Sunday, June 17, 2018

Club Game - The Siege of Stegeborg Castle

Had great fun at the club yesterday playing Oxenstierna, one of the rebels at the Siege of Stegeborg Castle, Sweden, in the year 1318. We, the brave and righteous rebels, were attacking the Swedish King Birger Magnusson in the castle when his son Prince Magnus attacked us in the rear with his Danish reinforcements.


I played Oxenstierna and his men at arms as well as the trebuchet (scratch-built by Dalauppror). Oxenstierna attacked the Danes and protected the trebuchet which kept up a murderous fire on the castle's defenders. When it looked like the Danes were advancing in too large numbers, Oxenstierna challenged and killed Prince Magnus which demoralized the Dames.


The battle resulted in a great victory for the brave and righteous rebels.

The whole battle can be found on Dalauppror's blog,

Friday, June 15, 2018

Battle for Malta - Scenario 3 - Attack a Regia Aeronautica airfield

This is the third scenario in a Battle for Malta campaign the follows the exploits of the Country of Dampshire 369 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force fighting against the Regia Aeronautica squadriglia d'aquila - two fictitious squadrons. We use the Wings of Glory WW2 rules, slightly modified to give faster play. We use the Wings of Glory planes where the right model is available, other manufactures are used to fill in the gaps.

We use our own set of campaign rules "Wings Over Malta". These contain 6 basic missions which will be played with alternate sides as the attacker. They will be played first with "early war" planes and then repeated with "late war planes". This differs from our previous Battle of Britain campaign which was a ladder campaign that followed more exactly the historical battle.

The Background

The RAF sent bombers such as the Bristol Blenheim Mk.I to attack the Italian airfields and disrupt their attack on Malta and on shipping.


The Action

No.369 Squadron was tasked with sending a raid to attack an Italian airfield in order to give the Regia Aeronautica no rest. The squadron was short of both aircrew and aircraft, so the raid only consisted of a single Bistol Benheim Mk.I bomber escorted by a Gloster Gladiator. Pilot Officer Bruce Wayne took the Gladiator and Pilot Officer Brett Sinclair flew the Blenheim.

The raid was spotted by a Regia Marina MAS boat which radioed in the sighting. Thus the Italians had time to send up two of their new Macchi C.200 Saetta (Lightning) fighters to intercept. The Saetta monoplane was more robust than the older CR.42 Falco and Gloster Gladiator biplanes but much less maneuverable. Capitano Vitello Tonnato and Tenente Vittorio Gambetta jumped into the brand new monoplanes and raced out to sea to intercept.


The Italians headed towards the British planes in a tight formation, still trying to learn the maneuverability of their new monoplanes. The Gladiator slowed down, letting the Blenheim take the lead.


The Gladiator climbed to gain height as the Italians closed on the Blenheim.


The Macchi C.200's open fire on the bomber. Capitano Vitello Tonnato makes a lucky shot and wounds the bomb-aimer in the nose of the Blenheim.


The Macchi C.200's manage a last quick burst as they pull back on their sticks and fly over the top of the bomber. The Blenheim's dorsal turret manages a quick burst in return as they fly overhead.

With his second burst, Capitano Vitello Tonnato fires into the nose of the Blenheim and yet again hits the bomb-aimer who is then killed.


The Italians performed an Immelmann turn as the British continued straight on, the bomber diving to escape the fighters.


The Blenheim sped on, chased by, but just out of range of the Italian fighters. It was now the Gladiator's turn to perform an Immelmann.


Realising that they had no hope of catching the Blenheim, the Macchi C.200 fighters turned to attack the Gladiator.


The figthers started dogfighting. The Blenheim had now realized that with the bomb-aimer done for, they had no hope of completing the mission and it was time to get out of here.


The Blenheim turned for home. The Gladiator performed and Immelmann in the hope of catching one of the Italians.


As the dogfight between the fighter continued, the Blenheim dived to get away from the Italians.


The fighters decided that they shouldn't let the Blenheim get away, so they started chasing again. The Gladiator performed an Immelmann to follow the Macchi C.200's.


The bomber pilot decided he didn't want to be a sitting duck, so he turned into the Italian fighters.


The bomber's sharp turn not only confused the Italians, but also gave his dorsal gunner a good shot.


The Blenheim turned once more for home as his escorting Gladiator charged into the fray to help.


