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Really Close Air Support. Or ‘Ho, Ho. Ho.’

The idea of this scenario is that it’s pretty generic, to be played in any scale. But it does give you a chance to make the aircraft the main protagonist rather than being relegated to the part of a bit player providing support of dubious value. Basically you can set it in any period after the advent of serious military aviation

Indeed the really imaginative of you could doubtless take it back to Baron Munchausen and his escape in a balloon made from the small clothes of the ladies of the city.

With 6mm you have the advantage that the wargames table will be large enough for you to manoeuvre your aircraft over, and you can have a wider array of threats speeding to the crash side. With larger scales, what you lose in the big picture you should gain in the intimacy of a more bijou operation.

The scenario is simple.

You are flying vital supplies, which include the Christmas mail, to a distant outpost and deliver your goods on Christmas Day. Before you take off again you are approached by the base commander. Apparently another aircraft has gone down somewhere out there in bandit country. People are out looking for the pilot and observer and he wonders if you could follow the line of the plane’s proposed flight and see if you can find them.

Of course, being a truly splendid chap, you leap back into your trusty crate, and with the immortal words, “Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast” you set off on your errand of mercy.

At this point the scenario bifurcates somewhat. It depends now on when you set it.

The Third Afghan War.

Here you have a Bristol F.2 Fighter. It’s a two seater, but you came out on your own, the observer’s place and the bomb racks having been taken by a large sack of mail and parcels. Thus, providing you can find somewhere to land, it is perfectly possible for you to collect the pilot and observer and take off again, even if it means ditching the observers Lewis gun and ammunition.

As you fly the course, you finally spot the plane on the ground. As you circle lower you see two things. One is another Bristol F.2 flying towards you. It has been following the track from the other end. You wave to him to show that you’re going down and he moves to give you support.

On the ground it does look as if the other pilot tried to find somewhere to land his plane. It appears that he was almost successful. As you get lower you can see that there are Afghans already taking pot shots at the two men you are to rescue. One appears to be keeping them at a distance with the Lewis gun that he’s taken from the plane. The other man is sitting next to him, his leg bandaged. In the distance you can see other Afghans hurrying towards the scene.
Your plan? Well you have ammunition in the forward firing Vickers so you could strafe the hostile elements and then land. Hopefully the other plane can help keep people’s heads down.

The problem is that the man firing the Lewis will have to half carry the other who has a broken leg. And the enemy are getting closer.

Or perhaps the Second World War.

One advantage of the Stuka is that it was light and could take off from ‘grass strips’ which is simple terms meant anywhere that was relatively flat and not too soft.

Hans-Ulrich Rudel in his book, “Stuka Pilot” talks of Stuka pilots landing behind enemy lines to pick up a pilot from a crashed plane. In this version of the scenario, the terrain is different, the hostiles wear different uniforms, but the problem is basically the same.

Here, if you play it out in 1/300 you could even have a column of T34s heading to the crash site. It would certainly help to get the blood pumping. Again, it’s up to you whether you want to try this scenario with one Stuka or with a second in support.

Then we have the helicopter era.

Instead of a plane, we have a Huey, or even a Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant, which can land and pick people up. Not only that but thanks to the number of radios about, people might even know what’s going on and be able to talk to each other.

Given the presence of door gunners; along with your ability to not only land and take off more easily, but even pull people out on a harness without even touching the ground, I’d make things tougher. Have more hostiles, even give them automatic weapons.

Science Fiction

Almost by definition there is an infinite variety of flying vehicles that can go down and their crews need rescuing. Here you have the added complication of environments that would be hostile even if there weren’t ill-intentioned inhabitants.

Thoughts.
This isn’t supposed to be a long scenario. By definition, the longer your plane is on the ground, the less likely you are to win. Similarly whilst you might want to spend time suppressing people to make your approach safer you have two problems. One is that you’re attracting attention, and will probably attract new enemies faster than you can get rid of the ones you already have. Also, certainly for the plane scenarios, you have limited ammunition.

The hostile forces.

Whether you’re using 6mm or 28mm figures, the principle is the same. You want random parties of enemies hurrying towards the crash site as fast as they can. So start off with the crashed aircrew in some sort of defensive position but handy for the sort of extraction that is possible given the aircraft coming to rescue them.

They will be exchanging small arms fire with 2d6 hostiles who are part of a patrol who came to investigate.

Then on every board edge, at the start of every turn (including the first) roll a d6. On a 1,2,3 another patrol, 2d6 strong, appears on that edge and moves as quickly as possible towards the fighting. If you’re using 6mm figures, I’d be tempted to have these patrols in vehicles, if only so they get there in time to be a threat. As I mentioned about, a tank column that has been diverted to join the fun only adds to the sense of panic.

♥♥♥♥

Anyway, a Merry Christmas to you all. Instead of sending a card or something I thought I’d send you a free short story. It’s set in the fantasy city of Port Naain. The story is called, ‘A Nice Devotion.’

 

 


If you like it, there’s plenty more where that came from, check out

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