A Little Slice of the Battle of
This tournament is a multi-year continuation of the Battle
of Britain. In the tournament format, two players sit at a board
and are the pilots for a section of RAF fighters. The GM draws
German raiders and randomly determines their flight path. One
player, each turn, is chosen as the temporary Squadron Leader
and he is in charge of vectoring all the pilots into intercept
position, but once he calls for the engagement, players at each
board can plot their own routes into the target.
We began this format in 2001, and had previously played the
days of 11 through 21 August 1942. We continued this year with
two rain days (for repair and recovery) and then four active
battle days. Players began with one Spitfire and one Hurricane
pilot and could chose with which they wanted to start the game.
In 2001, the RAF exchange ratio was about 2:1. In 2002, it
bloomed to 10:1, as the result of some rule changes. In 2003
the ratio fell back to 3.5:1. The 2003 tournament had eight raids
occur over the four game days. A total of 140 German aircraft
(roughly 50-50 bombers and fighters) took part in these raids
against four sections of RAF fighters (an average of five aircraft
per raid per section). 29 German aircraft were shot down and
eight RAF planes were destroyed (seven Spitfires and one Hurricane)
with six pilots killed and one seriously wounded.
The winner of the tournament, for a third year in a row, with
five kills was Eric Stranger. Trevor Bender and Chris Villeneuve
were a point behind in the scoring system. Each day was eventful,
but I will only list the basic data and any highlights of note.
Day 1 had three raids with a total of 56 enemy aircraft; 17
were shot down The RAF lost six Spitfires, including five pilots
killed and one seriously wounded. The day started on a good note
with 11 enemy aircraft destroyed on the first raid. However,
on the second raid, the low point of the day occurred when acting
Squadron Leader Mike Lam, in an attempt to vector the squadron
into an out-of-the-sun attack position, gambled, and positioned
the squadron in the path of the German raid, hoping they would
move to the NE. As luck would have it, the raiders moved NW into
a head-on intercept of the British airmen. In this scenario both
sides get one uncontested shot - the result was great casualties
on both sides: the Germans losing six planes and the Brits five.
Day 2 had one raid with 20 aircraft, three were shot down
with one RAF loss. Day 3 had two raids. Of 44 raiders, nine were
shot down, with no RAF losses in the attack. Day 4 consisted
of two raids with 40 aircraft. 0 Germans were shot down and a
single Spitfire was lost.
In the 2004 tournament, the scenario will continue on 30 August
1942. With the exception of some minor tweaking of the scoring
system, the tournament will use the same rules as in 2003. I
will work on finding a time convenient for the largest number
of players. Cheerio