Malta Milk Run
We are continuing to work our way through the Falcon of the Duce scenario book for Check Your 6! At the Sidi Rezegh game, Bob had brought out a couple of his Cant Z.1007 bombers to show off and they looked great, so we were eager to get them onto the table. The Italians were getting an upgrade for this scenario, with the faster Macchi C.200 replacing the biplane CR-42s. However, the armament didn’t go up and neither did the armor protection – both factors that would weigh in the game. We also had a really full house for this game, with seven players including a CY6! newbie. We added a couple of fighters to each side of the scenario to accommodate the crowd.
The Italians were escorting a formation of Cant Z.1007 bombers on a run over Malta. I was surprised to see that the Cants were quite good bombers for the day, being reasonably speedy and very robust. However, the Hurricanes in the scenario were the 12 LMG armed variant, which was definitely a lot of firepower for that time and theater. The rifle caliber MGs would not blow things out of the sky, but that much lead flying around was bound to cause some damage.
As the battle opened, the eight British Hurricanes approached the Italian formation in a loose line abreast and split into two groups to fall in on the bombers from either side. The Italian ace Luccini angled for my side of the formation and I ran my two aircraft into a cloud to escape the menace. Tom’s pilots were made of sterner stuff and maneuvered in for a shot and managed to hit Luccini! With 12 MGs against an aircraft with Robustness 0, Luccini was lucky to escape with only airframe damage.
The Hurricanes on either side of the bomber formation then angled in and the fight started to develop into a tail chase. The 12 MGs made a lot of holes, but they were all little holes and the robust bombers were usually only damaged. It would take two hits apiece to bring down most of those bombers. And while the Hurricanes were sitting there pouring fire into the bombers, the Italians were not sitting idly. The gunners on the bombers scored a hit and damaged one hurricane, while the Italian fighters got another. One of the Macchi was damaged as well by the the trailing formation of Hurricanes as they came about.
The tail chase continued for a few turns as the lead Hurricanes poured fire into the bombers and the trailing Hurricanes tried to keep the Macchi’s from lining up too many easy shots on them. The Macchi’s scored a number of hits, but with only two HMG, the Hurricanes shrugged off a lot of those hits. Any Macchi that wandered in front of the Hurricanes was not so lucky. However, all of that shooting was coming at a price and soon the Hurricanes began to run out of ammo one after another. However, two bombers had been shot down and a third was limping along on one engine.
In the game’s final stages, the sole surviving bomber limped away and the British began to try and break away using the clouds. A few more shots were traded to try and bring down some damaged aircraft, but soon everyone had made it to safety in a cloud. The Italians suffered a pretty brutal defeat in this game, losing most of their bombers and a couple of fighters for the cost of one British fighter shot down and several damaged.
The Italians have some very nice looking paint schemes that really look good on the table and Bob’s big Cant bombers with the camo paint and bright yellow cowlings really looked great in this one. The next scenario features a big Cant seaplane, so I’m looking forward to seeing that one on the table.