Author Topic: IN THE AIR TONIGHT: A Nighfighter Ace AAR  (Read 9302 times)

BanzaiCat

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Reply #30 on: September 24, 2019, 05:44:12 PM
Finally had time today to finish Sortie 7 (not 6; I mis-numbered them somehow after we had to abort one of the previous sorties). It was a rather long one and will be posted as soon as I can get a few more missions in the tank.



BanzaiCat

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Reply #31 on: September 25, 2019, 09:47:11 AM
SORTIE 7

This is actually Sortie 7. I was messed up by that one we had to abort without contact. Go with it, I’m labeling this as the seventh sortie for our gallant crew.

It’s time to start thinking about upgrading our aircraft. The Ju-88 is a solid starter aircraft but now that Adler’s Prestige Level is 3, he has a few choices to which to upgrade.

Right now, though, I’m discounting the Bf 110s from consideration, so they’re all out. While they have decent speed and some of them do have capable electronic suites, their lack of firepower is troubling. My goal is to upgrade to an aircraft that has MORE firepower, not less.

After reviewing the Aircraft Mats, we only have one real choice – the Do-217 N-1/U1.





With a better Main Radar (granting a +1 bonus to Interception rolls, as opposed to no bonus now) and more Firepower (16 instead of 12), this one is an attractive choice. The Firepower alone would put us in the next higher category of attack strength on the Combat Cards.

However, this aircraft is not without its drawbacks. For one thing, it’s Speed of 16 is one less than our Ju-88, but that’s still enough to catch any of Bomber Command’s bombers, so it’s not too much of an issue; we can’t overtake Mosquitoes in the Ju-88, and we definitely won’t in this Do-217, but that’s a minor thing I’m willing to put up with. (We’re not quite at the point in the War when Mosquitoes become a problem.)

Another drawback, which makes me take more of a pause, is that the Do-217 is a more fragile aircraft; it can’t take as many hits as the Ju-88. Thus far I’ve not had issues with damage, but this could change fast in this game. Nevertheless, I’m willing to accept this weakness, as the Firepower upgrade is potentially enough to make a big difference.

Done and done. I spend two Prestige Points to ‘buy’ the Do-217, leaving Adler with 1 Prestige Point. His Prestige Level, though, remains at 3.

It is now September, 1943. Historically, it was a bad month for Germany; Hans Jeschonnek, Chief of the Luftwaffe’s General Staff, shot himself after mistakenly ordering Berlin’s anti-aircraft guns to fire on some 200 German fighters assembling near the capital city to fight off an Allied bombing raid. Nearly 600 British planes carried out a massive raid on Peenemunde. The aborted offensive around Kursk culminates with a successful Soviet counter-attack that all but erases the German bulges formed previously to the north and south. But, of course, Adler and crew are blissfully unaware of these details…

Our next sortie is against a raid on Berlin. The weather is absolutely wonderful (rolled a 1 on the Weather Table), though the Moon is Dark (-1 on Interception rolls for this sortie). All electrical systems are fully functional on our new Do-217, so we head out into the inky darkness, confident of our luck on this sortie. Our vectors from ground control are good (no Spoof Raid success this sortie, fortunately), so we move to the Berlin box on our Dutch Endurance Track.



Our Interception rolls must be a 9 or 10 to succeed in finding any British bombers in any of the Endurance boxes during this Sortie; our +1 main radar bonus is mitigated by the dark Moon (-1), and no other modifiers will impact us.

As luck would have it, as soon as we arrive on station, we immediately find a British bomber in the darkness (natural 10 roll on 1d10). It’s a Wellington, one of the weaker bombers! We move in at Medium Range and Adler aims for the Starboard Wing.



The first Combat Card draw I get, with our new 16 Firepower Do-217, is only four hits. Disappointing, but it could always be worse.



This card indicates we are not spotted and therefore get to fire first and apply our damage before the enemy bomber gets to retaliate – so there’s a chance we will shoot it down, though with only four hits I’m not entirely confident.



The draw for the enemy bomber indicates they’ll get two hits against us.

Let’s see how Adler and crew do, first…

4 = Airframe
5 = Controls
7 = Engine (Inboard)
4 = Airframe

The damage isn’t enough to take down the Wellington, but it’s close to getting destroyed via its Airframe. I’m thinking I need to change Adler’s tactics when engaging Wellingtons, because I seem to get an awful lot of Airframe hits when aiming at a Wing.



Since the Wellington wasn’t shot down, I now need to roll for its retaliatory two hits…

26 = Controls
62 = Schrage Musik

The latter hit counts as ‘No Effect’, but the Controls hit is bad. One more such hit and we’ll need to bail out. It doesn’t affect how the plane handles, but it’s certainly got to be noticeable in the cockpit.



