Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Enfilade 2018 Recap: Part 2 - My Games

For Enfilade 2018, Kevin and I ran two air attack games where the Royal Navy was defending against attacks on their ships. I really enjoy games that mix ships and planes (it gives me a chance to work on my two favorite gaming subjects) and I thought this year's efforts turned out nicely.

Note, you can see photos form other Enfilade 2018 games at this post.

Attack on San Carlos
The first game was from the Falklands/Malvinas War covering air attacks on British ships as they were unloading troops at San Carlos. We used the Air War C21 rules for the game. You can also see Kevin's view of the game on his blog. The Argentinians had the lion's share of choices to make for this game. They had to pick which planes were attacking, what angles they would attack from, and how they would approach the combat zone. The Royal Navy only had to figure out how best to allocate their limited number of Sea Harriers to best protect the amphibious landing.

The Argentinians decided to go with a mix of Daggers, Skyhawks, and Canberras. Then they made some die rolls to see if they lost any planes on the approach and if they entered on schedule. They lost one plane that flew too low over West Falkand to avoid Royal Navy SAMs and all but one flight was delayed in their entry. The Royal Navy had four Sea Harriers on the board, with two more on the way.
Initial Setup with HMS Antelope (left) and HMS Fearless (right)

A pair of Sea Harriers fly CAP near Fearless
A pair of Argentinian Air Force Skyhawks were the first to enter. They found the Sea Harriers slightly of of position and headed straight for HMS Antelope.
Skyhawks on the attack
With the Harriers between them and HMS Fearless, the Skyhawks decided to drop their bombs on the nearby frigate.
Bombs Away!
The one bomb hit and did major damage to Antelope, knocking out her air defenses.The first Skyhawk wave was followed by another set of Argentinian Navy Skyhawks.
Armada Skyhawks attacking
The Armada Skyhawks got one more bomb hit, which did enough damage to basically sink the frigate.

Meanwhile, a flight of Daggers entered from the northwest and moved toward HMS Fearless.
Sea Harriers intercepting the Daggers while Fearless fires a Sea Cat missile
The Sea Harriers near the sinking Antelope mixed it up with the Skyhawks, getting some revenge for the damage done to the frigate.
Sea Harriers move in for revenge
As the Daggers moved in to attack Fearless, the final Argentinian flight, a pair of Caberra bombers, came in from the southeast.
Canberras enters as the Daggers drop their bombs
The Daggers got one hit on Fearless, but it turned out to be a dud (much to the relief of the Royal Navy players). However, things did not look good with the Canberras bearing down on Fearless.
Canberras close in, trying to dodge the incoming missiles
One Canberra was shot down by a Sidewinder, but the Sea Harriers were out of missiles and it would take a really good gun shot to stop the final bomber.

Luckily for the Royal Navy, they got their good gunshot with a critical hit knocking down the final Canberra (for those of you that know the rules, the Royal Navy pilot got to roll on the Golden BB table and killed the bomber pilot).
The last Canberra goes down to guns
We gave the Argentinians a morale victory for sinking the frigate, but the Royal Navy was able to continue with landing troops and earned a strategic victory. Overall, it was a fun game. Only a couple players had used the rules before, but everyone caught on very quickly.

Illustrious Must be Sunk!
The second game was the January 1940 attack on HMS Illustrious in the Mediterranean by a mixed German - Italian force. Those of you that follow the blog have seen a couple playtest reports on this game (here and here) and you can see Kevin's take on the game on his blog. This time around the Axis players went with a torpedo bomber force (choosing nine SM 79s and only 3 Stukas) and traded one flight of bombers for a pair of MC 200 escorts. The Royal Navy had six Fulmar fighters to protect the carrier, along with flak from the ships.
Italian bombers enter the board
Royal Navy Fulmars on CAP duty
After setting up the aircraft, the ships got to turn in place (this represented radar warning), which slightly threw off the original Italian plans for the attack. So they had to maneuver the big bombers around, which gave the Fulmars a little more time to try to stop them
Fulmars make a head-on pass at the bombers
Bombers maneuvering to set up their torpedo runs
The Italian fighters looked to mix it up with the Fulmars, but flak from the destroyer knocked one of them down. The remaining fighter felt honor-bound to strafe the destroyer. The strafing run went really well and the fighter suppressed the light flak on the destroyer.
Strafing pays off
The Fulmars tried to get into good positions to stop the bombers, but they were not having a good day rolling the dice. They did a lot of minor damage, but only forced one bomber to jettison its torpedo. Another has its torpedo release mechanism knocked out by a critical hit. Meanwhile one Fulmar was shot down and another had its forward guns knocked out.
The bombers line up on the carrier as the Fulmars try to stop them
Flak tries to protect the carrier as the bombers close in
One of the SM 79s decided to break away from its group to make a torpedo attack on the destroyer.
Torpedo run on the destroyer
But the destroyer was able to avoid the attack.

By this time, the Italians were in position to make their torpedo runs on Illustrious. Things didn't look very good for the carrier with torpedo planes on both sides.
Torpedo bombers off the starboard side!
Torpedo bombers on the port side!
The octuple 2 pdr batteries on Illustrious opened fire, knocking down a couple of the bombers and the carrier tried to dodge the torpedoes. But one torpedo found the mark doing major damage.
Torpedo hit
The last of the Italians approached from the port side...
The last bombers approach
But no hits were made. This left the flight of Stukas as the last hope for an Axis victory. The Stukas made their approach and started their dives.
Last chance for the Axis
But the smoke seemed to hide the carrier and no bombs hit.Illustrious took some major damage from the torpedo, but was able to sail into Malta for temporary repairs.

The game came down to a few final rolls and it could have turned out better for the Axis players. But, everyone seemed to have a good time.

That's all for Enfilade 2018. I hope you enjoyed the photos and report.


  1. Seem like great games. I’ve never played a modern navy game. I like the misile and torpedo markers.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I really enjoy naval and air games, and like it when I can mix them together. You should check out some of the posts with the Bulldogs Away label.