Thursday, 19 April 2018

Wings at War Scramble for Britain

Just over a year ago I won an eBay bid on a big stash of Tumbling Dice models and loads of extra bits, for the Wings at War Battle of Britain rules, 'Scramble for Britain'. I spotted another auction on eBay this week so made an offer well under the asking price and won it. This time it's just the rules and a limited starter set of 1/600th scale Tumbling Dice planes but it also included three sheets of Dom's Decals Luftwaffe and RAF insignia. This made it a well worth the overall cost as they are currently out of production. I've added the planes to my already bulging box of lead and now have a second (third?) set of rules for an opponent to refer to, when I get round to this as another 1/600th scale project. Tally Ho!

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Target Locked On Evasive Manoeuvres

This is the system for evasive manoeuvres in Target Locked On:

Evasive manoeuvring can also be used to avoid incoming missiles. 

(this is separate from using chaff or flares, as there's a different system for that)

This type of manoeuvre may be carried out once a missile has been fired. A pilot skill check must be passed. If the skill check is failed the aircraft does not carry out any manoeuvre. If the check is passed the aircraft can carry out any manoeuvre type it wishes.

Once the manoeuvre has been carried out roll 1d6. The target score equals 3 plus the weapons EW characteristic. If the roll is successful the missile misses and causes no damage.

Note that this manoeuvre still has a fuel consumption and speed reduction effect; these are applied during the aircraft’s next activation.

This all makes perfect sense to me but I can't help feeling that there's a bit of book keeping to do at the end, with fuel and speed reduction to take into account possibly several phases later. I was wondering if an alternative would be to take the hit for speed and fuel at the point of the manoeuvre, regardless of whether the aircraft has moved already or not?

This would obviously impact on the subsequent movement and could even lead to an involuntary stall, if the numbers were tight. I'm not sure how this would affect the flow of the game but it would avoid having to remember the fuel and speed reductions later in the game. I also thought that an evasive manoeuvre could be made at the expense of the free manoeuvre in the next turn of the game, perhaps even instead of the fuel and speed hit, although that would be a bit unrealistic.

I may try these ideas out and see if they work or are just unnecessary fiddles that aren't really worth bothering with?

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Hands to Flying Stations

This is brilliant! I remember going on board HMS Ark Royal on a navy day in Devonport way back in the mid '70's. This reminds me of the Flashpoint: Fleet Air Arm project for Target Locked On! that I was thinking about a few months ago. I really should do something with that, now that I have a good grasp of the rules. 

Desert Spitfires RAF 'What If?'

It's a bit early to start mucking about with the Desert Spitfires rules but, in a moment of reckless abandon, I thought I'd get some Bristol Brigands to add to the RAF ranks. These were just being introduced into service in 1948 and could, theoretically, have made an appearance over the front lines during the war. In fact, from early 1949 onward No.84 Squadron operated the type from RAF Habbiniya in Iraq, where PR Mosquito reconnaissance aircraft often re-fuelled for flights over Israel.

Tumbling Dice Bristol Brigand (ISA609)

However, for most of the first half of 1949 only a handful of aircraft were serviceable and there were numerous problems with spare parts, ammunition and even cannon being in short supply, not to mention enough trained aircrew. The aircraft also had a reputation for serious mechanical  issues and going u/s due to 'wrinkling' of the wings! Even so, despite it's terrible reputation, I quite like the stubby look of this light attack bomber and so will paint some up for the game, even if I can't think of a good reason for them to be directly involved or even operational by the end of the war?

Monday, 16 April 2018

Desert Spitfires Web Research

I've been reading all about the air campaign in the 1948-49 War of Independence and have uncovered a number of really fascinating websites, each of which adds something more to the story. I've taught the causes and consequences of the Arab Israeli conflict many times but haven't really looked into the aerial side of things before. I started out with a focus in the RAF involvement but this soon expanded to take in the Israelis and Egyptians, with even the Syrians getting involved despite having no air force to speak of. The involvement of numerous foreign and often non-Jewish 'volunteers' is particularly interesting, the collective title of Machal being given to the foreign pilots who flew for the IAF. 

