[The Few] Game about Battle of Britain

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Comments

  • Ju 87 in my game only has two damage points. I agree with you on the tail gunner, it should only get an free action against tailing aircraft I'm going to change that for next session.
    So we agree than! :) Lovely, I will surely add this aircraft in another update of rules anr/or next add-on.
    As far as rank is concerned, no mechanics are involved. As the GM I get to play Fighter Command, and promotions are entirety up to me. :)
    Thus far, one pilot has been promoted mostly because he was the only character to survive two sessions.
    This approach has pros and cons. Linking of ranks and kills is more "gamistic" (so players know what to expect) and no link at all is more "story driven" (and closer to reality, where there were also other factors in play apart from skill and luck). I absolutely understand your point of view, but i kinda like the rank=kills link. I must give it a thought :).
    I really can't see the players advancing past Squadron Leader, I want them in the air!
    Yep, we have to reform the ranks somehow (probably discontinue ranks quiete at the top and also on the bottom of list)... and propably also ammunition somehow.
    How does ammunition works for you? Do you find it easy or hard to spend it all on one mission?
  • We use roll20 so it is quite easy to track ammunition. I have not had a Hurricane run out yet. I've run back to back combats with the players intercepting bombers , then running into escorts. As well as fighting a group of stukas, losing several to escape maneuvers then successfully tracking them down again. In both of these scenarios the Hurricanes came back with ammo. I have had Bf109s use all of their cannon ammo.

    Regarding the Hurricane, I am continuously reading about how rugged it is especially compared to to the Spitfire. I have been thinking of removing the ammo bonus, and having the special ability be:
    Wood and dope. Much of the Hurricanes fuselage is wood and fabric, 20mm cannons only inflict 1 point of damage.

    Reading interviewes with Hurricane pilots, it seems the Bf 109s MG FF 20mm cannon shells often passed right though the fuselage. Whereas against the all metal monocoque airframe of the Spitfire the shells would explode.

    I think this bonus reflects the "toughness" of The Hurricane without being game breaking like allowing the aircraft to take 3 damage points.

    Now I just have to explain to my players that the aircraft is somehow more resilient to those dreaded cannons...
  • In both of these scenarios the Hurricanes came back with ammo. I have had Bf109s use all of their cannon ammo.
    I also find it really hard to spend all the ammunition the planes have (and in reality it was the other way around, Spitfire had ammo for only about ten seconds of shooting). That perhaps also need attending... one friend suggested that players could have the possibility to add +1 to the roll if they spend two points of ammunition instead of one... but than no one would ever shoot without it.
    Wood and dope. Much of the Hurricanes fuselage is wood and fabric, 20mm cannons only inflict 1 point of damage.
    I absolutely love this rule! It is really clever and atmospheric. I am not sure though if it isnt´t too powerful. It effectively negates the instakill 109s have... and personally I would never change my plane to Spitfire that can be instakilled. Compared to Hurricane it would be worse plane.

    MightyScoop: Can I ask what missions have you played so far? I am really interested in what types of missions are used the most.
  • I've been thinking about altitude: is there a maximum amount of altitude tokens you can collect? I realize that in practice it will be limited by the amount of times players will want to climb as opposed to any other action. But I can see sometimes starting aircraft at high altitude, and I wonder whether that would mean, for example, three altitude tokens or like eight.

    Altitude can also be tied in with the turn limit for sweeps on p.25: if the Luftwaffe is detected over the channel, the RAF will have time to climb before encountering them and can start combat with a number of altitude tokens, but if they are detected while already over southwest England, the RAF will not get the time to gain altitude.
  • RJNRJN
    edited February 2014
    Wood and dope. Much of the Hurricanes fuselage is wood and fabric, 20mm cannons only inflict 1 point of damage.
    I absolutely love this rule! It is really clever and atmospheric. I am not sure though if it isnt´t too powerful. It effectively negates the instakill 109s have... and personally I would never change my plane to Spitfire that can be instakilled. Compared to Hurricane it would be worse plane.
    I like the wood and dope rule but can see how that would make the Hurricane more attractive than a Spitfire.

