Marke, of generous mien, was kind enough to bring a whack of Check Your 6! stuff down to the club last night, and a bunch of us played (most of the way) through a bomber escort scenario. He's recently started using clear Lego tubes as altitude indicators, so on top of getting to play with some rather smashing little planes, we had the added bonus of mucking about with Lego as well!
I, and my other brave soldiers of the Japanese empire, were flying our Zeros in escort against a mixed bag of US planes (I think wildcats and aircobras?).
We were escorting two flights of bombers, with about half a dozen planes in each flight. The mission was to get the bombers off the table, while inflicting as heavy casualties as possible on the US planes. Marke (who was also playing Japanese) and I took station to the 6 of the bombers, while AlexM and Watts took the flanks. Each of us had a rookie and a skilled pilot.
The bombers were more or less on autopilot. We kept them in formation, and moving straight across the table. The US players, despite considerable whispering and gesticulating, more or less rushed the bombers directly, four planes to a flight. I'd learned a bit from the last game I'd played. I figured the US planes would struggle in their first head - on rush, and I'd catch them as they tried to turn, in the "pocket" behind the bombers.
|Yes, that's right. Fly into the web, my pretties.|
The first US rush developed on our left, with the US fighters engaging AlexM's on our left. Marke shifted a bit to support him, and a bit of a hairball ensued.
On the right, Watts pulled his flight out and away, and drew the bulk of the attacking US planes after him.
Although this cost him a plane, he did some damage, and it broke up the US attack on our side.
|First blood the the Americans.|
On the left, things were getting messy. Some of the US planes had gotten in close, and managed to take out a few of our bombers (which were apparently made of spit and good wishes). AlexM and marke were giving some back, but the American dice were rolling hot. That's one of marke's Zeros snuggled in behind the blue wildcat to the left of the picture. That didn't work out well for the US plane at all.
On our side of the table, things were shaping up. The US planes did more or less what I figured they'd have to do, manouvring in behind the bombers to take a shot. This let my planes, and Watts' anticipate where they'd be (movement plots are pre-selected, and resolved in order of pilot skill) and set up our own shots.
This led to some gorgeous moments, where both Watts and I got into perfect firing positions, just behind and above our targets.
|Aaaaaand . . . .|
|. . . . splash one.|
Although I think we lost one on the right, our bomber flight was mostly intact. Time on the game was getting tight, but we seemed to be in a good position. One US plane was down, one was damage and out of ammo, and we had good firing runs on the remaining two. I had one of my planes in tight behind them, and the other (and Watts) were on their way back in.
|That Aircobra on my tail wasn't a threat. It was out of ammo, and was damaged to boot.|
We ended up calling the game for time. It was a pity, because it could have gone either way. We had shots on the fighters, but they had shots on the bombers. On the left, the Americans were getting torn up, but they'd already done a fair bit of damage, and our bombers still had most of a table half to go. We'd begun to clean up a bit, but the next picture gives a sense of what the table looked like when we called it.
MVP of the game was probably Vonplutz, flying for the Americans. He'd broken his planes off the attack on the left-hand flight, and made a glorious attack run across our bomber formations. As it worked out, while one of his planes got dinged up, the crew managed the situation so effectively, they actually got a skill bump.
|The green Aircobras. Ace in the making.|
CY6! really is a fun game. The mechanics seem a little dense until you start playing. About the second turn, you more or less forget about the mechanics, and just start playing the game. There are a number of nice touches. The way the game handles pilot skill, giving better pilots the chance to react to less-skilled manouevres, and giving them a little more flexibility in their reactions, is a delight. It's thinky enough to be engaging, but the slightly random element (the chance of running out of ammo, or a lucky shot) adds a bit of tension into the process of calculation. Plus, lets be honest, I dare anyone to play this game and not revert back to age 8 and make plane / machine gun noises. So far, I've managed to hold off buying this, but I might just ask Santa for some Spitfires for Christmas. Seems appropriate, as playing this has me watching the Battle of Britain as I write this post.