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RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A Brutal Beginning rss

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Rick Bateman
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This is my very first time playing the game, ever, and here's how it begins...

0800: It starts out very small; a minor raid with only one Gruppe. I send two squadrons against it, yet I still end up with one reduced and the German gets away unscathed. Then there's a Follow-Up Raid, and they send six Gruppen because of my poor intel. The two squadrons I sent out both take Heavy Losses. Then, there's a Time Advance 0, and the next raid is major (with poor intelligence again, but early warning). At this point, I decide I'm probably gonna be restarting by the end of the day anyway, so I might as well just go for the gusto and throw everything I've got at them (which was two squadrons enroute and three patrolling in range).

The assigned number of Gruppen was 13, but Luftflotte 3 had already used up enough Me 109's in this time segment that it stopped at 10. Since I had five squadrons in the Hunt box to their three, I moved two Spitfires into the Bomb box, daring to hope that I might blunt the force of this major raid, and win a moral victory at least. In the Hunter Attack, the Germans and British both incurred one Light Loss, and one German Gruppe also aborted.

The other two British squadrons were Disrupted; I crunched the numbers and decided to send them to Inflight. Without them going to the Bomb box, it meant that one Bomber would definitely slip through, but I'd have a much higher chance of doing real damage to the other two (and those two squadrons would be undamaged). The Target Event was A and B bombers attacking the secondary target; in this case, a radar net. I decided that target was more important than their primary target (a port), so I had my squadrons intercept the A and B bombers. I roll a 2; one of the Bombers is disrupted, which has no effect on a bomber, but the other was a Heavy Loss. One of the escorts went with him to the Heavy Loss box, and the other two went to Inflight reduced; not too shabby.

The dice were favorable to me in the actual bombing rolls; they missed both the primary and secondary target. I lost 6 VP in that first Follow-Up raid, but got 4 back with the Heavy Losses in this one, so I was back up to -2. It wouldn't be too bad if it ended there, and yet, the Target Event card was another Time Advance 0. That meant there would be yet more raiding in this, the very first active time segment of the entire game. Of course, the fighters for Luftflotte 3 were completely depleted, so if another LF3 target came up, it would be a false raid, and the time would advance automatically. So, naturally, the next target was for Luftflotte 2.

The first one was no raid (which, unfortunately, does not advance the time like a false raid), and the second one, just my luck, was not only another LF2, but also another major raid (on the port of Dover). Detection roll resulted in sufficient warning but limited intelligence. The number of assigned Gruppen was 9, and I had 3 Spitfire squadrons available in the Dover sector. I looked back at Force cards that had previously been drawn, and estimated that there would probably be 3 Me 109's that would end up in the Hunt Box.

Looking at the potential combat results, I judged that the difference between having two squadrons or all three was negligible, so I left one at home. I suppose if I sent all three, there would be a slightly higher chance of stopping a couple bombers, but I feel like I'd just be sending them to their death. In this situation, it seems pretty certain that some of the bombers are gonna get through no matter what, and so I might as well just accept the loss of the VP from the bombing damage, and not add the extra losses of my fighter squadrons.

Ultimately, it seems like it wouldn't have mattered much; either way I end up with one disrupted unit. I decide not to send it reduced to the Bomb box; there would be a 50/50 chance that the squadron would end up a Light Loss, and even if it did stop one bomber Gruppe, that would probably just reduce the bomb VP penalty by one, which would be canceled out by the Light Loss. I guess I'm feeling a little fatalistic about this raid (I guess after four raids in one hour, ya just get kinda numb), so I send the squadron to Inflight.

The Target Event card is Flak, which reduces one bomber Gruppe, but what's far more notable is that the Time Advance result for that card is a Follow-Up raid. And so it will continue. But first this bombing; it does 2 damage, bringing us back down to -5 in total. For the Follow-Up raid, I got early warning, but even with that I could only muster three squadrons, and the Germans are sending 14. This time, I'm just gonna let it go uncontested. Boring, I suppose, but it just doesn't seem like three squadrons could have any positive effect, but could definitely have a negative effect.

