New day, new cup of coffee, same old problems.
Here we are, attack turn 6. We still have a Nightfighter nearby, fog rolling in and only 2 planes who need to do 10 damage to take down the Sorpe dam. Things don’t look good, but never underestimate soldiers in dire circumstances. Sometimes they can surprise you, which is what this game makes so exciting.
So we start with with AJ-E making yet another approach on the dam. Third time’s a charm, right? Let’s see how the approach is going:
Rolling: 4 SA
Due to the fog, there’s one less Altitude chit as well, so it will only be one chit from each. I’m relying on a lot of luck here. The height is 70ft, much too high, and the speed is erratic, all over the place. Not looking good. As we get closer to the dam, the pilot hits 220mph exactly, the perfect speed. I ditch the dummy run chit to see if he can figure out the right altitude. Nope, 54 which is just as low as he is high now. So 3 chits for speed, 1 for height. +1 for vet, +1 for Elite crew, -2 to +1 for being so close. Let’s say I get the +3 for speed, and +1 for height (playing some odds here). I’ll get -1 for the releasing close, again choosing low for odds. That would give me +5. That’s a 10+ to hit. I would need to get really lucky in my height pull to get a +3 too and maybe a 0 or +1 from the close release.
I’m going to risk it and pull up. This is just not going well for me. I’m also going to drop a Very Light Flare. Sure, it might let the Nightfighter see me, but it also might pierce through the fog and let me land this stinking mine. I’m getting trigger happy now, and I want this to happen!
Now the Status Phase, and let’s check on that visible Nightfighter. Activity level is still at 2, so that means it will leave on a 6+, and anything below that stinks.
Yay! It leaves. For now.
Now on to turn 7. There will be a chance for the fog to lift at the end of this turn, which is nice, but I’ve got 2 more chances before I’ll have to wait for the next flight turn to keep trying on this dam (I’ll have to “cutscene” to the Mohne in the interim). So let’s get our Wave leader in for a good run this time!
Rolling: 4 SA
The Very Light burns away the A, so I’ll have two pulls for Altitude, one for speed. Checking: Ugh. 53 feet and 212mph. Not very good on either end. Let’s see what moving in closer gives me. I’ll try for an altitude change. Up to 56feet which is better, but not great. I’ll ditch my dummy run again to try and fix speed. If this isn’t perfect, I’ll have to turn around and try again. Nope, got erratic, so at 212 and 56′, there’s no point in releasing, time for another go around.
I know this looks very monotonous, but the good thing is, without all this typing and reading, this goes by REALLY fast in game. It’s a simple push your luck mechanism and I could do this whole dam in less than 5 minutes (unless I agonize over each decision, which sometimes happens).
I’m dropping another Very Light, just in case the fog stays and I make a bad roll on the approach vector. I’m getting desperate here, I’d love to get at least one of these mines/bombs off before this flight turn is over.
Let’s check for Nightfighters again. We’re back again to our 2-4 roll.
And I’m safe. I think everyone is back in bed at this point. The droning of my engines has lulled everyone into a stable REM, I’m sure.
I need to check for the Very Light I dropped off last turn to see if it goes out:
And my visability check:
The fog lifts! Awesome. Shame I dropped all those flares, but it was a risk I needed to take. I’m running out of time. Or am I? I’ve been pretty patient so far, despite my constant whining, and technically the odds have been good that I won’t be chased away by Nightfighters or anything. Of course, the more I roll, the greater the likelihood that they’ll strike, but slow and steady is doing fine so far, so I should stick with what I’m doing.
But I like whining, so I’ll probably do that a lot, too.
Okay, Turn 8 and last run at the Sorpe. Checking the Approach Vector:
Rolling: 5 S
Even with 2 pulls on altitude, I end up with 54ft and an erratic speed. This is just not working very well. Let’s fix our speed as we get closer. 220Mph! Perfect! And the dummy run marker can get me a new altitude chit: 65ft! Not perfect, but much better.
Ooooo, my best run yet. I used my Dummy Run marker, but I have 3 pulls for altitude and 2 for speed. This may well be the best I get for a long time. Let’s light this candle.
Release! The Upkeep is released at 56ft and 223mph. Not really all that great. It nets me +4. +1 for being Veteran, +1 for Sumpter, my Bombardier. Let’s see what the late release did:
Rolling: 4 No effect
So +6. Which is exactly what my poor damaged Seasoned crew had. This was just not meant to be. I need 11+ to damage the dam and 6+ to not damage myself.
BANG! Crap! The plane takes damage from a bad bounce. The Activity level is now up to 4 and another Upkeep is on the no damage side of the board.
Another check for Nightfighters:
Of. Course. Now I need a 9+ to make them go away as all the explosions and things are kind of arousing attention. Things are going pearshaped fast.
