We continued with Battle of France matches and the other night at Nunawading Wargames Assoc. played a CAP-on-CAP battle. A pair of Bf-109Es were matched against a pair of MS-406s. The game was played on a new mat with smaller hexes than my old one, allowing for a lot more movement that actually occurred, the reasons for which will become apparent.
The French Armée de l’Air aircraft were crewed by one Green and one Skilled pilot (let’s call him Etienne for ease of narrative). The Luftwaffe fighters were both crewed by Green pilots. The reason I kept the German skill levels low was because I know how to play the game, while Mark (my opponent) was learning the system, so by giving him a better pilot it enabled him to make second and adjustable moves.
We didn’t use the spotting rules and assumed each had seen the other side from the start of the encounter.
The two flights headed straight towards each other. Both started at altitude 4 and speed 3. The 109s climbed immediately to Alt-6and reduced speed to 2. It looked like they were going to make head-on passes, however the 109’s in attempting to anticipate the 406s future course decided to turn just before the two flights passes. Etienne pilot then adjusted his turn to enable him to shoot at one of the 109s, getting a Lucky Hit and causing an engine fire. So, one 109 was reduced to flying at Speed 1 and right from the start the things didn’t look so good for the Luftwaffe. However, in order to take that shot the 406 left itself open to return fire from the other 109, which hit and did airframe damage reducing Agility to 1.
The next couple of turns saw both flights turning for contrary purposes. The damaged 109 sought to turn and dive away for the table edge in order to make a getaway, escorted by its wingman. The 406’s sought to bleed of speed and altitude to catch the damaged 109 and finish it off before it could get away. Both sides were able to shoot at each other’s undamaged aircraft in various turns but Robust rolls were made and while neither side caused any further damage there would have been a lot of bodywork needed back at their respective airfields later on.
With just a couple of turns left to go before the damaged 109 could escape Etienne managed to pull in behind it so he could fire. He knew he was taking a chance though as he’s placed himself directly in front of the other 109. Still, the shot was taken at Close range, the Robust test was made and failed spectacularly helped along by the column shift from the range, and the damaged 109 broke up in the air (this was to demonstrate the rules: if the roll was made the aircraft would still have been destroyed as per the Lucky Hit-Engine Critical result). However, the other 109 then let got with a burst at Point Blank, achieved a column shift, and Etienne also failed his Robust test by a wide margin, his 406 being destroyed.
So at that point the other two pilots decided to head for home and the day was a draw.
One of the things that I tried for the second time here was a modified damage system. Using the weapon fit-outs and damage values as per the rules, I derived a Firepower value to be used instead of rolling all those dice. This was modified by another d6 roll that would decrease, not change or increase column shifts for aircraft that achieved a hit. The end result is that we only needed to roll d6 during the game. We could roll the hit and damage in one go (two dice one colour and the third in another), reducing the number of dice rolls and calculations and causing the game to play a little faster and smoother. Whilst I’m sure that there are plenty of players who like lots of dice rolling, that’s a personal preference. We’ve found this mod didn’t take anything away from the game and still used lucky hits, damage and critical damage which all provide very colourful nuances which give CY6 a lot of flavour.
A good time was had by all, some more people at the club got to see CY6 in action, and I discussed using adaptor-plugs so some of the guys with WoW models could attach them to my stands in future games.
I plan to continue with Battle of France games for a while, hopefully getting enough people together to run some larger encounters with full flights of fighters and multiple bombers on each side. Additionally, work on my solo-play engine stalled (ha!) while I was away with work and doing another project for the kids. I still plan to finish that off asap, test it, then seek others willing to give it a go and offer feedback so it can be refined.