    The Hurricane was also known for its tendency to burn. Would it restore balance to add: A Hurricane is susceptible to fire. When it is hit for the second time, the pilot must roll a 5 or 6 to see if he survives, instead of the usual 4, 5 or 6.
  • I've been thinking about altitude: is there a maximum amount of altitude tokens you can collect?
    So far there is none. Amount of altitude tokens usually ranges between 0 and 3 (when someone has enough altitude to perform a firing pass, he usually does one :D).
    Altitude can also be tied in with the turn limit for sweeps on p.25: if the Luftwaffe is detected over the channel, the RAF will have time to climb before encountering them and can start combat with a number of altitude tokens, but if they are detected while already over southwest England, the RAF will not get the time to gain altitude.
    Yep, we already play in this way (when it makes sense, that one side starts with altitude, they get tokens)... but it really should be written in the book. Thanks, I made mental note to do it.
    Would it restore balance to add: A Hurricane is susceptible to fire. When it is hit for the second time, the pilot must roll a 5 or 6 to see if he survives, instead of the usual 4, 5 or 6.
    Still don´t good enough I am afraid... maybe for every hit a small possibility, that plane would cought fire and would be destroyed? That would even the chances I believe... you do have an immunity form cannon-istakill, but there is a small chance, that you would be instakilled even when hit by machine gun fire.... but it also makes the game a little bit more deadlier... What do you think?
  • I can't find any hard data on cannon shell vs the hurricane only anecdotal evidence. I also quite like that a Messerschmitt can one shot a player. I'm thinking of making the Wood and dope rule be: When hit by cannon fire the aircraft only takes one hit if it rolls 4-6 on a D6. This sort of spilts the difference between my original idea and RJNs suggestion. It also sets the stage for more of the dramatic life or death die rolls this game is full of.
  • When hit by cannon fire the aircraft only takes one hit if it rolls 4-6 on a D6.
    Sold. I really like it. It adds the necessity of another roll, but it is not IMBA and it adds some more drama in it... which is superb! But it is still an advantage and I find Hurricane with this special rule superior to Spitfire... hmm... we need to add also some disadvantage to Hurricane or upgrade Spitfire a bit. Any thoughts?
  • I am going to drop the +1 to shooting, the .30 cals really were pea shooters. Give a +1 for the Hurricane Mk IIs 12 machine guns. This gives Hurricane squadrons something to upgrade to. The 601 didn't fly Spitfires until spring 1942...
  • I don't know if upgrading the Spitfire any more makes sense. You could bring the Piloting bonus to +2, which I think is pretty reasonable when it's paired with a 3d6 spread, but then that's giving the Spit quite an advantage over the Me109, which was said to have been its equal in a dogfight. To balance it you could give the Me109 a better bonus for trading in altitude tokens to reflect its superior diving ability... but really here we're starting to complicate things, whereas a lot of the game's appeal is in how simple it is.

    Dropping the +1 to shooting makes sense. In fact I had assumed that was already done as part of the Hurricane's "Wood and Dope" feature. Does that sufficiently balance things?

  • The trouble here is that the 109 completely outclassed the Spitfire (not to mention everything else in the air) during the battle.

    Maybe a rule that emulates the short time that the 109s had over Britiain would be an interesting addition. In the first round of combat, there is almost no chance of them having to break off but as the fight goes on, the chance could go up. As soon as they have to try and escape, the British fighters would have their historical advantage manifested.
  • Superb ideas, guys! Thank you very much... we need to think about it a bit... but I think, that we have to balance Hurricane and not to upgrade or downgrade other planes, so we don´t break the balance.
    Maybe a rule that emulates the short time that the 109s had over Britiain would be an interesting addition. In the first round of combat, there is almost no chance of them having to break off but as the fight goes on, the chance could go up. As soon as they have to try and escape, the British fighters would have their historical advantage manifested.
    Good idea. :) Time the Bf 109s had over England was very limited, it might be interesting to reflect it by rules also... thanks!
  • edited March 2014
    image

    We are finalizing list of aircrafts for our North Africa add-on (if you see something that is not supposed to be there or what you really miss there, please do write us):

    Regia Aeronautica:
    - Fiat CR 42 Falcon biplane
    - Macchi-Castoldi MC.200 Saetta
    - Macchi-Castoldi MC.202 Folgore
    - Savoia-Marchetti SM 79 Sparviero bomber

    Luftwaffe:
    - Messerschmitt Bf 109E
    - Messerschmitt Bf 109F
    - Messerschmitt Bf 110
    - Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber

    RAF:
    - Gloster Gladiator biplane
    - Hawker Hurricane Mk.I
    - Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (Tomahawk/Kittyhawk)
    - Bristol Blenheim twin-engine bomber
    - North American B-25 Mitchell

    image
  • Operating over enemy territory in Africa maybe rules for surface to air weapons could be used. FLAKs and weapons like that.
  • Ecthelion , do you mean to include the Hurricane Mk II rather than the Mk. I ?
  • edited March 2014
    When I think of the air war in Africa and the Mediterranean a few things come to mind that might warrant game changes compared to the Battle of Britain.
    1. Fuel / Range limitations
    2. Some mechanism to simulate the difficulty of locating and intercepting targets.

