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Wing Leader: Victories 1940-1942» Forums » General

Subject: Favourite Scenarios and "Less Favourite" Scenarios rss

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Christopher O
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Finally got around to playing one of the larger wing scenarios, V15 "Taking Wing", and really enjoyed it this weekend. More than most of scenarios I've played thus far, it really had an epic, drawn-out, pitched-battle feel, that spoke to Lee Brimmicombe-Wood's quotation of Charles Vasey's descriptions of some types of wargames being "a game about killing".

The Spits and Hurris smashed into the 109 escorts and sweeps and the battles raged - the dogfights often lasted four or more rounds between veteran squadrons - and the losses were high on both sides. In the end the Germans had enough staying power to get the bombers through with only one formation disrupted and a handful of bomber losses, so the Germans won fairly handily, but it was a massive fight and exciting for both sides, with the German player at one point thinking he had lost.

Seeing as this is a "medium-large" scenario with six squadrons on one side and eleven on the other whereas some of the later scenarios have eleven on one side and sixteen on the other (or more!), I think I'm just getting into how large the battles can be with this game, which is really exciting!

As this was one of the more enjoyable scenarios I've played so far, I thought I'd list some of my favourite scenarios thus far (and why) and some of the ones I enjoyed not as much. I should underline that even the "not as good" category scenarios are still fun to play - just, as their title implies, "not as good". Scenarios within each category are arranged in ascending order of preference.

[edit] Clarification: I have only played up to scenario V15, plus the supplemental V26. Consider this the first installment. I'll review others as I get to them.

The "Not as Good"

V07 "Malta Recce" - this one has been the least successful for me. I actually played it four times to see if there was something I was missing. It more or less boils down to two or three rolls - whether the Hurri IIC flight spots the Bf110 before the 109 spots the Hurri, and then if the Hurri IIC gets through to the Bf110, whether the recce is disrupted or shot down. If it is, the game is won for the Brits. If it isn't, and the Hurri runs, it's German victory. Either way, it's usually decided by turn 3 or 4.

There's a small chance that the Hurri I squadron can break through, but usually the Italians can fend them off.

It does have the not-terrible aspect of being very quick to set-up and finish.

V01 "Tyger! Tyger!" - presented as a training scenario, and excellent as such. Not so challenging as a scenario once you've played others.

V04 "Penny Packets" - Great as the first Battle of Britain scenario but difficult for the Brits due to the nature of the set-up - they arrive in penny packets as advertised, and consequently very hard to get at the bombers. Probably good to play as a handicap scenario, giving the Brits to the more experienced player.

V03 "Stalingrad Airlift" - Because the scenario is at low-level, there aren't many choices to be made. Ensure that you play this with the errata that allows you to face the Soviet squadrons either way depending on set-up. Again, quick to play and knuckle-biting for the Germans, frustrating to play as the brittle Soviets, but still fun. Like "Jagdgeschwader Molders", there's a fair chance of Soviet planes being left alone in the skies to harass the transports, or the Soviets to run off quickly.

The Better

V09 "Like Arrows Against Gladiators" - First to use the bombing attack rules [15.0]. Very closely matched and tense for the attacker. A lot of the scenario turns on the success or non-success of the bombing attacks. Bad spotting can make this frustrating for the Italians. Also, be sure to pay attention to the "Gameplay Advice" section.

V05 "Haway the Lads" - Reverse of V04 - the German player is on the challenged side with the bombers very vulnerable to attack with Bf110s not being of much assistance. Very interesting set-up decision for the Brits with the free set-up Spit squadron.

V02 "Birthday Present" - Decent decisions to be made here, and great scenario to play as the second scenario after the intro.

V08 "Jagdgeschwader Molders" - interesting cloud set-up, showcases toughness of IL-2s. However, since LaGG-3 squadrons are brittle and 109Fs are just flights (albeit Vets), there's a not-unlikely chance of the battle being over quickly and just IL-2s left to bomb (and strafe - don't forget about strafing!).

V12 - "The Rain Upon the Sea" - Tough scenario for the US, but very interesting nonetheless. Take careful note of special rule 3 when setting up the US escorts. There's a reason it's there. Also, US players, don't depend on that TBD to get through for points!

V06 "Let's Go and Surround Them" - Feels like the best of the smaller BoB scenarios, with an interesting set-up for the Brits (again with the free set-up) and much of the flavour of the era. Be careful to note that the Germans (rarely for this period) do not have tactical flexibility, as well as the -1 Ammo penalty. One of the best scenarios for actually making heavy inroads into a bomber formation, which feels very satisfying for the interceptor.

V13 "Hey Rube!" - An interesting scenario with flak, a weird starting vector, an SBD on CAP and a few other factors mixing it up, but the targets are pretty cut and dried. US player - use your flak wisely!

