My Little Man's first real wargame play: Barbarossa Solitaire
RAF: The battle of Britain rages again!!!!!
This is the session report of my 11th play of RAF. Thus far, it is Luftwaffe 10 Tim 0
However, I have decided to try a new strategy for this game to see if I can defeat the vaunted German air force! I decided that this time I would NEVER attack a major raid unless I had at least some intel about it meaning I would, at minimum, need to know how many gruppen were coming before I committed my fighters. While it is true that this would leave me vulnerable to attacks that could pound me heavily, I decided to try since all past efforts to win have found me reaching -35 points at some point, the destruction of the RAF!!!!!
The first part of this is the narrative. I have also included a chart at the end covering how many German fighter and bomber gruppen were in the rest and damage box after doing relief each day and likewise did so with the RAF squadrons.
August 11: First raids saw areas 6/11 and 7/11 get hammered. Apparently, this did not satisfy Goering as he ordered a change in target priorities which led Radar being listed as low priority and all other targets as being medium. A curious start to the game. VP: -4
August 12: (W)Weather-Clear(CL) German Effort(GE): All out (A)
The second day of battle found sector 4/10 hit twice with 7/11, 6/11, 2/11 and 1/11 hit once. RAF found itself with 13 squadrons in the rest box but it also dished out a lot of punishment as 11 German gruppen were also in the rest box. Again, strangely enough, Goering ordered a change in priorities with the following results: Cities, Ports, and Industry-Med; Radar and Air Fields-high! The battle was about to being in earnest!!!!! VP:-7
August 13: W-Cl GE: N
Small battling as the Germans struck sectors 1/10, 2/12, and 7/11. VP: -9
August 14-16: Storms strike!!!!!!! A HUGE front moved in brining storms that raged from the 14th through the 16th. This gave the RAF a much needed rest after the intense fighting to open the campaign and allowed the VP to drop to -3. So far, so good!!!!!
August 17: W-Cloudy(Cd) GE: L
Small fighting here as only sectors 3/11 and 1/12 were hit. Again, inexplicably, the Luftwaffe changed priorities to the following: Cities, Industry, and Air Fields-Med; Ports and Radar-High.
August 18th: The first happy time. W-Cd GE: L
Sectors 1/11 and 6/11 hit today, but the big new was the RAF catching a big bomber raid in which they succeeded in destroying a He111 and Ju88 squadron!!!! Things were looking jolly good!!!!! VP:+5!!!!!!!!
August 19th-20: The second wave of storms!
Storms struck again today giving the RAF a rest and letting the Luftwaffe to lick its wounds after yesterdays beating!!!!! VP: 9
August 20: The dog days of August find the Germans going to the dogs!!!!! (Maybe a bulldog got them?????
W-Cl GE: A A huge fight today as 5/11, 4/10, 3/11 and 6/11x2 got hit! The RAF was ready
smashing two (that’s right, two!) ME 109 squadrons!!!!! (I had never done this before so I was quite proud of my lads! Perhaps the Polish pilots had something to do with this?????
August 22-24: Here come the rains again!!!! Once again rain blanketed jolly old England! (In this game I had more storm turns that in the previous 10 plays combined! Weird)
August 25: Savage Fighting!
W-Cd GE: N
Savage fighting raged today as evidenced by the amount of units on both sides in the boxes. 1/11, 1/10, 5/11, and 4/11 were all hit but the RAF fared well keeping its VP total steady. VP: 14
August 26: The first dark day.
W-C GE: A
Well, it had to happen eventually: the RAF lost a Spitfire squadron! I admit, it was my fault as I allowed several units to tangle with an unidentified major raid (What can I say? I became a bit cavalier after my early successes!) Heavy damage was inflicted as radar stations 2 and 6 were knocked out for the day. German attacks hit 5/11, 4/11, 1/11, 2/11 and 6/11x2. The VP total tells the story: VP: -3
August 27-30: And I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain?
One of my radio intercept chaps swore he picked up Germans singing this song!!!! The combination of rain and getting back that Spitfire unit with green pilots allowed the RAF VP total to soar to +9!!!!!!
August 31: Breaking the law!!!!
