swordfish
Axis player A - 2 MC.200 Saettas and 1 Cr.42 Falco
Axis player B - 2 MC.200 Saettas and 1 Cr.42 Falco
The British player came on at one end of the table and the Italians at the other. The merchant ship was positioned near the Italian players table end. We rolled for random turn entry for the defenders to make it more interesting (6-for the first turn, 5,6-for the second turn, 4,5,6 for the third turn and so on)
Italian starting positions
A flight of the brave Italian defenders shown flying over the merchant ship in their courageous defence of this unarmed ship. The flight arrived a turn later than their comrades and quickly dived to match the altitude of the attackers.
The British flying in formation
The first few turns involved the British biplanes moving slowly down the table, burning height to gain speed. This forced the Italians to drop height to come down and meet them.
Note the rather unorthodox formation adopted by the British player.
The Italians attempting to outflank the British
The first flight of Italians came around the left flank of the British to try and avoid some of the Gladiator escorts. They ended up in the middle of the British formation and later on this was to prove costly, as they suffered heavy losses at the hands of the Gladiators.
In this photo you can see the two Swordfish flying in base to base contact in the middle of the formation.
The first Swordfish gone!
The second flight of Italians decided to take a more direct approach to the Swordfish. Their fighters swooped in with their Saettas and managed to one get a frontal shot on a Swordfish. The first Saetta missed but the second one got off a lucky shot and caused a critical hit on the fuel and structure, causing an extra 2D6 of damage, which was enough to destroy the Swordfish!
Italians under attack
After the initial success, the Italians got into a dogfight with the escorting Gladiators but were outclassed. The Gladiators showed their superior turning ability and managed to damage some of the Saettas.
Cr42 Falcos simultaneously crashing into the sea
Meanwhile the remaining Swordfish dropped to low altitude in preparation for its torpedo run. The first Italian player decided swoop down with their uncommitted Cr42 and give chase. Unfortunately they failed their manoeuvre and lost too much altitude, ending up in the drink! The second Italian player (me) also tried a similar manoeuvre but with a slightly bigger safety margin, but also rolled poorly as well, and crashed the other Cr42 into the sea! Scratch 2 undamaged Cr42s and back to flight school for the surviving pilots. This result swung the balance back towards the British player, after the good start by the Italians.
The British won the initiative in the last turn and managed to release their torpedo before the already damaged Swordfish, was shot down by the Saetta trailing it. However the torpedo failed to cause a lot of damage and the merchant ship survived.
In this picture you can see the Swordfish being followed by a Saetta, which is being followed by a Gladiator.
The Merchant ship burning
This photo shows the merchant ship (a 1/600th ship) on fire after being hit by a single torpedo. At this point we ended the game.
We decided to call this game a draw because although the Italians prevented the British from sinking the ship, they suffered heavy losses and the ship was only slightly damaged. The British lost both Swordfish but none of their escorts, however they were unable to sucessfully complete the mission.
This was one of the most fun games we have played with some extreme dice rolling causing some interesting results. Luck (good and bad) seemed to favour both sides and balanced out, over the game.
The game took place mainly at very low altitudes and this made it more risky for the players to try any difficult manoeuvres, because failure would mean crashing into the sea. This gave the Gladiators a slight advantage, because of their superior turning ability in dogfights.