The Best

V10 "Cactus Thorns" - A real challenge for the Marine defenders, clawing for height against equally well-trained aircrews that have height and sun advantage, but the Japanese attackers have to roll well on the bomb rolls or shoot down a lot of Wildcats or they'll lose. Feels balanced and cinematic.

V14 "The Big 'E'" - The best of the three mid-sized Pacific carrier scenarios (in my opinion). The Japanese player must make good use of rain as cover as the Kates approach!

V26 "Hasn't Ivan Learned Anything? - Like "The Bridges at Sedan" below - crossing forces with lots of opportunity for interaction. Set-up is critical for both sides, with airspace "terrain" in this scenario (clouds) playing a vital part in the decision making. (note: this scenario is from the free scenario supplement, downloadable at BGG or LBW's website)

V11 "The Bridges at Sedan" - One of my top favourites so far, with lots going on and a number of opportunities for interesting fighter/bomber interactions. If the Stukas roll well and the Blenheims/Battles do poorly (or vice versa) the game can swing wildly independent of the kill numbers. Feels like two scenarios in one.

V15 "Taking Wing - Big attritional BoB scenario. As described above, very epic feeling. Lots of choices in set-up for Brit player, vectoring and timing attacks is critical in this one. The German player also has tough choices in the placement of the sweeps and how to use tactical flexibility optimally. My favourite so far.

Would love to hear others' opinions on favourite and least favourite scenarios!
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Christopher O
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I should also mention that there is a sort of built-in "programmed learning" if you play the scenarios in order, obviously intentional on the part of LBW. You learn new concepts and rule sets gradually.

So, I do recommend you play the scenarios in order rather than jumping around - I listed them above in order of preference after I had played them in sequence. They also have an added benefit of helping you to understand the various tactical and technological advancements as time went on, specifically: tactical flexibility, loose/rigid doctrine, radio nets and GCI, wing formations and many others.
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Ben Bosmans
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Kozure wrote:
I should also mention that there is a sort of built-in "programmed learning" if you play the scenarios in order, obviously intentional on the part of LBW. You learn new concepts and rule sets gradually.

So, I do recommend you play the scenarios in order rather than jumping around - I listed them above in order of preference after I had played them in sequence. They also have an added benefit of helping you to understand the various tactical and technological advancements as time went on, specifically: tactical flexibility, loose/rigid doctrine, radio nets and GCI, wing formations and many others.


Agreed.

You do need to play the scenarios in order, as it is a great learning tool . Step by step the rules can be absorbed within minutes.

I find scenario 3 fun/tense though as it is very quick to set up and play in solo mode and I didn't get one win in 5 games with the Russians

In my 15th play I am just starting Scenario V08 and the learning curve is excellent. Slowly crawling to the planes I love to see and then the Pacific.

At the moment WL is my top game of 2015. It depends how much I will enjoy the solo expansion of CoH in the next few weeks, but I think WL is worth every buck.


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Adam Parker
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Great game design makes the complex simple, replayability maximum, and abstraction credible.
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Christopher, it’s well worth re-listing this as a “review”. It definitely is, and it may help people find it in the future clutter.

Good job. Maybe combine this with part 2 when you get around to it, and put the whole up as a review then.
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Andrew Brazier
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Very nice summary and thanks for the kind words on "Like Arrows Against Gladiators" which is one of mine. I would say that we're getting better at scenario design and there are some really good ones taking shape for volume 2.
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Christopher O
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Adam Parker wrote:
Christopher, it’s well worth re-listing this as a “review”. It definitely is, and it may help people find it in the future clutter.

Good job. Maybe combine this with part 2 when you get around to it, and put the whole up as a review then.


Thanks! I appreciate the feedback and will probably do as you suggest. Once I do one of the "giant" scenarios - V20 or V22 - I'd like to write a review of the game itself. This thread will be a good adjunct review for the scenarios.
 
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Jim F
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Where the heck did this interest in WW1 come from?
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I like anything BoB related so 'Penny Packets' was my first try out of the game and I really enjoyed it.
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Christopher O
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Ashiefan wrote:

I like anything BoB related so 'Penny Packets' was my first try out of the game and I really enjoyed it.


I love BoB stuff as well, but I felt that the situation in Penny Packets, while entirely historical, made for frustrating play for the British player - again, this communicates the historical experience quite well, which is one of my goals in playing wargames. The RAF squadrons go up, the Luftwaffe escorts break off a flight with tactical flexibility and they scream down on the Hurris or Spits and tie them up. It's possible for one squadron to get through to the bombers, maybe two with good rolls.

It really shows the value of the later wing tactics and not committing forces piecemeal.
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Andrew Brazier
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Ashiefan wrote:

I like anything BoB related so 'Penny Packets' was my first try out of the game and I really enjoyed it.


See "White Cliffs" in the downloadable scenario supplement. It's got Ju87s, 109s, Hurricanes, Spitfires and, most importantly, barrage balloons. Disclaimer; it's another one I designed.
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