Well it’s become a bit of a tradition over the last four of five years for me to host a game of CY6! on the Wednesday before US Thanksgiving. This year was no exception and 5 of us got together at a local gaming store to have some air combat/game fun.
As normal Check Your 6 (CY6!) did not disappoint, either as a engrossing game or as a decent model for air combat. I can’t say enough about how the simple mechanics allow for enjoyable game without too much deep thinking, but at the same time providing a way of modeling flight dynamics and the swirling feel of an air to air combat.
Another advantage of the system is the ease of teaching this game. Again we had a new pilot playing and he picked up the game easily and was in the only player not to loose an aircraft.
This time we used one of the historical scenario’s from the Guadalcanal book. It had 6 skilled Zero’s take on 4 US Wildcats, flown by 2 rookies and 2 more experience pilots.We use my 1/600 planes and my custom made lego altitude stands, which continue to serve games well. I won’t go into a great detail but here are a some shots and a description of the game.
So the scenario starts as a meeting engagement, with the Zero’s on one side of the table, spread out in pairs, as seen above. The Zero’s have fixed drop tanks so in this case so they are not quite as maneuverable as they sometimes are.
Opposing those, the 2 pairs of wildcats, lead by the more experienced pilots came in from the other side. Both sides closed quickly in the first turns.
The Wildcats started to split up and try to take the Zero’s from either side, as it seemed they were trying to surround the wildcats. This just meant that there it would be 2 vs 2 on the edges with the middle pair of Zero’s to jump in where they wished. In the end those 2 split and it made it three Zero’s vs. two Wildcats in the basically separate dogfights.
On my side the US planes tried to take on the initial pair of Zero’s while the 3rd had not got close enough yet to make an impact. The rookie Wildcat took a risk and went head to head with a Zero, while the more experienced US pilot used a series of Split-S and Immelmann moves to avoid the head to head closure but to try to use the 3rd dimension to get behind a zero. As you can see the head on clash did not work out as well as planned for the rookie as he took engine damage – with black smoke coming from the plane after the encounter. So first blood to the Japanese. On the other side the aircraft were still closing, with a pair of Zero’s acting to draw the Wildcats forward. With this the Japanese had a plane behind the Wildcats. At present it was too far to make a difference at the moment – but in time it would be a factor.On my side of the table the US skilled pilot took some risks and had some shots in the swirling game of moves. He also saw a lot of bullets around the aircraft but non hit anything critical. The rookies engine problems slowed him down and made him want to keep more of a level flight pattern. Thus is tried to act more as a wing man where he could.Back on the other side the planes got close and the rookie misjudge the turn and so got in front of the Zero’s. This was a mistake on his part as soon he was floating back to earth in a parashoot. He did damage a Zero though – from the debris he created when shot down, as the Zero was directly behind him! Soon the skilled Wildcat in this area was also in trouble. Although it managed to shoot down the debris damaged Zero the 2 to 1 odds and the Zero closing in from behind meant it ended up with airframe damage itself. The wildcat had also run out of ammo. In trying to escape it tried to do an extreme maneuver, which it failed and the plane broke up in the air – so that was both Wildcats on that side in that flight out of the game.In the other side the swirling combat between 3 zero’s and 2 wildcats continued. The robustness of the Wildcats saved them a couple of times, but shots were exchanged and one of the Zero’s was taken out by the skilled wildcat pilot.
In another shot my luck was as good/strange as ever. I had a target of 11+ to hit on 2D6 and rolled an 11, which what was needed! A great shot.
So I rolled 6 dice for the damage and the the damage dice came out as shown. Now that looks good until you understand that the 6’s are ignored in the damage rolls…
Yes 6 die with a total of 3! Even the Zero can survive that type of shooting. and did.
So the swirling combat continued with each side getting an occasional shot on the other. Neither side was really able to make that killing (or lucky shot). It was not long though till another Zero finally did did get shot down in this area. This evened the odds up a bit and put then US in a winning position at that time. In the end though the Zero’s got the better of the dog fight with the rookie Wildcat and finally managed to shoot it down The plane should really have just got out of the combat after being damaged but what fun is that!So in the end the Japanese claim a slight victory, with the same number of aircraft shot down on each side but the Japanese had more to loose at this time. Still a great game was had by all and we had some laughs as well. It will be before next Thanksgiving when we have another game of CY6! that’s for certain.