    During the Battle of Britain , Dowdings system and the British radar network allowed the RAF to put fighters where they needed to be, when they were needed. This translates into "The Few" games being direct action. The GM can narrate the situation, we can easily accept that combat is likely. In the Desert and the Med, air forces did not benefit from extensive intelligence. Is it worth while to try to use this as a way to differentiate the games?

    As an example of spotting/intercepting situations that the rules do not cover, in one of my Battle of Britain games several He 111's fled combat. The players wanted to attempt to track/chase them. I allowed a Soldiering roll vs 16, to spot them, then an opposed Piloting roll to intercept.

    I have also allowed opposed Soldiering rolls by the Flight Leaders to determine initiative in the beginning of combat (which commander was able to get his formations into a more advantageous position.) Predefined scenarios mitigate the need for this and perhaps that is what you have in mind already.

    Regarding fuel , again defined scenarios might explicitly state you have X rounds of combat before you must head back to base.

    I'm just brainstorming here, the game is good as is. It's elegance is what makes it appealing, more "rules" may upset that balance.

  • Biest: Yep. In reality, more than 60% of all missions in North Africa were air-to-ground (or anti-ship) mission. We should probably reflect it in some way, but it is not exactly sure how (but we have some ideas).

    MightyScoop: You are absolutely right about the Hurricane. It is supposed to be Hurricane Mk IIB Trop (tropicalised version of Mk IIB). Here should be this shooting bonus (perhaps even larger against bombers) appropriate, because it had 12 x .303 in (7.7 mm) wing mounted machine guns.

    We wanted to focus on the beginning of the North Africa campaign and siege of Tobruk especially, but some friends suggested, that if we add also Supermarine Spitfire VC (trop) and Fw 190 A-4/Trop., we would have covered basically the whole campaign (for interceptors I mean). So we are not really sure if to add them or not...

    About the finding of enemies... it is important and interesting thing, we should also reflect it somehow. I see problem int he point that if you don´t find the enemies... than you return back on base and nothing happened. If that happens three times in a row, well... it sucks. But i like the idea of soldiering roll to determine who goes first... maybe roll to find the enemy and whoever finds them first gets advantage? Maybe side who rolls badly is scattered and planes arrives randomly... well, we need to think about it.

    We would like to keep as it simple as possible, because i think that rules for weather, wind and everything would ruin it. We need a little bit of atmospheric desert touch, but i would hate to complicate it too much...
  • Man, I love this. I'm South East England born and raised. I spent my childhood playing around the forgotten pillboxes and runways overlooking the passes through the Weald and in the deep, wooded craters that mark where the Luftwaffe dropped the bombs not worth carrying home. War marks even the most gentle of landscapes for generations to come.

    I've got access to public records and pictures here in Sussex, as well as... hm... I guess you might call it "folklore" about that time; the recollections and anecdotes about "Back in The War" that get passed on in marriages, children and village pubs. Let me know if anyone's interested in this kind of information, I had waaay to many History lessons entitled "Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain" filled with hilarious stories from these golden oldies themselves - so I feel I could share.

    Either way, I'd just like to express what I nice game this seems, it has my admiration. I hope to run it sometime.

    Oh, you could totally write a Dambusters scenario!
  • Potemkin do you know if the Channel coast was evacuated of civilians during the battle?
  • edited March 2014
    No way! In fact there may have been more civilians in the rural South East due to the Evacuation of children from urban centres, chiefly London - although I'd have to hunt for data. Civilians often encountered crashed planes and ejected pilots coming down on parachute from both sides. Anecdotally, some Germans were lynched by hysterical mobs whereas others where tended to with great care and compassion while the police were summonsed. The country was flush with rumours of German pilots hiding out in the woods waiting to make their break to the sea, or that they had impeccable English and would ditch their uniforms and blend in.

