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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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Dogfight over Paju, 1951

Misc. (Air War over Korea) Bag the Hun, 1/300 scale

We took to the skies again this week – well, Nick and I did, in another Korean War dogfight. Nick took the Allied side, with four USAF F-80 Shooting Stars, two USAF F-51 Mustangs and three Fleet Air Arm Sea Furies. I had three Mig-15s, and three YAk-9s. This was another ‘learning the ropes’ game, as we’re both rookies when it comes to flying – especially jets. the game was set in the skies a little to the north-east of Seoul, and we used a 6×4 foot table. The big thing about Bag the Hun is that its card driven. You might get yourself into a perfect firing position, but its useless unless the firing card turns up for your flight of planes. This can take some getting used to – its great when it saves your skin, but isn’t so great when the tables are turned! Anyway, we quickly learned that the three Sea Furies weren’t much use due to their poor altitude, and the Reds weren’t willing to drop down to take them on…The dogfight began with the three Migs – keeping perfect formation – shooting down a Mustang. Again, the arc of fire is straight ahead, so it’s often hard to line everyone up. When it happens though, the rate of fire of all these planes makes a telling hit almost a certainty. In Bag the Hun, the attacker rolls dice to hit, the defenders rolls dice to save, and if the difference is too high the defender goes down in flames. Anyway, scratch one F-51, comrade! The whirling was getting a little frenetic, but the Soviet Migs and the North Korean Yak-9s managed to stay in formation, as did the Sea Furies – for what they were worth. For his remaining Mustang and the three F-80s though, Nick broke formation to make sure he could get onto the tail of my Yak 9s. He did it too – the prop-driven Yaks couldn’t outmanouvre the Shooting Stars, try as they may, and they got one of my planes in their sights. It went down in flames after being hit from two different F-80s. Scratch one Yak! The only solace was that my pilot managed to bail out, unlike the poor Mustang pilot, so there was an outside chance he’d reach the ground in one piece. Worse, it was my flight leader, and the two other pilots were fairly inexperienced. It didn’t bode well for the rest of the scrap, so I decided to keep them out of trouble from that point on, if I could manage it. However, by breaking formation Nick’s Shooting Stars lost their nice defensive benefits, and one of the F-80s fell behind the others when they turned after the Yaks. Seizing the moment, my ‘Junior Ace’ leading the Migs lead his three jets towards the lone Shooting Star, and pounced in it. Then, when the ‘Junior Ace’ card came up, he opened fire. The dice rolling went well – ten hits – and Nick’s pilot only managed one save. So, scratch one F-80, comrade! That prompted Nick to break off and abandon the pursuit of my Yaks. I took the chance to break off too, and what a second before had been a frenetic whirling dogfight turned into a  game of long, turning manouvres. In effect, we were both pausing and gathering breath. The trouble for the UN force though, is that I kept up at altitude level ‘6’, those Sea Furies were out out of the fight unless I dropped down a level. Of course, I’d no plans to do that.The other point was that the UN pilots were now outnumbered, if you left out the Sea Furies. You now had two Shooting Star jets and one Mustang prop plane taking on three Mig-15 jets and two prop-powered Yaks. So, wisely, Nick decided to break off the fight and head for home. Before he did though, his Mustang managed to line up on my leading Mig, bouncing it from behind and riddling it with cannon fire. Then, with a turn of a card, he flew off again! It was a pretty sneaky yet impressive manouvre. One advantage of the prop-plane is the tighter turning circle. So, the Mustang was able to turn inside the Migs, get in a shot, and scoot off, before I had a chance to react! That was the last combat pass of the game, and I considered myself lucky to just be leaking fuel. I could have been spiraling down in flames! It also shows that we’re getting the hang of the way we fly – or at least Nick is! The rules are simple and easy to learn. Sure, they’re frustrating, and not for everyone, thanks to the card turning uncertainties of them, but they’re certainly fast and fun. Perhaps Check Your 6, which we haven’t tried yet – might be more accurate, but for an occasional ‘pick up’ game, fun is the key ingredient. Next time, it’ll be Nick’s turn, and he’ll bring along his as yet unblooded Battle of Britain toys. Still, I’ll miss the shiny hot rod quality of thee Korean jets!





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