Malta Campaign Game 26

Two incoming raids close together have been detected forming up over Pantelleria and the RAF have mustered what forces they can, to counter the incoming planes3 Hurricanes (Adrian, Dave & Steven) and 4 Spitfires (Paul, Andy, Dan and Richard).

All the players gathered round the table at the start

The two raids are a single SM79 Sparviero escorted by 3 Macchi 200’s and two SM79’s escorted by 3 Macchi 202’s and a couple of Mc200’s free ranging. Unfortunately for the RAF I had two new players (Chris & Andrew)flying the Italians, so to compensate I gave them an Ace, four Veteran and a Skilled Pilot between them. I flew the two freeranging 200’s with a Skilled and a Green pilot.

Italian Bomber formation

The lone Italian bomber

RAF Formations

The game started with the Spitfires splitting up, two going to concentrate on the lone bomber formation while the other pair and the Hurricanes bored in straight against the heavier raid. In long range firing both sides fail to register a hit but as the ranges close one of the Spitfires is hit in the engine from a Macchi 200 and another has a lucky escape from two Mc202’s.

First Spitfire is hit

Then, one of the two spitfires going against the lone SM79 is singled out by some fabulous formation flying from Andrew and in a round of firing the aircraft disintigrates as the .50’s find their mark.

Spitfire cornered by 3 Macchi's

In the furball developing around the larger raid, the damaged Spitfire turns for home as his wingman gets into beautiful firing position on one of the bombers but unfortunately a Macchi 200 and a 202 had got in close and between them yet another Spitfire was heading down for a final resting place in the blue Med.

Spitfire in perfect firing position

Meanwhile the Hurricanes had come in on the beam of the bombers, and in the hail of fire one of the bombers was hit taking airframe damage but the crew resolved to press on to the target. As they passed through the formation the other bomber was hit, again an airframe hit and again the crew resolved to carry on.

Hurricanes get in on the action

Back around the lone bomber the other Spitfire has been outmanouvred by a change of direction by the bomber leaving him to be the fish in the barrel for the three perfectly coordinated Macchis who claimed their second victim of the day leaving the bomber to carry on its mission.

Get him off me!

Nearing the coast the two bombers succumbed to the combined attentions of the Hurricanes but not before one of them was shot down as well as the damaged Spitfire.

Damaged Spitfire is attacked from behind and shot down

Both bombers are damaged

As the Hurricanes pressed for the last bomber one of them was damaged and opted for home rather than glory while the undamaged Veteran continued in only to be shot down leaving the bomber, a photoreconnaisance aircraft, to take the photos and head for home.

Hurricanes close in on the last bomber

In the aftermath of the game four of the downed RAF pilots failed their recovery rolls and were killed. I have since decided that the calculated loss of experience from switching to Spitfires was too harsh and that indirectly as well as the overwhelming pilot superiority of the Italians contributed to the pilots deaths. Accordingly I’ve changed the outcome. All will take the points hit for being shot down but they will recieve a rebate of experience lost previously.