, and I gathered to play Birds of Prey: Air Combat in the Jet Age.
We settled on the "Unexpected Intercept" scenario from Birds of Prey: Fighter Sweep. We diced for planes. I got the Iraqi MiG-25, while Chris and Rob got the Iranian F-5Es.
At the start of the scenario, the two F-5Es start on the tail of the MiG-25, about 100 knots faster. The MiG-25 does not have sight on the F-5s. Only the MiG's radar warning receiver has been triggered. As in the historical situation, the only reason the MiG is still alive is because the lead F-5's Sidewinder missile failed to fire. Rob's plane has one Sidewinder that he cannot fire during this scenario, but he already has a lock on my MiG, and a second Sidewinder ready.
This looks bad for my MiG...
Since Rob already has an IR lock on my MiG, and the MiG cannot maneuver very well (it can only pull about 2.5 Gs at this altitude and speed), I decide to turn 30 degrees port, into the sun!
*The red fuzzy dice represents the sun.
This worked and Rob's plane loses IR lock.
Next turn, the extra speed of the F-5s will bring them inside the minimum range for their missiles. Then it will be a gunfight with me having a brick, called a MiG-25, to fly. But wait! The MiG-25 has no guns!
If I continue to fly towards the sun, the F-5s will have an easy gun shot. If my MiG turns, it lose a turning fight quickly. So I have to dive, and try to extend for an escape (a victory condition for the MiG). So I roll inverted and dive.
The lead F-5 follows, while the second stays above to extend for a possible missile shot.
With the agile lead F-5 on my tail, I try to cross his path without giving up too much speed. No luck. While F-5 #2 begins a lazy turn towards the MiG, the lead F-5 twists around right onto my tail. Not only is he on my tail, but perfectly aligned for a zero-deflection gun shot at range zero. It can't get much better than that!
The box minis don't allow it to be shown, but the lead F-5 and the MiG are in the same hex and same altitude. There could be a collision.
The F-5 fires with all its got, doing 6 points of damage of the seven that the massive MiG-5 can take. No critical with the F-5's wimpy gun.
Time to check for collision... No chance as the F-5 didn't overshoot the MiG. Oh well.
Since the game is pretty much over, it was dinner time, and I figured an Iraqi pilot wouldn't stick around, I had my MiG pilot eject.
Game over. Iranian victory. The scenario was historical, realistic, brutal and short. But fun and educational.
Thank you for the AAR. This is very cool.
I appreciate the three of you playing a scenario that is not very balanced (because of the historical setup) and has a serious tactical challenge for the player starting in the hole. And I am grateful for you seeing it that way. This was an odd scenario to develop, as it includes some very dissimilar aircraft in an awkward and unexpected situation.
Similar to "Red Flag" in the main game box, this scenario is more in the hands of the attacker. If the attack is not pressed early, the Foxbat can wriggle free and attempt to escape or swing around and express its displeasure. If Tiger #1 is slow to engage, this fight could turn and give advantage to the Foxbat.
In "Red Flag" there is a way to exploit the strengths of the target (Foxbat in this one, Eagle in the other) to get out of trouble. (Hint, hint... what does an Eagle have that a Tiger doesn't... thrust and wing loading. What does that yield? Better sustained turning and better climbing. -- Of course, when you are in a hole, sustained turning means very little.)