The Nightfighter is now nearby. I mark the board as such. Now I check for my two Flares:
Rolling: 3 – 2: fine
Rolling: 5 – 1: fine
Now I clear the tracker and mark everything so that I remember where the action on the Sorpe board is, because we now have to cut over and do 8 turns at the Mohne dam before we can continue the Flight turn. Will I become as invested in that one? Only time will tell.
If you remember, we’re cutting away from the, I hate to admit, rather dismal failure at the Sorpe to look at the Mohne dam and see if we can pull a success here. It’s another uncoordinated entry, which I would rather not have, but that’s not the biggest worry. The biggest worry is the Level 2 flak that will be firing at us during every run. Now time won’t be the only threat against us. This is where I get nervous as a bad choice can and will result in the death of several men.
It’s just a game, I tell myself.
First I have to get the Target Map set up with the Uncoordinated Entry. I’m launching a Very Light Flare to get as much time at the dam as possible. Risky for Nightfighter attacks, but I want as many Lancasters around as possible to provide escorts for the bombers (and to shoot the flak cannons). Of course, I see the “Nightfighter Nearby” chit sitting there from the Sorpe map and it reminds me just how close a bad dieroll can ruin a whole run at a dam. Am I going to start asking for Pepto already?
Ug, there’s only 2 planes in this wave. Then again, they only need to cause 6 damage. Okay, let’s get these planes to the dam. They don’t have any map errors or Compass Card problems, so with the Flare, they have a -1 to their roll to see which turn they show up.
AJ-A Rolling: 4-1: 3
AJ-B Rolling: 5-1: 4
We can just fast forward to turn 3 to have the first plane arrive, but first we have to make a visibility check
Rolling: 4 Fog.
Hmmm, foggier valley than the Sorpe.
And now check for surprise. First for the water level. The marker is showing +3, which is an automatic success for me, so they haven’t drained the dam any. Good news.
And the surprise check is a ‘3’ with my -1 modifier for my Medium security risk. I think I can pull that off on 2d6. Then again, the way I have been rolling recently. Fingers crossed.
I had to check, equal or higher is a success. First pump in the air. If I had failed, I would have to roll on the “Surprise Improvement” table, which would have netted me (probably) more Flak, some searchlights, a nearby nightfighter and some balloons. Close to insta-death, really.
Okay, so everything’s as we thought it was. We’re at Turn 3 with AJ-A, a Veteran Aircrew with a Wing Commander (one reroll) circling far and AJ-B, a Veteran Aircrew with a Bombardier (+1 to Bombing) entering next turn.
Turn 3 is a non-event as Circling Far is a box where nothing really can happen, so we skip right to the Circling Phase and move AJ-A to the Circling Near box. Now the Status Phase. I have to check visibility again which is actually a good thing:
The heck is it with the fours? Well, it’s still foggy. Now a Nightfighter check. Activity level is at 1, Alert level is still at 0, so a 2-4 to have one sighted.
I’m good. Now checking for the flare I launched on turn 1.
Rolling: 4-3: 1
It’s still lit, and we move on to Turn 4. AJ-B shows up in the Circling Far box. Now I have to make the choice on whether I send my first plane without AJ-B watching. I guess it’s a small chance that I launch the Upkeep without a dummy run marker. For those wondering why I don’t wait for the other plane to fly escort, you can’t have planes holding Upkeep flying escort (they’re too important). Once I drop my first one, though, that plane will certainly fly escort for the next. So into the lake we go, damn the flak!
Rolling: 3 – A
And with my one Very Light still burning, that’s no penalty! It’s good to have a lot of recon at a dam! So two chits each. Let’s see what we get. 70Ft and 227 mph. Not great. 1 chit and 2 chits, respectively. And now the flak comes in. The flak is level 2 so it hits on 3-5. Also, since I’m using Aldis Lights (I pulled altitude chits), they roll 3d6 and I chose the two “Most Lethal” dice. Lucky me.
So none of the combinations hit, but 12 is doubles, so they have to be kept, and doubles are always rolled again.
I’m good. Now is a tough choice, I can fly closer to the dam which can get me better odds at dropping the upkeep, and more importantly, can give me the opportunity to take out some of those flak cannons with my machine guns. Of course, I’m at risk of damage myself. Really, should have turned my Aldis lights off and just tried to take out some of the flak guns first, but strafing and accounting is difficult work to do at the same time.
I’m going for it, hoping that I can use Evasive actions if I have to. I fly closer and try to fix my altitude. Nope, 53ft doesn’t help at all. Now flak gets a second crack at me.
Sadly 2,2 is the most lethal. A hit AND a reroll.
