Fighting Wings Update

Last night J.D. contacted me via Skype. I’ve not had Skype open for ages until this game, as Skype makes it easier to coordinate the interceptions etc. and discuss attacks. Anyhow, he was asking how my extension/scenarios/whatever for Buffalo Wings is coming along. Oh crap. I had completely put that on hold for a while as Top Cover seems to concentrate on areas where I have little or no expertise. Currently Vichy France is in the works, and Spanish Civil War and Malta are good candidates for issue #3. J.D. said he’s planning to have my work published in some form or another.

I’ve had the work in two formats, now I need to figure out which one to complete first. I’ve been collating the data from the excellent series of books by Keskinen and Stenman. One form is to record the date of destruction/damage for each plane that has been killed or damaged during the Winter War and Continuation War. The other is day-by-day record of operations for Winter War. I think I’ll start continuing the latter.

The three fights I’m refereeing are steadily progressing. North African Campaign – first fight is drawing to its end. Clovis will disengage in a turn or two and Tracy has a pretty good chance to do so, as well. And this is still the morning on June 12th, a couple of days before Operation Battleaxe kicks in.

The competitive chronological scenario fighting is in its third scenario, covering the leap day fight in the Winter War. I’m flying one of the Soviet I-16s and been mainly shooting at ground targets. The Finns have been scrambling to get in the sky and then trying hard to evade being shot at. One I-16 was lost having turn stalled at low altitude, pilot didn’t have time to bail out. Fokker stalled but managed to float back into controlled flight just above the lake ice. We’re now at the end of Turn 11 of 15 and the current damaged aircraft status is:

  • Gladiator-02 (Christian) – shot down on Turn 8 – pilot never made it out.
  • Gladiator-03 (Igniter) – 4 hits, hollow space critical hit – pilot has blacked out for the rest of the fight. Now we’re awaiting for it to hit the ground of be shot down. Time will tell whether either will take place.
  • Gladiator-04 (Luis) – Shot down on Turn 5, wing spar was hit, wing tore off – pilot didn’t have time to bail out.
  • Gladiator-06 (tracy) – 1 hit.
  • I-16-01 (Jammin’) – 1 hit.
  • I-16-03 (Twoonie) – Turn stalled at low altitude. Plane hit the ground before the pilot had time to bail out, KIA.

The training fight is also practically over. The two Dutch Buffaloes danced some circles around the six Zeros and are now diving to safety with the help of their superior max speed. I may not be starting another for a while. Have enough on my plate as it is.

The two campaigns I’m participating advance steadily as well. Battle of Britain has a humongous encounter where a large German formation (Stukas and Bf 109Es) is piercing through another large British Hurricane formation to attack a naval convoy. First bombs will probably be released in a turn or two (i.e. within the next couple of months real time).

Darwin campaign fight is progressing at a bit faster pace. I’m flying the lead Zero of the three Zeros who charged into a formation of 20+ Spitfires. This is the one that has some situation photos in the BGG. So far haven’t been able to down any of them but it’s a very target rich environment so it’s just a matter of time. Almost every game turn some Spitfire turn stalls while trying to pull into the Zeros which also is like a beacon beckoning me to come let the poor pilot out of its misery. Then again, sooner or later some Spitfire is bound to be able to latch onto my tail.