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August Storm - defending Manchuko

Stalins Organ

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August Storm is a tough campaign for the Japanese - there are a lot more Soviets than Japs, and while hte Japs have a slight advantage in quality/experience, it's not very great.

I'm going to attack the Soviet fighter force initially in this campaign, and see how things go from there


Ignore 1/4 soviet troops in Kinghan ranges & outer Mongolia, and 0/2 figher sweep in Inner Mongolia, so the Sov's start with a 10 pt advantage.....

No target in SW Highlands

USSR: 2/4 airfield - send 2 Ki 84's to fight it out with expected soviet fighter defenders. Soviets 2 x La 7's. Result: Shoot down 4 La7's, kill 1 wingman. Lose 1 Ki 84 leader killed - damned shame that!! Get a inconclusive result due to Ki-84 bombload! :)

Central Plains: 4/6 HQ - defend with 1 x Ki-84, 1 x Ki-102. Soviets: 1 x Pe-8, 1 x La-7. Result - shoot down all Soviet a/c, kill both La-7 pilots - wahoo!

Eastern Highlands - defend 2/3 Japanese Troops with Ki-102 & A6M5 against Il-4 and La-5 - shoot down all 4 Soviets for loss of 1 Ki-102 - no pilots killed.

Northwest Highlands - 2/3 Soviet troops, "attack" with 2 x Ki-84 against 2 x La-5 defenders. This one is a massacre - both my leaders get 2: D and ace cards with their initial draws - both shoot down and kill an La-5 leader! Then the 1st leader gets another Ace & 2D & shoots down a wingman, and the 2nd wingman gets a 2: D, draws and extra 2: D and shoots down the 2nd wingman! One of my leaders gets damaged due to using up all his cards to shoot down a leader, adn the Ki-84 bombloads give me victory!

After 1 turn I am 9:10 down, but have killed 5 and shot down another 7 Soviet fighter pilots for the loss of 1 killed, 1 shot down and 1 damaged.

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T2 - I only have 2 unfatigued fighter groups - 1 A6M5, 1 Ki 84, and of course many targets!

Priorities are 4/6 HQ in the Central plains, and a 5 pt fighter sweep in the Khingan Range - the fighter sweep gets both unfatigued groups, while the Central plains gets the best fatigued Ki-84, and Ki-84 that has lost a plane.

I'm giving up a lot of points......but as it turns out the Soviets don't attack 1 target and don't defend another, and don't respond to the fighter sweep - damn - to groups fatigued for no gain!

The only combat is my 1 1/2 fatigued groups over the Central plains against an Il-4 and La-7.

Server has decided not to co-operate this afternoon - 15 attempts to play this battle and counting.....

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3rd time I reloaded Dif it worked.

a quick game - half loop, bunch of 1:2's and the La7 leader is shot down, the wingman follows shortly along with both bombers, but both my leaders are damaged, so some rest is due for their brave efforts.

I score 9 points, the Soviets 8, so it is 18:18 after 2 turns

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T3: 2 4/6's and a 2/6 need defending, so all unfatigued groups do so, along with a fatigued Ki-102 leader (but his wingman is OK).

There's a 2/4 in hte SW highlands I'm temptd to defend too, since it can only be reached by the Yak-9 long range fighters....but that would take 2 lightly fatigued groups and leave me with no unfatigued fighters at all next turn, so I have to pass.

Time for the bombers to earn some keep tho - they are sent off unescorted - both Rita's to the USSR (1/4), the 2 Betty's to 2/3's in Outer Mongolia & NW Highlands.

I know if the Rita's are at high or very high altitude they are pretty tough for the Soviet fighters. The Betty's.....well they're just a gamble for a few points!!

1 Betty gets a free ride - the other wont' last long against a pair of Yaks, and hte Rita's are confronted by 2 1/2 elements of La-5's so might do quite well with a bit of luck.

All the 6 point targets are attacked, and the Soviets pick up 8 free points where I haven't defended.

The Rita's attacking USSR are the 1st game - I only get to sit and watch - 1 Rita is very high, the other medium, and the soviets are also at each of those heights. The La5 at Very High only has 1 horsepower and achieves nothing after the 1st turn. The one at Medium gets in several attacks and damages a Rita to only 2 remaining points, but he mission is a success. No significant damage done to the fighters - only a single 1 point hit from the bomber guns.

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Normal service seems to have been restored :)

The single Betty element was quickly dispatched by 2 Yak elements as expected.

In the Central Plains a Ki-102 & A6M5 destroyed a 1/2 La 7 element and Pe-8's, killing the Pe 8 wingman for no damage.

Over the Eastern Highlands a tired Ki-84 and a Ki-102 faced an elite La-7 and an exhausted Il-4 - the Ki-84 leader was damaged, but all Soviets shot down again.

Score this turn was 17:10, so I leap put to a 35:28 lead.

T4 and I have 2 x 2/6's and a 4/6 to defend - but it looks like the Kwangtung Army has counter attacked as I have a 1/4 to defend in Outer Mongolia too! :)

Offensive targets are a 5 pt fighter sweep over the NW Highlands, and a 2/4 in the USSR.

