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Subject: It's Rough in the ETO! rss

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Tom Barnes
United States
St. Charles
MO
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Planning on a campaign with the 97th Bomb Group, a B-17 outfit that was assigned to the 8th Air Force initially and transferred to the 15th Air Force later.

Starting at the beginning with a B-17E in campaign 1. First mission to Lorient to bomb U-boat pens. The first fighter attacks come even before the fighter escort withdraws. The group is in the high-low 2-squadron line abreast formation and HELLZAPOPPIN is in position #4 on the extreme left side of the group. A 109 slips through the fighter coverage and attacks from 9 o'clock high, but the top turret gunner is tracking him. A stream of .50 caliber saws his right wing off and sends the Messerschmitt tumbling, but somehow the pilot gets out and we see his 'chute blossom. Before we can congratulate the engineer on his shooting, three more 109s attack -- two from ahead and one from the left side. Streams of tracer fly through the air, but no fighters are damaged and our ship is not hit. But what's this - the right aileron is full of holes! Some trigger-happy gunner in another Fort must have hit us.

Just as the friendly fighters depart, another wave of 109's attacks, three off the nose, one from 1:30, and another from 6 o'clock high. The German attacking from the tail is sloppy in maneuvering - could it be a rookie? In any case, tracers from the tail and radio room guns converge on him and his left wing comes off. The pilot dosen't get out of that one.

With only one .30 gun in the nose, most of the fighters attacking from ahead will get an undisturbed shot at us. The enemy fighter attacking from 1:30 puts a few holes in the ship, but also hits the mount for the nose gun -- we don't even have that anymore! Our right waist gunner takes a light wound to the shoulder and the aircraft commander has him move to the radio room for more comfort.

We press on over the Bay of Biscay, and can see the French coast on the horizon ahead. The day is perfectly clear, but we are now making contrails that point right to our formation. The enemy shouldn't have any trouble finding us, and they don't. Five 109's attack: three from 12 o'clock and one each from 1:30 and 9. All the defensive fire has no visible result, but maybe helped spoil their aim a bit. Only the fighter at 1:30 hits, but it's bad: our radio operator is hit in the neck and bleeds out. The '109 comes back at us from 6 o'clock high. The wounded waist gunner jumps to the gun in the slaughterhouse of the radio room, but it jams. Our tail gunner gets a good bead on the enemy fighter, though, and strikes on the engine cowling produce a blossom of flame and then an explosion.

A gunner on another bomber is tracking the same target, but hits our ship instead. An electrical fire is kindled, filling the cockpit with acrid white smoke. We have no choice but to jump.

Crew on other ships report nine good 'chutes seen from HELLZAPOPPIN, but only the Bombardier is picked up and sent to a luftstalag. The rest of the crew is MIA and presumed lost.
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David Lee
United States
Texas
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Rough indeed.
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Michael Melen
United States
Maryland
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I believe the bomber was aptly named. I hope you have better luck with the next B-17!
 
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Olli T
Finland
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Cool story, bro. This made the waiting of my very own copy even harder, though...

Is there really that detailed crew injuries and plane damages in the game, or did you just spice the story up with them?

Anyhow, this one sounds like a great game with endless stories!
 
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Tony Holt
United States
Eau Claire
Wisconsin
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Yes, the details of aircraft and crew injuries can be that detailed, if you want. After determining hits, there are optional charts you can roll on to determine location and and specific damage, to both crew and plane.

Tony
 
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Olli T
Finland
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Thanks, Tony.

Dang, this game sounds even better and better every time I read about it! Those additional damage details really adds up the immersion on the firefights in my books. This will be my first wargame and I love it already.
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Bob Davis
United States
Missouri City
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You guys are making my wait for this game difficult. It's ordered but not shipped yet. Tick, tock, tick, tock.
 
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