Archive for August, 2013

So that's why I couldn't get those dang bombersSo that’s why I couldn’t get those dang bombers. No doubt Pammy’s twin 20mm DD cannons were there as well…………..

German Dornier Do17 bombers roaming freely over English skies

German Dornier Do17 bombers can now roam freely over English skies

27th Aug AAR – Clear blue skies

Announcement – Message to all UK units: Codeword CROMWELL. Home Defence forces to highest degree of readiness. Invasion of mainland UK expected at any time.

The air battle entered the final stage today as the Luftwaffe concerned itself with destroying the last undamaged Naval dockyard where large British warships were gathered as their prelude to invasion.  Commencing at 0900 hrs, 85 Ju88 & Ju87’s approached Weymouth.  The RAF uncertain of the enemies intentions offered no resistance as most Sqns were in a critical state with a terminal lack of experienced pilots.  The docks received many direct hits as were a number of Royal Navy vessels.  One was sunk attempting to extricate itself from the harbour which left the harbour blocked to incoming and outgoing traffic. At 1400 a second wave of 60 bombers & 75 escorts  approached the docks but this time was met by 234 Sqn (one of our best units) and 213 Sqn. In a heroic deed of self sacrifice the 12 pilots of 234 Sqn attacked 75 Me109’s head on allowing 213 Sqns lesser experienced Hurricane pilots to engage the bombers.  Regrettably this resulted in the loss of one of our premier Sqns who attacking at odds of worse than 6:1 paid the ultimate price and effectively ceased to exist as an operational unit with 6 aircraft shot down.  Ace pilot and CO Sqn Ldr “Mindy” Blake led from the front and was amongst the first to perish. Although 213 Sqn did manage to down 8 of the enemy bombers the remainder caused great damage to the port again, this time achieving their intention of rendering it totally inoperable.
Aug 27 01Intelligence reports were later received that a great host of invasion barges heavily defended by Kriegsmarines were moving out of their French Harbour bases and into the Channel.  As the invasion force approached Cuckmere Haven in Sussex in the early evening, another large Luftwaffe raid was heading towards RAF Hornchurch to rule out any chance of British airborne resisitance to the landings. In a final act of defiance, 4 inexperienced and fatigued Sqns attempted to beat off the attack. 54 Sqn (half strength), 1 RCAF (Royal Canadian Air force replacements), 303 Polish Fighter Sqn (Polish replacements) &  65 Sqn inexperienced pilots converged on the enemy. The hopelessness of the overall situation allowed the pilots to attack with reckless abandon and at the end of the engagement 29 German aircraft had been downed equalling the heaviest casualties inflicted in a single raid on the Luftwaffe. However the Luftwaffe’s job of stopping Sqns attacking the landings was done and these losses were considered acceptable to their OKW High Command as the landings proceeded unmolested. 
During the night as the German juggernaut disembarked and formed beachheads, bombers ranged over the South East occupying the remnants of a once proud Royal Air Force while Ju52 transports towing gliders roamed unopposed and began to land their lethal cargo of Falschirmjagers behind allied lines.
This is the final report of this campaign until God willing the British ground forces succeed where the air force failed. God Save the King.
End of day losses
RAF 8, Luftwaffe 37
RAF = 18% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

LW  = 7% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

(Cumulative RAF 177, Luftwaffe 358)

Victory point score -6 (Cumulative -36) – DECISIVE GERMAN VICTORY, GERMANY INVADES

