Target for Today: Mission #1 AAR

After Action Report: August, 1942

Target for Today: Amiens (Airfield)

Bomber: Super-X (Mission #1)
Group position: Low
Bomber #: 15

Good fighter cover to and from target zone.

Outbound:
Zone 1: Good weather, no complications during take off.
Zone 2: 50% cloud cover, no German fighter resistance.
Zone 3: Clear skies, moderate German fighter resistance, mostly driven off by fighter cover, until 2 fighters got through.  Both were shot down, 1xME 109 by Sgts Hayes and Stewart, 1xME 109 by Sgt. Martin.
Zone 4: Clear skies, no German fighter resistance.
Zone 5: TARGET ZONE – Clear skies, target slightly obscured, moderate German fighter resistance, driven off by fighter cover.  Light Flak, no hits to bomber.  Bomb run was on target, 50% of target damaged.

Inbound:
Zone 5: Clear skies, heavy German fighter resistance, driven off by fighter cover.
Zone 4: 50% cloud cover, no German fighter resistance.
Zone 3: 50% cloud cover, moderate German fighter resistance, driven off by fighter cover.
Zone 2: 50% cloud cover, no German fighter resistance.
Zone 1: Good weather, no complications during landing.

First mission under my belt, and I gotta say, I prefer this game to B-17 Flying Fortress Leader. I think both games play rather smoothly, once you figure out the mechanics of the rules.

I prefer to fly a single bomber in a group, instead of the entire group all at once.  That’s probably due to my playing B-17 Queen of the Skies for so many years.  TfT plays like an enhanced version of the original QotS game.

I’ll give the single bomber game in FFL a shot.

Zone 3

Long: “Fighter coming in, 1:30 high!”

Hayes: “There’s one on our 6, high!”

Stewart: “I see him!”

Stewart and Hayes opened fire, blasting the ME 109 to hell.

Stewart: “Ha!  Got him!”

Hayes: “No, I got him!”

Stewart: “Call it a tie?”

Hayes: “Yeah, okay.”

Martin squeezes the trigger on his right waist gun, obliterating the remaining ME 109.

Mitchell: “Hey, the kid got one!”

Thompson: “Nice shooting there.”

Martin: “Thanks, Chief.”

Thompson: “Don’t call me ‘Chief’.”

Find a Crew

I found a random name/age/home state generator for Target for Today.

The crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress “Super-X”:

Name Rank Age Home State
Bomber Super-X
Pilot Wallace Thompson Lt. 21 NY
Co-Pilot Leon Mitchell Lt. 28 OH
Navigator Ronald Long Lt. 22 TN
Bombardier Chester Bryant Lt. 25 CT
Engineer Wayne Hill Sgt. 21 IL
Radio Operator David Stewart Sgt. 22 MT
Ball Gunner Billy Hughes Sgt. 23 NJ
Left Waist Gunner Edwin Bennett Sgt. 23 GA
Right Waist Gunner Philip Martin Sgt. 20 CA
Tail Gunner Joe Hayes Sgt. 21 MA

This gives the game a bit more ‘character’, like it did in the older B-17 Queen of the Skies.  By putting names to a fictional crew, you pull for them to survive.

Back in the day, I used names of people I knew.  Still do, as the B-17 QotS campaign for the bomber “Facebook” will attest.

First mission is ready, raid on the airfields of Amiens, France.

Wheels up in the morning.  I should be done with the rules by then.

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.

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: