For the first mission, we end up with "Close Air Support". This is a tough mission because it's so close to friendlies that ordnance misses place more stress on the pilots. It also looks like we have two SA-11s near the target with some AAA and an SA-8 in the center.
For this mission, I take five aircraft plus an E2C-Hawkeye. Getting this mission already places 1 stress on the pilots since there's no time to prepare. It's basically a scramble.
Besides the 3 escorts and the Hawkeye, I've brought along an EA-6 Intruder to help take out the SAMs and an A-6 Intruder to drop ordnance on the target.
On the way to the target, we draw a "Charlie Foxtrot" card (which basically means, "cluster f^*k"), which reduces our time over the target. One of the SAMs gets a shot off at the E2C Hawkeye, who successfully evades the shot. The EA-6 Intruder takes out the three SAMs near the target area plus the SA-8. A Mig-23 flying over the target area is quickly downed by an F-14 Tomcat.
Over the target, there are two ordnance misses with Mk84s, which results in 2 additional stress due to the possibility of friendly fire. THe E-2C pilot is stressed out big time from having to dodge the SAM near the target.
As we get back, there are problems with fleet resupply, which will limit the munitions available on the next mission. Three of my pilots need rest and time to de-stress over that last mission but I'm not sure there will be enough time for it. Day 1 is complete.
I spent a lot of time this year in what one might generously term "interesting circumstances".
One of the outcomes of that was a game I had in the back of my mind for years.
NATO Air Commander is the first game I have ever designed and I'm particularly humbled by the show of early support from playtesters and wargamers. Tom and Mary Russell, the heads of Hollandspiele Games, were particularly supportive and I am especially grateful for that.
Just like the title says, this is a solitaire game that is supposed to put the player in the shoes of an Allied Air Commander during a hypothetical World War III set around 1987.
To that end, the decisions you make in this game are big theater decisions and the scale of the game works on the level of flights of aircraft. Each turn, you're creating and assembling raids and assigning missions to air units, hoping to influence the ground war - over which you have limited control.
The game came out of a desire to see more depth in th…
I've spent some time with Berlin '85 over the past couple of weeks now. I find it to be a bloody game with a peculiar agony awaiting both players who venture down its path. If you have already played the game, you will understand exactly what I mean. For those, who haven't tried it, you'll get an idea when you read the full playthrough report.
I wanted to get something out there for B85 since I've been getting lots of people asking and posting and commenting about it. So here's the Setup and some notes about the game and why I've made certain decisions.
The NATO player sets up first. For this scenario:
The West German police (the blue units) set up on Supply Hexes anywhere in West Berlin and on any airfield control hexes.
The Americans set up in the American sector (duh!) two hexes from any barracks hexes. The French and British do the same in their sectors.
But before we do all that, let's look at the lay of the land, my son.
I've just finished my game of Nord Kapp from the Fall 1983 issue of Strategy & Tactics. Wow! Great stuff. I loved this game. I played a standard scenario pitting the Soviets vs. NATO. If you're interested in the first half of the first turn of the game, I have a blog post that details exactly how the game works. Check it out before you dig in. Otherwise, here's how the whole thing went; Game Turn 1: NATO Turn
Despite getting some RAF, Dutch, and American squadrons, I have no bases left in Norway to put them. They sit uselessly by while the Norwegians try their best to deal with the situation.
The CHOD reinforcements land in Bardufoss without their equipment (it was destroyed by the Soviet airborne forces who found it sitting in Tromso waiting for them). Otherwise, the Norwegians manage to mobilize a reservist unit near Narvik, which cuts them off from supply from Evenes airbase to the north. The Norwegians take advantage of the situation to take Narvik back. It's a…