A LW Raid of 1g He111 and 1g Me109 Top Cover raid Portsmouth. During the Pursuit and RAF AIR Combat Phases of Turn 5 the Me109 Gruppe is forced to Pancake.
I split the Pancaking Me's out into a separate raid.
In Turn 6 I set up an RAF squadron in orbit in hex 1012 hoping to intercept the returning bombers now they are stripped of their escort. However - cunningly - my opponent moves his Pancaking Me109 Gruppe first in the LW Movement Phase. They enter hex 1013 which is in the RAF squadron's Orbit zone so I have to Tally them - this is successful so I have to intercept them.
Is that correct - or can you choose to ignore Pancaking units?
It's a bit tough on the RAF but yes, this is a legitimate move, provided the Me109 was geniunely taking a permitted route back to its recovery point. Of course, the RAF can ignore the tally if the conditions in the last para of 12.1.2 apply. Which is to say that if the pancaking units slip past too high or too low you can decline to pursue.
(Can't see anything specific in the rules so I guess I have to intercept them)
If no more than 6 Angels below or 2 above, then yes.
As it turned out I downed one Me109 and passed my Cohesion check. Of course I had had to move my RAF squadron into hex 1013 and also to the altitude the 109's were at.
Don't forget that the Me109s would also have their recovery time adjusted by a game turn, because of endurance. On a deep penetration raid, zapping the escorts while going home can potentially net some interesting recovery results.
Do I retain my Orbit counter in my nex hex - or is that now removed as I engaged in an attack?
On tallying a target you changed your orders to pursuit [12.2] which overrode the orbit order [10.2].
(Again I can see nothing so I assume I lose my Orbit counter. I will of course be able to try and Tally the egressing Henkels in the RAF Air Combat Phase!)
Assuming that the Squadron drops its tally after the combat [13.6, para (3)], this would be correct! It could, of course, retain the tally, move in the Pursuit Phase, and keep beating up on the Me109s.