Nevertheless, smelling blood, Adler is pressing the attack and moving to Close Range. We’re going to target the Airframe this time, as Adler saw several meaty chunks of the Wellington parting with the main aircraft in that last pass. The Wellington will corkscrew, meaning one less hit will be scored, but at Close Range, we get +1 hit, so that effect is mitigated.



Our Combat Card draw is a DE, meaning Defender Eliminated; it takes place immediately. Pressing their attack, Adler pours fire into the Wellington, which shudders under the impact of the Do-217’s shells; it then breaks apart, in flames, plummeting to the ground far below. Another kill!



We move on, elated by our kill, but come up empty handed for the most part; we get lost almost immediately, wasting precious fuel to find our course, and then just as we’re nearing the final legs of our patrol, we are vectored to another British bomber stream, and find one in the darkness.

This time, we come up behind a Stirling. I’m sticking with what’s worked so far (more or less), a Medium Range approach and targeting the Starboard Wing.



Our first card draw is a GP, meaning a group hit, but it’s made worse by the fact that we’re spotted as we approach, so our fire is simultaneous.

Here’s the card draw for the enemy bomber:



Four hits. Ouch.

Let’s start with our GP hits – that’s one on their Controls, two Engine hits (which ends up being one hit each on their inboard engines), and two hits on the Starboard Wing (one of which is a random hit result). One more hit on the Starboard Wing and she’ll go down in flames.



Before we can try another pass at her, though, the Stirling gets revenge…four hits’ worth, too.

24 = Oxygen
52 = Airframe
35 = Airframe
26 = Controls

A minor disaster, though it could be worse. Fortunately the Do-217 can take three Airframe hits before losing integrity, but that Oxygen hit means we are forced to abort immediately. We simply can’t stay at the same altitude as the British bombers and must return to base.

We land earlier than hoped, but safely. At least we have another kill in the books, though. I roll to see if that damaged Stirling falls due to its damage, but it does not – she makes it back to England. Another day, perhaps. Another sortie in the books.

One more sortie completed and we’ll get another +1 Experience Point added.



bob48

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Reply #32 on: September 25, 2019, 09:58:48 AM
Is there an option to fly a He 219 'Owl'?

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mirth

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Reply #33 on: September 25, 2019, 10:08:51 AM
Is there an option to fly a He 219 'Owl'?

with Schräge Musik?

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bob48

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Reply #34 on: September 25, 2019, 10:28:56 AM
No, that was fitted to the Ju 88 night fighter. 2 cannons mounted in a rhomboid shaped mounting firing upwards at an oblique angle. :-)

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BanzaiCat

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Reply #35 on: September 25, 2019, 10:30:14 AM
Yup, there's no less than ten He-219 variants in the game:

A-0
A-2
A-5/R-1
A-5/R-2
A-5/R-3
A-5/R-4
A-7/R-1
A-7 R-2
A-7 R-3
A-7 R-4

These all require a Prestige Level of at least 7 (some require a Prestige Level of 8 or 9). The A-0 is the only one available at start, but requires a Prestige Level of 7, so that ain't gonna happen for a while. :)

I just checked all the He 219 Aircraft Mats, and it looks like they all have Schrage Musik.



mirth

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Reply #36 on: September 25, 2019, 10:33:02 AM
No, that was fitted to the Ju 88 night fighter. 2 cannons mounted in a rhomboid shaped mounting firing upwards at an oblique angle. :-)

It was fitted in the Uhu as well.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinkel_He_219#Specifications_(He_219_A-7)

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bob48

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Reply #37 on: September 25, 2019, 10:33:42 AM
Absolutely right - I stand corrected.

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bob48

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Reply #38 on: September 25, 2019, 10:36:42 AM
It was an excellent looking aircraft. I was just reading about it and I didn't realise that it was the first German aircraft to be fitted with ejector seats (using compressed air)- and with tricycle undercarriage.

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mirth

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Reply #39 on: September 25, 2019, 10:37:34 AM
It's a good thing they didn't produce more of them.

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BanzaiCat

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Reply #40 on: September 25, 2019, 10:38:50 AM
Very capable aircraft. Indeed a good thing they were limited in production and deployment. And they're relatively well out of reach of a player in this game, unless they manage to live a charmed life.



bob48

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Reply #41 on: September 25, 2019, 10:43:49 AM
I would imagine also that by that stage of the war, training pilots would have been a problem.

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BanzaiCat

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Reply #42 on: September 25, 2019, 10:57:56 AM
I couldn't find online sources that offered much detail on nightfighter training. Hoping the book I picked up recently will shed some light on that. I keep forgetting to bring it with me to work to read at lunch.



bob48

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Reply #43 on: September 25, 2019, 11:01:07 AM
Let us know if you find anything - this is really interesting stuff  :bigthumb:

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bbmike

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Reply #44 on: September 25, 2019, 11:19:36 AM

"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplace of existence."
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