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Subject: Luftwaffe Basic Game two play throughs rss

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Ryan Schultz
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Awesome play of Luftwaffe (AH) yesterday. This games covers the US Army Air Forces 1943 to 1945 strategic daylight bombing campaign over Germany. Most old time gamers have a copy stashed in their closet if they had not already sold it to make room for newer, fancier games in their collection. This is too bad. Despite its age, first published in 1971, this game had a lot of play left in, especially if you use a couple of the clever variants like we did.

First, you should use the tactical variant published in Vol 18 #4 of the Avalon Hill General which creates a mini-hex map to fight out the battles previously resolved with a single die roll. The second variant to use is a Q&A from the designer, Lou Zocchi, requiring the German fighters to move half on takeoff and on landing with a full turn needed to refuel.

Together these two add ons create a much more fun and challenging game. The latter addition forces the German fighters to create strike groups that cycle through in waves, impatiently breaking off to refuel as the enemy bombers drive ever deeper into the Fatherland. The former rule add sets up exciting battles as German Fw190s and Me109s try to muscle past American P51s and P47s to get at a tight formation of B17s or B24s. Some neat tactics and game play is created which gives this game super flavor and interest.



We completed two games clocking in at three hours of playtime each. The basic game victory conditions, set in 1944, requires the US Army to bomb 12 aircraft factories, 9 to 11 is a draw and any less if a German win. While the primary bomber offensive often comes from England, the game has some cool side show options with a Baltic raid for a few bombers as well as the ability to launch strikes from Italy. This forces the Luftwaffe to cover several fronts and, perhaps, waiting to commit forces until the true American point of emphasis is determined.

Both games went to the Americans though the first game with 12 factories bombed was very close and had a few rule errors on how close escorts worked, which if we had played correctly would have resulted in a draw. This game saw the German FW190 front line fighters savage the England-based escorting P51s in the first wave attack then, after refueling, returning two more times to savage the bomber formations. By mid-game the few remaining bomber groups reached their designated targets but safe return to England was in doubt. A Baltic raid did rubble two aircraft factories near Danzig while the Italian front was quiet.

The second game was a more convincing 16 aircraft factories win. This game saw the American escorts successfully fend off several impressive waves of attacking Germans, largely downing the fearsome FW190s, with the P51s only leaving bomber escort duty as fuel ran out. Alone and unescorted bombers began to drop as several waves of German second line fighters (Me110s and Me 410s) pressed home attacks. It was however too little too late to stop the heavies from reaching their pre-planned targets. This main drive sucked up the majority of the German defensive forces, allowing three Baltic raid bomber groups unmolested bomb runs against targets in Poland while two Italian-based bomber sorties brushed aside meager German fighter opposition to successfully reach targets in Bavaria and Austria.

Dang, that was fun. My opponent is clever, always thinking through a few turns ahead to ensure best options and attacks. I felt the tension and fear as his fighters swept into my bombers and dreaded their return as he formed up the next attack wave.

We plan to play this one again, this time selecting the Advanced Game Operation Custer scenario. This one is set in 1945 and features German Me262s and Me163s jets while the Americans gets a wider, closer start line with a plethora of light bombers to add the the heavies.

I will cross-posted this from the Facebook Avalon Hill page.





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Michael Lavoie
United States
Nashua
New Hampshire
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Now there's a blast from the past! This was the second wargame I ever bought (Afrika Korps was the first) and I haven't even looked at it in ages. Nice to see people still playing and enjoying this unique design. Thanks for sharing!
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Gary Logs
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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Agree, thanks for sharing! It's great to see some sunshine on it, this was the first wargame I ever bought.
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Terry Lewis
United States
Oregon
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Still have it in my collection!!
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Charles Neal
Canada
Hillsburgh
Ontario
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Thanks for posting! Had a copy as a teenager, gave it away in my early 20s. Bought another copy via eBay a couple of years ago. Your AAR makes me want to get it out again one afternoon this coming winter!
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Randall Holbrook
United States
San Juan Capistrano
California
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best game of cover art ever! Bought it for that way back when and played it quite a bit!
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Frank Riskey
United States
Boise
Idaho
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Thank you for your AARs - well done. I have two copies of Luftwaffe, greatly enjoyed playing it with a high school friend long ago.
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James Cox
United States
Hawaii
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Nice!

Thanks for sharing! I haven't played that since the EIGHTIES!!! (but still own it)

Captions on the photos would be nice though.
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