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!


  1. Great report Jim. I really enjoy this game.

    Have you tried using the optional high deflection shot rule? I believe this adds some realism and encourages attacker to tail opponent for max. chance of success. Also allows for defender to turn into the attacker to improve survival chances.

    The optional expanded gun dice rule adds to detail/realism too.

    Always wondered if twin engine fighters (Bf 110, P-38, Mossie) can perform wing over or Immelmann? For some reason I associate this with singles.


  2. I may well try this game out. Do you think it simple enough for a teenage wargamer who is just starting out?

  3. Thanks Randy,

    I don't know but I would imagine a Mossie or P38 could do just about anything a single engine fighter could do, only with less panache?

    It does seem weird that a Spitfire I can't do a wingover as it only has a single energy point to spend?

    I'll have to do some reading up on the manoeuvre thing to make sure I'm not barking up the wrong tree.

    Thanks for the tips on gun dice and high deflection. I've tried the latter but not the gun dice, so I really should give it a go.

    All the best


  4. Hi Phil,

    Yes, I'd say it would be no problem for a teenage gamer to pick up. I play against my eleven year old and he grabbed the system from the get go, even when he was ten.

    It would also be good as a way into more complex miniature rules like BTH2 and CY6!


  5. I like the battle plot, it's almost a work of abstract art!

  6. It does make it easier to work out what happened afterwards...honest!