Game NotesSo in the end the inevitable occurred.  Starting the day still in the minus 30’s as I had been for the previous 5 days I knew that one really devastating raid could end the game.  And that’s exactly what happened. First a large force that I had no hope of damaging arrived at Weymouth to cause that heavy damage and the loss of 3 VP’s, then a second successive raid on the same target. I had a fair chance of at least heavily damaging the bombers even destroying one if the dice gods favour didn’t desert me. I should have known better. These fickle deities have never actually helped most of the entire game and when they did they immediately dumped on my good fortune just like Brighton & Hove Albions hobby of crapping in the away changing rooms (look it up). Losing one of my most successful Sqns against the fighters just about summed up the entire game and that followed by another 2 points of bomb damage took my score below the minus 35 automatic defeat mark.  That left me with no choice but to attack everything the next raids presented no matter what and hope against hope of destroying at least 2 enemy gruppen.  Only a single raid followed for the day adding to the pressure but that raid presented just such an opportunity, 3 He111 gruppen with just a couple of 109’s and a 110 close escort.  Having a modest RDF detection roll allowed me to put up 3 full strength and 1 fatigued Sqn and things began well when I managed to lightly damage the 109’s and get through to the bombers with my entire force intact.  A roll of 5 on the dice would eliminate 3 gruppen and give me a whopping 6 VP’s. Everything else would result in failure. I rolled appropriately a 1 and the rest is history.

So another royal thrashing, what went wrong? EVERYTHING! The good weather, the unlucky dice rolls, the reinforcements being brought in at the wrong time, not bringing in enough reinforcements early on,  the 3 continual German relief cards, using and losing fatigued units, using Blenheims for daylight defence, the blank reshuffle deck card variant rules, the unbelievably disastrous RDF detection rolls, etc etc etc?  Probably a combination of all of the above.  I know the dice gods despise me with this game but certainly don’t remember so many pi$$ poor RDF rolls.  Chances to destroy enemy units were so few and far between that my chances of picking up points rested pretty much with the end of day ones that inevitably were diluted from accurate night bombing.  In the last game I played that ended a draw I destroyed 73 German gruppen for none of my own compared to this game of 6 destroyed for the loss of 4 of my own.  Even on my previous games where I have been defeated I have achieved a better ratio every time than that. The risk of using the Blenheim and the fatigued Sqns was a definite mistake with hindsight and one I’m still kicking myself about but that shouldn’t have been so decisive.  So in the end its just one of those things I guess. A very difficult game from the off nothing much went right and not the most satisfying game as even when I was with my back to the wall I never really had any decent heroic minor victories to shout about. But such is the appeal of this game that despite being roundly and utterly trounced, I’m going to set it up all over again and start anther attempt.  No AAR blogs or actual weather rolls this time, that’ll have to wait until next year or until Codeword Cromwell is published at which point I can see what happened to the invasion.  Until we meet again, Per ardua Astra

The attack on Biggin Hill, 64 & 151 Sqn take on the Me109's while 141 and 264 Defiants engage the bombers

The attack on Biggin Hill, 64 & 151 Sqn take on the Me109’s while 141 and 264 Defiants engage the bombers

