Thursday 6 September 2012

Flying Jerboas

Ok, so the Germans were not flying those flappy-winged things but you can see where this is going....;-)

It was an interesting evening at the club last night as Mr Fox and I once again took to the air over 1941 North Africa with a brace of Desert Air Force P40s up against a pair of 109s – an E and an F variant. There was much climbing, diving and turning in evidence with the P40s appearing to be rather better at the latter. Shooting opportunities were few and far between and when they did happen were largely ineffective. The 109E was not able to keep up with the F and soon came under the attention of the pair of P40s and suffered first a single hit and then a number of turns later the coup de grace when three 6s appeared out of a seven dice point blank shot....;-)

One for Mr Fox - this is probably about as close as the Germans were able to get on the night....

The 109F actually had the best shot of the game in terms of position (scant consolation for losing a wingman I know but one must extract one’s solace from wherever one can!) but the truly abysmal dice rolls that bedevilled both sides ensured that all that was spent was ammunition. After the lose of the 109E the 109F decided that discretion was the better part of valour and so sped off into blue at full speed. Unless you happened to be Sky Captain and with Polly inscribed along the side of your P40 there was no way you could catch a 109F that decided it had an urgent appointment elsewhere.

Mr Fox handled his P40s with rather more aplomb than I did the Germans, aided by having planes of similar performance (although with different pilot quality) as both the B and C variant fly in an almost identical fashion. The German aircraft are quite different in ability and critically I made the mistake of trying to fly them as a pair at the pace of the faster of the two. The E could not keep up and ended up trying to get into a turning dogfight (never the 109s greatest strengths) and ultimately paid for this mistake. The 109F is lightly armed compared to the E version and to be sure of a kill you really need to be at close range to make it count. I was able to get into a good firing position on a single occasion (the best shooting chance of the game incidentally) but then failed to roll over a three with five dice.

It was a great action to fight and one that I would happily revisit. I suggested to Mr Fox that perhaps next time the Germans could have two of the same type – I know he is working on a Tropical version of an E – which would make for quite a different game in my opinion.

One of the outcomes of this evening was that Mr Fox and I have decided to rationalise our respective Angels 20 collections somewhat. In advance of the Pacific set scheduled for next year I am taking off of him all of his Japanese aircraft in exchange for my four 109Fs. I am leaving the Mediterranean theatre to the tender care of Mr Fox whilst I will focus on the Battle of Britain and the Far East. I will tackle some late war Western front kit in due course (any excuse for some FW190s and Hawker Typhoons) but for now 1940 will take priority with the affairs of the Far East waiting in the wings until next year.

"This is Sky Captain. I'm on my way!"..... Might as well have been....;-)

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