Had time to run off a bunch of games last week. Aerial games are hard to play and hard to post. The action is suppose to to fast, furious and three dimensional. Most systems struggle to be these things. When reporting a game it is hard to convey these traits. I will attempt to do so. This battle also really shows off the interactions between characters which are so important in any human endeavor including war.
The 91st Fighter Squadron was the first P-39 squadron to land in Africa. They spent their first days flying CAP over the convoy and were successful; fending off several attacks. As P-40s and P-38s showed up they transitioned to more fighterbomber missions. Their CO is Capt Robert Filarto. He is a good pilot who has scored 2 kills in Tunisia. He hates paperwork and leaves that to the XO a West Pointer Lt "Honey" Donnelson. The squadron has a good reputation given their work over the landings. They have 5 kills and only 2 losses. Their "cool" is +2 which is very good for a P-39 and morale is high registering in at a "9". Their group commander is LtCol Rawlings who is neutral towards them but the group admin Capt Ford doesn't like Capt Filarto because his paperwork is always late. The group intel officer, Lt Gordons. is also not a fan of the squadron since Capt Filarto chewed him out once for not expecting ME 109s in the AO yet. The squadron has been short a replacement pilot for weeks despite other squadrons getting pilots. When Filarto or Honey inquire why this is Capt Ford tells them the other squadrons are taking heavier losses and they need the pilots more. [ I dice for this and Ford keeps blocking replacements and Filarto hasn't wanted to go to Rawlings yet.] Finally the 91st gets a replacement pilot, 2Lt Wilde.
It soon become apparent why the 91st has gotten Wilde. Wilde's nickname is "Black Flag" and he was a big football star in college. [ Jack I swear I rolled all this up!] He is all about himself and thinks he will be an ace by the end of the month. All he needs is the rest of the squadron to block for him. Filarto assigns Lt Donnelson to him but after a couple of easy runs Black Flag can't stick to his wingman. Honey gives up and want him out of the squadron. Filarto reads him the riot act and decides Black Flag will be his personal wingman on their next mission.
28 December 1942 and the squadron is assigned close support to US troops for a limited offensive.
Capt Filarto Vet 2 kills
2LT Black Flag Wilde rookie
2LT Sampson lead vet 2 kills
2LT Egert avg
2LT Myers Avg
2Lt Hamm rookie
The squadron encounters 4 MC 202s 3 turns from the front lines. The Italians have the initiative but not position.
Two MC 202s stay medium to tangle with Filarto. However, the other 2 split and each go after an element of P-39s...
2Lt Myer quickly has one behind him with fatal consequences.
So a swirling battle begins. At the end of the Italian turn... Capt Filarto [left] is disadvantaged against the Italians as exemplified by facing 90 degrees to them. Wilde is still protecting his wing as best he can. In the center Myers is going down while 2Lt Hamm looks on horrified. Above right the rookie Italian [green base] has the advantage over 2Lt Sampson's element but Sampson just executed a vertical roll to keep the Italian off his tail.
As the US gets the opportunity to counter thrust Capt Filarto [nearest element] claws his way back to neutral but looses Wilde in the process [near plane not associated with Filarto now]. In the distance at low altitude 2LT Hamm [right] manages to stay neutral to the MC 202 while Sampson [far left] manages to get the upper hand on his attacker and even fires off a burst of cannon but he misses.
Capt Filarto coming in from the right guns blazing. The Italian, without a wingman, wisely breaks off to engage the new threat. 2Lt Hamm is relieved! Meanwhile...
2Lt Wilde's football skills are not translating well to the skies. He twists and turns but the experienced Italian pilot [pilot marker on stand] soon lines up for a perfect shot. Wilde does manage to bail out in US territory.
Last turn before everyone heads for home. 2Lt Hamm [center]actually gets lucky with a quick shot while his attacker was busy with Capt Filarto. He wounds the Italian pilot but the Italian gets away. 2Lt Sampson's [left] quarry uses the macchi's better rate of climb and speed to climb away from the fight.
Great battle that played in under an hour. The airacobras lost but they were set up to fail so morale and cool don't change. Filarto felt a little bad about Wilde but he was also pissed at him. The squadron was happy he came to Hamm's rescue and happy Hamm finally hit an enemy plane. Hamm become average and promptly gets a head cold and will miss the next mission. What to do about Wilde? After consultation with Honey, Filarto goes to see the LtCol requesting Wilde be removed from the squadron because he is dangerous in the air. He suggests he be transfered to Air Transportation Command. I set the odds for the AKOT at probable since he is new and was shot down but with a -1 as Capt Ford will be against sending even a bad pilot away. This could also blow back against Filarto if LtCol Rawlings thinks he is whining. Guess what? The LtCol bought it! Wilde is transfered out of the squadron to admin duties with the group while Rawlings and Ford decide what to do. Of course the squadron is down 2 more pilots [ Wilde and Myers] and I doubt we will ever get a new one but at least Wilde is gone. So Filarto and Honey will have to continue to move their squadron forward!