26th Aug AAR – Cloudy, clearing by 1100

Once again the Luftwaffe targeted the RDF stations on the South coast beginning with a lightning low level attack followed by one of the largest single raids of the campaign to date.  At 1000 hrs a force of 25 elite Me110 Jabo bombers flew in low over the Channel affording our defences little time to respond.  Our own elite 266 Sqn did manage to scramble but were disadvantaged from the start as they had no time to form up.  They did however manage to distract the enemy attacks and successfully defend Beachy Head but at a heavy cost of 4 of our own fighters. The Sqn Ldr, RL Wikinson , Flt Lt SH Batley &  Sgt RH Gretton all perished in the action.  The Sqn will now be commanded by Sqn Ldr Patrick Geraint “Jamie” Jameson, a New Zealander who joined the RAF in 1936. He has accumulated 2 of the Sqns kills to date.  At 1100 a formation of 110 Ju88’s and Ju87 Stuka dive-bombers with a massive fighter escort of 175 Me109’s attacked Foreness RDF.  The formation was unmolested as not enough Sqns were available to make an effective attack. The station received light damage but will be fully operational tomorrow. The next attacks commenced at 1600 this time over RAF Biggin Hill.  A mixed force of 120 Ju88’s and He111’s with a small escort of just 25 Me109’s were accurately detected. Ace 64 Sqn (Spitfire) on their first sortie since the loss of their CO (Sqn Ldr A Macdonell) led the attack under Sqn Ldr Norman Cyril Odbert and were joined by 141 Sqn (Defiant), 151 Sqn (Hurricane) and 264 Sqn (Defiant). The expert pilots of 64 Sqn made short work of the fighter escort shooting down 5 Me109’s before destroying a gruppe of Ju88’s. The new CO claimed his first, a Ju88 and no fewer than 4 Sqn pilots now have 3 or 4 kills each.  Plt Off J J O’Meara (3), Plt Off A.F. Laws (3), Plt Off AG Donohue (American with Canadian citizenship) (3), Sgt GW Scott (4).  Unfortunately the Boulton Paul Defiant Sqns were totally ineffective against the remaining bombers. 2 of their number were lost along with 2 Hurricanes although only light damage was done to the airfield.  RAF North Weald was next on the Luftwaffe’s agenda, with 25 more elite Me110 Jabo’s protected by 25 Me109’s. 257 Sqn was scrambled but were shot up badly. Sqn Ldr H Harkness commanding the Sqn failed to return and is presumed lost over the estuary. Command of the Sqn is now placed in the hands of Sqn Ldr Robert “Bob” Stanford Tuck who has transferred from non-operational 92 Sqn.  Moreover, 25 Sqn who were preparing for night patrols were damaged on the ground and could not participate in attempting to intercept any enemy night raiders.  
Aug 26-27 01During the night the enemy still showed either a reluctance or inability to send over large numbers but his attacks on London did cause some damage.   
End of day losses
RAF 13, Luftwaffe 11
RAF = 18% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

LW  = 2% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

(Cumulative RAF 169, Luftwaffe 321)

Victory point score 0 (Cumulative -30)

Game NotesA couple of missed opportunites where I had the chance to do real damage for once ended up with the day being another stalemate although losing 18% of my committed forces and 4 Sqns to rest boxes compared to the meagre losses of the Luftwaffe despite eliminating a gruppe of Ju88’s basically made today feel like another defeat. The Biggin raid should have yielded at least 2 and potentially 3 destroyed gruppen but I had to make do with just one and take a point of bomb damage for good measure so the 2 VP gain was cancelled out almost immediately.

My night patrols are turning into a shambolic mess with only 1 successful interception in 2 weeks. The early loss of 600 Sqn (the only ones fitted with aircraft detecting radar) has been more keenly felt than originally envisaged and nullifying the night attacks has proven to be almost impossible so far. Now that 600 Sqn are back I’m hoping that if I can avoid getting damaged on the ground I might have a bit more success in that department. The change of the Luftwaffe’s target priorities might finally help out my beleaguered RDF stations and airfields, how long they stick to targeting Industry & Ports is anyone’s guess.   

Spare dornier

The fate of a Dornier crew after being downed by 54 Sqn today

25th Aug AAR – Thick mist slowly burning off by midday.

