Menin Gate at Midnight, Will Longstaff, 1927.
"At the landing, and here ever since" - Anzac Book, p. 35.
I just finished my first full campaign game of RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940 with a resounding 'British decisive victory', having sent the victory point total flying past the +35 VP mark on 9 September.
Most of the game hung closelyin the balance, with the VP marker swinging from -8 to +8 and back again throughout the first few raid days.
Early on I tried to distribute my forces, patrolling in every sector highlighted on the advance warning card with at least two units. I think this may have been a bad idea, so switched my strategy to focusing a strong defence on just 1-3 key sectors in an area and ignoring the others.
I took my two reinforcements each turn for the first few turn (spending 2x the 3VPs required during the early stages) and placed them in key sectors such as 6/11, 7/11 and 1/11. I think these are the three most important sectors and I tried to focus on patrolling those throughout the game.
During the early game, I'd scored some small hits and the occasional heavy loss to send the VP marker in the +0 to +10 zone, some successful bombing would take it back down -5 to +5, and then I'd take reinforcements which would send it down further to about -5 to -10. This continued up until about the fourth raid day when I began to see the effects of those reinforcements. I could afford to patrol more strongly, and I was changing my mindset to commit larger forces to intercept a raid. Rather than just commit 'patrolling' forces, I was committing those 'available' also (previously I'd only committed those patrolling). The commitment of larger forces saw me suffer more losses (mainly as unlucky 'Light Loss results), but it also saw the VP marker creep higher as I was simultaneously inflicting greater losses on the Germans.
Through early September the VP marker crept up to the +20 to +25 region. On 9 September the raid card indicated that the first incident of the day would be a Major Raid on Tangmere Airfied.
My intelligence was 'Limited', but I picked up an 'Early' warning, meaning I could send up patrols from sectors En Route AND In Range.
With the VP marker on about 27 I decided to gamble, and send up everything available. 'Everything available' consisted of 14 Squadrons, with a total strength of exactly 46. This was easily the largest force I'd ever sent up - I think my previous max was 8 squadrons. It's a big gamble, because it puts all those squadrons out of action for at least two 'clock spaces' (4 hours) and leaves the sectors open to heavy damage.
The raid approach event was inconsequential, and in cross-referencing the depleted Germans my 46 strength force managed to attack on the final 'I' row of the Combat Results Table (which required 46+ combat value). As it turned out, I rolled a 6, causing 'H H H' damage to the 6 German fighters, giving me 12 VPs, sending the Luftwaffe packing, and giving the Brits a decisive victory.
RAF is a great game. I feel it's strength lies in the long term planning/decision making and the results one sees from that over several raid days. Most of the time nothing significant happens on a raid day. A few raids occur, a few losses to both sides, some damage to some areas perhaps. There are the occasional 'great days' or 'horrible days' that may change things up a fair bit, but I feel good planning (and some good luck perhaps) is needed if the campaign is to go well.
Perhaps key to this planning is the idea that long term changes in the game situation are caused from short term planning. If you send up everything you have on every raid you may do some damage immediately, but will suffer in the long term as countless bombing raids hid their targets unchecked. One needs to know when to conserve strength and take damage, when to hit hard and aim for heavy enemy losses, and when to just attempt to disrupt the bombers and accept what damage comes.
- Last edited Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:34 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:05 am
As it turned out, I rolled a 6, causing 'H H H' damage to the 6 German fighters, giving me 12 VPs, sending the Luftwaffe packing, and giving the Brits a decisive victory.
Why didn't you complete this raid? You could see all these bomber bad boys coming down in flames!
In my games I always finish up raid even if decisive victory's conditions were met during this raid. I believe John Butterfield supports this idea.
Interesting AAR BTW.