Panthers, MiGs & Sabres in a Korean sky

Panthers, MiGs & Sabres in a Korean sky


 

First outing of my Check Your 6 Jet Age miniatures this saturday. A huge thank you to Jean-Jacques for bearing with me while I was stumbling across the rules. CY 6JA is a tremendous game. The rules are in fact quite simple and effectively render how a airplane works, as soon as you have managed to overcome the vocabulary barrier, and a writing style and layout that are reminding of the stuff you got in the eighties. Hear me, when you reprint them, please take example on the new products published… but don’t change anything else, the game system is nearly perfect and an exact balance of realism and playability.

First game was an introductory battle between an F86 Sabre and a MiG 15, both skilled pilots.

Same hex, different levels : learning how to get the foe in the gunsights!

After lots of wrong manoeuvres by both planes, the Sabre got into the gunsights of the MiG at medium range with a deflection. A quick scramble for the rules, followed by a lot of page checking , and we came up with a 9+ to hit, with a -2 penalty fdor deflection on the die roll. That was an 11, barely making it, bringing another frenetic search in the rulebook. THe MiG ha d to roll 2 D10 for damage with its 2 MCs, getting 12. Another bit of checking later, it was discovered the Sabre, with its Rob factor of 2, needed to roll 7 to shrug off the damage. THis was a 12, big smile of the American player, but just for sure, we checked again… and saw that doubles meant the possibility of a lucky hit. This resultred in the Sabre getting it out of control and spiralling towards the ground for 2 turns, recovering at the last minute. But that had allowed the MiG to get to a very favourable position. In a last ditch attempt , the Sabre cut his speed to a stall, hoping the MiG would overtake it and open itself to a shot. But the pilot lost control again, and the American fighter crashed unceremoniously into the ground.

Oops! Check the dial of this Sabre. laughing BTW, these flight stands are great additions for a CY6 game. Can’t remember who makes them, sorry.

We had another game, this time with 2 fighters : 2 MiG 15s vs 2 F9F Panthers. The Navy pilots had sworn they’d show these Air Force dilettantes how things were done, and they satrted to a rocking start. Very quickly this time (we were getting more familiar with how to run our planes) everyone got in postion for some shooting.

Joining the dogfight!

But the guys in blue have an advantage : while they will be only hot on 11s by teh MiGs who can only shoot at the  red striped F9F (base 9 for medium range with a -2 penalty for deflection) and miss, the yellow striped F9F needs but a 9 and hits. Damage is horrendous (4D10s for the 4MCs, rolling 25). Damage is further shifted one column right, being 3 hexes away, meaning the MiG needs a 10 to escape damage… it rolls a 4, well below the needed 10, getting a critical hit and dislocating under the hail of lead.

This MiG’s had it.

Smoke is made of cotton wool, with a glued bit of iron wire that will get stuck on the base’s magnet.

Gamely, the 2nd MiG decided to fight on, and nearly made it. But a lot of jockeying for position brought eventually the 2 US fighters and the MiG into a head on pass. One F9F had no angle, but not the red one. So, everyone needed a 7 to hit (base 5, head on aspect penalty -1). The MiG missed again, the F9F scored… but the MiG rolled 12 on the robustness roll, meaning a possible lucky hit. It was very lucky, as debris from the MiG struck the Panther, inflicting airframe damage while the MiG only got a ruddere jam and had to move straight forward for the next turn. The US fighters opted for Split S (the red fighter passing the needed pilot check with flying colours) and opened fire from short range on the MiG’s rear, needing 6 and 7 to hit. This time, the undamaged F9F hit, and that was it, rolling 7 against a needed 10, the MiG was 3 below on the robustness roll meaning it was destroyed.


Tail shot, splash 2!

These are mainly for discovering the game and exploring the rules. If you except the poor quality of the rule book, both dense and austere, there are but good things to say. In fact, the game is purely genial so well does it give an account of the nature of aerial combat. I discovered that everything has to be paid for, especially manoeuvering into a position of advantage, in a currency that is made of altitude and speed. Getting into a good position for a shot can leave you in an awkward one the next turn if you fail to score. Looking forward for the next game!