So two hits. Two attempts at Evasive Action.
I have chosen…poorly.
First I forfeit the altitude chit and roll one die.
Rolling: 4: Even. Hit is nullified!
Then I forfeit the Speed chit and roll again.
Rolling: 2: Even. Hit is nullified!
Now I can check for my front gunnery where I roll a die and try to roll under the level of resistance I’m up against.
Rolling: 2. A hit! A palpable hit!
So the flak level goes from 2 to 1! And I immediately pull up to the Circling Near box and take the dummy run chit. That was a whole lot of luck there in a row. Do I continue that luck and drop a Very Light because my other one will probably go out? Yeah, I think so.
Now Status checks:
Very Light: 4-4: Goes out.
Turn 5. I forgot to mention AJ-B moved to the Circling Near box last turn. Figured it was a given, but I shouldn’t assume that. Now that the flak is lowered, I’m going to keep the Aldis Lights on and concentrate on bombing this dam. Should I destroy the flak, great, but let’s not count on it, let’s count on a dam blowing up.
Run #2 begins! Approach Vector:
Rolling: 5 – A
Very Light burns that away. Two draws apiece. Speed: 220mph (perfect!) Altitude: 60ft (perfect!) Oh. My. But here comes the flak. At level 1, it needs 2-4 to hit. And you know how much I just love rolling 4!
Nope, I’m good. Of course, I still have to get closer, though, otherwise I have a -2 to my bombing roll, and I don’t want that. My one chit replacement is worthless here as both my speed and altitude are perfect, so we go straight to the flak.
Still surviving. Now to see if I take out that last cannon. I have a 1 in 6 chance.
Nope, but I’m still doing really well here.
So, um, I have my dummy run marker and I’m pulling 3 chits from each trait. I think I’m having the perfect run. Guess it’s time to release! Upkeep away!
So far I have 64ft (+3) and 218mph (+3). I’ll use my dummy run marker to try and fix my altitude one more time. Nope, drew erratic, so +6 will have to be it. +1 for Veteran, so +7 total. I need an 8 to damage the dam. Drumroll please.
But wait! I have the Wing Commander flying this bird. I have a reroll, and I’m going to use it dangit. Gibson is NOT going to let me down.
You’re damn right! The upkeep is moved to the “Damaged” side of the boxes, and AJ-A is moved to the climb box. Unfortunately flak gets another pop at our plane.
Now my rear gunner can try to take the flak down.
Didn’t think so. AJ-B gets the Approach Observed marker and everyone watches as a huge ball of smoke erupts at the dam. What happened? I guess we’ll find out in the status phase. Speaking of which:
Turn5 Visibility check
Ooo, the fog clears dramatically.
Defense attrition, did the Upkeep also damage the flak?
No. Nightfighter check:
Rolling: 4 even: Flipping the Upkeep chit: 3/4 – so 4 damage to the Dam! Not enough to breach it, but really, really close.
I could go longer, but I want to end this post on a high note. Finally, something went right!
Well, it’s all downhill from here.
How’s that for optimism?
After a day like today, I’m glad I got a hit on a dam, and I hope to do it again. I’m all the way to turn 6, but I have one more plane, and a Bombardier in it, so here’s hoping for some more luck to head my way. Let’s see how we’re doing. Ah, the weather cleared up, so the Very Light that’s still burning doesn’t help us, and actually hinders us a little bit by making Nightfighters a bit more of a threat. Beyond that, I still have level 1 of flak to deal with, but now I have an escort to go along with my bomber, so let’s try to blow that bad boy up before it becomes too much of a nuisance.
Also we have an Approach Observed chit on my remaining bomber. However, I think I’m going to go in with my Aldis lights off first and try my best to take down the flak and go in for the kill on Turn 7 (and 8 if things don’t go well). I got very lucky with the last run that I didn’t get shot down, so now let’s focus on getting rid of those threats.
So let’s drop into the lake again. Getting Approach Vector:
Rolling: 1 – SS
Ewwwww. That’s literally no chits drawn without Aldis lights. I’ll ditch my approach observed to get an altitude chit just because…hey, why not. 65ft. Not bad. I’m sure having Gibson on his wing is helping guide him to the right locations.
And here comes the flak.
Phew. Just missed. We move forward to the Near box, amazed at the bravery it must take to keep steering INTO the things that are making all the explosions around you.
Let’s pull a speed chit now that we’re closer. 227Mph. I have to say, for having no draws, this guy is a darn good pilot. Let’s hope he lives to hear about it.
Flak Rolling: 4,2
Great! Now let’s shoot those cannons and clear that away.
Astell (AJ-B): 2
Nope, not yet. But we can always fly closer. Let’s see how the altitude gets better. No, 70ft wouldn’t be better. Okay, this won’t be a freak thing where I actually would have to decide on whether or not to actually drop this thing. I won’t with 2 chits a piece.
