Monday, September 7, 2015

Solitaire Play: B-17 Queen of the Skies.. Bombing Mission # 1

On this Labour Day, I dusted of an Avalon Hill game I haven't played in decades called B-17 Queen of the Skies.

It's been so long that the 1980s catalog that came with the game brought back some nostalgic memories.

Well, let's get this war started. My B-17 is the Byteknight Belle, fresh into the war, here to show Herr Hitler the old Allied one-two punch.

It's my first mission, and so my target is St. Omer, an airfield in northern France. I start off in England and will head South to Zone 3.  Not too far away. Start off the war easy-peasy.

I am in the middle of the formation, so no extra attack modifiers on German fighters. Snug as a bug.

 Crew is at their positions..

Zone 2 is not easy however, as 2 FW-190s attack me, and my rolls don't bring on any fighter cover to chase them away.

One FW-190 is attacking me 10:30 high and the other at 3:00 o'clock level. 

My port cheek machine gun misses the 10:30, as does my top turret one. However, my port waist machine gun got a hit, resulting in a FCA (the fighter continues the attack, but at a -1)

As for the 3:00 level, my top and ball as well as my starboard waist machine guns all miss him.

I burn through some ammo but still have plenty left.

The 1O:30 plane rips 2 shells into me, and the 3:00 o'clock another 3 into me.

Well, isn't this lovely. I'm barely out of England and getting shot up.

My Starboard Wing was shot up twice, as was my Pilot Compartment and my nose.

Miraculously, damage on all of these was superficial.

Per the rules, these FW-190 get to do another pass as they both hit me. They now are coming at me at 9 o'clock and 1:30 level.

Luckily, or unluckily depending on how you look at it, nobody gets killed as I managed to give the 9:00 fighter a FBOA (Fighter Breaks off the Attack) as well as an FCA. He gets a -2 at least shooting at me before breaking off this attack. Everybody else misses and he does not hit either.

I trudge on southward relatively undamaged to Zone 3, over my target St. Omer.

Weather over the target is poor, so I get a -1 on my bombing run.

I encounter 1 wave of fighters consisting of only 1 fighter, a FW-190 doing a Vertical Dive on me!

My top turret and radio room machine gun open up but both miss. The FW hits me with 1 shell burst, again on my Starboard Wing. Again, somehow I manage a superficial damage only.

Since he was successful, he does another pass, this time at 10:30 level...

but it's a miss on all sides.

Now, on to the target. I encounter light flak and they miss!

I roll my bomb run, and it's hit, despite the -1 due to poor weather.

On target, and 30% of my bombs hit the airfield.

Not superb, but just want to say hello to the enemy in my first bombing run and 30% does that.

I head home and should make it back in time to see that new talkie movie everyone is talking about.

In Zone 2, encounter 2 Me-109s, one at 9 o'clock level and one at 1:30 high. Some shooting but everyone misses each other.

Weather is bad though on landing, getting a -1 on my roll, but I land safely.

Well, that was interesting. 24 more missions and I can go home.

This AH game is I remember it. Not bad, and very chart heavy which was normal for the 1980s games I used to play.

I'll have to go on another bombing run  again. The next time might not be so easy.

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