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Subject: Blooding a non-gamer rss

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simon thornton
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Liverpool
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A quiet night shift at work (will not say where in case the boss is a geek!). Reading through the Rules of my new copy of Zero when Ben a total non gamer says he'll "give it a go" against me. Me ! a mighty hard core wargamer of 30 years experience who can boast of having spent 6 months playing the old SPI monster "War in Europe".

We carry out of a few dog fights and I ease him in gently, introducing rules (like variable height and mulitple elements i.e having lots of planes) slowly. I see that he picks up the game quickly but fail to appreciate how many of my planes he is actually shooting down. After a w hile we feel confident enough to give a campaign a go and so go for the Malayan Campaign (Jan 42). I promise to go easy on him. Simon - Japs Ben- Brits

Turn 1 - Gemas-Tempin Two Blenheims fly off with Buffalo escorts (with missing parts!)to bomb advancing Japanese ground forces. I intercept with 2 Zero's , one furious dogfight later and I have 2 damaged Zero's whilst he loses both Blenheims and 1 Buffalo. There is no damage to the Advancing Japanes army. I'm way ahead.

Turn 2 Its a biggie Singapore Docks. A big push by the Japs, 4 Ki-21 (Sally - Medium bomber) with 4 Ki-27 escort (Not so good vintage fighter nicknamed Nate). I'm facing 2 crappy Buffalo but 2 shining Hurricane IIb 's (Yikes). It starts well one Nate gets on the Hurricane leaders tale shooting it up for 4 points of damage - on the first turn!. I smile inwardly not realing this is my high water mark. The Hurricane recovers position , the wingmen of the two attacking fighters take out a bomber, flak takes out a second damaged bomber (ouch!). A third bomber gets shot down as it limps for home (double ouch). I take out 1 Buffalo wingman with the help of some British Flak. Disaster .I do only minor damage to the docks and the Brits have scored big !!! Its as though the Japanese escort isnt there, oh yes I lose 1 fighter as well.

Turn 3 Endau 2 Hudson and 2 Blenheim medium bombers set off to bomb the Japanese amphibous invasion forces at Endau.I rub my hands bombers are falling out of the sky everywhere my chance to score big. He escorts them with 2 Antiquated Buffalo's , I ve got some nice shiny Zero's. True to form the zero's got stuck in, 1 Blenheim and 1 Hudson go down , the other two get away, the invasion force suffers only minor damage but I do lose 1 Zero.

Turn 4 Unbelievably I tot up the points we are neck and neck with one mission to go. As every bombing mission has given away more VP's than its recieved I pray for some British bombing mission . Im in luck. its Kuala lumpar 2 Blenheims undaunted by what has happened to 7 of 10 bombers in the last three missions , fly North West to bomb the Japanese forward air base. We have both used all our fighter resources so its a straight Bomber vs Flak run.I ask Ben does he have the balls and expect him to fly high and go for an uneventful last mission and a game draw. Nothing of the sort, he flies his Blenheims in Low or very low Bombs and strafes the runway, and craters it badly, coming within a whisker of knocking the airfield out completely. He loses 1 Blenheim in the process from Flak but the other gets away scot free.

I score 10 vp for his downed bomber , he scores 5 vp for his surviving bomber and 6 vp for cratering the runway. So he wins the campaign by 1 vp !!!

Technicaly a final score of -1 vp is supposed to be an outstanding Japanese victory , I hold with none of this as far as I can see the game was close and he had the guts to go for it big on the last turn , so I give him a well deserved victory.

A thouroughly enjoyable game and the fact that a non-gamer was able to get into it so quickly is a testament to its playability. I put his win down to the fact he was once in the air cadets, well thats my excuse.
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Ronster Zero
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I won this game but have yet to break the shrink wrap.

I think I know what will be opened next!
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