After nearly 24 hours of persistent rain, by the morning the entire South of England was cloaked in a thick mist/fog/vapour grounding all aircraft on both sides of the Channel.  By late morning the sun had begun to burn it off and the Luftwaffe commenced operations. At 1400 a small raid on industrial targets at Rochester was intercepted by 54 Sqn with the rebuilt 65 Sqn providing top cover. With no fighter escorts the Dorniers proved easy prey for our fighters with 9 being shot down before the enemy aborted their attack. At 1700  a larger force attacked RAF Hornchurch.  Despite 32 Sqn, 74 Sqn,  85 Sqn and 501 Sqn some 48 fighters being scrambled, the bombers found their mark and caused considerable damage including 2 Sqns on the ground. Furthermore, their fighters also shot down 9 of our own for the loss of just 5 Me109’s. 74 Sqn being the only Sqn to claim a credit for the day, Sqn Ldr “Sailor” Malan one of 5 pilots to bag an Me109. He is the latest pilot to achieve ace status with 5 kills to his name. The final raid of the day occurred over the skies of Bristol. A force 50 Me110’s flying low over the coast attempted to bomb numerous targets. 234 Sqn (one of our best performing) engaged 1 gruppe in a confused melee resulting in the break up of their formation although no aircraft were shot down by either side.  The second gruppe believing they had a clear run to target arrived over Bristol to find 808 FAA Sqn’s Fairey Fulmars waiting for them. Showing a total disrespect for their adversaries they chose to ignore the Sqn resulting in the loss of 8 of their aircraft without scoring any damage. Sub Lt Rupert Claude Tillard (the Sqn CO) and PO DE Taylor claimed a pair each.  The night saw another light half-hearted effort by the Luftwaffe where no real damage was inflicted.   


End of day losses

RAF 11, Luftwaffe 20
RAF = 11% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

LW  = 9% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

(Cumulative RAF 156, Luftwaffe 310)

Victory point score 0 (Cumulative -30)

Game NotesSomething of a stalemate today, my thanks go out to General Mist who successfully offset the ALL OUT attack that would have done for me.  Losing 4 Sqns to repair the boxes with the second raid turned a potentially good day into one neither good nor bad, the high point being the first successful use of the Fulmar’s. Still on minus 30 I feel its just a matter of time but if I can get just 1 juicy unescorted Ju87 attack and the perfect conditions I might still be able to turn the game round…………    

Aug 24-25 London24th Aug AAR – Torrential rain, mist and fog

Owing to the abysmal weather no raids occurred today.  Furthermore during the night, only light nuisance raids were attempted over London doing little damage which the Fire Brigade and ARP wardens dealt with bravely and efficiently.  So with the respite, it gives us time to recognise the heroic efforts of some of the best performing Sqns and pilots as we enter the most crucial phase of the battle. Leading the way as the best performing Sqns are 64 Sqn and 234 Sqn both with 36 kills each.  

The highest scoring “Ace” pilots to date are Sqn Ldr Aeneas Macdonnell (posthumous) of 64 Sqn and Sgt HJL Hallowes of 43 Sqn both attaining 6 individual kills. The roll of honour is reproduced below. 

Top Sqns 

1st= 36 kills, 7 losses – 64 Sqn Spitfire – 6 sorties – 2xMe109, 12xMe110, 7xJu88, 15xHe111 

1st= 36 kills, 4 losses – 234 Sqn Spitfire – 3 sorties – 12xMe109, 3xMe110, 7xJu88, 14xJu87

3rd  22 kills, 6 losses – 609 Sqn Spitfire – 5 sorties – 2xMe109, 8xMe110,  3xHe111, 9xJu87

4th  20 kills, 4 losses – 43 Sqn Spitfire – 2 sorties – 5xMe109, 12xMe110, 3xHe111

5th 18 kills, 6 losses – 1RCAF Hurricane –  4 sorties – 5xMe109, 9xDo17, 4xJu87

Top “Ace” Pilots  

1st =  6 kills – Sqn Ldr ARD Macdonell 64 Sqn Spitfire – 1xMe109, 3xMe110, 2xHe111 – KIA 

1st =  6 kills – Sgt HJL Hallowes 43 Sqn Spitfire – 3xMe109, 3xMe110

3rd = 5 kills – Sqn Ldr MV Blake 234 Sqn Spitfire – 4xMe109, 1xMe110 

3rd = 5 kills – Flt Lt PC Hughes 234 Sqn Spitfire – 1xMe109, 1xJu88, 3xJu87 – KIA

3rd = 5 kills – Flt Lt JI Kilmartin 43 Sqn Spitfire – 2xME109, 3xMe110 

End of day losses

RAF 0, Luftwaffe 0

RAF = 0% no day raids

LW = 0% no day raids

(Cumulative RAF 145, Luftwaffe 290)