Anyway, here's the links to some of the most useful and interesting pages:

All well worth a look!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Desert Spitfires: The RAF

I have magnet based and undercoated the RAF aircraft for Desert Spitfires today.

These include four Spitfire FR18's, six Hawker Tempest MkVI, two PR.34 DH Mosquitos and a single C-47 Dakota. The latter doesn't actually play a role in the game but I had one spare so thought, why not? The Mossies are unarmed photo recce aircraft and have to make it across the length of the table to win VP's in the game, whilst the fighters are there to protect them and to shoot down the Israelis and Egyptians if they try to get in the way.

I don't know what I'll do with the Dakota but I'm sure I can fit it in somehow, perhaps with a similar mission objective to the Mossies? This is about the maximum size for each of the forces in the game, much less than I've done for each side in MiG Alley, which means I should be able to get the Israelis, Egyptians and British sorted out sharpish. I'll start painting the RAF planes over the next week or so, although I'm back at work tomorrow so will have less time to spare. 

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Desert Spitfires Project Planning

I've dug out the books that I have on the 1948 War of Independence air campaign and have sorted out what I have in the 1/600th scale lead pile that can be used for the three sides. I have some spare Seafires that can stand in as Spitfire FR18's plus some Hawker Tempests and Mosquitoes for the RAF. The Israelis have three B-17's, a couple of C-47's, some Spitfire IX's, P-51 Mustangs and a couple of Beaufighters. I also have some leftover Stinson Sentinels and T-6 Texans for light aircraft, but will order some Dragon Rapides from Tumbling Dice as well.

The Egyptians also get some Spitfire IX's and C-47's but I'll need to get some Macchi Mc202's to fill in the blanks. I have nearly all I need already but one thing I don't have are any Egyptian decals in 1/600th scale, which is a bit of a problem as Dom's Decals is still out of action as far as I know? Never mind, as I can crack on with the Israelis and RAF in the meantime, while I try to find some roundels that are small enough for the Egyptian fighters. I think this project will be taking up most of my time instead of the naval things I had planned to do after Easter but those can wait until later in the year.

Bag the MiG Bases in the Blue

I got home from Brittany late yesterday, so this morning I thought I'd waste no time and finish off the home made bases for Bag the MiG, Bag the Hun and other similar hex based rules like Air War:C21 or CY6. This was an easy matter of spray painting them with an appropriate sky themed shade, in this case Halfords Rover Henley Blue over a basecoat of Halfords Matt Grey primer. To take off  a bit of the shine I then over sprayed the whole lot in Army Painter matt varnish. There's no reason why you couldn't spray them in any other suitable colour or even paint them in a terrain themed shade of sand, grass green, snow or whatever, which is what I will definitely do for my Wings at War scratch built bases, when I get round to actually scratch building them of course!

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Codename Snake's Eye

I found this 1960's Royal Navy public information documentary film yesterday, while looking for info on the Royal Marines in Aden. It's very cheesy but there are some useful details in there including commando assault tactics, uniforms and equipment. I particularly like the bit with the ground attack rocket strike on an 'enemy' airstrip by Sea Venoms. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Desert Sand Spray Paint

We went to get new tyres fitted yesterday, as it is cheaper to do this in France than back on the UK. I spotted a rack of spray paints in the tyre fitting shop and so took a closer look. I use the Halfords aerosol paints a lot, especially the ultra Matt camouflage ones, so I was chuffed to find a whole range of similar shades from a Dutch manufacturer called Motip. 

The one that stood out for me was a desert sand colour, which is a match for RAL 1001, whatever that means. I bought a couple of cans to use for some new desert terrain and possibly as an undercoat for AFV's, if it is any good. I want to make some modular terrain tiles for 15mm skirmish games but I'm a bit bored of Halfords khaki. They weren't' very expensive either, so I may well get some more when I'm back over here in a couple of months.


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