    Ideas for interacting with the people of the South Coast c.1940:
    a)An acquaintance of a the player characters takes in a troubled young Evacuee from the East End which results in the blatant theft of a personal item from one or more of them.
    b)The player's characters are retuning to the village for brief pint and meet a commotion in the road: two large parties argue over a scared looking German pilot; some are trying to turn him in, while others want revenge for Dunkirk and the Bombings.
    c)The last battle was close to land, in fact some loose fire stuck the roof of a local village church. The particularly bullish Vicar and his shrill wife corner the player characters just when they find some quiet.
  • Civilians often encountered crashed planes and ejected pilots coming down on parachute from both sides. ...The country was flush with rumours of German pilots hiding out in the woods waiting to make their break to the sea.
    This is how children's novel The Machine-Gunners starts off, if I am remembering my school reading correctly.
  • Man, I love this.
    Thank you very much!
    I've got access to public records and pictures here in Sussex, as well as... hm... I guess you might call it "folklore" about that time; the recollections and anecdotes about "Back in The War" that get passed on in marriages, children and village pubs. Let me know if anyone's interested in this kind of information, I had waaay to many History lessons entitled "Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain" filled with hilarious stories from these golden oldies themselves - so I feel I could share.
    Absolutely! We would be much obliged!
    Potemkin do you know if the Channel coast was evacuated of civilians during the battle?
    At Potemkin writes, there was no evacuation. All coastal towns and whole southern coast were full of civilians.

    As perfect inspiration for a ordinary life in occupied England I must recommend an ITV series Foyle's War. It was one of the main influences on the game, because protagonist of the series is a Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) who attempts to catch criminals who are taking advantage of the confusion the war has created. He works in Hastings (so coastal town) and his son Andrew is an RAF pilot, so quiete a lot of story also covers how his son handles the war... so it really is wonderful inspiration (and source of pictures, if you need those).
  • edited March 2014
    occupied England
    Occupied! The English are very proud of resisting Hitler (which, in a way, contributes to national reluctance to get involved in European politics - we didn't join the European Union until the 70s). Apparently Hitler was very proud of occupying the Channel Islands which technically meant he'd occupied the territory of the United Kingdom and fortified them heavily. If you go to Jersey and Guernsey today you can still see the coastal defences and bunker network built in the early years of the war by forced Slavic labour. The British government offered the Islanders chance to flee to the mainland around the time of Dunkirk but many only sent children and their elderly, choosing instead to stay in their homes and suffer their occupation with as much dignity as possible. Reportedly some Island men conducted clandestine operations to interrupt Nazi mail from the Island - there were stacks and stack of stolen letters home to Germany hidden in cellars.

    What makes the Battle of Britain interesting is that it's one of the few modern conflicts on which civilian population could spectate without being in immediate danger: the buzz of engines high above, inter-crossing vapour trails and smoke as "the Few" fought vicious aerial combat against endless German planes must've been an intense experience.

    In reality the British Government didn't have much planned in case the Germans landed and certainly couldn't have conceived of a mass mobilisation of the population or a "Scorched Earth" policy like the Soviets. If the Battle of Britain had gone in favour of Germany then the South East would have been occupied and its largely unevacuated population would have fallen into German hands. True, the bridges were rigged to blow, the signposts had been taken out, passes in the hills had a token pillbox or two, a resistance network was being trained and there were tank traps outside Number 10 but it's understood that without the pilots of the RAF the Fortress Island would have succumb quickly.

    There's an alternative timeline here where the PCs in The Few fail and the South East is invaded and the British Government in Exile and the Americans lunch D-Day from Northern Ireland, landing in Liverpool, Bristol and Wales with what's left of the RAF assisting the Yanks in the skies over Cardiff.

    Oh, Americans! That reminds me, the social structure and number of vulnerable civilians of the South East changes as the war draws on. Many were moved out of the area as sensitive D-Day perpetrations where made and vast numbers of GIs had to be housed. As your campaign in The Few wears on you should consider adding more and more American soldiers on the ground and even pilots. The GIs were totally Alien to the rural British and cultures clashed often, even in the Armed Forces at every rank. As is characteristic of the Americans, they wanted to do things their way and not take instruction from their allies and hosts, especially not civilians. They disregarded speed limits, forgot to shut country gates, littered and walked on the grass! British feathers were thoroughly ruffled. I've been told that the British introduced the toothbrush to America through the GIs but I don't think this is true.

    Let me know if these musings are interesting, there's more.
  • edited March 2014
    occupied England
    OMG, what bullshit have I written?! My sincere apologies, "during-the-war" was the world what I was looking for. As you correctly states, only Channel Isles were occupied by German army during WW2.

