Bombers and Fighters Over Europe: A sample game

By Mike Crane

The appearance of this article as the sample game for June was a delightful surprise. However, it appeared in a 2015  issue of Lone Warrior magazine and although that doesn’t seem so long ago, I had forgotten the “feel” of playing the game. So, I printed the article and cut out the counters late one night and played the game the next day. Here is an account of my experience. A clipboard with notebook paper was handy for taking notes and a cellphone with a camera was a useful memory aid.

Items used to play the game.

Getting Started

First, 1d6 was rolled for each German plane to determine the type of target it would attack. A roll of 1-3 would mean the German fighter (GF) was dogfighting with an American fighter (AF) and 4-6 would mean it was attacking an American bomber (AB). In this game, three FW190s would roll the lower numbers — GF1 rolled (3); GF2 (1); and GF6 (2) — and would dogfight with the US fighters while the remaining five avoided the American fighter cover and attacked the US bombers. GF3 rolled (6); GF4 (4); GF5 (6); GF7 (5) and GF8 (6).  The German planes were divided into two groups: (1) those that would attack the enemy fighters, and (2) those that would attack the bombers.

German fighters were organized into two groups — one to attack the US fighter cover and one to attack the US bombers.

Identifying Individual Targets

After that, 1d8 was rolled to identify which US fighter each German fighter would attack.  GF1 would attack (8), GF2 rolled (7), and GF6 would hit (3). A 1d12 was rolled to identify the American bomber (AB) targets. GF3 would attack (8), GF4 (7), GF5 (10), GF7 (10), and GF8 (3). Notice that AB10 would be attacked by two FW 190s—GF5 and GF7.

 

German fighters in position to attack the selected American fighters and bombers.

Fighter vs. Fighter

The Germans shot down two American fighters (AF8 and AF7) and an Americans P-51 (AF3) shot down one FW190 (GF6).

GF1 vs. AF8 (6,1) = AF8; G2 vs. AF7 (5,1) = AF7; GF6 vs. AF3 (1,4) = GF6.

Fighter vs. Bomber

German fighters destroyed one American bomber (AB7) and damaged two others (AB10-1 and AB3-1).

GF3 vs, AB8 (2,2) = miss; GF4 vs. AB7 (6,2) = AB7; GF5 vs. AB10 (3,5) = AB10-1; GF7 vs. AB10-1 (2,3) miss; GF8 vs. AB3 (3,2) = AB3-1

The effects of the German fighter attack.

 

Flak Attack

Flak took out one bomber (AB3) that already had been hit by a German fighter and damaged two others (AB2-1 and AB12-1).

AB1 (5); AB2 (11) = AB2-1; AB3-1 (10) = AB3; AB4 (1); AB5 (2); AB6 (4); AB8 (8); AB9 (5); AB10-1 (6); AB11 (8); AB12 (10) = AB12-1.

Bomber Score

One d12 was rolled for each surviving bomber. The numbers rolled were placed in the appropriate boxes and added for the total bombing score. The German’s lost one aircraft (5 points) and the Americans lost four aircraft—two fighters and two bombers (20 points). Since the Germans shot down more US planes, subtract 5 from 20. Subtract the remaining 15 points from the bombing score of 70. Since 55 Victory Points is more than the 50 points needed for an American win, this mission is listed as an American victory. Follow the same procedure for the next missions. If you decide to play a campaign, the side that wins three of five missions will win the campaign. Good luck!

Filled-in columns for Bombing Scores, Planes Lost, and Victory Points.

Afterword

I hope playing this sample mission has been useful to you. Enjoy the game!

About mike crane

I am a retired high school teacher living in Texarkana, Arkansas, USA. Although I enjoy wargaming in all periods, my favorite eras are WWII, Colonial, ACW, and Napoleonic. I enjoy making rules that are simple, fast, and fun.
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