Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dogfight at Kaneohe

As mentioned, I was able to get in a couple games on New Year's Day with an old adversary who made the trip up for the day. Other than being a great excuse to make Sloppy Joes, we had the chance to play our first game of Arc of Fire, as well as a quick game of Check Your 6. I'll share the CY6 game first, with photos from the AoF game to come soon.

This was a home-brewed scenario featuring two U.S. Army P-36s against a pair of Zeroes at Pearl Harbor, I call it Dogfight at Kaneohe. Spoiler alert: December 7 was a bad day for the Americans.

From the scenario:
Precious few American aircraft were able to take off and engage the Japanese on the morning of December 7, 1941. One of them was 2nd Lt. Philip Rasmussen of the 46th Pursuit Squardon. He had just arisen when the attack began and, still wearing his purple pajamas, he raced for the flight line at Wheeler Field. Once there, he discovered all of the aircraft were either destroyed or purning, except for a few P-36A Hawks. He quickly jumped in one and taxied to a revetment at the edge of the airfield, where he joined three other pilots who were also preparing undamaged P-36 aircraft. All four took off under fire, and were directed by radio toward Kaneohe Bay, where they engaged 11 Japanese Mitsubishi A6M2 Zeroes from the carrier Soryu.

After shooting down one Zero, Rasmusen was attacked by two others. Gunfire and 20 mm cannon shells shattered the canopy, destroyed the radio (hit by two shells – the bulky radio saved his life) and severed the hydraulic lines and rudder cable. Rasmussen sought refuge in nearby cloud cover and began flying back toward Wheeler Field. He landed the P-36 without brakes, rudder or tailwheel, and with more than 500 bullet holes. For his actions, Rasmussen received the Silver Star. He survived the war, shooting down a second Japanese aircraft in 1943. He retired from the Air Force in 1965.

We set the game up with the aircraft approaching at right angles. I was the Americans, my counterpart, Jon, the Japanese. Both sides started at TAL 6 and speed 4. Each side had one skilled pilot and one green. I made a bad move early, allowing Jon to get off a pretty shot on my tail, and down went one P-36, Rasmussen as it happened.

That left it one vs. two for several turns, with much twisting and turning. (I know, never get in a twisty fight with a Zero.) The Japanese both ran out of ammo on their cannons, and at one point we had a very near miss on a blue on blue shot. (Drat!) Finally, all of our maneuvering went bad, and the game ended with a collision. Oops. Sort of anticlimactic.

Anyway, once again CY6 provided an enjoyable game. I like the fact it is incredibly easy to set up a game, and quick to learn and play, while still maintaining a "real game" feel that doesn't skimp on accuracy.

Without further ado, the photos:
The American P-36s.

Japanese Zeroes splitting up to hunt.

The opening situation.

Could I have given him a better shot? Even Jon couldn't miss this!

Fortunately, he did miss this. And nearly shot his own down!

So close, but I just couldn't get a good shot.

Here they come again.

Everybody missed, and the Zeroes ran out of ammo for the cannon.
Hope for the American?

Nope. Oops. Game ends on a collision.

1 comment:

  1. Where did you purchase you P-36s from? I know Raiden is supposed to be coming out with them soon, but I am getting eager to own a few Hawks for use as Finns.