Historicon 2008 – Eye for an Eye
I ran two sessions of my Eye for an Eye scenario for Check Your Six! at Historicon this year. Both games were full up and every one seemed to have a blast. I was worried a little about the scenario balance after the lopsided playtest game, but it seemed to be OK since there was one Japanese win and one American win.
In the first game, The Japanese sent the Ki-61’s straight toward the bombers with three plane groups of Ki-43’s attacking from the flanks . The Ki-61’s immediately tangled with some P-38’s that were out front and as they turned in toward the boombers (now turning and diving away from the Tonys), the P-38’s reversed and came in behind them. Both of the cannon armed Tonys were dispatched and it was left to the MG armed ships to bring down the US bombers. On one side one of the P-38 groups had a plane get engine damage right off the bat, so was largely out of the fight. The other group moved to engage the swarms of Ki-43’s converging on the bombers. As usual, the agile Ki-43s inflicted many hits on the B-17’s with little damage, but over time the number of hits began to tell. One bomber was damaged and both of the others took lucky hits to the engines that slowed them down significantly. The P-38’s rushed in and managed to swat away a few of the Oscars, but not before the damaged bomber took a second hit and headed for the jungle floor.
The other bombers were still flying when Lightnings from the top cover arrived to chase off the remaining Japanese (i.e. we came to the end of our allotted time). The bomber that was shot down was MacArthur’s plane. Post game die rolls indicated that the General had parachuted from the plane but been wounded in the process. The damaged aircraft of General Kenney was deemed to have made it back to an Allied base, but General Vasey’s aircraft was lost in the jungles of New Guniea. The Japanese had taken two of the three Allied generals out of the picture and scored a major victory. We had quite a few players new to Check Your Six! in this game (including a couple of young gamers), but all picked up the game quickly and had a good time.
In the second game the Japanese formed a much more concrete plan to try and use the heavier-armed Ki-61’s against the bombers and to keep the P-38’s busy with the K-43’s. They put a couple of Ki-61’s on each flank and brought on all of the Ki-43’s in one large formation to the front of the bombers. This large mass of Oscars immediately got into contact with one group of P-38s while another group of P-38s was able to jump two of the Tonys. The Americans pulled the trigger three times and three Japanese planes were plummeting toward the ground. Not an auspicious start for the Japanese Army Air Force. The player commanding the B-17s dove to right this time and tried to get down behind the smoke screen to limit the number of long range shots he took.
The large mass of Oscars were accomplishing their mission of keeping the Lightnings busy – unfortunately they were doing this by getting shot down a lot. Soon there were several burning Oscars on the field below, but two P-38s were out of ammunition and two cannon armed Ki-61s and a couple of Oscars had broken through to the bombers. The P-38s had expended much of their speed in maneuvers against the Oscars and were now out of position to wipe out the last of the japanese fighters. However, scant rations and rampant malaria must have been taking a heavy toll on the Japanese armorers back at Wewak, as the Tonys consistently hit but failed to score telling damage on the heavily built American bombers. Those Japanese with damaged aircraft or out of ammunition resorted to ramming attacks against the Fortresses, but the veteran crews narrowly avoided them each time. The bombers got a couple of more Japanese with defensive fire before the Tonys cannons finally hit something critical and brought down a B-17. The P-38s closed the gap and all but two of the Japanese fighters were destroyed. MacArthur’s aircraft escaped largely untouched (despite having survived a heavy burst of fire from one of the other B-17s) and the last aircraft was damaged but managed to limp to the edge.
Post-game dice rolling revealed that Kenney had successfully parachuted from the downed bomber and was picked up by the paratroopers below. Vasey’s damaged bomber was luckier this time and managed to limp home. With all three generals still able to carry out their duties, it was a resounding success for the Americans. this was a fun game for me, as every player but one had played before, so i was able to simply keep the action moving along and watch the fight unfold.
In the weeks between the con and the playtest game I had completely repaired and repainted all of the flight stands and the game looked really nice. I got a lot of nice compliments and questions about the look of the game.