Victory point score +2 (Cumulative -30)

Game notes – Only my 2nd day off from the onslaught has allowed me to bring back into play another 4 full strength Sqns although this has to be offset against a virtually 100% full strength enemy. Furthermore, of the 22 front line Sqns available for tomorrow, 2 have green pilot negative modifiers that will require very careful handling. Still that’s 2 weeks gone and I’m still hanging on by my fingertips.  The weather tomorrow could play a crucial part in deciding the outcome. If its clear an ALL OUT attack will be on the cards that unless I have a change of fortune with the card decks and dice rolls will make my chances very slim.  Fingers crossed for some decent luck tomorrow.   

Aug 23 01

Boulton Paul Defiant gunner – 141 Sqn

23rd Aug AAR – Clear Skies becoming overcast toward the afternoon

As glorious weather so often brings out swarms of insect pests such as wasps and flying ants, the same can be said today regarding the Luftwaffe whose aircraft keen to deliver what they thought would be the hammer blow turned out in their droves.
The morning was a quiet one until about 1400 hrs when a force of about 100 bombers and fighter escorts were accurately detected heading towards RAF Middle Wallop. 152 Sqn, 229 Sqn, 238 Sqn & 609 Sqn scrambled to intercept.  A confused action took place with neither side able to take the initiative.  In the end 8 enemy aircraft were shot down for 6 of our own. Sgt EE Shepperd of 152 Spitfire Sqn was the pick of the bunch with 3 Me110’s to his name. At the same time Rye RDF was subjected to a heavy attack which was not detected. The station will be out of action for a number of days. 2 hours later RAF Biggin Hill received its first attack in 4 days. A mixed force of 60 Heinkel He111’s and Dornier Do17‘s with 75 Me109 escorts formed above the thickening cloud cover.  However before they could commence their bomb run, 74 Sqn, 141 Sqn, 266 Sqn and 1 RCAF Sqn launched a devastating counter-attack on the enemy formation. 22 enemy aircraft were destroyed without a single RAF fighter being shot down.  New 74 Sqn CO, Sqn Ldr Adolf “Sailor” Malan (South African) put to literal effect his “10 rules of air fighting” shooting down 2xMe109’s and 1xHe111.  His Sqn claimed 7 but 266 Sqn was the most successful picking off 10 He111’s and effectively destroying 1 entire enemy gruppe. 
Sgt EE Shepperd 152 Sqn with mascot "Snowy"

Sgt EE Shepperd 152 Sqn with mascot “Snowy”

  • 1. Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Fire short bursts of 1 to 2 seconds only when your sights are definitely “ON”.
  • 2. Whilst shooting think of nothing else, brace the whole of your body: have both hands on the stick: concentrate on your ring sight.
  • 3. Always keep a sharp lookout. “Keep your finger out”.
  • 4. Height gives you the initiative.
  • 5. Always turn and face the attack.
  • 6. Make your decisions promptly. It is better to act quickly even though your tactics are not the best.
  • 7. Never fly straight and level for more than 30 seconds in the combat area.
  • 8. When diving to attack always leave a proportion of your formation above to act as a top guard.
  • 9. INITIATIVE, AGGRESSION, AIR DISCIPLINE, and TEAMWORK are words that MEAN something in Air Fighting.
  • 10. Go in quickly – Punch hard – Get out!
Sqn Ldr Adolf "Sailor" Malan - CO 74 Sqn - shot down 3 enemy today

Sqn Ldr Adolf “Sailor” Malan – CO 74 Sqn – shot down 3 of the enemy today

At 1815 hrs a force of 50 Ju87 Stuka‘s escorted by a large force of 150 fighters attacked RAF North Weald.  1 Sqn, 56 Sqn and 242 Sqn were detailed to intercept however, owing to conflicting instructions between 10 and 11 Group Sector Hq’s the Sqns arrived dispersed and uncoordinated. The Me109 fighters made short work of the piecemeal attacks and shot down 12 of our aircraft without loss. Sqn Ldr Douglas Bader CO of 242 Sqn was scathing in his criticism of the Sector Hq’s mishandling of his first Sqns action stating with some justification that this debacle almost cost the RAF 3 Sqns and the RAF’s total defeat.  During the night, approximately 150 Heinkels probed coastal port defences causing some damage.      