The combatants now paired off, the Gladiator againt one Macchi C.200 and the other Macchi C.200 against the Blenheim.


Both Macchi C.200's now ganged up against the Blenheim.


The Gladiator turned in to chase off the Macchi C.200's and protect the Blenheim.


But the Gladiator overshot, and soon the Macchi C.200's were on the Blenheim again.


Before the Gladiator could return, both Macchi C.200's were on fring short range bursts at the Blenheim.


The Blenheim could take no more!


The Blenheim flown by Pilot Officer Brett Sinclair crashed in the sea. Sinclair and his air gunner jumped into their dinghy taking with them the body of the dead bomb-aimer. They were soon picked up by the same Regia Marina MAS boat that had spotted the incoming raid. They were given a bottle of grappa to share during the journey back to port.

Capitano Vitello Tonnato and Tenente Vittorio Gambetta returned to base to celebrate their shared kill and the fact that they had protected the airfield from the British attack. And to top it all off, Tonnato was now an ace, which they celebrated by each drinking a whole bottle of Disaronno Almond Liqueur!

Pilot Officer Bruce Wayne couldn't catch the Macchi C.200's which weren't interested in fighting him, so he returned to base with his tail between his legs.

Result

Italian Victory

  • Capitano Vitello Tonnato: ½ Kill
  • Tenente Vittorio Gambetta: ½ Kill
  • Pilot Officer Brett Sinclair: POW

Campaign Result so far...

0 Country of Dampshire 369 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force
3 Regia Aeronautica squadriglia d'aquila

Notes

ARES has no Bristol Blenheim or Macchi C.200 Saetta models so we used the Blenheim Mk.II from the Skytrex Action 200 range and the Macchi C.200 Saetta (Lightning) fighters from Armaments in Miniature (AIM).

The airfield target cards are 1/1000th scale models from the RAF Fighter Base made by Brigade Models.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Battle for Malta - Scenario 2 - Sink the Aircraft Carrier

This is the second scenario in a Battle for Malta campaign the follows the exploits of the Country of Dampshire 369 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force fighting against the Regia Aeronautica squadriglia d'aquila - two fictitious squadrons. We use the Wings of Glory WW2 rules, slightly modified to give faster play. We use the Wings of Glory planes where the right model is available, other manufactures are used to fill in the gaps.

We use our own set of campaign rules "Wings Over Malta". These contain 6 basic missions which will be played with alternate sides as the attacker. They will be played first with "early war" planes and then repeated with "late war planes". This differs from our previous Battle of Britain campaign which was a ladder campaign that followed more exactly the historical battle.

The Background

Aircraft carriers were a rare sight in the Mediterranean. When the appeared they were used to protect convoy's to Malta and to trnsport fighter aircraft to Malta which they flew off at maximum range.


The Action

At Luqa airfield, three pilots of 369 Squadron AAF walked out to check their Gloster Gladiator fighters. Leading Aircraftman Walker, the fitter, showed Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh round his Gladiator and said "No problems here, you are the squadron's Ace, we have faith in you!". "What-ho" said Cholmondeley "Let's name the plane Faith". Walker then showed Emmett Hollingberry round the Gladiator and then said "I hope you bring this one back in better shape than the last time when it was full of holes". "Great!" said Holliberry "Let's name the plane Hope". Finally Walker went round a Gladiator with Squadron Leader Foxy Moron. "We've got a Faith and a Hope", said Walker, "We should probably name yours Charity". "Bullshit", said Foxy, "I'll name it Butchery". Not long thereafter Faith, Hope and Butchery scrambled to protect an incoming convoy. However Foxy soon had engine trouble and had to turn back leaving the other two pilots to continue the mission.

The Italian High Command did not want any supply convoys to get through to Malta. Malta was to be under siege and if it couldn't be invaded then it would be staved into submission. When a convoy was spotted by an Italian float plane, Capitano Vitello Tonnato and the squadriglia d'aquila were ordered to attack; to sink the convoy and the aircraft carrier protecting it. The squadriglia d'aquila launched a strike consisting of Savoia-Marchetti SM.79-II Sparviero (Sparrowhawk) Torpedo Bombers escorted by Fiat CR.42 Falco (Falcon) biplane fighters.


The Italians headed towards the British ships in a tight formation.


