Feedback on No. 175?

Now that Lone Warrior magazine, No. 175, has either arrived in subscribers’ hands or soon will  arrive (I got mine on Wednesday), how about some feedback from the readership?

Likes, dislikes, comments, questions for the authors of articles, or anything else that comes to mind seem like timely fodder for discussion.

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10 Responses to Feedback on No. 175?

  1. Jim Davis says:

    Read and enjoyed Battle of Britain-Simple Rules. Will definatly be playing this with 1/700 scale planes. I was wondering- you mention damaged bombers trying to get home, and trying not having themable to fire. How about just reducing their fire to “5” only–so able to damage but not destroy a British fighter.
    In the same vain JU87, only a 5 result, and reduced bomb damage, but more of them.
    Jim D

  2. mike crane says:

    Thanks for the suggestions, Jim. You have some good ideas that need to be tried out on the playing mat.

    When playing the game, I was surprised at the number of British fighters that “bought the farm” due to defensive fire while trying to bring down crippled German bombers. I am not sure if allowing the British fighter to be crippled by bomber defensive fire would be much better than allowing it to be shot down since it would have to stop attacking the bomber and fly back through an angry swarm of German fighters to safety. Still, it may be the right option for gaining a better balance. I think I will try both ideas.

    In fact, before checking the LW blog I had just dragged out a larger hex mat (44″x72″) with 3″ hexes (16×23) and the paper models from an older BoB game in order to test the idea of no defensive fire from damaged bombers. The rest of the rules will remain the same. Then I will play a second game and try your idea.

    You are right. If you use Ju87’s instead of Ju88’s as German bombers, it would be a good idea to reduce their bombing effectiveness to 1d6 per plane. However, you would need to compensate for this by adding another unit to make a total of eight Ju87’s. (Place them on opposite sides of the He111’s to keep the units separated and identifiable.) And, since they were easier to bring down than a two-engined bomber, you could add 1 bonus point to the firing roll of the attacking British fighter. Give it a try.

  3. mike crane says:

    Jim, I played a couple of games and because I concentrated on turning bombers back the contemplated changes were never needed. Damaged bombers turned back without dropping their bombs and the fighters then went after the undamaged bombers. Any bombers damaged in the first turn would have to pass a die roll to get out of the repair shop and then pass another die roll to be activated from the flight line. I figured it would be worth the risk to let them go. Since there is no turn three, there was no reason to chase the damaged planes on the second turn. I think the game is okay as it stands in LW 175.

    The first game was won by the Brits when the Germans were unable to get a single bomber across the edge on either turn. The second game was won by the Germans on the first turn when three bombers crossed the edge and rolled a total of 27 points. The rules seem to be balanced enough.

    • jim davis says:

      I think you are right on passing on chasing damaged bombers. They cant do any damage, so game wise its better to go for another undamaged bomber. Of course Pilot Officer Bertie would prefer some kills rather than just effectivly defending the targets. Ijust checker my 1/700 plane collection, and Inly painted the USN and some P40;s with IJA Opponents. , so if I can clesr some of the construction supplies off my table The Flying Tigers will be pressed into action.

  4. mike crane says:

    George, here is a personal–purely subjective– critique of Lone Warrior 175.

    Rich’s announcement of the new LW blog was probably the most significant article in the magazine. Our hats are off to George Arnold for the tremendous job he is doing as the administrator.

    The article by Chris Hahn, “On the Wrong Side of Hadrian’s Wall,” has tempted me dig out the Romans and barbarians again. Although he used Vis Bellica for rules, his ideas for placing units and other adjustments could be used with any ancient rule set.

    George Arnold’s review of Richard Borg’s new game, Command and Colors: Napoleonics, was absolutely the best! The review was thorough and the “Solo Possibilities” section contained helpful ideas.

    I have already used the Battle of Britain–Simple Hex Rules on a larger mat with paper model airplanes. It worked well and I liked it even better.

    Paul Le Long’s article, “Chaos, Confusion and Commanders,” presents useful but uncomplicated ideas for giving leaders personal abilities.

    Marvin Scott’s articles are always good. In “Death on the Greasy Grass,” Marvin presents a game involving Gen. George Custer and three possible battle scenarios based on Custer’s experiences.

    “Panzer Faust! A Late War Raid,” by Rob Morgan features Maj. Otto Skorzeny and an unusual raid into Hungary. This guy gives you a history lesson to build a scenario.