    I have written and translated few articles about possibility of invasion into England (Operation Sealion). Wonderful in this field was a wargame military scenario played in 1974 on Sandhurst (short summary here and some pictures here), where referees were high ranking veterans of WW2. It shows that notwithstanding the bad shape British army was in after having been heavy mauled in northern France, without gaining air superiority or naval dominance, the invasion was doomed to fail.
    Let me know if these musings are interesting, there's more.
    Absolutely! Bring it on!


  • I have written and translated few articles about possibility of invasion into England (Operation Sealion). Wonderful in this field was a wargame military scenario played in 1974 on Sandhurst (short summary here and some pictures here), where referees were high ranking veterans of WW2. It shows that notwithstanding the bad shape British army was in after having been heavy mauled in northern France, without gaining air superiority or naval dominance, the invasion was doomed to fail.
    Wargames at Sandhurst, eh? You don't think they'd be at all biased towards the British Army at all, do you? :D

    But seriously, I heard about this - I'll have to check it out. As with all these things, it's very difficult to make realistic predications and easy to retroactively attribute knowledge that people at the time simply couldn't have.

    Something must be said for British Intelligence, which was possibly the best in the world at the time. RADAR especially was the Ace-in-the-hole and afforded the RAF a clairvoyance that baffled the Luftwaffe.

  • Wargames at Sandhurst, eh? You don't think they'd be at all biased towards the British Army at all, do you? :D
    Normally I would, but Sandhurst was only a host for the event. German players were from Germany, as were half of the umpires - General Adolf Galland (air), Admiral Friedrich Ruge (naval) and General Heinrich Trettner (land) - second half of players and umpires were British - Air Chief Marshal Christopher Foxley-Norris (Air), Rear Admiral Teddy Gueritz (naval) and Major General Glyn Gilbert (land). All were participants of Battle of Britain or Normandy landings (and Adolf Galland was German fighter ace of aces), plus they were using meteorological data never before published (so they were unknown to players). Of course it was only game, but the decision of umpires was unanimous - devastating defeat for the German invasion force. Take a look at the link, it is basically a battle report form wargame... but very interesting.
  • Ah, I have seen this! Isn't it that the Royal Navy is incredibly successful pincering the invasion fleet in the channel?

    Either way it must be recognised that without the sacrifice of the Few, the Many would have suffered terribly (which, incidentally, would be a great title for a supplement detailing Civilian and Military NPCs and relationship maps - The Many) - the way Mouseguard has a "what you fight for" section).
  • Ah, I have seen this! Isn't it that the Royal Navy is incredibly successful pincering the invasion fleet in the channel?
    Yep, in the game, British Destroyers and Torpedo boats cought the German barges 10 miles of the English coast and tore them to pieces (65% German barges and steamers were destroyed). After that it was only matter of time, before invasion army ran out of supplies. But British Navy in game didn´t even used their battleships and carriers (British players kept those in reserve).
    Either way it must be recognised that without the sacrifice of the Few, the Many would have suffered terribly (which, incidentally, would be a great title for a supplement detailing Civilian and Military NPCs and relationship maps - The Many) - the way Mouseguard has a "what you fight for" section).
    I like it. A lot. Thanks for the idea!
  • My pleasure! I can try dig you up some photos if you like; getting one's hands on photographs of people and crowds from the time isn't too hard.
  • edited March 2014
    If you wanted to do a Soviet airwomen version of this, the unit to focus on would be the 586th fighter regiment, not the Night Witches. They were sister units but the 586th flew Yak-1, Yak-7b and Yak-9 fighters instead of shitty old biplane "night bombers". Three pilots in the 586th (Yekaterina Budanova, Lydia Lityvak and Olga Yamshchikova) became aces, and their stories are inspiring and (in the cases of the first two) tragic.

    I am working on a stand-alone game about the Night Witches, by the way! It's almost done.
  • Potemkin: Photos can I hopefully manage for now (I have already obtained permission to use some wonderful photos for North African add-on form book about it), but thanks for your offer. I am more interested about that "folklore" though... it might help us to add few thing about conflicts in Base phase...

    Jason_Morningstar: I am watching and admiring Night Witches from afar and I am really looking forward to read it. I must say, you have picked a really powerful and difficult theme here.