 

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Big Guns in the Med

Big Guns in the Med

 

I just ran a game of Naval Thunder with a friend, who wanted to give my Italian fleet a try (I suspect that’s because of these nifty barber’s shop stripe on the stem!). France and Italy had the 4th and 5th world navies at the onset of WW2 (or the 5th and 4th, they were so close…) which had been specifically built to fight each other in the Mediterranean. As fate decided, they never met, which leaves us wargamers a ton of what ifs to game. So, in an alternate universe, for an unknown reason (later determined to be an incident during a world footbal cup final), in both countries, national honor demanded wrongs be righted, and both fleets set out to lob a few shells into the other nation’s territory.

 

1 Vittorio Veneto   2 Doria   3 Gorizia   4 Garibaldi   5 Duca d’Aosta

1 Richelieu   2 Dunkerque   3 Gloire   4 Montcalm

Terrain is fairly bland… you don’t get a ton of land on the open sea. Just a few features to fix the location.

Italian deployment, destroyers in the van (Alpino, Granatier, Bersagliere, all Soldati Class), battleships (Vittorio Veneto & Andrea Doria) and cruisers (CA Goriezia, CLs Duca d’Aosta & Garibaldi) in the rear.

French deployment, more classical. Battleships (Richelieu & Dunkerque, played as a BB for this game, not a BC) leading, CLs Gloire & Montcalm following. A column of destroyers on the starboard side (Cassard & Kersaint, Vauquelin class, Epée, Hardi Class), another on the port side (Fantasque & Terrible, both Fantasque class).

 

Close up on the French heavies

 

The first phase saw the Italian fleet move slowly forward, reassorting itself into 2 squadrons : Vittorio Venetto, Doria and a destroyer on the right, Gorizia, Garibaldi, Aosta and 2 DDs on the left.

At the same time, while the Frenchs BBs steam straight ahead, with both Fantasque class on their left, on the right flank, CLs and DDS cross their wake to clear the range.

French ships manoeuver

The second phase is decisive : seeing that both Italian squadrons are on diverging courses, the French BBs turn sharply to starboard, with the Fantasques racing along to keep at their level on the left flank. On the right one, CLs and DDs reverse course. This brings the battleship into extreme range, Venetto, Richelieu & Dunkerque trade fire. The Italian ship is hit once by the Richelieu, causing a fire that is immediately put out.

French battleships, hard a-starboard!

The Italians try an envelopment on both flanks and split their forces

Close up on the Italian cruisers

Venetto opens fire on Richelieu… and misses.

Richelieu and Dunkerque answer…

…eventually hitting, but damage control quickly puts out the fire on Vittorio Veneto!

 

Both Italian squadrons keep on their course, moving further away from each other. The French battleship take profit of it, veering sharply again to starboard onto a converging course with the Italian cruisers, while the Fantasque speeds straight on, laying a smoke screen between the French squadron and the Italian BBs. The 2nd French DD squadron, and the light cruisers, turn port and also speed down towards the Italian cruisers. Bereft of a worthier target, Venetto and Doria thunder in anger at Fantasque, who rushes headlong unscathed among a forest of splashes! Meanwhile, the Italian cruisers come under concentrated fire. While Dunkerque is hit by an 8″ shell of the Gorizia, Dunkerque, then Richelieu. Garibaldi too is stricken bu Dunkerque’s guns, and takes a shot from Gloire. Battle ended there, as the Italian player felt it was at this point somewhat pointelss to continue, and I kind of agreed, seeing the respective positions.

French battleships turn hard-a-port and head for the Italian cruisers

Fantasque lays smoke to screen the oncoming action

Close up on the gallant Fantasque

This gave me the chance to introduce Naval Thunder to a new player, who took over thed 2 French light cruisers while I tried the 2 Italian ones, and once more, the Regia Marina took a beating, as he quickly got the hang of the rules, and rolled exceedingly well while I did my best to help him sink my ships at the damage rolls. We had even time for another game, spiced this time with 2 more DDs a side, which was not completed, but was more even in luck. Hopefully another converty to the joys of naval gaming!