First Play: A Wing and A Prayer

Finally got around to trying out this game.

I played the short campaign, covering the early bombing missions from August to December 1942.  5 missions total.

Heavy damage was inflicted on the following targets:

  • St. Omer (aircraft factory)
  • Lille (industrial center)
  • Antwerp (industrial center)

The following targets were completely destroyed:

  • Cherbourg (aircraft factory)
  • Rotterdam (marshalling yard)

Of the 12 B-17F bombers under my command, the following 10 ended the campaign with better than ‘green’ crews:

‘crack’ crew:

  • Slavo Sally
  • Jersey Bounce
  • Queenie
  • Hell’s Angels (lead bomber throughout campaign)
  • Big Red
  • Demo Darling
  • Green Hornet

‘veteran’ crew

  • Chow Hound
  • Pueblo Vengence
  • Peoria Bell

12 Campaign victory points, resulting in:

Major Victory: War shortened by 3 months.  You earn the Silver Star and an eventual promotion to Brigadier General.

This is possibly my second favorite of the four B-17 bomber games that I own, right below B-17 Queen of the Skies, and ahead of B-17 Flying Fortress Leader and Target for Today.

B-17 Games: QotS vs. FFL

Comparison of the base games:

The main difference is, while Queen of the Skies focuses on 1 bomber, Flying Fortress Leader focuses on 1 or more bomber groups/squadrons, so the game play is more abstract.

There are rules for single-bomber play in FFL, but I haven’t gotten to those rules yet.

Each has it’s own mechanic for encounters on the way to the target, and somewhat similar procedures for fighters and flak, and bombing the target.  Many of the game mechanics from the other DVG Leader-series games are present in FFL.

Each is fun, in it’s own way.  It depends on what one wants out of the game experience, overall command of the mission/campaign, or the results of your own bomber crew during those missions/campaigns.

I’ll probably play a couple more practice missions before embarking on a full campaign.

And I’ll probably try Target for Today before I get to that full campaign.

Targets for Today

Spent the evening playing B-17 Queen of the Skies with the new bomber ‘miniature’ or ‘game upgrade’ or embellishment.

3 missions, last one a 30% success, 2 previous ones were off target with no bombs hitting the target.

No casualties, and a couple gunners got their first kills.

Good times.

8th Air Force

My interest in the B-17 Flying Fortress was reawakened when I recently started playing B-17: Queen of the Skies, though I’ve just made a quick check of games that I’ve ordered, and I have THREE other B-17/8th Air Force games coming in sometime in the near future.

Even though Memphis Belle is the movie that really made this bomber popular,  I remember reading about the 8th Air Force long before that, even before I played my first game of B-17: QotS.

And then there was one of Harrison Ford’s lesser known films, Hanover Street.

Harrison Ford stars as an American WWII pilot stationed in England who falls in love with a married British nurse (Lesley-Anne Down). When his plane is shot down behind enemy lines, he discovers that the secret agent he must protect is her husband.

I think I saw this on on cable, once, in 1979-80(?), and then it was on again recently at a Chinese restaurant near work, of all places.  Ford’s character flew a B-25 Mitchell instead of a B-17 Flying Fortress.  The newer games appear to have the B-26 Marauder available, which is historically more accurate from what I’ve read.

Anyways, I’m looking forward to these games, as each has a different take on game play.  Queen of the Skies put you in command of a single bomber, while a couple of the new ones have you commanding the entire squadron on the bombing run.

And I recently bought a new book on the subject:

B-17: After Action Report 04.19.2017

B-17 Flying Fortress “Facebook”

Crew (taken from my FB friends list about a year ago):

  • Pilot: Captain Chris S.
  • Co-Pilot: Lieut. Bob F.
  • Navigator: Lieut. Kalu E.
  • Bombadier: Lieut. Lando G.
  • Engineer: Mst. Sgt. Jen V.
  • Radio Operator: Sgt. Eleathia L.
  • Ball Turret: Sgt. Timothy N.
  • Port Waist Gunner: Sgt. Robert S.
  • Starboard Waist Gunner: Sgt. Maria S.
  • Tail Gunner: Sgt. Alicia P.

2 missions completed.

Mission 1: Rail yard at Amiens – Bomb Run percentage: 5% – no damage to bomber, no enemy planes shot down, no crew casualties.  This mission was flown about a year ago, I just now logged the data to the composite mission record sheet.

Mission 2: Airfield at Abbeville – Bomb Run: 40% – hit on starboard waist gunner’s heat system, tail gunner shot down ME 110, no crew casualties.

Of course, these early missions are usually a cakewalk.

Can the Facebook get to 25 missions?  We’ll see.  The most missions I’ve completed with the same bomber (Thunder Head, circa 1989?) was 17, when it was rendered irreparable after that 17th mission.

The No Comment was destroyed on her second mission, by a shell or flak hit to the bomb bay, killing the crew.

The Golden Gate suffered a fuel tank fire on her 7th mission, the crew bailed and all but one were either captured or killed.  The engineer served aboard the Thunder Head until he was killed on the bomber’s 10th mission.

The Gang Buster completed 4 (of 30 total) missions before I shelved the game indefinitely.

More to come soon.