Swamp Hamster
United States
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Somewhere in Korea
195--

Dear Mom,

Last week three of the guys and I went Wabbit MiG Huntin’ and I bagged my first two MiG-15s!

Major Jasper asked Rattler, Cobra, Dutch, and I to fly a patrol along the northeast coast of North Korea and see if we could attract the attention of any MiG fighters. We were certainly pumped for none of us had downed any North Korean fighters since arriving in the country three months ago. The Major granted me the honor to lead the flight!

We launched from our airfield near Pohang and flew north along the eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula. My orders were to lead my flight up the coast and then turn eastward toward the North Korean towns of Hamhung, Iwan, and Kinch ‘nel before seeking one of our refueling tankers off the coast and returning.

The initial journey proved uneventful as we flew north. Even passing over the front lines seemed eerily quiet since we did not draw any anti-aircraft fire and did not even spot any ground movement from our altitude.

But, Mom, you always reminded me -- ‘never become complacent with your surroundings.’ We were still operating under radio silence when I saw Cobra waggle his wings and point toward his left and downward. I stared for a few seconds before spotting them -- fast moving ‘dots’ low and to the west. Their movement indicated they had not seen my flight of F-86 Sabres above them. Longer scrutiny of the moving targets helped develop their identity -- MiG 15s! Five of them! They had not spotted us and we drew an advantage in the initiative charts. Although I held the option to avoid them and continue, I opted to exploit our initiative advantage and attack since our mission involved MiG hunting.

I dove first and secured a solid 3 point initiative advantage over the lead MiG-15 -- not realizing this pilot held a skill rating of “2” while I still bore a “0”. Perhaps not knowing was to my advantage as I fired the three bursts of my machine guns as granted by the air combat chart. Incredible!!! I scored one hit...then another...and then a third hit! Solid hits that resulted in double damage as the MiG-15 rolled to the right and dropped with smoke pouring skyward as he then plunged downward. My first kill!

Ratter lined up the second North Korean MiG-15 as he dove from above and fired twice per the charts. The first burst seemed to pass over the MiG’s canopy but the second raked his fuselage resulting in serious damage and a flip of the counter. This was certainly not a green opponent. The North Korean rolled his damaged MiG and released a single burst at Rattler. The rounds sailed harmlessly over the F-86. Rattler managed to fire two more bursts and both struck the wounded MiG with one resulting in major damage -- the second for the MiG. The North Korean plane shuttered and seemed to break apart as it dropped from the sky. Score a first for Rattler!

Cobra approached a third MiG-15 and triggered two bursts based on his initiative advantage. Both missed as the rounds flew past the MiG-15 and alerted its pilot to his dangerous situation. The North Korean pilot seized the opportunity and fired two bursts at Cobra. Both bursts left sparks and streaks as rounds danced across Cobra’s F-86. The first burst left Cobra with serious damage as his counter was flipped on the combat mat. Cobra jigged and jagged as he lined up two more bursts against the MiG-15. The first sailed past the MiG but the second found its target. A quick check of the charts indicated Cobra’s rounds did not cause any serious damage as the MiG pilot maneuvered for a second attack on the F-86. The MiG pilot released a quick burst that missed his opponent. Despite his damage and the lack of a ‘breakoff’ command in the charts, Cobra re-engaged the MiG and squeezed off two more bursts. The first scored but the second missed as the MiG shifted its position. The charts indicated minor damage again. The MiG pilot lined up Cobra for a burst that proved fatal. Cobra’s F-86 emitted smoke and banked to the left before dropping from the sky.

That left Dutch who could not roll an initiative higher than the next MiG-15. Both pilots approached at the same initiative level -- a head-to-head attack! Dutch triggered a single burst per the chart and watched as tracers seemed to fly past the MiG without causing any damage. Winking lights indicated the MiG pilot returned fire with a single burst. Dutch’s F-86 immediately seemed to shake as North Korean rounds pierced his aircraft. The two fighters flew past each other and broke off their dog fight. The fifth MiG-15 broke for home as well.

I assessed the damage to Dutch and ordered him to return southward. At best he could make our base and at worst he’d be over friendly territory if he had to go down. Our first engagement did not turn out as I had hoped. Although Rattler and I made two quick kills, Cobra and Dutch had their hands full with the MiG-15 pilots. Dutch made it back to our base but we have yet to learn of Dutch’s fate. A lesson here -- the MiG-15 when flown by a capable pilot can put up a quality fight against an F-86.

Rattler and I continued north toward our objectives and their associated victory points. My fighter shook two hexes north of our dogfight. North Korean gunners spotted us and commenced anti-aircraft fire. A check of the charts indicated it was light and inaccurate as we safely passed the area -- although I don’t like the way my plane shakes from near misses. We sweep to the north east and pass Hamhung -- no events. Iwan -- no events. Kinch ‘nel -- no events. I called for a turn to the south and located our tanker for refueling. After filling the tanks, I faced two options -- fly directly south over the ocean or travel back along the coast. I opted for the latter.

We flew southwest until crossing the coast and turned south. Still no events. Next event check -- Bandits! Now we are in business! A die roll indicated three MiG-15s. Another chart check noted we spotted them first but do not have a bonus initiative advantage.

I dove upon a MiG-15 with an initiative of two and fired two bursts from my guns. The first missed but the second found the target. Major damage and the MiG counter is flipped. Although hit, the MiG pilot was not out. A single burst struck my fighter -- no serious damage. The chart indicated a continuation of the dogfight and I lined up my opponent for two more bursts -- both missed...of all the rotten wabbit MiG huntin’... The MiG 15 pilot rolled and triggered another burst. Again -- hits to my fighter! However, a chart check noted a lack of serious damage. Still no ‘break off’ in the die roll. My guns spat twice more for a single hit. A chart check and...major damage as the MiG seemed to shake in the sky and fall earthbound. My second kill! But, it was close, Mom. My mechanic had to patch many holes in my plane when I returned. He mumbled something under his breath about me damaging his aircraft...

Rattler pounced upon his opponent with a single initiative point advantage and one burst that whizzed harmlessly past the MiG. The North Korean pilot returned the favor with a burst that also missed. Break off! Break off! A die roll ends the quick combat pass.

Rattler and I made visual checks of each other as we streaked southward. We landed at our base after a couple event checks that indicated all clear. We learned that Dutch made it back shortly before us. His damage had greatly reduced his speed. We still have not heard about Cobra. Perhaps he’s headed to a North Korean prison camp; perhaps he never made it from his stricken fighter. Perhaps we’ll never know...

Your son,

Mick

c The Swamp Hamster
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Joe Hardy
United States
North Carolina
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Thanks for this session report. It's fun to read and I like how you buried many of the game mechanics within the story.
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Chris Shockey
United States
Arbutus
Maryland
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A solid AAF! I'll be looking into this game and a few others from Berzerker!
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Erik von Rossing
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
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Thanks again, for another thrilling Session Report, Swamp Hamster. Your reports are always lots of fun to read. I appreciate you writing this up.

Cheers,
Erik
 
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