My Little Man's first real wargame play: Barbarossa Solitaire
“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say:”This was their finest hour!”- Winston Churchill
October 1, 1940:
As I sit here in the ready room of sector two, group eleven, I can scarcely believe the message that has come from the RAF command. Today, sources on the continent confirm that Hitler has decided to cancel Operation Sea Lion!!!! The lads will be ecstatic, as well they should be. Through all the long, difficult days we have hung on and administered such a pounding to Jerry’s Luftwaffe that the myth of German invincibility has been shattered for all time!!!
In looking back over the last few months, it is quite remarkable that we have won. But, as usual, British determination and stiff upper lips have prevailed!!!
When the Germans first began their aerial assault, the skies darkened and gave the Isles several days of heavy rain. Jolly good for us since we needed the extra time after taking a beating the first three days of battle. As the fight wore on, we began to get hammered and, rather than taking things lying down, the RAF took huge risks intercepting major raids on little or no information at all! But we lucked out several times, hitting heavy bomber raids with little of the dreaded ME-109 flying coverage. However, such cavalier actions soon caught up with us and we took a severe beating toward the end of August! It all became a big bloody mess, and the RAF seemed to be down to its last leg (the VP hit -29 at one point! ) Then, an amazing thing happened: Jerry left our radar and airfields alone for almost a solid week! This was quite puzzling, but if the dirty little buggers wanted to hit the ports heavily, that was fine with us! It gave the lads much needed rest and allowed us to concentrate our efforts at the ports. This lull eventually ended, although the enemy did swing too and fro on target priorities (they changed priorities no less than ten times!) The Germans had more pilots that we did (the German Relief event happened ten times! ) and eventually the Luftwaffe had worn us down to the point where preparations for Sea Lion began on September 20!!!! The race was on: could we hang on and prevent the Germans from crossing the channel or would Jerry come marching up to ring the bell at Number 10?????? In the end, the bravery of the English pilots (with the help of some other nationalities like the Poles and Czechs) fought bravely and took huge risks during the days of September 27-29. In the end, Caesar was right: in order to win all you must be willing to risk all!! The RAF fiercely defended their homeland, butchering the Luftwaffe as they roared across the channel (the RAF destroyed 10 German Gruppen in the last three days!) In the end, as I have already said, ole’ Adolf had called off the invasion and we can breathe easier here in our beloved England. As Wellington said 125 years earlier about another British victory: “it had been a damned near run thing!”
On a personal note, I usually take very detailed records when making a session report and I wish I had now since I FINALLY won this game!!!!!! I will admit I did have some luck, especially the week long airfield and radar sites being low priority. Also, the die rolls broke my way quite often, and I was able to pound on the Luftwaffe severely (see the list below). All that being said, it was quite scary to finish one day with -29 VP (and at one point that day the VP actually hit -32!) In the end, I won on September 30 with a VP total of +7 which cancelled Sea Lion and gave the RAF a tactical victory!!!!!! This was my 12th play of the game and this demonstrates all I love about the game: the major swings, the desperate gambles, the tough decisions, and the enormous joy (for those of you who have played this game: I destroyed an ME-109 gruppen on the last day! That was quite the rush!!!!) I think I’ll savor this for a little while, so it may be some time before RAF comes off the shelf again.
Never play block wargames with a dentist, they have those little mirrors to peek behind the block.
Good report, I won't give up hope that I will be able to pull one out someday.