It looks like I made the right choice, as the raid deployment called for 6 Me 109's in the Hunt box; I would've gotten slaughtered. The Target Event is another call to attack the secondary target, and hey, guess what? ANOTHER follow-up raid. Remember, that will be the third one in just a single time segment! In the current bombing, they missed the primary target, but scored two hits on the secondary target, which was an airfield. That cost me 2 Spitfire Replacement points, and the one squadron that was still available in that sector. So yeah, I'll probably be sitting the next one out, too. The good news is, the second Follow-Up raid on Dover uses all 7 of LF2's remaining Me 110's. After the German Recovery phase of this raid, every single German fighter Gruppe in the game will be out of play for at least six hours. So, it looks like six raids will be it for this time segment. The bad news is, with the Heavy Damage from this raid on top of everything else, we're down to -10 VP just four hours into the game.

Tl;dr - That whole session report (six raids) was for just one time segment, the very first of the game. Is it always like this, or did I just start my very first play-through with very bad luck? What's the average number of raids in a normal raid day?
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Rick Bateman
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In case you're wondering how the rest of the day went:

1200: All the German Gruppen are still out of action, so it's just one more false raid and another two segments forward.

1600: For the Squadron Patrol Assignment at the end of the last phase, I decided to really go for the gusto, and bet that not much would happen at 1800, by setting every single active squadron to patrol (good thing there's no rules for fuel consumption). If the segment ends in a Time Advance 1, those raids will just have to go unopposed, but at least I can throw everything I've got at them in this one. Of course, "everything I got" still isn't all that much; most sectors just have two squadrons, with a few having only one (and, I realized later, I forgot to put any squadrons in London). I'll still probably need Early warning to muster a really substantial force.

Unfortunately, the warning for the next raid was only Sufficient, so I can only send the two squadrons in that sector. The Raid Size is only 6 Gruppen, so I send them both. Depending on what ends up in the Hunt box, we might have a fighting chance.

Only two Gruppen went in the Hunt box, but the dice didn't help much, and I ended up with just one reduced squadron in the Bomb box. The target card was Low Level Bombers, which is a shift three columns to the right for the remaining bombers. My reduced squadron managed to make one bomber Gruppe abort, but the squadron was a Light Loss. It ended up being a wash in terms of VP, but at least I got the moral victory of feeling like I stopped the attack.

This time, the Time Advance is 2, so there will be no more raids today. The final total is -11 VP; if I were playing Prelude to Eagle Day, it would be a German Tactical Victory. I notice that even the flavor text for that result says, "but the RAF can bounce back," so I'm just gonna go ahead and see whether I can make that happen. I'm gonna keep playing despite essentially starting in the hole.

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Rick Bateman
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August 13: The Day Card had two days elapsing, and the VP bump from that brought us to -9, just enough to cross the threshold of 2 Experienced Pilot points instead of 1. Since I was already so deep in the hole, I was about to just say "screw it" and toss in some reinforcements, but this being right on the edge has made me decide against it.

0800: The day begins with a major raid against the port of Southampton. I get early warning, which gives me access to five units. The Raid Size is only 8, so I send 4, leaving one squadron on patrol in 4/10 since it's entirely possible another raid will happen around there in this time segment. The Approach Event was Rendezvous Failure, which took out one of two bombers and their only close escort, but I still had four 109's on the hunt to get through.

The Hunt resolved with one Light Loss for both sides, and the rest of the German Gruppen sent running to Inflight, with one British squadron making it through to attack an un-escorted bomber. It's the (presumably) rare opportunity to roll on Column I (the best possible column for the British).

...And, of course, the dice reveal their hatred for me yet again. I rolled the only result that didn't incur actual losses for the Germans. It stopped the attack, sure, but I really need those victory points.

1000: Time advances by 1 segment; I was really gambling against that with my patrol assignments. The next target card is LF3, and I put every squadron in that zone on patrol in the previous segment, so unless the card turns up a No Raid, it'll probably be uncontested (I currently only have nine active squadrons on the whole board).

The next raid was major, so I did let it go uncontested. The port of Weymouth was bombed for -2 VP, and then time advances by one segment.