    Chris Hahn has a second article featuring a Seven Years War battle, “Six Bridges in Silesia.” The terrain and layout are of prime interest. He also gives his opinion about using Shako Napoleonic rules for a SYW engagement.

    The Forum was very interesting. Charles Miller repeated the request for a sale-and-want section. He also reported that he has located a business that will print any size hexes on a 4’x8′ plastic sheet. John Grossman’s reference to Joseph Morschauser’s games will stir memories among the older gamers.

    Paul Le Long concludes “The Future of the Lone Warrior,” with some good ideas for determining the scouting capabilities of opposing armies. Good stuff.

    “West Front,” by Rob Morgan is a deceptive title. Rob presents little known historical material that can be used for a “what if” campaign on the Eastern Front. Even if you don’t play a campaign, it is a fascinating read.

    All in all, my opinion is that LW 175 is outstanding. I will close by saying “welcome” to our new writer, Paul Le Long, and “welcome back” to the Welsh writer, Rob Morgan. Thanks for the great articles.

  5. mike crane says:

    George Arnold’s excellent review of Richard Borg’s new Command and Colors:Napoleonics board game caused me to think of Clay Cooper’s C&C:N game with miniatures presented at Bayou Wars in New Orleans. The 15mm figures and 4″ hex playing mat were perfect. Luckily, three pictures were taken and published on the blog of a Gulf South gamer and the pictures and comments will be of interest to the solo gamer who wants the option of using miniatures for this game. Locate the address below and scroll down to the entry “Monday, June 20, 2011.”

  6. Jim Davis says:

    The article on a possible pre emptive strike by the USSR on German forces in Poland was thought provoking. I did some google searches and the USSR did have a large air fleet, som eof them very good aircraft. Then I remembered that my original Command Decision rule set came with a scaled down Barbarossa campaign. I found it and used the section on first day air strikes on airfields, but using them for the USSR. Very effective . Possibly I should have down rated the Soviets a bit, but over half the German and allies air fleet was gone.
    The entire campaighn is more than I want to bite off. but if anyone else found the idea interesting The BGarbarossa 25 booklet may still be available.
    JIm D

  7. Paul Le Long says:

    I tried out Mike’s Battle of Britain game last weekend – great stuff. Simple rules but they worked nicely & I enjoyed the tension – do I go for the bombers & ignore the fighters or knock the fighters out first & hope I’ve got enough planes & time left to take on the bombers? A good feel to the game I thought.
    I played it through twice – the Germans won both times – they don’t have to get many bombers through to win – 4 bombers over both missions will on average cause enough damage to win the game – that’s only 25% of the Germans’ total bomber strength. On the 2nd play through I turned back all bombers on mission 1 but on mission 2 I could only get 2 British fighters airborne & the bombers got through & obliterated the target.
    Great game Mike.

  8. mike crane says:

    Paul, thank you very much for your observations about the Battle of Britain hex game. I’m glad you enjoyed it. You brought up a point that made me reconsider the number used as the German bomber objective to win. Don’t worry, I love thinking about ways to make rules better. It is part of the challenge and pleasure of solo gaming.
    My reason for using 24 points went along this line. There were 8 bombers worth 2 dice each, which would total 16 dice if all of the bombers reached the target. If you multiply 16 dice x 6 pips (or points), there is a possible total of 96 points. Of course, the law of averages makes this score highly unlikely. First, we will assume that only half of the bombers make it to the target (48 points) and that only half of the possible points are rolled on the dice (24 points). That is how I came up with the magic number for the objective. However, I forgot to figure in the second bombing sortie. Using the same logic, dividing those results in half would give us another figure (12 points) to be added to the previous score (24 points), which would make a more realistic bombing objective of 36 points.
    Solo wargamers have no intelligent opponent, so dice are used to determine the possible actions and results. Since there is no way of knowing precisely how the dice will roll and since the variables within the game are great, a bombing objective between 36 and 42 points would be entirely appropriate—although I favor 36 points. Let’s say the bombing objective should be set at 36. That will give the Germans a greater challenge and will provide more balance to the game. I will play test the game using the new German bombing objective number and post a report with pictures. Please feel free to offer any suggestions.

  9. Paul Le Long says:

    Mike, I think that’s a good idea. 42 sounds too big a target but 36 would be ‘just right’.
    Excellent game though – I really enjoyed it & will definitely play it again. Looking forward to your battle report too.

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