Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bomber Escort Mission, Well at least they tried

I was able to get in a game of Check Your Six last night. I had a great time. I was a bit rusty with the rules due to not playing for a while. Thanks Mark for putting this together.

November 14th, 1941 - Forward Romanian Airfield, Location Classified

The two officers in their dress uniforms sat smoking cigarettes on the other side of the table. Captain Jan Gogean just stared in disbelief at Locotenent Niculaie Croditier. Niculaie had always been an aggressive pilot and the months of inactivity of the squadron due to that stomach flu would have an impact on anyone but this was beyond the pale.

Blowing a smoke ring up towards the ceiling, the base commander leaned forward and said, "Please state your report just one more time. I want to make sure I fully understand what happened this morning."

0945 hours - Earlier that day

Niculaie looked over his shoulder and out the glass of his IAR-80 aircraft. His wing man was a new boy, Marin Bucsa. They were flying above the formation of four SM79 bombers. They had just crossed into enemy airspace just a few minutes earlier. He continued to scan the sky for the enemy.

Below the bomber formation was the other two aircraft element of his flight under the command of David Selymes. He was a steady hand. He had Emilian Miklos as his wing man.

In the distance he spotted a flight of four Soviet bi-planes.

"Heads up men. 12 o'clock and above us. The Russians have come to the party."

The acknowledgements rang out from his fighters. He also warned the bomber formation. They replied that they had eyes on the incoming aircraft.

Still scanning his horizon, Niculaie spotted a pair of Romanian Bf-109s that decided to join the party. Confident that they could handle the pests before him, Niculaie sent his men straight at the enemy.

Under the bomber formation he suddenly spotted a new formation of Soviet aircraft. More of those biplanes. They were at the same altitude as David. He checked and they had spotted them as well.

He continued to close with the enemy and looked for an optimum target. The enemy was dropping down to attack the bombers.

The upper flight of four Soviet biplanes had dropped to level with the bomber formation and did a split S dropping behind the bomber formation. Nicolaie and his wingman also did a split s in an attempt to close with the Russians. Nicolaie had lost sight of David and his wingman.

Getting separated from his wing man, Nicolaie hauled on the stick attempting to come around and circle back on the Russians who were beginning to fire on the bomber flight. The biplanes locked in behind the bombers and were in the process of emptying their guns into them. At first it appeared that the bombers were shrugging of the damage with ease. Marin got off the first shots of our flight at a tailing biplane. Unfortunately he missed.

Nicolaie managed to get behind one of the biplanes and unleashed a burst. Unfortunately it passed over the lower soviet and struck the tail of the rear most bomber that he was trying to protect. Fortunately, it did not appear to cause the bomber any issues. The concentrated fire of the biplanes started to tell. The left most bomber could not absorb any more damage and fell out of formation.

Another bomber was hit and had to pull out of formation in flames. Marin was maneuvering for a shot. In an effort to protect that bomber, Nicolaie fired on the same aircraft that Marin was and ended up hitting Marin's aircraft causing it engine damage. Sometime around that event, Emilian was hit by enemy fire. The only positive that could be seen by the Romanian's was the conduct of the bomber gun crews. Constantine Ionescu was the gunner on the lead bomber. While under attack from multiple aircraft managed to cause significant damage to two Soviet planes with a single burst of fire.

The bomber that was in flames managed to get all of its crew to bail out before the flames consumed the aircraft and pulled it from the sky. Of the two remaining bombers, the lead bomber suffered structural damage and had to return to base. The other was able to complete its mission but lost two of its gunners as casualties. All of the Romanian fighters returned to base with two having suffered combat damage.

1535 hours back at base

Having recounted the action for the fifth time, Nicolaie broke down and began to sob. Captain Gogean's face turned form shock to disgust. The base commander snuffed out the stub of the cigarette in his hands before speaking.

"Your actions require disciplinary action. Fortunately for you, your actions did not cause any casualties that you can be held responsible for. You will be dismissed from the service. You will be held while we contemplate any further charges against you. Please return to your quarters." Calling out to men outside the room, "Guards, please escort Mr Croditier to his quarters."

Game Review

I finally got to play a game in this campaign. I attempted to do too much. I was controlling 4 fighters and 4 bombers. I did not do either very well. It was an odd sort of game. Most of the shots that hit, ended up not doing anything due to target aircraft saving. Most of the damage that occurred was from a successful saving throw that was doubles - Critical hit. The one tail gunner actually missed but caused a critical hit on one biplane that ended up causing a critical hit on the biplane immediately behind it. Neither of the two biplanes ended up getting shot down. In fact, no fighters were shot down. The mission was an absolute failure for the Romanians. The Russians could claim 2 kills on the bombers. I rolled some of the worst shooting I have ever done. Yet I made most of the saving throws for shots on me. A strange but fun game.

1 comment:

  1. I believe that most of my games can be classified as 'strange but fun'. So glad you could finally make it to our Tuesday evening air gaming event. Overall the Romanians are not doing too bad. Especially when their Hurricanes get involved. My I-16 squadron is pretty much out of planes along with Rande's Mig3 sqdn.