1200: The Luftflotte 3 area is pretty safe at this point, since all the LF3 fighters are out of action for a while, so there can't be any raids there no matter what. At 1400, only three fighter Gruppen will become available, so the 10th Group seems pretty safe to commit their squadrons to patrolling LF2 areas. I'm also gonna try the tactic of just having half my squadrons on patrol, and half off (in this case, nearly half are in Re-Arm, so I couldn't have more than half anyway). I'm also trying the idea that it's better to have some territories left empty and have others with two patrol squadrons, because if there's only one squadron patroling the target of a major raid, I'm not going to use it anyway.

So, the target is Hornchurch Airfield, and it's a major raid again. The detection roll once again shows how much the dice hate me; with all modifiers calculated, I had +11, so I had a very good chance of getting early warning. Instead, I rolled a 1, and was left with sufficient/limited. The Raid Size is 13, so I think I'm gonna have to sit this one out again. There's just too little chance for two squadrons to do anything but get killed, and for all I know, there could be a follow-up raid.

And again, it looks like I made the right choice, because there would be 7 Gruppen in the Hunt box. I would've been rolling on Column A. The dice give a little reprieve, getting a 1 on the Bombing roll, which results in only -1 VP despite the lack of interception. Time advances by two segments, bringing all of Luftflotte 3 back into play.

1600: Since it's only a couple segments till End of Day, it's tempting to send everyone on patrol, but I decide to stick with my 50/50 plan.

This time, it's a minor raid, to Southampton. The two Target Cards I could see for advanced warning were LF3 and LF2 South, so I put three squadrons on patrol in Southampton, and the Raid Size is only one. With my luck, there will probably be a followup raid, and while it may not be wise to leave myself open to that, I also don't think it's wise to pass up this opportunity for an almost-guaranteed victory point or two, so I commit all three squadrons.

Unfortunately, the Approach Event was German Altitude Advantage, which means that I can't roll in Column I no matter what. Despite that, the dice cooperated this time, and the Germans took a Heavy Loss. The Time Advance was 0, though, so they'll have their chance to make it up before the day is over.

The next raid was "major," but with only five Gruppen, and it just happened to be in the only other area on the board where I had assigned three squadrons to patrol. I don't think that kind of luck is gonna happen very often. I got even more luck with the Hunt roll (I guess I found one die that doesn't hate me), resulting in two full squadrons going to the Bomb box and one Light Loss for the hunters. I scored another Heavy Loss in the interception, making this a very successful mission, but the Time Advance is again 0. It mocks the good luck I've had in this time segment so far; it looks like the Germans aren't gonna stop until the get a hit, and I've already used up half of my patrolling squadrons.

The next raid is another major raid on Hornchurch Airfield; they must really want this one bad. I don't have any squadrons on patrol there, but I have three in the sector, and I got sufficient warning, so I can use them. This is a tough call, because it seems like I'm guaranteed to take losses in the hunter attack, and probably won't stop the bombing anyway, but after those last two successes, I feel like I need to put up some resistance just for the principle of the thing.

LF2 only has five 109's left, and two of them end up in Channel Patrol. I lose one in the hunt as expected, but the other two make it to the Bomb box. Since there are four bomber Gruppen and only two CE Gruppen, my two squadrons can pick on two unescorted bombers. Rolling on Column I again, they're both heavy losses, and the two bombers remaining only score one hit, so I get an overall result of +2 VP. The luck certainly could've gone both ways with that one, but I guess the moral of this story is that three squadrons of Spitfires are not to be taken lightly.

The Day Card has another two days elapse, bringing my VP total up to a respectable -2. We sure hit 'em hard today. And, since I didn't take any Heavy Losses today, I'll be back on to full strength for the next day (though my Experienced Pilots pool is down to four).
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Rick Bateman
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Aug 15

1000: Another attack on Hornchurch, but this time with only five Gruppen. I send all three against them; I incur one Light and one Heavy Loss, and stopped the bombing from happening at all, so that was certainly a successful mission. That's a net gain of 3 VP, which brings us up to +1. Finally on the positive side! However, all three squadrons were reduced, so they're gonna be out of action for the next three time segments, and that could be a problem, given how often Hornchurch seems to come up (or, maybe the fact that it's come up so many times already means that it won't be coming up again soon). Time advances by 1.