    Thanks for your advice about Soviet airman. We are now focused on finishing the North African add-on first (I have managed to work on it today, so aside from few bombers are all planes prepared), but than, who knows? There are few possibilities which battleground next... Winter War, Eastern front, Pacific campaign... or another war entirely... for example version with modern aircrafts, aimed missiles and supersonic jets could be pretty interesting.

    By the way... we are now testing the "Wood and dope" rule for Hurricanes... and I really like the consequences of the it. It makes the game a little bit more dramatic, which is a good thing... so I think that in next version it will surely be "official".
  • Potemkin: Photos can I hopefully manage for now (I have already obtained permission to use some wonderful photos for North African add-on form book about it), but thanks for your offer. I am more interested about that "folklore" though... it might help us to add few thing about conflicts in Base phase...
    Please consider me at your disposal. I'll gladly spin ideas for The Many indefinitely! After all, I'm their grandchild.
    Jason_Morningstar: I am watching and admiring Night Witches from afar and I am really looking forward to read it. I must say, you have picked a really powerful and difficult theme here.
    You know I'm going to hack both your games together soon-as, right? Love these dogfight mechanics, Ecthelion, but I don't think Nightwitches will have any.

  • Please consider me at your disposal. I'll gladly spin ideas for The Many indefinitely! After all, I'm their grandchild.
    With little bit of delay - really thanks for your offer. We will certainly use your knowledge, it is too tempting opportunity to pass by. :D We were now busy with writing the North African Campaign add-on. We have more or less all texts together and now we have to proofread and layout it... but I am optimistic, I hope we can put it together in two or three weeks, if nothing goes wrong. :)
    You know I'm going to hack both your games together soon-as, right?
    We would be honored!

  • I've also got The Few on my desktop now and am trying to find the time to hack it and get it onto the ground with infantrymen instead of pilots. Not sure it'll work, but the foundation seems to be there to try it anyway. The Few is excellent work.
  • I've also got The Few on my desktop now and am trying to find the time to hack it and get it onto the ground with infantrymen instead of pilots. Not sure it'll work, but the foundation seems to be there to try it anyway. The Few is excellent work.
    I'd love to do this with WWI British/German Officers on the western from a la Journey's End/All Quiet on the Western Front.

  • I've also got The Few on my desktop now and am trying to find the time to hack it and get it onto the ground with infantrymen instead of pilots. Not sure it'll work, but the foundation seems to be there to try it anyway.
    Thumbs up! That sound really interesting - Band of Brothers/Saving private Ryan.

    I was thinking about some simple mini-game to determine land battles (where actions of pilots would be important - for example if they knock out Panzer, it will really help the infantry down there, if they miss, then infantrymen will be blown to smithereens) for North African Campaign... but it will probably be done for some next add-on. :)
    The Few is excellent work.
    Thanks! We really appreciate it.
  • Sneak peak on two new planes from The Few add-on. ;)
    Macchi-Castoldi M.C.200AS Saetta
    Main Italian interceptor of the North Africa campaign. Notwithstanding the fact, that it was very agile and pleasant to fly with, its weaponry was absolutely inadequate and it lacked engine power.

    image

    Special Rules
    - The plane has 12 points of ammunition.
    - It is joy to fly it, but its performance is simply not sufficient (engine is weak). It gives a -1 penalty to Piloting.
    - Plane has only two machine guns – in case of a hit, player must roll one six sided dice. Enemy is damaged only on roll 3-6, if result is 1-2, than enemy plane is not damaged (caused damage is not serious enough).

    Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (Tomahawk/Kittyhawk)
    This American-made interceptor was very powerful in low altitudes, but was slow when flown in higher altitudes. It was therefore not suitable for European theatre, but in North Africa where planes were flying lower, it was very successful and was able to stabilise the situation, until tropicalised Spitfires were available.

    image

    Special Rules
    - The aircraft has 10 points of machine-gun.
    - It is very agile in lower altitudes, it gives bonus +1 to Piloting.
    - In higher altitudes it is poorly to pilot, so for every altitude token it has, it gets -1 penalty to Piloting.
  • I'm excited about the add-on! Looks good so far.
    We are only at the beginning of Adlertag (it is actually Aug 14) in my game so we have some time before Malta and the Western Desert but this is great.