Ye Gods! What’s with the close calls? I’m getting nervous here. Let’s shoot the buggers.
Dang. Time to pull up and earn a dummy run marker. Odds weren’t great, but I was hoping to use the time I had to make things easier. I’m not dropping another Very Light since the weather won’t change, so we’ll just hop to the Status Phase and check for Nightfighters:
Eep! Do they attack? The activity level is: Very Light +1, Released Upkeep +1, Defense levels reduced +1. 3 isn’t so bad, that’s the second tier. When you hit 4 is when the rolls really get not so in your favor. I’m hoping for an 8+, but as long as I don’t roll snake eyes, I can continue.
There is now a Nightfighter nearby. Commence nail biting.
Checking my Very Light.
Rolling: 2 – 3: It’s out.
It’s now Turn 7. Before the fog comes back in, or the Nightfighter pays us a visit, we can take this thing down. I need some inspirational music. Any suggestions?
Okay, now I start the next run. Let’s hope for a better Attack Vector.
Rolling: 2 – SS
GAH! Well, my Aldis Lights are on, so I’ll have Altitude pulls, but now no speed pulls. Guys! Look at Gibson! He’ll lead you! Altitude: 60ft! YES! It’s getting exciting now. But now the flak starts, and my hands start shaking:
A miss, but more doubles, so another roll.
Okay, we can move to the Near box. Let’s pull the Speed chit. Again, look to Gibson, he knows what he’s doing. Speed: 216mph. Not bad. Here’s a choice. I’ve got 3 pulls in speed, and 2 with altitude. I could save my dummy run chit to pull one more result chit for the bombing itself, rather than trying to get the better altitude chit now. Or I could just state that it’s not perfect so I should just pull up at the end of this and try again on Turn 8.
You know what, the odds were stacked against me from the beginning with the bad Approach vector roll, so let’s hold the dummy run marker and plan on pulling up. Then again, a Nightfighter Nearby means I could be chased away (and one of my planes blown up) pretty easily at the end of this turn.
I’m going to hold on to the marker. Let’s see what the flak does before I make any other choice.
I’m glad a 5 isn’t a hit anymore or I’d have been blown up more times than I can count. Of course, that does show just how easy it is to roll a five, which is good to know should we play craps later, or when we roll for the Nightfighter check. At Activity level 4, a 5 will have it attack, destroy one of my planes and send the other one away. Ug. I may have to drop the Upkeep this turn.
But first, let’s light up those flak cannons, shall we?
Atlee: 1 !
FWAKOOM! No more flak! I can’t lose this to a Nightfighter at this point, Upkeep away!
Altitude: 60ft 4+
Speed: 220mph 4+
And I didn’t even need my dummy run marker! So 8+1 for Vet +1 for Bombardier gives me +10. I need a 5+ to damage the dam, and it is impossible for me to damage my own plane.
Another chit on the damaged side of Mohne dam. Is it possible to do only 1 damage with a successful hit? Yes. And not all that uncommon either, but I have to say after the Sorpe disaster, I feel pretty dam good and awfully proud of my pilots.
Let’s go to the Status phase. Though it doesn’t matter, we have to go through all the motions: Visibility check:
Rolling: 5. The return of the fog.
Now the Nightfighter check. I’d hate for these guys to get shot down after all this.
Clearly it was not meant to be. The Nightfighter has vanished and I can now check the detonation result.
Rolling: 1 odd – ¾ so 3 more damage! The dam is breached! I flip the Alert marker to show that it will raise at the end of the turn and also raise the Activity level at the Mohne to 4 for the extra Upkeep. But Activity Schmactivity, my planes leave the Attack map and go back to the Flight map, ready to head home. WOOT!
By the way, the Bombardier was named Franklin. Raise your glass.
The planes are allowed to go straight to the RTB box because their Upkeep have been spent. They are also allowed to form Waves however they like, so I just put them back in the Wave 3 box and put the Third Wave chit in the RTB box, and we’ll get to find out their fate later. Man, what a turn!
Now we do the Clean Up phase of the Flight turn.
What, remember, we’re doing a Flight turn! Yup. The Alert level goes up to 1, because now they’re pissed that we blew up a dam. We can also lower the Activity level of one dam, but not the dam with the highest Activity level. Both Sorpe and Mohne were at 4, so I’ll need to check what you do with ties. It says you can’t select a dam that’s tied for highest either. Dang. I can’t make Sorpe better. I should have blown up more stuff at the Mohne. Oh well.
I still have four planes trying to get to the Eder along with our three at the Sorpe. It is now 1am, can this string of good luck continue?