1200: ...And, the very next attack was on Hornchurch again. I thought about having some squadrons from adjacent sectors patrol there, but I put too much stock in that parenthetical statement, and figured it probably wouldn't come up again quite so soon. I guess that minor raid was just a feint for this one. Fortunately, I rolled early warning, so the squadrons that are patrolling in the adjacent sectors can come over anyway.

I know this is gonna come back to bite me eventually, but I just can't resist throwing everything I've got at them. I figure if we incur some Heavy Losses this time, then if they do another raid that's unopposed, the worst that can happen is we break even.

There were five 109's in the assault force, but two were on Channel Patrol, and one got moved to Escort by the Approach Event, which left my five squadrons against only two Gruppen on the hunt. That puts the combat roll in Column H, which guarantees Losses for them and not for us; the hunters have become the hunted.

It didn't go as well as it could've; they only took a Light Loss, and three of my squadrons were disrupted, so now I have to decide if I send them after the bombers reduced. There are four bomber Gruppen in this raid, and I really don't want any of them to get through (I stand to lose both replacement points and VP). On the other hand, if I only send in two squadrons, I'll avoid the Close Escort Gruppen.

I crunch the numbers; if I let some bombers go, I'll be on Column H again. I like Column H. If I bring in the disrupted squadrons to go after all of them, then I'll be on Column F, which means a good chance that we'll just trade Light Losses and some of the bombers will still get through. So, I'm just gonna stick with the two full squadrons and send the others to Inflight.

I did manage to incur one more Heavy Loss, but unfortunately, the two remaining bombers got really lucky with their roll and did Heavy Damage. That's especially bad since the Approach Event diverted them to their secondary target, which is Industry. It only took 3 damage, so I guess that's not any worse than the replacement points I would've lost for the airfield. But overall, it does make this feel like a pyrrhic victory. I scored 3 VP, and then they scored 3 VP and took away 3 replacement points. Oh well, we're still ahead for the day. Time advances two segments, which means the day might be almost done.

1600: The next attack is on the radar tower at Rye, a sector which is almost undefended. I have three squadrons patrolling the sectors on either side of it, and I did get early warning, but poor intelligence. So that means I can commit up to seven squadrons, with no idea what I'll be facing (not to mention no idea how many more attacks will come today). It's certainly tempting to just stick with my "bird in the hand" strategy, because there may not be any more attacks, so I might as well just throw everything I got at them. But if I do use them all and there are more attacks in this segment, then there's some pretty huge chunks in my defenses (and one of them is in Hornchurch, which sure does come up a lot). Of course, if more attacks come in the next segment, those holes will be there anyway, since I'm already on patrol. If I crush this raid, the raids that come after may only equalize the VP I already gained. Another thing to consider is that if I leave just a couple units in those sectors, that may not be enough to deal with another attack anyway. So, to hell with it, I'm throwing the kitchen sink at them. 25 combat points of the RAF's finest against... what?

No Raid, that's what (the Force Size card where it's a No Raid if the intelligence is poor, which means all the forces I've committed go to Inflight, and a new target card is drawn without moving the time forward). That literally could not possibly have happened at a worse time. No, literally.

So, our poor intelligence leads 25 combat points of the RAF's finest to go on a wild goose chase while the real enemy sneaks right past them (the next target ended up being in the exact same sector). In a hilarious twist, though, Britain wasn't the only one with an intelligence blunder. The Target Event card was Non-Essential Target, which means the Germans went and bombed a place that didn't matter as much as they thought. The VP loss they inflict is subtracted by 1, and as it happens, they only rolled a 1 anyway, so this wholly unopposed bombing run ended up having no value whatsoever. Still wish I could've hit them with 7 squadrons, but this definitely turned out a lot better than it could've.

Time advances by 2 to End of Day, so for the first time, I end the day with positive victory points (well, only 1, but it'll go up as soon as the Day Advance happens).
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Michael Dardia
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Great session report, Rick! It got me motivated to break the game out again after a long hiatus. Poor Hornchurch though...
 
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Rick Bateman
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dardman wrote:
Great session report, Rick! It got me motivated to break the game out again after a long hiatus.


Cool, I'm really enjoying it too. I think I'll play a second campaign on video after I finish this one.

Quote:
Poor Hornchurch though...


