Sunday, May 13, 2012
Top Cover near the Dutch Border
Date: March 6th, 1944, 1203 hours
Location: Near Haseluenne, Germany
History: As Hauptmann Rolf Hermichen led I/JG.11 to attack the main bomber stream, P-47's of the 78th Fighter Group moved to protect the bombers. Flying top cover for Stab./JG.11 and I/JG.11 was Günther Specht's II/JG.11 Heinz Knoke and his squadron were the first to dive down on the Americans in an effort to keep them away from the bombers.
I'm somewhat behind...on pretty much every thing in my hobby life it seems, and this Check Your Six! batrep is no exception. I think it's mandatory to state every time I do a CY6 writeup how great this game is and is perfect for long-term play, pick-up games, or anything in between. It's also, speaking strictly from my own non-historical gaming background, a nice entry to the world of minis and historicals. The scenarios in the rulebooks are drawn directly from real life air engagements, such as this one that found me playing a real life German fighter ace. But, as with all games of CY6, it gave me an opportunity to clip the wings of my fellow gaming buddies in a grievous, flurry of machine-gun fire and breakneck maneuvering.
I also need to state once again that I probably wouldn't even bother with CY6 if it weren't for all the homemade "extras" that make the game so enjoyable. Seen here is the homemade flight stand, with plane designator arrow, and the posts are removable by section so you can instantly see on a table full of fighter who is at what altitude. Also you can see the smoke marker, just a clever magnet design easily implemented but adds immensely to the overall atmosphere of the game. White smoke is airframe damage (I believe) and black smoke is engine damage.
When playing historical scenarios such as these it's always interesting to see how the game stacks up to what happened in reality. Fortunately the rules play fast enough where you can just switch sides once the battle is over and try it again from the other side of the table's perspective. In the actual battle the Germans only lost one plane to the Americans two. We already had those numbers by the end of turn two.
Check your six! An American P-47 can't seem to shake his "friend"...
Here's a shot of ace Knoke's Bf-109 squadron. It's when you're playing a squad like this on the table you're like, "Yup, I'm playing a wargame." I don't know the costs of getting into the game, spoiled by all of my friends' great stuff, but I can't imagine it being too terribly much. The stands are homemade and the planes are pretty small, so they should be cheap and easy to paint.
Overall the Germans won the day, just with more casualties inflicted on both sides of the ball. Playing an ace on the tabletop is a lot of fun and I keep getting lucky when we roll off for them too. You're able to out-maneuver pretty much at will, you get to go last in the turn which is a big deal, and your fighter skill is always going to give you a leg up in firefights. Having said that however, I've seen plenty of green pilots get in there and clean house too.
I've got another batrep I need to write up for CY6!, but Andy's has beat me to it here. I'll still get to it eventually because mainly seeing all of those bombers en masse on the table is just too of a sight on the tabletop to mothball.