End of day losses

RAF 18, Luftwaffe 30
RAF = 14% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

LW  = 5% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

(Cumulative RAF 145, Luftwaffe 290)

Victory point score -2 (Cumulative -32)

Game NotesSo an ALL- OUT attack as expected nearly did for me. But I managed to hang on by the skin of my teeth thanks in the main to that rarity of rarities, destroying an enemy Gruppe. The missed opportunity with the fact that I could have taken out 2 gruppen didn’t escape my notice or the general feeling that I’ve been doomed from the start. Clearly too much hubris somewhere along the line but anyhow, so narked was I today with some of my dice rolls and today especially card draws that I decided to check back over the results of the campaign. For the last 3 consecutive days picking up the “German Relief” event has allowed the Luftwaffe to reinforce twice as quickly as the RAF yet I have been taking twice as many casualties in percentage terms of the forces committed during the day almost from the very start. Plus, although I picked up 8 Sqns today I lost another 6 to the rest and damage/repair boxes so the net gain of 2 hardly helps BUT tomorrow promises thunderstorms which might give me a day off to recover and bring back a few more for the following day. Down but definitely not out as we try to squeeze into a 3rd week  

22nd Aug AAR – Cloudy and overcast

 IMG_2127Announcement – Today owing to the gravest of situations, the civilian population is urged to prepare for imminent invasion. Home Guard Units are to report to their respective muster points and await instruction. Parish Councils are to open the sealed pink Secret files marked “Q1″ and implement Part 1 orders. ” Evacuation officials and railway representatives of Southern and GWR are to commence proceedings for stage 1 of evacuation Plan Q.
Left – British armour passing through Sussex village en route to taking up position at defensive strongpoint
Attacks commenced at 0900 hrs when a large mixed force of 170 Heinkel He111, Dornier Do17, Junkers Ju88 and Ju87 Stuka dive-bombers with their customary Me109 fighter escort split in 2 as they approached the coast. RAF Kenley and in what must be a prelude to invasion, Brighton docks were the targets. 32 Sqn, 64 Sqn, 111 Sqn and 1 RCAF Sqn attempted to disrupt the attackers.  Despite their best efforts the Sqns failed to make an impact losing 11 aircraft for the same number of the enemy.  Sqn Ldr Aeneas Macdonnell who shot down an Me109 to take his score to 6 was later shot down himself. Bailing out over Whyteleafe his ‘chute failed to open.  His body was discovered near the golf course sadly with no sign of life. Both targets received mild bomb damage although most of the bombs destined for Brighton docks overshot their mark. One bomb however luckily scored a direct hit on Brighton and Hove Albion’s Goldstone Football ground. Almost £100,000 worth of improvements were made…………….
Plt Off WD David, formerly of 87 Sqn now serving with 213 Sqn

Plt Off WD David, formerly of 87 Sqn now serving with 213 Sqn likes the high waisted look