    Question regarding rules came up in our last session.
    When being tailed , can a pilot attempt to tail the aircraft that is tailing him? I snap judgement said yes, because nothing in the rules states otherwise. We decided that it represented a gamble, perhaps a head on attack or otherwise attempting a maneuver that would not get rid of the enemy's tailing bonus (so they would have it next round ) but grant the tailed a bonus if successful.
    What do you think?
  • I'm excited about the add-on! Looks good so far.
    We are only at the beginning of Adlertag (it is actually Aug 14) in my game so we have some time before Malta and the Western Desert but this is great.
    Thank you! The text of the book goes now through the proofreading and I hope it will be ready soon.
    Question regarding rules came up in our last session.
    When being tailed , can a pilot attempt to tail the aircraft that is tailing him? I snap judgement said yes, because nothing in the rules states otherwise. We decided that it represented a gamble, perhaps a head on attack or otherwise attempting a maneuver that would not get rid of the enemy's tailing bonus (so they would have it next round ) but grant the tailed a bonus if successful.
    What do you think?
    I was checking the rules, because I had the feeling it must be there... but it isn´t. :D

    Problem is, that if tailing the opponent that is tailing you is possible, than it would be almost always your first choice and "chasing an enemy off" has no meaning... hmm... for our purposes we have decided that it shouldn´t be possible, because when someone is tailing you and is closing in on your six... tailing him in the same time would be in reality very problematic. It would be an acrobatic stunt more than anything else... but if you want to, I can imagine such a rule in your game...
    Not to self - add some solution for the next version of The Few. Thanks for pointing on the problem, MightyScoop!
  • edited April 2014
    This'll be of interest. Tonight at 21:30 GMT on BBC Radio 4 is a repeat broadcast of World War Two Hurricane pilot Eric Carter talking about his experiences on the Midweek Program. I heard it this morning and while his section's not too long it's pretty interesting!

    From the BBC website:
    Eric Carter is the sole survivor of 81 Squadron, a Royal Air Force fighter squadron which took part in a secret mission to the Soviet Union in June 1941. The mission, code named Force Benedict, was initiated to defend the port of Murmansk which was the country's only port not under Nazi occupation. RAF Wing 151 - comprising 81 and 154 Squadrons - had a range of objectives which included teaching Russian pilots to fly Hurricanes, escorting Russian bombers over German lines and flying numerous patrols against the Luftwaffe. Eric's book, Force Benedict, written with Antony Loveless, is published by Hodder & Stoughton.

    If this isn't GOLDDUST for The Few campaigns, I don't know what is.
  • Potemkin: Very interesting! Thank you for the link. I must admit that when we were now writing down the African add-on, we had in mind also the old book Biggles Sweeps the Desert (or later republished as Biggles defends the Desert), where squadron of RAF pilots fights with their Luftwaffe counterparts deep in African desert...

    All: Sneak peak on two another planes! This time it is aging Fiat Falco biplane and Messerschmitt Bf 109 in version F.
    Fiat CR. 42 Falco
    Although this agile biplane was an equal opponent for Gloster Gladiator, it stood no chance against more modern adversaries.

    image

    Special Rules
    - The plane has 12 points of ammunition.
    - Because of its exceptional agility, it gives +1 bonus to Piloting.
    - Obsolete: This aircraft is hopelessly outdated and modern planes clearly outclass it. It uses all its special rules when fighting other obsolete aircraft. If fighting modern planes (all that do not have the Obsolete special rule) than it have -4 penalty to both Piloting and Shooting.

    Messerschmitt Bf 109 F („Friedrich“)
    Redesigned version of main Luftwaffe interceptor with new avionics and weaponry design. Little by little, the squadrons in Africa were equipped by this new plane. They were issued preferably to squadron leaders. In hands of an experienced pilot it was a deadly weapon, but mediocre pilots struggled with this new version more than with E version.

    image

    Special rules:
    - The aircraft has 8 points of ammunition for both machine guns and cannon.
    - It gets +1 bonus to Piloting when trying to tail an opponent or shake him off, the Immelman or landing with the damaged plane.
    - Bf 109 F has two machine guns over engine and one 20 mm cannon firing through the rotor. It always fires all weapons, regardless if it is tailing someone or not. When it hits something, roll a single six-sided dice. On roll 5-6 the it causes 2 damage instead of typical 1 (meaning it shoots down an interceptor in a single hit), on roll 1-4 it causes only 1 point of damage.
  • We’re still working on the North African add-on. First round of English proofreading is almost finished and I will send the text to the second round to make sure there won’t be too many mistakes and typos. We have written this text in English (translating of longer texts from English to Czech is much easier for me than the other way around), so I still have to translate it to Czech for the Czech version of the add-on … but well, that’s the price for having more language versions of the game. :D

    Final name of the add-on will be The Few: African skies.

