Although I bought the Battle of Britain boardgame from Plastic Soldier Company back in October I'd only managed one actual game...this was with Eric the Shed towards the end of last year and I was soundly beaten! So I was pleased to get a chance to give it a second outing this week at Guildford.
|Action over the South Coast|
The game mechanics
The game mechanics are fairy straightforward. Squadrons are organised into Luftflotte or Groups and these comprise 6 German squadrons made up of a mix of fighters and bombers versus RAF squadrons made up of 3 fighters. The actual composition of each squadron is initially random but can then be adjusted as the game progresses.
The Luftwaffe allocate missions to each squadron; again these are drawn randomly but the German player has some control over where they are allocated. As German planes reach the British coast and cross a radar marker, the RAF have the option to intercept them. This can be pretty deadly as the RAF field all 3 fighter squadrons while the Luftwaffe have to put up a random draw of 3 of the 6 cards, which could result in the German bombers being caught in an unwelcome air battle. The snag for the RAF is that they only have resources to engage in 5 air combats each turn which means inevitably some bombers will get through.
Assuming that some of the bombers at least have made to their targets they are then able to make a bombing run (and risk ack-ack fire in the process). Squadrons then return automatically to home but do have to check on losses on the way back depending how much fuel they have used on the way
|Go Luftflotte 5!!!!|
So how did our game go? I was very lucky in that my initial choice of bombing missions was largely concentrated on the south and east coasts so I was able to knock out a couple of radar stations in turn 1. Some lucky dice throwing on my part also meant that the RAF took heavy casualties...especially 10 Group covering the South and West. I had less success around the SE but did manage to knock out a radar station in the North West and avoid too many casualties on Luftflotte 5. The high amount of damage meant the RAF couldn't repair everything and get planes back in the air and crucially the gap in radar cover meant I was able to pile squadrons through the gaps and bomb Exeter and Swansea. Although these were repaired next turn I was also able to bomb Portsmouth and the Port of London and keep the pressure up on the South coast. Luftwaffe casualties were mounting this point however and we ran out of time for the final turn but it was looking like a narrow victory for the Luftwaffe.
|Each Luftflotte has a management board to organise flights and missions|