I mentioned this in my review thread but had no response, so am posting it here.
I know this game doesn't have much of a following so I don't know if there'll be anyone to help - but please do if you can!
I found the rules for the German Nightfighters very hard to understand.
From reading the rules I understood that:
1) When a Lancaster is sighted (ie: shot at by AA guns, flies over a populated area, flies through a nightfighter's hex or is sighted by a "random event) a "Lancaster sighted" piece is placed on the relevant hex.
2) In the next German move phase a Nightfighter moves to the "Lancaster Sighted" hex.
3) If the fighter reaches the hex it must pursue the individual Lancaster that was spotted at the exclusion of others. If the fighter does not reach the hex it must fly directly back to base at the next opportunity.
4) Once a Nightfighter has caught a Lancaster the fighter follows the Lancaster around for as long as it wishes, effectively moving whenever the Lancaster does. However - it cannot break off to chase another lancaster.
5) The German player may decide to engage in air combat with a Nightfighter that is following a Lancaster by placing a "Lancaster Sighted" card - after which he can play the relevant combat card.
6) After combat occurs, the fighter must return to base.
Now - I can't help but feel I must have misunderstood this as it seems wildly complicated and also very limiting for the German player. I was expecting the chance for Nightfighters to be able to swarm after the bombers - but apparently this is against the rules. What do you guys think?
Two further questions - when a "Lancaster Sighted" hex is in play - can any Nightfighters (including those which are airborne) chase the Lancaster or does it have to be a fresh, based, fighter?
And finally - can a Nightfighter chase multiple Lancasters if they are in the same hex?
I hope that makes sense and that you'll be able to help!
I'm way late in responding to your inquiries, and have the game, but have never played it, so take my response with a grain of salt. I looked over it years ago.
No nightfighters were successful in intercepting the bombers during the raid, hence the tight restrictions placed on them by the game designer. Since the attack was conducted at night, visibility would be rather limited, even though it was carried out on a full moon. The German NF, flak, and radar crews were much more used to searching for bombers flying at medium to high altitudes at night, and not down in the weeds.
IIRC, some did sortie, but never found the bombers, since they were flying so low, and radar doesn't work at that altitude, at least in WWII. Heck, even Soviet Cold War radar wouldn't work at that altitude until the early 1980s, when they finally got AWACs jets and true, look-down, shoot-down radars for their interceptors.
So, I suspect the rules should be played exactly as written, with ALL the mentioned restrictions, and inability of the NFs to pursue other than the one target they've "detected".
The game designer is being very generous to the German side, by even permitting any chance of NFs to have a chance of engaging the bombers at all.
Hope that helps.