    We also want to release a “Polish version” of this add-on in the same time. It will be focused on the Polish Fighting Team (PFT, Polski Zespół Myśliwski), that was fighting in North Africa instead of fighting around Tobruk and its name is Cyrk Skalskiego (so in English Skalski’s circus, nickname of the unit based on the name of its commander Stanisław Skalski, Polish fighting ace). It will be pretty much the same add-on (90% texts will be the same), but it will have one bonus interceptor (Supermarine Spitfire IX trop, which the Polish pilots were flying on) and the guys from server forum.polter.pl were so kind to translate few paragraphs of text to Polish for me, so few texts there will be both in English and Polish… so it will have also a little bit Polish feeling. ;)
  • edited May 2014
    Thought I would share some images of The Few game I am running on Roll 20
    imgur.com/a/ySAmf

    The game started with the Channel Battles at the beginning of August, the last game took place on August 16th with RAF Tangmere ( the 601st base) being destroyed by Stukas and Ju 88's. (Tangmere was up and running again in several days , but the 601 was transferred to RAF Debden.) We have played 7 times with three character deaths, and one character surviving every game. He is now nearly maxed out on piloting and gunnery stats at 6.

    I have kept most of the games very close to the actual missions/engagements that the 601 was involved in but we had one deviation so far. On August 15th Rubensdorffer's elite EprGr 210 in ground attack Bf 110's bombed Croyden, the first attack on London. The 601 happened to be there and shot down Rubensdorffer rather than the 32nd squadron. :)
  • MightyScoop: Epic! We absolutely love it!

    We adore how you use Roll 20 and the photos to build atmosphere... I would want to play just after checking your pictures. :D Your game is also extremely interesting... we love, how you use the historical background in the game. Really kudos.
    Thank you for sharing, you made our day today. :)


  • Preview of African Skies cover:

    image
  • Very excited about this. I used to play 1/72 scale wargames set in the North African theater and my mind has spent a lot of time pretending to be there. This game will lead me to intense research on the air war. Thanks Ecthelion.
  • edited June 2014
    Update from African battlefield - Czech version of African Skies is already finished and downloadable. I am still waiting for revised English text and then it will be quickly available too.

    image

    Some things I have found and can help sou with playing:

    - American map of Battlefield around Tobruk in high resolution. Suitable for print on at least A1, than crumple it, pour coffee on it, than dry it and even it again... to use it on the table on which you´re going to play on.
    - Aerial photo of Tobruk itself from the north (from the sea).
    - German airfield card of Tobruk airfield (when you use the arrows left and right, you can find another lists for the same landing strip and another airfields in the area - Germans had such cards for all available airfields in North Africa).
  • edited September 2017
    The Few: African Skies
    “Tobruk - the fortress of Tobruk - which yanks any German advance on Egypt, we hold strongly. There we have repulsed many attacks, causing the enemy heavy losses and taking many prisoners. That is how the matter stands in Egypt and on the Libyan front.”
    Winston Churchill, 27th April 1941


    image

    African add-on for The Few is finally here! Feel free to comment!

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ojjmy8yj0omlwh5/_few_african_skies.pdf?dl=0
  • edited September 2017
    The Few: Cyrk Skalskiego
    Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła, kiedy my żyjemy.

    image

    As promised, also Polish version of desert add-on, focused on Polish Fighting Team in Africa, better known as Skalski´s Circus.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/x5ytqaes3lglfhw/_few_cyrk_skalskiego.pdf?dl=0
  • Guys on „rpgforum.cz“ (one of largest Czech internet forums about RPG and indie) have started to reskin The Few for Star Wars setting. They are planing to use rules to recreate battles of X-Wings and TIE Fighters, while players are playing characters of rebel pilots in their fight againt evil Empire (sort of Rogue Squadron campaign).

    X-Wings will have deflector shields, so they will endure more damage and pilots will be more likely to survive missions (little bit more „pulp“ and slightly less grim atmosphere than WW2) and guys are thinking about adding astromech, who would be able to help pilots with tasks (they will be for example capable of computing hyperspace jumps, so pilot can fight with X-Wing right until the jump and escape from battle… or repairing knocked down shields, helping with piloting or shooting in form of bonuses… so kinda little minigame). We will see, it sounds interesting enough. :)
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