Cy6! in the Med

After a couple of failed tries, we got on to the next scenario in the Falcon of the Duce scenario book for Check Your Six! This one featured the first appearance of the British Hurricane while the Italians were still flying the CR-42 biplane.  However, this game definitely pointed out one of the philosophies behind CY6!:  “It is the man, not the machine”

The mission was a simple fighter sweep among a few clouds.  Mik and I each had a formation of four Hurricane Is but half of our pilots were green with one veteran in the mix.  Bob and Ken’s Italian formations had skilled pilots led by a veteran and the Italian ace Franco Lucchini.   Even flying in formation to protect our sprogs, the Italians enjoyed the advantage of reacting to us for most of the game.  As the two formations closed, Bob turned his group of three Falcos toward Mik, who was converging on Ken’s formation (including the ace Lucchini).  I intended to cut between two clouds with a pair of my fighters, but mistimed the turn and would have plowed into the cloud, breaking up that formation.  So I swung around the second cloud and toward Bob’s formation as Mik went nose-to-nose with the Italian ace and his wingmen.  Despite a point blank shot, Lucchini roll snake eyes and missed,  However, his wingman was not so unfortunate and then it was Mik’s turn for the unlucky dice.  Needing a 7 to pass the robustness test, he roll miserably low and failed the die roll by 4 or more, resulting in our only veteran pilot being shot down.  Mik had his entire flight flying formation on the veteran, so the formation broke up and his green pilots were now on their own.

As my four Hurricanes swung around the cloud Bob  and I exchanged 180° turns and firing passes.  One of my aircraft was set on fire and suffered airframe damage.  It would eventually be shot down.    Mik’s skilled pilot came out of the initial encounter with Lucchini and lined up a beautiful tailing shot on Bob’s veteran, but could not get the kill.  On of the CR-42s previously damaged by Mik was shot down by one of my Hurricanes, but in doing so the aircraft was out of ammo and used hi superior climbing ability to disengage from the fight.

On the other side of the table, Mik and I had 4 aircraft trying to pen in Lucchini, but Ken maneuvered the ace very well, staying out of as many shots as possible and still keeping his formation intact.   We had several shots at him in the game that were misses by only one point – but they were still misses.  Fortunately for us, Ken was having a weird dice day and rolled snake eyes again.  Finally however, his formation of three planes caught Mik’s skilled pilot and inflicted a pair of damage results, downing the aircraft.  The British numerical superiority was gone and with just one skilled and three green pilots left, we decided to use the performance advantage of our Hurricanes in a way that pilot skill couldn’t overcome – by climbing away from the fight!  The men in the Italian machines definitely proved to be the difference in this one.  This was the last scenario in the book for the CR-42 – next time they get the equally crappily armed but faster  MC200.

The first game had not taken very long, so we decided to play a second game.  I had downloaded some scenarios from the Check Your Six! yahoogroup and so we played one of those – a game set during the defense of Malta.  Three British Gladiators were sent up to stop an Italian reconnaissance flight.  We didn’t have the exact models for the sscenario, so substituted what was on hand.   A German Ju-88 subbed in for the Italian SM.79 while a trio of CR-32 filled in for some of the Falcos.  Ken volunteered to fly the  British while Bob and Mik took three escorting CR-42s each and I took the bomber and the CR-32s.  The scenario had a table for crew skill, with the British getting a bonus for each extra Italian player.  Unfortunately, the Italians rolled really well and had all skilled pilots.  The British rolled less well and got no veterans.  Knowing that would make for a really brutal game, we gave the British a veteran pilot.

The two sides closed up. with Mik’s fighters in the lead, mine on the left and Bob’s trailing.  Ken cut past Mik (damaging one of his fighters on the way by) and closed in for three shots on the bomber.  While I turned back in for some shots of my own with the CR-32s.  The Falcos opened up on the bomber with their pair of 12.7mm machine guns.  The first one resulted in a hit and a poor robustness roll resulted in airframe damage.  An issue, but not the end of the world – until I failed another “easy” robustness check and the bomber was destroyed.  The Italians were suddenly in a deep victory point hole, having already given up 9 VP and with only 14 VP total on the British side.  One of the Gladiators did suffer airframe damage from the CR-32s.  As Ken tried to extricate his aircraft from the converging swarm of Italians.  The damaged Gladiator was set on fire by a lucky hit, but the flames went out before any serious harm was done.  Ken then dove away, making a run toward the British edge.  He had a couple of turns of reprieve before the Italians caught up with dices of their own and worked their way down to his altitude.  The wounded Gladiator took a round of long range fire from a CR-32 and Ken’s bizarre dice night continued as he rolled doubles on the robustness test, passing but forcing a lucky hit – where he rolled box cars and the aircraft exploded.  Feeling that there was too much distance left to make his escape against that many tail shots, Ken turned the British to go down fighting but rapidly lost the veteran.  It was time to pack up and be off at that point, so Ken conceded the loss eventual of the other Gladiator.  Even with that, it would have been a close game, as even one Italian plane killed on the way out for the Gladiator would have resulted in a 14-13 Italian win…

Another great night of fun playing Check Your Six!  Mik has a few more photos of the game over on his blog.

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5 responses to “Cy6! in the Med”

  1. Steven says :

    Great batrep, I love those mediterranean planes. I need to play another game of CY6! soon

  2. Alvin says :

    The second scenario points to a hole in your aircraft collection, maybe something you need to remedy!

    • Brian says :

      Perhaps, although Bob is the main collector of aircraft for the Med. He actually has the SM.79, but it wasn’t painted. I’m afraid the siren’s song of Days of Glory is about to consume my aircraft painting time… and jets.

  3. Sigmar says :

    Hi Brian, this is the first time I’ve seen such models or such a war game up close. I stumbled across your site while randomly surfing around. I’m toying with a Wild West skirmish or maybe a dog fight type of game. Can you recommend CY6 ?

    You have a very interesting blog here, I’ll be visiting again. Thanks for sharing,
    Sigmar

    PS. I’m not sure that CY6’s philosophy of “It is the man, not the machine” stands up to scrutiny in a real dogfight.

    • Brian says :

      Sigmar,

      I highly recommend CY6!. Great game that is well thought out and designed, easy to pick up on, intuitive to play (thanks to excellently designed play sheets), and with a very nice feel.

      As for the Man versus the Machine, you might be able to make a case that modern jets, avionics, BVR missiles, and other technology have changed the equation, for WWII I really believe that the Man does outweigh the Machine. I’ve read a lot of accounts of WWII combat and have been struck by how much the intangibles of the veteran pilots influence their success in combat. Even obvious air combat skills like acrobactic flying or aerial gunery don’t seem to be as big of a factor as less quantifiable traits like situational awareness or the ability to visualize the 3D battlespace.

      I’d say that the same equation holds true at least through the early 80’s when BVR missiles remained pretty hit and miss (mostly miss) and pilots were likely to get into a close range scrum.

      The actual fighter pilots who collaborated on the CY6! rules certainly seem to think so as well.

      Brian

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