Cholmondeley and Hollingberry were patrolling in a loose formation, perhaps because Hollingberry had been known to clips his squadron mates' planes with his propeller when in tight formations.


The Sparviero torpedo bombers turned towards the ships while the CR.42's headed straight at the incoming Gladiators.


The two sides continued to close.


The Sparviero torpedo bombers lined up for their run at the ships. The anti-aircraft guns on the ships opened up on the CR.42 fighters.


Cholmondeley and Hollingberry in their Gladiators head towards Capitano Vitello Tonnato and Tenente Gabriel Firenze Bossonova in their CR.42's and both sides open fire head-to-head.


As the fighters raced past each other, Cholmondeley in his Gladiator exchanged fire with a Sparviero torpedo bomber.


As the friendly fighters raced clear of the incoming enemy, the anti-aircraft guns on the ships opened fire again. The Italian fighters did an Immelmann to chase the Gladiators.


The Sparviero torpedo bombers drop their torpedoes as the dogfight between the Gladiators and the CR.42's continues. A lucky shot from Hollingberry, and Capitano Vitello Tonnato's engine starts smoking.


The Sparviero torpedo bombers come under heavy anti-aircraft fire from the ships as one torpedo hits the aircraft carrier and the second is still running.


The Sparviero torpedo bombers turn for home as the second torpedo passes the stern of the aircraft carrier. Cholmondeley in his Gladiator turns somewhat belatedly to chase the bombers and leaves Hollingberry to tangle with the two CR.42's.


The bombers hug the deck and turn for home, hoping that the fighters will continue to ignore them.


Cholmondeley turns to try and get on the tail of a bomber; Vitello Tonnato charges in to try and head him off.


Vitello Tonnato places his CR.42 between Cholmondeley and the bomber. A hail of machine gun fire passes between Cholmondeley and Vitello in both directions.


A lucky shot from Vitello Tonnato and Cholmondeley's Gladiator is done for.


Both CR.42's now tussle with Hollingberry to give the bombers a good run for home. The bombers headed back towards their base with only a few parting shots from the ships' anti-aircraft guns.


The mission completed, both CR.42's now head for home. Both were damaged and didn't want to stay and fight. They left Hollingberry to circle over the now limping carrier.


But the stubborn Hollingberry didn't give up that easily, he chased down Tenente Gabriel Firenze Bossonova's CR.42 and with a long range burst shot him down.


Flying Officer Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh DFC and Bar ditched his stricken Gladiator near the Carrier's destroyer escort and was picked up. "I was right", he said, "it is muchwarmer than protecting channel convoys". He was injured in the crash, the doctor tried to patch him up and he was soon back in Malta.

Tenente Gabriel Firenze Bossonova ditched his CR.42 and like Cholmondeley he was picked up by the Royal Navy.

Result

Italian Victory

  • Capitano Tonnato: 1 Kill
  • Pilot Officer Hollingberry: 1 Kill

Notes

ARES has no Savoia-Marchetti SM.79-II Sparviero models so we used models from AIM (Armaments In Miniature).

The ships are 1:1200 Hallmark models sold by Magister Militum.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Battle of Britain - Scenario 9 - July 25th 1940 – The Straits are Closed in Daylight

This is the ninth scenario in a Battle of Britain campaign the follows the exploits of the fictitious Country of Dampshire 369 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force. We use the Wings of Glory WW2 rules, slightly modified to give faster play, together with our own set of campaign rules. We use the Wings of Glory planes where the right model is available, other manufactures are used to fill in the gaps.

The Background

Westbound Convoy CW8 consisting of colliers and coasters was attacked by German Stukas. Of the 21 ships, only 2 got to their destination undamaged. This caused the Admiralty to stopped further daylight shipping from passing through the Straits of Dover.

Convoys were then timed so as to pass the straight at night; however the Germans installed a Freya radar on the Channel coast so even night-time convoys would prove too dangerous.



The Action

While waiting in the ready room sitting in an overstuffed armchair, Sir Price received a telephone call. Two weeks earlier he had been picked up from the cold Channel waters by a collier. Now the collier was going through the Dover straight again, and telephoned to to ask for a return favour. Please could Sir Price keep them safe from Jerry aircraft this time through.

