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Subject: Scenario 1: Mission Impossible, or Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader? rss

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Paul Borchers
United States
Keller
Texas
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On the table tonight was Nightfighter. I challenged my 10-year-old daughter to try the "impossible" Scenario 1, Cat's Eye, where a lone Hurricane Mk I on a night with a full moon, low clouds, and good visibility has to find and destroy one of three He 111 bombers. It's the Battle of Britain, and WWII nightfighting is in its infancy - there are no searchlights to illuminate the clouds, no airborne intercept radar, and no radar-guided vectoring from the ground.

I briefly explained to her how to maneuver her aircraft, and that the bombers were going to be moving in one direction along the length of the map at a fixed speed. I also told her she'd have to be lucky to even tally a bomber. This was an opportunity for me to try the basic rules as an umpire.

This scenario passes quickly as there's so little for the umpire to do. My daughter picked up the simple procedures rather quickly. She came close to getting a tally on the first bomber, but it passed by her two rows away. The second easily made its way off the map as well, even though she had made her way by chance toward its hex row. The last bomber was near the middle of the map as she made her way toward it. Then it happened - she ended up one hex ahead of her target and successfully rolled a tally!

So, with the third bomber sighted and just four turns left before it exited, she had to maintain the tally and end up in the bomber's hex and flying in the same direction before she could attack it. She didn't quite get this at first, ending up in the same space relative to the bomber the next turn, when I gave her a little hint in moving one row over and then back again so that she could actually acquire the target. She did this, and managed to roll a 10 on her attack, taking out the bomber with just a short distance remaining to the board edge.

We switched places and I tried my luck as the player. Of course, I never found the bombers! I'll see if I can convince her to try the second scenario.
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Tomasz Niedzinski
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The first scenario shows pretty nicely the difficulty of first night intercepts - it gives you nice feel. All of the game is designed to give you good feel of the topic so tell her that it isn't balanced competitive game if she has any objections. If you take the same scenario, but the variant with searchlights, it is incredibly easy and from what I read it depicts true. There are some really fun and easy scenarios with radar on the way down so try to try it
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Paul Borchers
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Keller
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Thanks for the comments. She enjoyed the game and wants to try another scenario with radar and searchlights, when we get a chance. She understood there's a lot of luck involved with the first scenario. I told her it was a bit like Battleship, except that these ships are moving and might all escape harm.
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Kevin Davidson

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Wonderful to include her in your hobby fun. Memories she will fondly remember when she is older of gaming with her Dad. I have pictures of my daughter and I (in her teens then) playing a Magic card game that I cherish to this day. Two thumbs up!
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Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
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Ely
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These sort of stories warm my heart.
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Rainer Kraft
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Yesterday i finally had the chance to try Nightfighter with a friend.
After playing scenario 3 and a harder version of scenario 3 (without experte and moderate vision) in which I, the umpire got whacked by the nightfighter (3 and 2 bombers shot down) my friend wanted to try the impossible scenario.

Well, he's a mathematician and figured that he had a decent chance to find the bombers which where abouts were narrowed down. it should be noted here that I forgot to use the rule that bomber entry can be delayed by two turns.
In the end he shot down bomber one, ignored bomber two and finished of bomber three as well. So without using the bomber entry delay the scenario is far from impossible.
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Tomasz Niedzinski
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Yes it is. When I played with a friend and ommited this ruler, everyone was counting row the bomber was in and flew around it. The real pilots didn't had that information though and delayed entry rule adds that uncertainty the real pilot should have.
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