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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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First Clash over Ponchon, 1951

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

I don’t really play flying games. The last time was a WW1 game some 16 years ago. However, some of the guys at the Orkney club are into them, so I thought I’d dip my toe into the water.  I bought some little planes from Scotia, plus rules, bases and a gaming mat with 2″ hexes, and before you know it I was flying at 10,000 feet over ‘Mig Alley’! Okay, the painting standard was pretty basic, but that can be improved. this was all about trying the game out! Actually, my pal Sean likes ‘Check your Six‘ air rules for WW2, while Nick opts for ‘Bag the Hun‘. I bought both sets, and whatever I needed to move the thing forward a decade. For this toe-dipping game though, played with my bestie David, I opted for the simpler Too Fat Lardy set. Once I’ve understood its mechanics, I’ll try the slightly more complex American set, using their intimidatingly comprehensive Jet Age version. In this ‘very much a learning curve game’, I hadn’t taken to the skies for over a decade, while David hadn’t played an air game before. So, this was less of a straightforward game than a chance to see how it all worked. If you play ‘Lardy’ games like Chain of Command, you’ll recognise some of the features – cards to activate,  bags of firing dice, defensive saves and 5-6s to hit. In Bag the Hun of course, you have the added dimension of height. For this game we both had one ‘section’ of four jets – David took the Soviet-piloted Mig-15s, leaving me with the US Air Force F-86 Sabres. Then we set too, ignoring the added complications of spotting for this inaugural game. Actually, the activation cards took some getting used to  –  you got extra chances to move or fire if you were at a higher altitude (where Migs excel), if you’re an ace, or on the turn of the section leader’s card.In the end we didn’t bother much about altitude, and stayed high – a mistake really, as it gave the Migs a slight edge – the advantage of an extra move using the ‘Altitude Card’. We also manoeuvred like rookies, and were probably going far too fast. Neither of us tried Immelmans or Split-S turns or such-like – it was all entry level flying! We soon broke formation when we threaded through each other, so that was one thing less to worry about..In the end it was David who got the first kill. His ‘Junior Ace’ got his Mig into a good firing position, and fired a burst of cannon fire – which pretty much ripped one of my planes apart. The next tun, another of my Sabres got hit by a short burst, which badly injured the pilot. I decided to eject – it happens when a ‘Bail Out’ card gets turned – to save the pilot rather than the plane. I got my revenge though, in the middle of the swirling encounter, when my own ace took a perfectly-aligned head on shot on an oncoming Mig — and the Soviet jet blew up in mid air. Still, the odds were still very much on the Soviets’ favour now – three jets to two. Oh, another simplification – we didn’t track ammunition. I reckoned – quite rightly – that the dogfights wouldn’t last long enough to worry about that too much! Then it happened. My own ‘Junior Ace’  – fresh from his ‘kill’ – was jumped by two Migs, flying at him for both sides. These were short burst deflection shots, and the didn’t achieve much at all – just a light peppering of the Sabre, but it clearly showed that the odds were now stacked against the Americans. So, I decided to ‘bug out’, and ordered the two Sabres to break off and fly for home. Before they did though, they had to extricate themselves…That, it turned out, wasn’t so easy. As my section leader turned away he was jumped by the Soviet ‘Junior Ace’, who got a tail on him, and sneaked off a shot. It was enough. With some pretty cool die rolling the Sabre was shot down, and went spiraling towards the ground, as the pilot ejected. Wisely, the remaining Sabre pilot used this as a distraction to speed away home. So, the end result was a clear win for David – three kills to my one! All in all it was a fun little game. Next time I think I’ll try a bit more fancy manoevering, and I’ll also know what to expect with the play of those cards. Hoqwever, what I can say after this was that the two Fat Lardies’ Bag the Hun produces a fast, fun game. The Korean supplement Bag the Mig is in their Christmas 2006 special, and both are available as PDFs from the Lardy website. The lovely Korean mat by the way, was from Tiny Wargames. 






2 Responses “First Clash over Ponchon, 1951”

  1. Bestie David.
    13th June 2024 at 2:37 pm

    As a novice I still sent your planes home!!!

    • 13th June 2024 at 3:25 pm

      Beginners luck!

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