W-Cl GE: A
The Germans pounded away today and I again broke the major raid rule I had set resulting in 12 squadrons landing in the boxes by the end of the day!!! The Germans slammed 4/10x2, 3/10x2, 4/11, and 5/11. However, they were not pleased with this since they AGAIN changed target priorities!!!! This time it resulted in: Radar and Air Fields-Low; Ports-Med; Cities and Industry-High. (I guess Goering decided to make sure we did not get any more airplanes!!!!!) VP: +2
September 1: The Darkest Day of the RAF
W-Cl GE: A
The Germans hammered away at 1/10, 6/11, and 7/11x2. In a horrendous piece of bad luck the RAF lost THREE Hurricane squadrons!!!!! I felt like someone punched me in the stomach when fighter command reported these losses (In my head, I pictured the scene in the Battle of Britain where Michael Caine’s dog is shown looking forlorn when he did not return )On top of that, I had two Hurricane squadrons pounded on the ground!!!!! A black day indeed for the RAF.
September 2: The battle drags on.
W-Cl GE: N
Small action today with sector 4/10 hit twice. Once again the Germans shifted priorities. Cities, industry, and air fields-Med; Radar and ports-high. VP: -10
September 3: Again on the priorities?!??!?!!??
W-Cl GE: N Germans struck 6/11, 2/11, and 1/11. First good news since the “Black Day” RAF
destroyed a Ju87 unit!!!!! Target priorities again changed. Ports and radar-low; Cities and industry-Med; air fields-high. Looks like ole’ Herman wants to hit us where we live. Well, we’ll be ready. It will be just like the picture in my favorite book about the battle which show a bell with the message “Don’t come and tell, ring this like hell!” inscribed on it in either white paint or chalk. That’s right, Herman you bloody bugger, we are ready!!!!!!! VP: -4.
September 4: Reaching the breaking point.
W-Cl GE: A
The Germans really went with a full court press today hitting 1/11, 4/10, 2/12, 6/11, and 7/11x2. The battle was tough and by the end of the day I only had 11 RAF squadrons ready to go. Things were looking bleak. Would Sea Lion be launched soon???? Later that day, Hitler gave his “He is coming” speech. Time to get ready for the unthinkable...... VP: -9
September 5: From bad to worse.
W-Cl GE: N
The Germans hit us again at 7/11, 2/11, and 1/11. RAF again fought valiantly but alas more bad luck! Another Spitfire squad lost! VP: -14
September 6-7: Air Marshal rain arrives again!!!!!
Gotta love rain...and green pilots and there +2 VP’s VP: -8
September 8: Things are looking better.
W-Cd GE: N
1/12, 5/11, and 1/10 hit. BUT a He111 gruppen destroyed!!!!! Preview of coming attractions?????? VP: -4
September 9: The glory of RAF arms part I
W-Cl GE: A
4/11, 5/11, 2/11, and 6/11x4 hit. All airfields except 2 radar sites.
Today was a GREAT day! The RAF destroyed 2 He111, 1 Me 110, and 1 Me 109 squadrons!!!!! (Cue Hallelujah Chorus) Once again the Germans changed their priorities!
Cities, ports, industry, and air fields-M; Radar-High. (Guess they thought we were getting too much of a jump on them!) VP:-6
September 10: The glory of RAF arms Part II
W-Cl GE: L
5/11 city, 4/10 radar. Again the RAF pounced on some juicy bomber raids resulting in a Ju87, Do17, He111, and Me110 being destroyed!!!!!! Drinks at the pub for all and bob’s your uncle (or something like that!!!!) VP: +4!!!!!
September 11: Reality check
This begins the first day where Sea Lion preparations were checked. Thus you will see it as:
Sea Lion (SL) Delayed (D) 1 Day
W-cd GE: N
4/11, 2/11, and 7/11x3. ALL radar attacks!!!!! The Germans did get what they wanted damaging the Rye radar station for seven days! VP:+2
September 12: A low key day.
SL D 2 W-Cd GE: L
1/11 air field. VP:3
September 13: Another great day for England!
W-Cl GE: A
4/10, 7/11, 6/11x2, 5/11x2 hit. ALL air fields! The RAF again swooped down from the sky destroying an Me110, and two Ju87 units!!!!! VP:1
September 14: And there will come soft rains.
SL D 2 VP:5
September 15: Cruise control
W-Cd GE: N
6/11, 1/11, 4/10x2. Three radar, one air field. VP:6
September 16: The end is near?????