Yeah, that whole sector is getting pounded relentlessly. Here's the next day...

Aug 19: In reviewing my report for the second raid day (Aug 13), it didn't seem like the VP I reported at the end of the day meshed with all the events I described. I'm pretty sure I just forgot to put a couple VP losses on the Victory Point Track, and I don't want to get ahead that way, so I'm just gonna take a couple off, even though I'm not positive that's what happened. I feel like I've given myself enough little mulligans here and there since this is my first game (which I didn't describe in these posts), that there are probably at least two VP I didn't quite earn even if there wasn't ever a point when I just forgot to put losses on the scoreboard. So that'll take me down to -1, but the Day Event advanced the calendar by four days, so that brings me back up to +3. Quite a comeback from -11.

The Day Event changes the Target Priorities; I guess we've got them running scared, since airfields are now the high priority. Radar nets are low, so I guess we won't have to worry about losing Advanced Warning. The focus on the airfields could cost me a lot of Replacement Points, though (but then, I suppose that's kinda the point). Speaking of replacements, this card had plenty of them. 15 for the British, 11 for the Germans. Those should last a while, especially since I had literally no losses on the previous raid day.

1000: The first engagement is a minor raid of just one Gruppe against the industry in Rochester. It's a bit tough to justify sending three squadrons against such a minor foe, but it's the difference between Column G and Column I (which means the difference between a decent possibility of British losses, and the near certainty of German losses). It's very possible that I'll be leaving Hornchurch open to another attack (if I get a Time Advance 0), but the "bird in the hand strategy" has served me pretty well so far.

Sure enough, I rolled a 3, which is a Heavy Loss for the Germans (the Gruppe was A-type) in Column I, but it would've been just an Abort for them and a Light Loss for us in Column G. A three-point swing; that's the difference overwhelming force can make. Now I guess it's just a matter of holding my breath to see whether they make up those points in further raids in this sector that I have no squadrons left to cover.

And, it looks like this really was just one stray Gruppe, not the forerunner of a larger attack; the Time Advance is 2, and we're sitting pretty at +5 VP with all our squadrons available.

1400: The inevitable major raid on Hornchurch has come, but there's only 7 Gruppen. I think we can handle that with the three squadrons in that sector. I think there's a good chance of additional attacks on this target, but hey, bird in the hand.

We trade Light Losses in the Hunt, with one squadron getting through intact and the other disrupted. As in the previous day, I'm gonna send the disrupted unit to Inflight, so I can avoid the Escort and get to Column H. Unfortunately, the roll went bad, and the bomber was only disrupted. Hate to see easy victory points get away. The bombers do 2 damage, bringing us down to +3. And, adding salt to the wound, Time does not advance.

The next raid is against the North Weald airfield, right next to Hornchurch. There's only 1 squadron there; if I'd gotten early warning, I could've brought three more, but I didn't, so I'm gonna have to leave this one unopposed. The good news is it's a forward airfield, so it can't take more than two damage (of course, if there wasn't the Detection modifier for forward, I would've gotten early warning). I got a lucky roll of 1 for the bombing, but the Target Event was not lucky. It was Patrollers Vector Away, which guts my active squadrons, and still the time doesn't advance. That bombing brought me down to +2 VP, lower than where I started the day, and they've still got three time segments left.

Next is a major raid against industry in Southampton. I had two squadrons patrolling there, but I really wish I hadn't gotten late warning. Still, there are only two hunter Gruppen, so I thought it was worth a shot. Ultimately, I couldn't inflict any losses (or even stop any bombers), but I was partially saved by another lucky 1 on the bombing roll (bringing me down to only +1 VP). I'd really prefer not to be dependent on those lucky bombing rolls. Fortunately, time finally does advance, but only by 1.

1600: Still two time segments left, and my defense looks like Swiss cheese (I have all my active units on patrol, and they're only patrolling five sectors). The small silver lining is, all the previous raids by LF2 have used up all their 109's for the rest of the day (since they all happened within three time segments of End of Day), so I don't think I'll have much to worry about from the Hunt phase (but the Escorts could get pretty nasty). Of course, that's only if an attack comes from LF2.

