Friday, January 1, 2016

Battle of Mount Branson

Battle 3 of the Lucranian Campaign

Despite my recent lethargy, I managed to play a game this morning.

Stymied at White Cloud Pass, Air Marshal Gruber mustered the bulk of his forces for another assault. But this was only a feint. Secretly, he sent another force north. Sneaking through neutral air space, this force struck Nordia Pass. The surprised defenders were forced to flee. A token force put up a desperate defense.

This time I'm using scenario 20 - Fighting Retreat from One Hour Wargames.
The objective is to hold the hill on the southern (Lucranian) side. The wall of clouds across the northern part of the battle field is impassible.

Imperial squadrons - 4 pursuit, 1 attack, and 1 bomber
Lucranian squadrons - 2 pursuit,1 attack, and 1 dirigible

Battle Report
The Lucranian defenders managed to make it through the passes and were headed to Mount Branson. The Imperial squadrons are in hot pursuit.
Turn 2 - The Imperials enter
 The Lucranian pursuit squadrons turned to contest the passes.

But the Imperials scattered the defending squadron on the left flank,

On the right flank, the Lucranians held . . .

As the Imperials raced through the passes, the Lucranian attack squadron and the dirigible squadron rushed to plug the gaps.

But an Imperial pursuit squadron squeezed past on the left flank.

And took control of the airspace over Mount Branson. The Lucranian retreat was compromised.

The Lucranian attack squadron rushed back to the mountain while the dirigible squadron's heavy guns scattered an Imperial squadron (right)

A swarm if Imperial fighters took down the Lucranian attack squadron. Control of the mountain remained in Imperial hands.

Heavily outnumbered, the dirigible squadron tried to escape. Fortunately, its gunnery kept the pursuit squadrons at bay and it was able to make its getaway.

Gruber smiled as he read the reports from the front. His gambit had paid off. The surprise attack had secured the northern passes, opening the way to the Lucranian heartland. It was just a matter of time.

Campaign Note
The Empire now has 2 wins to no losses and a draw, with 2 more games to play. One more victory would ensure the conquest of Lucrania.

Game Analysis
I haven't been happy with the combat mechanics in my first two battles of the campaign. I essentially used the same mechanics as my ground combat games - units get a number of attack dice that they roll to determine hits. It just did not feel like dogfights. For this game, I took a different approach. When a dogfight occurred, I made a maneuver roll for each side, modified by the type of aircraft. The winner of the maneuver roll got to attack the opponent. It just "felt" more like a dogfight. Another benefit was it allowed me to give the attack squadrons higher damage potential while giving pursuit squadrons an advantage in getting shots off in the first place.

 When attacking bombers of dirigibles, attackers first had to roll to see if they could get through the hail of defensive firepower. If they were not driven off, they could make their attack rolls. The Lucranian dirigible squadron survived because it kept driving off attackers.

With the new mechanics, I dispensed with saving rolls. I liked it better but I may increase hits from 3 to 4.

I did not have any mechanic for forced retreats. I think I need to add one.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you're developing a great narrative here, and an interesting set of rules for something just a little bit different. I look forward to the next game.