SL D 2
W-Cl GE: A
1/10 I, 2/11 R, 5/11 C, 6/11 A, 3/11 I, 1/11 R. Do17 squad destroyed! Germans change priorities again!!!! Cities, industry, air fields-Med; Ports and radar-High. VP: 7
September 17: Bad luck!
W-Cl GE: L
Should be an easy day right? Wrong!
6/11 R, 5/11 A, 7/11 A, 2/11 A. German relief happened twice in a row (what are the odds on that????) Hurricane eliminated! VP:3
September 18: Winds of change?
SL D 3 W-Cl GE: N
5/11 A, 1/10 P, 4/10 P, 1/11 P. Another Hurricane squadron eliminated! Talk about bad luck!
September 19: Down hill slide.
W-Cd GE: N
6/11 A. 7/11 A, 6/11 R.
Luftwaffe leaders finally convince Herman to increase the fighter escorts which could spell big trouble for us! ANOTHER Hurricane eliminated! Forness radar out for 5 days! VP: -2
September 20: Thank goodness for green pilots and their Vps!
W-Cl GE: N
The one good thing about losing all those squadrons is being able to bring them back in as replacements with green pilots! (Yes, I am trying to make lemonade with lemons. So what???)
6/11 R, 6/11 A, 1/10 I. Two more Hurricanes eliminated!!!!! VP: -9 I almost blew it this day! -10 would have triggered Sea Lion preparations!!!!!
September 21: The end.
SL D 2
Game ends in draw.
Well, at least I did not lose this time! This was exactly what Wellington had in mind when he called Waterloo a “damn near run thing.” All I can say is ditto. The tenseness of this game was enormous and the system is very unforgiving if you make a significant mistake (much like life) If I was to voice one complaint about this game it would be the frequency of the German relief event. It seems that every time you have them worn out, along comes the relief event. Very aggravating, but I am sure it seemed that way to the RAF as the Germans just seemed to keep coming and coming and coming and coming and coming and coming and....sorry got into a rut there. I highly recommend this game to all who want a good experience of the Battle of Britain.
Date Rest Box Damaged Box Rest Box Damaged Box
8-11 5 F 8B 2B 7 5
8-12 4F 7B 3 B 13 1
8-13 5B 0 8 0
8-14 0 0 1 0
8-15 0 0 0 0
8-16 0 0 0 0
8-17 1 F 1B 0 1 0
8-18 0 1F 0 0
8-19 1F 0 0 0
8-20 1F 0 0 0
8-21 4F 2B 1F 2B 6 0
8-22 2F 3B 0 0 0
8-23 2F 1B 0 0 0
8-24 0 0 0 0
8-25 1F 1B 4B 4 2
8-26 6B 0 3 2
8-27 4B 0 4 0
8-28 0 0 2 0
8-29 0 0 0 0
8-30 0 0 0 0
8-31 8F 5B 2F 3B 11 1
9-1 2F 3B 0 1 1
9-2 3F 4B 0 3 1
9-3 5F 1B 0 5 3
9-4 5F 3B 3B 5 10
9-5 2F 4B 0 13 3
9-6 3B 0 14 0
9-7 0 0 3 0
9-8 1F 0 1 0
9-9 2F 6B 4F 2B 5 5
9-10 5F 3B 0 7 0
9-11 0 0 5 1
9-12 0 0 2 0
9-13 2B 1F 5 5
9-14 1F 0 5 0
9-15 3F 2B 3B 6 0
9-16 5F 5B 4F 3B 11 1
9-17 1B 1F 1B 3 1
9-18 1F 1B 0 3 0
9-19 1F 1B 0 1 3
9-20 0 0 3 0
9-21 1F 2B 7F 5B 11 0
Never play block wargames with a dentist, they have those little mirrors to peek behind the block.
Golly Tim, What a coincidence! I just finished my 11th playing of RAF just two weeks ago. This will make you feel better I have not won either and in my 11th game I only got to September 2nd. I thought I had them beat I had destroyed Luft.2 bombers where they just had a few left then the Luft. 3 to Luft 2 came up, I knew I was beat. I think I found one thing that might work is wait till late in the day on a all out day and throw everything against fatigued bomers. But you can't send too many out to patrol early in the day. I had a wierd thing happen in my 9th game. This happen in 2003 on 9/11/40 I had German Terror go into effect, 911! In my 11th game I had only one rain day.
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Man, I REALLY need to get this one out and play it. I've always loved reading about the Battle of Britain and this report makes me want to take a Saturday to learn the game and finally play it!