The attack was on the port of Dover (that heavily-trafficked 6/11 sector, where Hornchurch is). I had two squadrons on patrol, and I managed to inflict two Light Losses, balancing out the 2 points of bombing damage they did (leaving me at +1 VP).

1800: The clock being at 1800 seems like the perfect time to just put everyone on patrol, but if you already put half your units on patrol at 1600, there isn't gonna be a higher-than-usual number of units available. Oh well. On the plus side, LF2 is completely out of fighters, so any raid that goes forward on that side will be a false raid, and the day will end. That means it's the perfect time to load up on the LF3 side.

And, it was indeed a minor raid on the LF2 side, and so the day ends. It started off pretty well, but we ended with 2 victory points less than we had when the day began. But hey, we're still on the positive side, and that's good enough for now.

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Brett Austin
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I've yet to get this game on my table, sigh. Thank you for this report.
 
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Rick Bateman
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Aug 20 (5th Raid Day): Time only advanced one day (VP is now +2), but the mild positive side of that is, that means fewer replacements for the Luftwaffe; with four replacements and six losses on the previous raid day, I inch a little closer to Luftwaffe Depletion.

Interesting news, the weather is bad. I've been rolling pretty low for weather before, always had at least one clear sector. This time, I rolled a 6, which means it's all cloudy. That means a lower modifier for detection rolls, but also a negative column shift for bomb rolls.

0800: The very first raid of the day poses a very tough command decision; it's a major raid on the city of London. Ordinarily, this might be a good thing, because I have four squadrons I can send in defense. However, the raid size is 13, with 5 Gruppen of 109's in the Hunt Box. Unless a lucky Approach Event diverts some of them, that would put me in Column D, which means I'll be guaranteed at least one light loss, and the best I can hope to bring to the Bomb Box is one or two reduced squadrons. On the other hand, bringing in just one reduced squadron will cause a significant shift in the column the bombers will be rolling on. If I can turn a Heavy Damage into 1 Damage, that will equalize the Light Losses I'm guaranteed to take, and there's always a chance I might inflict some losses on them too. And, from a roleplayer perspective, I can't leave an attack on London uncontested. I have to do it.

Quite contrary to the hope of a lucky Approach Event, it was extremely unlucky: German altitude advantage. If I could've known about that, I would've never sent them. Now I'm rolling on Column C.

The bad news is, I didn't get any squadrons to the Bomb Box, so the actual bombing itself will be uncontested anyway. The good news is, I inflicted two Light Losses on the hunter Gruppen, which is one more than I took. The VP is +3 at the moment, but that's gonna plummet when the bombs start falling. As expected, it was Heavy Damage, bringing my VP down to 0. Not a good start to my first day back. At least the time advances, though.

1000: Another major raid on London, but the industry this time (which means more negative effects than just VP points if they get through). This time, I had Early Warning, which means I can bring 7 squadrons against them. That's a major gamble against them attacking more this time segment, since I only have a total of 13 squadrons on patrol, but I can't let them get through to London again (and I need to get back some of the VP I lost). To my "bird in the hand" mantra, I'm adding "fight now, regret later."

From a raid size of 11, there ended up being only three 109's in the Hunt Box, so few that I actually had to invoke the Overwhelming Squadron Advantage rule. If the advantage is so overwhelming, why am I still just rolling in Column F? For all our apparent advantage, there's still a real chance this could go very poorly.

It didn't go great. They took one Light Loss to my two (which means I'm down to -1 VP), and the rest of my squadrons were Disrupted. The Target Event diverts the two more powerful bombers to their secondary target, a city. So now I have to consider my options. With my one non-reduced squadron, I could attack one of the He111's that are going to the city. The bombers going after London industry would be unfettered, but thanks to the broken clouds, they'd only be rolling in the 4,5 column, whereas my squadron would be rolling on Column H, with a high probability of Loss to them and no risk to us. Or, he could go after one of the bombers heading for London, which would bump him down to Column G. That would mean a 50/50 chance of Loss to them, and a 1-in-6 change of Loss to us (and also decrease the chances of damage to industry). Or, I could throw in all four of the Disrupted squadrons reduced, which would put us on Column F. That means a possibility of three Light Losses for us, but also a chance that the bombing could be stopped entirely.

