Monday, 31 July 2017

Table Air Combat: Spitfire Mk1 vs Bf-109e Dogfight

I played out the basic dogfight scenario today, with a section of three Spitfires against a schwarm of four Bf-109e's, flipping one of the Spitfire counters to represent a standard vic formation, as deployed by the RAF at the start of the Battle of Britain. As usual, I plotted all of the moves on an A2 sheet so that I could keep tabs on the action, but you don't need to do this if you just want to play the game.

In the end, the RAF came off as the underdogs, losing the lone Spitfire to a frontal attack in Turn 2 and the flight leader's wingman in the same turn, again to a frontal attack by the cannon armed Bf-109's. The dogfight then became a classic turning skirmish, with the last remaining Spitfire desperately manoeuvring to avoid further bursts of fire from the Bf-109 Schwarmfuhrer.

After several near misses, with both sides managing to hit but failing to damage their opponent due to very poor dice rolling, the Spitfire leader decided to hit the deck and head for home, as his aircraft was by now full of holes and probably a total right off. The Luftwaffe fighters followed close behind all of the way but still failed to shoot down the RAF fighter, despite trying very hard to do so before he could make good his getaway.

The final outcome was a marginal victory for the Luftwaffe, who started out with a numerical advantage but ultimately failed to shoot down all three of the RAF fighters. The RAF by contrast got a pasting and failed to shoot down any of the Luftwaffe machines. A good game and an easy way to familiarise myself with the rules, although the energy rules for a wingover cropped up again as a bit of a sticking point.

I may well reduce the energy cost for both the Immelmann and wingover as a result, with only one point of energy required for each manoeuvre respectively. I think this would work better and would enable most fighters to perform these basic tactical moves without any restrictions, which would seem to be more realistic, if a little one size fits all.

Tally Ho!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Table Air Combat: Spitfire Mk1 vs Bf-109e

I spent a very relaxing half an hour or so yesterday evening, cutting out and gluing together the Table Air Combat counters for the Supermarine Spitfire MkII and the Messerschmitt Bf-109e. The Spitfire is labelled as a Mk II but is really a Mk I, there being little actual difference between the two marks of aircraft. I'm now ready to set up a basic dogfight playtest game, so that I can try out both of these early war fighters and refresh the rules, ready for some more Battle of Britain games over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, here's a short video clip to set the scene and to measure up these two iconic fighters against each other:

Friday, 28 July 2017

Table Air Combat Wishlist

The range of aircraft for the Table Air Combat rules has expanded to an impressive number, with many of the iconic fighters and bombers already featured. However, I have come up with my own 'wish list' of aircraft, that I'd like to see added in the future, most of which are RAF or FFA classics, with the odd stranger added in for good measure:

Westland Whirlwind
Bristol Beaufighter
De Havilland Mosquito*
Fairey Swordfish
Gloster Gladiator
Bristol Beaufort
Fiat CR 42
Hawker Typhoon
Boulton Paul Defiant
Brewster Buffalo

These would all be great and would open up all sorts of potential scenarios from biplane dogfighting to anti-shipping strikes and even train busting missions!

Just a thought?

*just found out that the Mossie is in the pipeline already, along with the Avro Lancaster.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Sails and Powder: Cape Finisterre

The other set of print and play rules I'm going to try out over the holidays are the Sails and Powder Napoleonic naval rules, which are very simple indeed (no wind!) and so ideal for playing large battles with small children, or just small battles with large adults if that's more appealing. I have the basic Trafalgar core rules and the Cape Ortegal scenario but thought I'd splash out on the Cape Finistere scenario counter set as well, especially as it was only a couple of quid. In fact, I'm off to Finisterre in Brittany soon, so it's all very apt.

Table Air Combat: Battle of Britain

This summer I'm taking the Table Air Combat rules on holiday again but with the aim of playing a series of games focussed on the Battle of Britain. I've dabbled with the Pacific and NW Europe last year, in order to try put the various special rules for bombing, ground attack, anti-shipping and strafing, but this time I've decided to concentrate on the Luftwaffe vs. RAF in the Summer of 1940. I may even try to run a campaign style game of linked scenarios, using a variation of the Too Fat Lardies Bag the Hun supplement for the Battle of Britain, Finest Hour. Tally Ho!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Table Air Combat 'How to' Youtube Video

A really neat introduction to the excellent Table Air Combat system for the beginner and also for me, as I haven't played a game for ages and have some holiday time coming up, so I'll be packing the T.A.C. stuff ready for some new scenarios and aircraft. Brilliant!