So, this week is the usual one of year that I run a CY6! game for our little group. This year continued the tradition so i thought I’d o a quick write up of the game. This time we had a poor turn out of only 3 players, but we decided give it a go anyway. CY6 is a good game for odd numbers of players anyway. So, I came up with a quick scenario after a discussion with the players.
We did a small Japanese fighter patrol trying to stop a late war liberator raid. This was a mid altitude engagement with the Liberators just having a pair of P-38 lightnings as a fighter screen. Obviously, the US were either not expecting trouble or the rest of the fighter screen did not make it/had already been pulled away. The Japanese fighter patrol consisted of a couple of Zero’s and four Nakajima Ki-84 nicknamed the ‘Frank’ by the allies. Yes the Ki-84 and P-38’s are models which have not been used in a game so it was a good excuse to get them on the table. The mission was simple. The bombers were to exit off the edge of the table on route to their target – the Japanese had to stop them, coming in from a frontal position. The game started within visual range. The Japanese fighters planned to avoid a headlong joust with the bombers and both sets seemed to be heading around the side of the bomber boxes. In response the Lightnings started to speed up to head out to meet the Japanese fighters out front.
You may note in the pictures, as is common in our games of CY6 the bombers all use static stands with dials. They were all at speed 2, altitude 2 in this game unless damaged. The fighters though used a red dice for speed and lego pegs for altitude. I was flying the Americans and took a purposeful decision to split the pair of lightnings so one would go down each flank. In many ways this was to ensure either of my opponents had just had a turkey shoot type game, but also I did believe that the single lightning could likely cause enough trouble for each fighter group and even take down some of the Japanese while they concentrated on the bombers.
The left hand lightning found he actually had a chase on his hands as the Japanese on that side gave him and bombers large amount of room. I used the Altitude and speed of the lightning to give chase, concentrating more on the Franks than the Zero on this side. They were by far the most dangerous planes long term.On the right side the Japanese seemed to be coming in closer to the bombers, looking to turn in and hit them from the side. Thats a harder shot but reduces the amount of guns the Liberators can target them with. The Lightning on this side kept a little more height so that it could use a dive at the right time to really get close for the kill if the Japanese did turn into the side of the bomber box. That’s exactly what happened. Below you’ll notice that a Liberator is missing as is the Zero. Yes the Zero got right next to the Liberator and took it out with it’s first shot. The only bright spot, if you can call it that for the US, was the return shot from the top gun turret of the liberator took out the Zero at the same time. So two aircraft down in flames in the first exchange.
The P-38 used it’s dive to move forward to close the distant with a Frank. This was an aggressive move as although it closed the distance between the planes it also moved the Lightning into arc of the Frank for a return shot. In the end the risk did not work out, as the Frank got away undamaged but the P-38 had an airframe hit. So much for taking such risks…On the left hand side again the Zero there made the turn in to the bomber group and got one good hit on a bomber – causing an airframe damage. While that happen the P-38 on that side was still chasing the Franks who made a longer turn, planning to come up on the back of the bombers.The next turn the Zero ended right in the middle of the bomber box! The bomber group guns did there job and the Zero then went down in flames – too many top gun focused on it at close range. But it did get to damage another bomber. So both Zero pilots had been very aggressive in their attacks and although had caused a lot of damage they had paid the ultimate price as for that.
On the right the both the Franks swung around behind the three remaining bombers and heavy exchange of fire occurred between them an the Liberators. Plenty of shots were exchanged but no further aircraft were damaged – at least for the next few turns. The Liberators had to provide their own defense though as the damaged P-38 on this side swung around in a wide left turn to get back into the fight while trying not to push the damaged aircraft too much.
At this point the Franks on the left were turning in and the P-38 was getting ready to engage them, again panning to use it’s altitude and speed advantage. That P-38 did a Split S, trading both the altitude and speed for a perfect shot – which of course it missed completely. It then continued to move to get in position to take on a Frank. The Frank though moved to try to avoid being shot while still getting to shot the Liberators. This meant that both aircraft ended up crashing into each other! So much for late war pilots. The Frank was out of control but would eventually be recovered by the pilot, but the aircraft was by then too far out of the action to take any part in the rest of the game. However, the lighting was down in flames after the crash. That Japanese Pilot had obviously taken the Kamikaze spirit to heart and it had worked!
The other Frank on the left had come around the back of the bomber group and started to catch up with them, and shoot them while doing this. It did shoot down one of the already damaged Liberators on that side but then just to a little too close to a damaged Liberator which returned the favor and winged it with an airframe damage. As it got close to the two remaining bombers of this left hand box those bombers managed to finish the job. So that was the final Frank thread dealt with on left side.As can be seen from the picture above the the two Franks on the right closed up to the other bomber group and by this time had managed to shot down another Liberator. Finally the strength of the liberators was starting to pay off as they were hit a lot but survived the damage. The US crews were hammering away at the Franks as well, but the extra robustness of the Franks compared to Zero’s kept them in the air. A lot of aircraft had holes in them that’s for sure.
The remaining P-38 did come around and had closed on the the Franks from the rear. That pressure with the continued defensive fire from the bomber crews finally brought one of the Franks down. The other, now out of cannon ammo after destroying a rear gunner of one Liberator, decided to spin around and try to take out the P-38 in a parting shot. It used the rest of its HMG ammo in the attempt, which hit but failed to do any damage in the P-38. The P-38 in response managed to damage the Frank in return. That Frank had been hit more time than any other plane in the game but this was the first real damage it suffered.
That in effect ended the game. That last engaged Frank dived out of the combat, now out of ammo. The other Frank was too far out of the action to do anything. So 4 bombers got through to complete the mission, another limped home with engine damage. This meant it was a win for the Japanese even though they lost 4 aircraft.
So there we are. Overall, another great game where everyone had fun and as normal the CY6! game provided a great game for all.Obviously more players/pilots means more a more chaotic game which we all like but the game still works well with just three of us playing.