I deeply loathe these kinds of choices. Basically, what it comes down to is, you can't know what the right choice is until after you roll the die. I actually got really tense about this decision, so I did some pretty hardcore probabilistic number crunching. What I find was that if I invoked Murphy's Law (assuming the worst possible result for all bombing rolls), the Column F option (bringing in all the Disrupted squadrons) gives us the best chance of not losing much in either VP or Replacement Points. Of course, rolling a 1 would cause us to take Light Losses on three squadrons, which would definitely be costly in Replacement Points. But other than that, it's by far the best option.

I rolled a 6, which means they took two Light Losses, and the rest of the Gruppen aborted. That's a gain of two VP, bringing me back up to +1. But despite that moral victory, the time does not advance, and I'm only patrolling two sectors, so the chances of an uncontested bombing run are very high.

Next was a major raid on Tangmere, which just happened to be in one of the two sectors I'm still patrolling (it wasn't just blind luck; it's the Southampton sector, which seems to be almost as high-traffic as Hornchurch, so I always try to keep it covered). However, fortune also taunted me by giving me Very Early Warning, in this time when I have absolutely no squadrons around except the ones patrolling in that sector. On the upside, the raid size is only 8. Let's take them down, and hope time advances after this.

What's interesting now is that this is the third attack from LF2 within two time segments, so they're down to their last Me 109. That means there's only one Gruppe in the Hunt Box, but a bunch of extra ones in Close Escort. For the Hunt Box, we'll be rolling in Column H; they can't inflict any losses, but there's enough Disrupt or Abort options that things could get pretty ugly once we go to intercept the bombers.

Sweet, we got British altitude advantage, that should help a lot (I guess the Very Early Warning paid off after all). So now I got to roll in Column I instead, but I got the second worst result (they only took a Light Loss, and two of my three squadrons were Disrupted). The Target Event card was Low Level Bombers, which put us on Column G despite the reduced squadrons. I rolled a 2, which means I took two Light Losses, but they took three Heavy Losses! The remaining bombers aborted, so we completely beat back this attack (and, we're up to +6 VP). As the icing on the cake, time advances.

1200: Actually, even with the time advance, our defenses still don't look so hot. There are only ten squadrons on the board, and 8 in Re-Arm. I'm not too worried though, since the next two target cards are LF2, and they're completely out of fighters, so if one of those did result in a raid, it's likely that it would be a False Raid. Still, there's always a chance one bomber could slip through, so I can't entirely ignore the defenses on that side.

The first target card does yield a raid, on London again. I get Very Early Warning for a second time when it probably won't matter, but at least it means I can send in a couple squadrons in case that one bomber does come.

And, that's exactly what happened. This might not be the best thing; I would've enjoyed the False Raid result advancing time by two segments and putting all of my able squadrons back on the board, but it does seem like this one lone bomber should be easy pickings for two squadrons of RAF's finest.

The dice behaved, so we got the Heavy Loss (bringing us up to +8 VP). The time advance called for a follow-up raid, and this time it did end up being a False Raid.

(At this point, I realized there were six Gruppen in the Heavy Loss box, when there should've only been four. Thanks to my copious record-keeping, I was able to confirm that I had put two Light Losses in the Heavy Loss box, but I'm fairly confident I did still calculate VP correctly.)

1600: They send a minor raid against Rye, and I don't have any squadrons in range, but they end up doing no damage. And hey, what do you know, time advances by two, to End of Day. The beginning of the day was not good, but it ended up going quite well, with an overall gain of 6 VP.
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Mark Turner
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Great write up . I recently bought the game (based in part on write-ups like yours). I played through the first full day of the Lion "Hardest Days" scenario last night. Its looking very dicey for the RAF at the moment. Weymouth port took heavy damage (and was unable to repair on the second day) and Biggin Hill sector station took a pasting. At the end of the day I had 6 squadrons in the Light Loss box (the Germans had only one ME 109 gruppen taking a light loss) . Watch those replacement point evaporate! Not sure how many days like this I can survive! Can't wait to get home tonight and see if I can turn this around and get stuck into the Luftwaffe.

I really enjoy how the game mechanics produces a coherent and enjoyable narrative.
 
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