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Subject: Unusual Scenario 2 AAR rss

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Chris Stimpson
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...so I thought it was time for a quick Scenario 2, solitaire, probably a dirty dash against a coastal airfield and back in time for Schnapps. Boy, was that a surprise.

Bad weather mainly in and to the north and west of London. Probably wouldn't be an issue with this scenario.

Raid chit draw. Himmel. F, S and CC. Now, I try to do the right thing and not learn the raids by heart, but I'm pretty sure those chits are unrepresentative of Scenario 2. My first thought was "I wouldn't want to be flying in one of those raids...!"

3 He111 gruppen bound for Heathrow with only 3 fighter gruppen - one of those a Zestorer - as escort.

5 He111 staffeln with one staffel each of Me109s, targeting Abingdon, Boscombe Down, Upavon, Worthy Down and Filton; (when I plotted that Filton raid, it ended up going off the game map briefly after bombing!)

And from the ridiculous back to the sublime, a Ju88 gruppe with an escort of one fighter gruppe hitting Lympne, before heading back to Cap Gris Nez, a total of 30 minutes of game time.

No spare jagers to use as Frei Jagd, and deep penetrations into British airspace with top cover breaking off for home in many cases before the bombing run.*** There will be blood. (In fact, rule 6.4.2.(f) allows me to disregard raid chits going into bad weather, but by this time I was looking forward to the blood!)

***Brings up a rules question for anyone to answer: if you have a raid that's so deep that you know the escorts will have to break off early for lack of fuel, shouldn't you plot it that way, i.e., with a planned split point for the 109s, instead of an unplanned pancake? And if you do plot the split (i.e., the turn for home is not predicated on a disruption or loss of endurance due to combat), should the escorts be bound by the pancake limitations in 10.3.4?***

Things started well for the Luftwaffe, however, with a fighter sweep that caught 74 Sqn. laboring out of Manston; when the smoke cleared, one squadron (less one Spit) and one staffel were heading home. However, the Heathrow raid, H1, got off ten minutes late, which must have given the JG3 pilots cause for concern. The plan was to stay over the water, going a long way west over the Channel and not coasting in until Poling, then heading NE toward Kenley before making the final turn toward Heathrow. In fact, the overland distance works out about the same as if the raid were flying a straight course from Le Touquet, but the hope was to draw the Tangmere squadrons away from the LF3 raid about to form up. This was where H1's late form-up began to tell: all the Tangmere squadrons scrambled at about the same time as the LF3 form-up, so they had not committed themselves to the fight in the east before seeing what was coming out of Cherbourg.

More about the fate of the under-protected H1 tomorrow....

PS: I must be in the mood for this; today I visited the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum in Chantilly, VA. Yes, the SR-71 looks very mean, the Concorde very sleek (even if it is a French one), the Space Shuttle very expensive, the Enola Gay very contentious and the Black Widow very deadly. But the first plane I saw as I walked in was - wait for it - a Westland Lysander..... That and the other WWII exhibits really caught my attention, including a Hurricane IIc, P-38, P-40, P-51, Corsair, Thunderbolt, FW-190, Ju-52, and a smattering of late-war German 'wonder weapons'. If you're in the Northern Virginia area, well worth a visit.
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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Thanks for the write up!
I think you saw a 'schmetterling' (butterfly), one of the first ground - air guided rockets: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henschel_Hs_117 but it never saw action though. Great you have a museum there with more stuff under one roof than we have here!


 
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Roger Taylor
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Chris,

Remember that you can spend VP to convert a channel patrol into a Freie Jagd. It comes in handy when your force package is fighter-poor. Withdrawal escort is worth considering too, though if the bombers they are programmed to escort divert from the primary target or pancake then the VPs are wasted.

Did I read right and you got a raid to Filton with no 110s for escort? Ugh. Heathrow from Luftflotte 2 is pushing the 109's range too, as I recall. Not a pleasant set of raid chits.
 
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Chris Stimpson
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Roger:

Yes, I've used CP gruppen that way before. What I didn't tell you was that the CP chit only gave me 1 gruppe and 3 staffeln - not a lot to spare. Although this might have been one of those occasions when it would have been worth it to strip the CP to divert the RAF's attention with multiple FJs.

And of course, there is also the difference between solitaire play and 2-player. In the latter case, as the LW player, I would probably have rejected the chits that put me into bad weather. Playing solitaire, the raids were just too interesting to pass up. On that score, if you use the optional rule that allows raids to change altitude for reasons of weather, you have less reason to reject interesting raid chits.
 
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