On Monday I was unable to make the club to run the next installment of the Malta Campaign. Fortunately, Kit said he’d do the honours, and below is the write-up he has provided me as well as some photo’s of the action.
The scenario saw a fresh new Italian Squadron move into the Malta area, and thanks to some very average dice throws managed to be all Green Pilots. So with 6 MC.200 Saeta and 3 MC.202 Folcone the Italians set out on a familiarisation flight towards the island.
Unfortunately they had been spotted so the forward pair of Hurricanes (Paul and Dan) have intercepted them, knowing that the rest of the Squadron has been scrambled to support them.
The supporting Hurricanes (Andy and Richard as one pair and Ady and Dave as the other) were to set up within 8 hex of their baseline (unknown to them, less a d6) and the leading Hurricanes were within 15 hex of the enemy baseline (again they had to move a d6 towards the enemy before the action began)
The Italians had a hidden set up anywhere within 10 hex of their baseline, and put all nine planes one hex apart – you can see where that is going to go…..
The Italians seemed to get the bit between their teeth and two flights instantly climbed and charged straight at the pair of Hurricanes. With that many planes in such a small space a collision was inevitable and two Italian planes were badly damaged. The leading pair of Hurricanes open fire and miss badly.
The rest of the British Squadron is now desperately climbing in an attempt to reach the action and help their two comrades in their fight with the remaining seven Italians.
After much hectic radio traffic, the remaining Italian Pilots agree a strategy and split their flights, closing in on the British. The leading pair of Hurricanes once again fire and an Italian is downed and they have now placed themselves perfectly behind the third Italian flight.
The two damaged Italians dive for the deck and safety with the British happy to see them go unmolested.
The Italians have managed to shake off the debris and are now able to exchange fire with their British counterparts with the climbing Hurricanes now in the action as well. The tailed Italian flight skilfully bamboozles the Hurricane pilots and an interesting battle of wits begins.
Mass confusion as the planes twist and turn all trying to get that perfect shot, and none of them managing to even scratch the paint of their foe. Those tailed Italians again confuse the Hurricane pilots and even manage to shake one of them.
The Italians are now getting desperate, their remaining seven planes have two more damaged leaving them with just five airworthy craft. In their desperation they try a long hopeless shot at the only British Pilot in range. Needing 11 to hit, the Italian (Dowi Phillips) throws double six – his first shot so he hasn’t depleted his ammunition either. Wow, good throwing, but to give him a chance to inflict any damage on the Hurricane he needs two fives, which he promptly rolls. Dave “The Kid” Brown looks on in despair as needing a seven or better on two d6 he throws a six – his plane is shot down. (Unfortunately needing a five or better on two d6 to be picked up by the British rescue craft he throws a four and ends up at best in an Italian POW camp together with Dave Brown Sr and Dave Brown Jr. The Italians now await the arrival of Dave “Baby” Brown to the Malta Squadron). However those tailed Italians are once again in trouble as the Hurricanes turn to chase them down.
Another Italian plane falls from the sky and another is damaged as the British finally get their superior firepower to count. There are now five Hurricanes against two MC.200 and one MC.202 with the damaged aircraft diving unmolested again.
With much twisting and turning, the British once again damage an Italian and the situation looks desperate, however those damaged Italians are ignored as they dive away and inexplicably are not followed.
With six out of nine planes either shot down or diving for the ground, the Italians decide to make a break for it and have another plane damaged. However the British pilot (Ady) depletes his ammunition at this critical moment as he is the only Hurricane that is able to continue the pursuit.
The Italians dive away, counting themselves quite fortunate and victorious. Their nine green pilots have fought off two veterans, three skilled and a green pilot, downing one for the loss of only two planes.
My thanks go to Jim, Steven and Dowi who fought valiantly as the Italians, and commiserations go to Paul, Andy, Dan, Richard, Ady and Dave who couldn’t quite take advantage of the situation.
Now unfortunately, there was an element of overclaiming when the British returned home. Ady claimed 3 damaged fighters but was awarded 1, Dan and Andy both claimed and were awarded a kill each but other claims were reduced to probables or plain damaged. Sorry chaps.