Friday, November 27, 2015

Battle of White Cloud Pass

Battle 2 of the Lucranian Campaign

After conquering Osmar Mountain, the Empire of the Iron Fist pushed deeper into Lucranian airspace. In order to proceed their air forces needed to maneuver through a narrow mountain pass.

The Lucranians had a surprise for the invaders. They had gathered reinforcements for a a counterattack. Furthermore, they knew the way through the cloud-enshrouded mountains on either side of the pass. They hoped to use these secret passages to sneak around and smash the Imperial forces.

Once again, I am adapting one of Neil Thomas's One Hour Wargame scenarios to a high level air battle. This time, I am playing Scenario 18 - Counterattack. In Thomas's version, the invaders are trying to take a bridge across a river, but they are unaware of fords that allow the counter-attackers to circle around their forces. I emulated it using a cloud banks as impassible for the Imperials, but the Lucranians could cross them.

To win the scenario, one side needs to hold the airspace over the pass and over Osmar Mountain (on the Imperial baseline)

Opposing Forces:

  • Imperial squadrons - 3 pursuit , 1 attack , 1 bomber, and 1 dirigible
  • Lucranian squadrons - 4 pursuit, 1 attack, and 1 dirigible
I assumed that each unit had a Quality Value of 4.

Battle Report

Apology Time - I forgot to put the SD card back in the camera so now this battle's pictures are stored on internal memory until such time as I figure out how to transfer them. Sadly, a written-only report will have to suffice. :(

As the Imperials advanced, one lone Lucranian squadron circled in the pass, ready to interdict any intruders. Imperial pursuit squadrons engaged, and a swirling dogfight ensued.

Meanwhile, the Imperial attack and bomber squadrons circled, waiting for the pass to be cleared so they could engage their next targets.

Then, the Imperials were taken by surprise. A pair of Lucranian pursuit squadrons zoomed out of the clouds. Those mountains were supposed to be impassable! These unexpected squadrons engaged the Imperial reserve squadrons. The bombers fled to a nearby cloud bank for cover.

A stalemate continued in the pass but the Lucranian flank attack pushed on toward Osmar Mountain. Then, a series of attacks broke open the center. The Lucranians held the airspace over the pass and the mountain.

But the Empire would not easily relinquish its gains. A variety of its craft swarmed around Osmar mountain and destroyed a Lucranian squadron. The other flanking squadron fled back to the pass.

Despite its efforts on the center, the Empire could not break the Lucranian defense. Their control over the pass continued/ As night fell and the opposing forces broke off, the situation remained as it was in the morning. The Empire held Osmar Mountain but the Lucranians had protected the pass.

Back in the Imperial capital, Air Marshal Gruber slammed down his telephone receiver. "Idiots!" he shouted. "How could they let the puny forces of Lucranian defeat them?!" He slumped back into his desk chair with his head in his hands. If this invasion failed, the Kaiser would have his head. After a few minutes in that position a smile broke out on his face. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise, he thought. The Lucranians were focused on Osmar Mountain, but there were other routes into Lucrania. Perhaps he could use Osmar as a decoy and then slip a force into the heart of Lucrania elswehere.

Game Analysis
Technically, this battle was a draw, so the score stands as 1 Imperial win and 1 draw.

This was a very quick game, largely because I kept failing activation on the first unit, ending that side's turn. According to the Song of Blade and Heroes mechanic that I use, 2 failures ends the side's turn. I typically roll 2 dice for a unit. The odds are that I will roll 1 success but my luck was bad this game and I kept rolling double fails. It was only after a few turns when it dawned on me that I could roll 1 die, which I did often for the remainder of the game!

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