Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast.
Nick and I have worked out a way for us to play the longer 2 player games that we never get a chance to play with the rest of the willows group. Nick had played this a couple times with Doug, both times as British (he is from Britain, so wanted to fight the good fight). I told him he should be Germany this time, as a change of pace.
So, we set up as best we could and tried to figure out how to play as it had been a while for Nick and I had only read the rules. We had a couple of questions that weren't exactly answered by the rules.
a) What happens when you run out of fuel? The advanced rules just say you do. The basic rules describe some stuff that we decided we would play by if he did run out of fuel. He didn't.
b) Does a German flight need to return to its originating airstrip or does it just need to make it to any airstrip? This one we couldn't really figure out and they had played that you could go to any airstrip. We compromised within the group's country you could land on any airstrip. This still might have been too kind to the germans.
In the first turn Germany gets a mission to bomb london and a radar station in the london sector. The german air flights easy reach their target by round 1 and 2 and proceed to bomb their targets easily, although I inflicted a fair amount of losses on them for their trouble. That's 2 missions accomplished. The other 2 air groups of the germans don't have to do anything special and get out with minimal losses for the french based planes and a turn around for the Norwegian flights.
The next two turns are just basically repeats of the same, Germany drawing missions that can be reached on the first round easily, especially since i didn't get to repair the radar station that he took out the first turn, leaving britain wide open to attack through this hole. By the end of turn three I had really punished his air fleets, but he had easily accomplished 7 missions.
Going into round 4 my group 11 (se sector) planes had been almost solely involved in battle, my group 12 (mid country) planes almost never being able to reach the fighting before it was over. Group 10 (south west sector) were a bit beat up, but nothing to horrible. But the constant 1-2 missions in the se sector were killing me. In round 3, Nick had drawn the other london mission, and accomplished it without any fuss since I couldn't roll to repair the radar line. In round 4 Nick drew a mission in the 11 and 10 sector and that sealed my fate.
I rolled horribly, we both agreed to that. I think I could have done a little more to prevent the Germans from getting 1 or 2 missions. But I don't see what hope Britain has against this overwhelming force that can go wherever it wants. With just one plane, it can scoot the others across any picket you set up without a problem, and 2 flights is more than enough to bomb any target into submission. I really wanted to like the game, I liked a lot of the mechanisms that are there. But I just don't see how without the British being lucky as hell, and the germans drawing really crappy missions turn after turn (which is possible, you shuffle the deck each time) the british have even a little bit of hope to win. I was expecting a bit of tension and drama as we edged to a tipping point, but I felt like I really had no effect on what did or didn't happen in the game. If germany wanted to go somewhere it did, maybe with a few less planes then they would have liked, but what's the difference?
I'll play again, maybe as germany next time, but I don't like kicking people around anymore than I liked being kicked. I like tension in wargames, and this decided lacked that. To all the people out there that said this game is totally skewed to the RAF, what did I play wrong? Or what did you play wrong? Cause someone has got the rules or strategy wrong in this, and I'd like to know who that is.
What happens when you run out of fuel is that you roll 1 dice per square to home per squadron. if you get a cross the squadron ditches and is lost.
The Germans do not have to return to their original airfield. Any airfield will do.
In the game you describe the Germans were lucky to get so many South Eastern targets. I'm surprised you think the bombing is so easy. London needs 7 hits to be destroyed and the chances are 50% per dice.
Were you playing the Stuka rule? (After turn 5 all Ju-87s are withdrawn)
And the fighter rule? (When entering the midlands sector all BF 109s turn for home)
We're thinking of some house rules to make things easier for the Germans!!!