Sir Price called to his pals Featherstonehaugh and Hollingberry. "Come on chaps", he exclaimed, "This collier saved my bacon, we must make sure he get through the Dover Straits safely". "Strange chappy that Sir Price", thought Featherstonehaugh as they raced towards their Spitfire Mk IIs, "He seems to always have bacon on his mind!". Hollingberry's Spit was having a tyre changed, so he jumped into a nearby Hurricane Mk II and chased after his friends.

German e-boats had been shadowing the convoy up the Channel and the Kriegsmarine alerted the Luftwaffe. At the airfield, within sight of the Channel, Oberleutnant Sepp Schlangenaugen and his men were scrambled. Schlangenaugen and Halland in their Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4s as well as von und zu Missendorff and Stahlhelm in the Ju 87 B Stukas. Climbing steeply to gain height, they soon spotted the convoy.

Sir Price, Featherstonehaugh and Hollingberry had arrived just in the nick of time. As they crossed over the cliffs the saw the convoy and just a few seconds later Hollingberry spotted the Huns.

"Shit!", thought Hollingberry, "We are outnumbered, three planes against four of them". "Scheisse!", thought Schlangenaugen , "We are outnumbered, two fighters against three of them".


Led by Sir Price, the RAF used their speed advantage over the Stukas and raced to the convoy's protection. They arrived at the convoy first and opened fire on the Stukas. The Stukas were damaged but could continue with their bombing run as the two 109 turned in and distracted the British.


The two Stukas concentrated on the lead ship, both scoring direct hits, sinking the collier. Slowly pulling out of its dive, Missendorff's Stuka was hit by AA machine-gun fire from the convoy. He ditched his plan and they both took to their rubber dinghy.


A swirking dogfight broke out among the fighters.

Stalhelm's Stuka was also hit by AA from the convoy and caught fire. Stalhelm turned for home with Cholmondeley on his tail firing wildly. Distracted by the tailing Spit and by the flames coming from his own engine, Stalhelm hit the barrage balloon cable and lost his port wingtip. His plane was un-flyable but luckily for him, in the narrow Straits of Dover, the beach was nearby and he managed to nurse his Stuka for a few more seconds until he could crash land on the beach. However he was so seriously hurt that he would never fly again.


A swirking dogfight continued and Schlangenaugen, the skillfull Ace that he was, shot down Sir Price's Spitfire who once again ditched in the cold sea. In what was now becoming a habit, Sir Price was yet again plucked out of the Channel by his friends of the Merchant Navy.


With one ship sinking, but both Stukas down, Schlangenaugen and Halland decided to head for home; there was no point in circling above the convoy which was taking pot-shots with their AA machine-guns.

When he was over the coast, Schlangenaugen noticed a Hurricane chasing after him. So waiting for the right moment, he turned on his pursuer and with a well placed cannon shot set Hollingberry's Hurricane on fire. A lucky shot from Hollingberry in his flaming Hurricane caused Schlangenaugen's 109 to give up and he had to make a forced landing on the beach.

Hollingberry himself ditched in the channel, which was one way to put out the flames, but he was seriously injured in the process. He would be out of the war for a time, needing to rest and recover. While convalescing, he visited a tea-room in the nearby town of Bramley End where he met an attractive waitress. When hearing about his fight with Jerry, she gave him a silver cigarette case which he keeps in his breast pocket over his heart.

Result

Marginal German Victory

  • Pilot Officer Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh: 1 Kill. 
  • Pilot Officer Emmett Hollingberry: 1 Kill. Shot down. Wounded miss one scenario. Because of the cigarette case, he may ignore the next Aircrew Special Damage as it takes the bullet.
  • Pilot Officer Sir Price: Shot down. Plucked from the sea by the Merchant Navy: Flatiron SS Fulham.
  • Oberleutnant Sepp Schlangenaugen: 1 Kill. Shot down, but managed to crash land in France. Awarded Iron Cross, First Class for becoming a Double-Ace.
  • Leutnant Adolf Halland: 1 Kill.
  • Oberleutnant Hans von und zu Missendorff: Shot down in Channel. Crew took to inflatable dinghy and paddled back to shore. 
  • Leutnant Hermann Stahlhelm: Shot down. Crashed on French beach. Seriously injured, confined to a wheelchair and honourably discharged from the service. 

Notes

The ship models are Hallmark 1:1200 sold by Magister Militum. The barrage balloon was scratch built from modelling clay.