Hi, Bit of a change of pace today, as I got in a game of Check Your 6! last night at the THMG. The game was coached by marke, whom you may remember as my worthy opponent for our recent foray into Might and Reason. Marke also kindly provided miniatures and the other bits and bobs necessary to the game, and fine miniatures they were too!
I've never been much of a fan of air games, but CY6! seems to have caught on at the club, so I figured I'd give it a whirl. My initial impression is that while I'm unlikely to commit to the game financially (at least right now), it's good fun, and I'd be happy to sit in on a game on a fairly regular basis.
We were playing a fairly simple scenario, Japanese fighters on bomber escort vs. Americans in Wildcates. Each of us took two planes, with a rookie and skilled pilot, and marke handled the bombers. Deployment was straightforward, with the bombers assuming a central position, my fellow Japanese pilots escorting, Americans attacking, and me playing clean-up. Those are my planes in the foreground.
The mechanics of the game sound complex, bit are intuitive once you play a few rounds. To be honest, when marke gave us a run-down of the rules, my initial reaction was "he's got to be kidding". This was reinforced when I saw the reference sheet:
In fact, it's pretty simple. Each turn, you select a manoeuvre and turn for your plane(s), plot them, and then execute in the appropriate order. Order are executed in reverse order of skill, so more skilled pilots go AFTER the rookies, and skilled or ace pilots have the option to slightly modify their orders in response to preceding moves. Shooting follows a "to hit / damage / resist" pattern of rolling, with the potential for gun jams, critical hits, etc. rather elegantly worked into the system. By about the third turn, I had stopped thinking about the rules, and instead was simply trying to anticipate my opponents' moves and respond.
The first few turns of our game went by quickly. The Americans closed in on the bombers, and our leading escort planes moved to intercept.
Jack1080 scored first blood, with some wild inversion manoeuvre that lined him up to damage one of the attacking Americans.
Despite this, the Americans closed in, and began their attack run.
In the meantime, my planes were rushing up to help. This was pure newb on my part - I hadn't realised how quickly the game would develop. The Americans were essentially able to deploy such that they could begin shooting on turn two - what I should have done is deploy closer to the bombers.
The situation around the bombers quickly turned into a hairball. The Americans did some damage on the initial engagement, including a lucky hit that jammed the rudder of one of the bombers, forcing to turn right the next turn.
The next turn things got hairy. The Americans flew in behind the bombers, and started to chew them up. Our planes engaged, doing some damage. My skilled pilot came in behind one of the American outliers, lining up a perfect tail shot. You can see it in the foreground of the picture.
I mean, honestly, have you ever seen anything so beautiful?
Bobbing and weaving, the American pilot tried to evade:
But couldn't. My machine guns and cannon tore him into pieces. Only problem was, those pieces produced a spray of debris. Which flew back into my plane. Which destroyed my plane.
That big empty space? Where my Zero (which was apparently made out of spit and paper) used to be. Talk about a cinematic moment! This was one of the points where the falvour of the game started to show through. The zeros were more agile, but fragile, while the Wildcats the Americans were flying were actually tougher than the Japanese bombers. It wouldn't be the first time that a Japanese plane went down to debris from its own kill.
Back at the bombers, things were getting worse. The Americans were steadily chewing up our planes, while the Zeros were having trouble doing real damage back.
Although we were getting hits on the Americans, actually knocking them out proved difficult. In the meantime, they started splashing bombers.
Over the next couple of turns, they continued to kill off our bombers. While we did eventually manage to drop some of their planes, it wasn't without cost. Jack1080 hit the same snag I did, when debris from a smashed wildcat knocked his plane out of the sky. When we called the game for time, the situation was like this:
Even if we got the rest of the bombers off the table, the Americans had the win.
Overall, I like this game. It's relatively quick (if we'd started in a timely fashion, and were slightly more familiar with the rules, we'd have finished no problem), feels right, and the rules are quickly intuitive. This isn't really my period or core interest, but I enjoyed myself, and am looking forward to another chance to play.
Next week I'm booked to play our first try at Maurice. It'll be my French vs. Austrians, and I'm looking forward to it. I'll try to get a painting post up on the weekend to tide you over until then.