At 1300 hrs 30 Ju88’s were spotted over the channel with 160+ fighter escorts. This was a rare foray by Luftflotte 3 and it is assumed that they were thinking that with such a large fighter escort, the RAF would not dare to engage.  They were wrong, in a stubborn show of defiance 4 Sqns were scrambled, 213 Sqn, 229 Sqn, 234 Sqn and 609 Sqn set about the enemy. The fighter escort screen was indeed too thick for our fighters to break through and the RDF station received light damage. However at the end of the engagement we had accounted for 16no. 109’s and 110’s for the loss of just 2 of our own.  213 Sqn had a particularly good day claiming 11. Plt Off William Dennis David scored 3 kills and has now been promoted to Fg Off. 234 Sqn added 5 Me109’s to bring the Sqn tally to 36.  Sqn Leader Mindon “Mindy” Blake now has 5 kills and has achieved ace status, Sgt W.W. Thompson the next highest with 3.  The engagement ended on a bitter note as Flt Lt Paterson Clarence Hughes, one of the best pilots in the Sqn appeared to have a machine gun malfunction and was unable to fire his guns at the enemy. Seeing his wingman with a 109 on his tail it appears that Hughes deliberately rammed the enemy to save his colleague.  Both the 109 and his own aircraft exploded on contact and so Hughes’ 5th kill and ace status are sadly posthumous ones.

Luftflotte 3 continued the assault with another huge fighter escort this time going for Poling RDF. 140 fighters covered 85 bombers. This time the RAF was not in a position to contest. Poling was consequently knocked out for at least 3 days. Then at 1915 hrs a small force of 15 Me109’s reconnoitred over the Western counties.  Only 238 Sqn was in the vicinity. Using the same tactics so efficiently employed by Luftwaffe fighters the Sqn attacked out of the sun and after their first passing turn had shot down 3 of the enemy. The 109’s caught unprepared attempted to make made good their escape but were pursued to the coast losing another 2 to our gallant pilots.  After seeing off the enemy the Sqn returned home to RAF St Eval. No one pilot shot down more than a single enemy but the CO, Sqn Ldr Harold Fenton was so pleased with his boys efforts that he forgave them the dangerous victory acrobatics flown over the airfield. At night, heavy damage was caused by the raiders targeting Bristol aircraft works at Filton.

Despite this minor victory the situation is dire and unless our RAF Sqns can destroy at least 4 times more enemy aircraft than they lose we shall run out of competent pilots and machines.

End of day losses

RAF 13, Luftwaffe 32
RAF = 12% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

LW  = 5% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

(Cumulative RAF 127, Luftwaffe 260)

Victory point score -4 (Cumulative -30)

Game NotesSo after bemoaning the fact that I hadn’t had any chances of getting stuck into a lightly defended Ju87 Stuka force, lo and behold I get one served up to me on a plate, brought up just like room service with Ju87’s and just a small fighter escort…………..And you guessed it the dice gods curse my left handed dice throwing arm into a parody of Jeremy Beadle’s appendage and I end up with all my 4 Sqns damaged (3 of them heavily and out for 3 days), no enemy destroyed and the loss of 3 Vp’s when I had a 33% chance of destroying 2 units and gaining 6 Vp’s. Being unable to make any impression despite these odds makes one realise its just not your day. When the following raids knocked out 2 of my RDF stations and my score dropped by 4 more points to a critical minus 33 I all but gave up. Then another foray by LF3 but with a fatigued Me109 Gruppe left me with a choice. Leave it and hope that the night raids don’t inflict 2 points of damage and set me up tomorrow with a score just 2 points above automatic defeat or take it on and risk a 1 in 6 chance of my only available Sqn being destroyed and the game ending ignominiously but also having a 1 in 6 chance of destroying the enemy and gaining 2 valuable VP’s.  I went for the latter and almost shouted the house down when I finally got the result needed and sent to enemy unit crashing out. I have Gaius my cat and his purring power breathing on the dice for luck to thank for that.  So the end of the day almost felt like a minor victory despite being 4 points worse off than the start of the day and only 5 points from automatic defeat. Tomorrow I still only have a paltry 16 Sqns available BUT if I can hang on without much damage I’ll have another 8 back to full strength the following day which at least gives me a chance.  A long shot I know.  The only real positive I can take from this game so far is that last year I was defeated on the 19th Aug so at least there has been an improvement on that.