This is turn 4 of 6 and it hasn't taken much in the way of losses to put some pressure on the Japanese fighter force - the Ki-102's are now going to fly 'til they die, and some more tired units have to be sent up - but I manage to rest 4 fighter groups.

I send the exhausted Betty & the best Rita to attack the USSR where they are intercepted by 2 Yaks.

A good A6M and a 1/2 element of tired Ki-84's defend the Khingan range against a 1/2 Pe-8 and an La-7.

But in hte other 2 targets he's sent 2 groups of fighters to each - Central Plains has 1/2 La7 & La5 against a full Ki-84 & 102, and Eastern Highlands has hte Yak-3 and 1/2 La5 vs 1/2 Ki-84 and a full Ki-102.

This could get messy......

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1st game is the bombers - the Rita & 1 group of Yaks start at high - the Yaks have 2 Hp here, but they dive to medium to attack the Betties. But hte Betties fight like demons and get a 3:4 on a Yak!

The other Yak group starts at Very Low so takes a couple of turns to get into the fight, but by the end of T2 both Betties are smokin', and by the end of T3 they are gone - the leader killed. But has their brave sacrifice been enough to help the Rita's?

Probably not - the Yak9 U has 3 HP at high...that's probably a bit much to hope to survive against....and hte last Rita goes down at hte start of T6...bother....but ah well....not really so important..and they did achieve something!

Now on to the real battles....

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The first real game is Khingan Range - an La7 and 1/2 Pe-8 against a tired 1/2 Ki-84 and an A6M5 - I get off to a good start with hte La7 at low and hte Pe-8 at high, and both my fighters at high! It takes a while - the La-7 leader is tough and gets bucketloads of manouvres & loops to get the drop on tailers time after time, and he damages the Ki-84, but eventually he goes down....dead! As does the Pe-8!

A good start.

Central Plains is a bit tougher tho - an exhausted 1/2 element La-7 doesn't last long, and the survivors are forced to bail out ovre Japanese territory (killed/captured), but a La5 element proves much tougher - the Ki-102 leader is shot down, and in return we shoot down the La5 wing, and damage the leader - he's the first Soviet survivor for a couple of turns!!

The last fight is a tired 1/2 element of Ki-84's and a tired Ki-102 vs 1/2 La5 and a full Yak 3 - the Yak is hte only element that isn't tired, and it pounces on the Ki-84 and shoots it out of hte sky in short order - the Jap fighter has a handful of burst and manoeuvre cards :(

The rest of hte game is quite interesting tho - I bounce the 102 around in altitude and manage to damage both Yaks for the 102 leader damaged. And I won the points as he had only the La5 as a bomber I think.......so on the balance I'm happy with that.

Score for T4 is 8:9, so now 43:37 to me.

T5 looks interesting - I have a 4/6 bombing target available, as well as the usual 3 6-point targets to defend. There are 4 undamaged fighter groups, 2 lightly fatigued one, and 1 each fresh Rita and Betty to attack with.

But it's late here now - time for this tomorrow evening! :)

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Tiem for a few games after work before heading out again to a pub quiz :)

I decide to send both Rita's to the 4/6 in hte NW Highlands, a fresh Betty to a 2/4 in USSR, adn a exhausted 1/2 Betty to a 2/3 in outer Mongolia.

Defensively I have 4 good groups, and I want to rest some fatigued ones - so 2 good ones defnd the 4/6 in the Central Plains, and 1 good + 1 exhausted Ki-102 in the 2/6's in the Khingan Ranges and Eastern Highlands.

All my bombers are unopposed - so that's some good points - except the exhausted Betty in outer Mongolia doesn't get any points - not sure why - I thought each a/c was worth 3 bomb points, but perhaps it's 3 for the pair? At least hte Sov's don't get any either!

The Sov's only launch 1 actual bomber - an Il-4 with a 1/2 La-5 escort in Khingan - they should be no trouble....and they aren't - the Il-4 leader is killed, the rest shot down for no damagge.

Central Plains has a Yak 9 and a Yak 3, vs fresh A6M5 & Ki-84 - both Soviet a/c are fatigued. The game starts well shooting down the Yak-9 leader, but my lovely A6 leader gets no defence cards and is killed on T1!! Waaahhh... All the remaining Soviets are shot down in hte approved manner, but it's not a good turn...although this near the end of the campaign it probably won't be decisive.

Eastern Highlands has 2 Yak 9's...which might trouble the exhausted Ki-102, but hopefully the Ki-84 will do some damage. Turns out the Yaks are both exhausted - with only 1 structure before damage. The Ki-102 leader gets shot down - but his wingman shoots down 2, and one of the Yak wings is killed.

So a very good turn - I scored 18:8, and am now 61:45 ahead.

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T6 - only 1 bombing target in USSR, so a Bety & Rita go there.

And only 2 good fighters, with 3 lightly fatigued full strength groups and 2 1/2 strength ones. The Ki-102's are utterly exhausted...but are going to fly anyway!

3 6 point and 2 4 point targets to defend, and a 2 pt fighter sweep to ignore!

The 102's and 1/2 strength groups go to defend 1/4's in the 2 Mongolias, the best groups being retained for defence of the troops and HQ's in Khingan, Central and Eastern Highlands.

In the USSR the bombers are intercepted by an exhausted 1/2 La5 and a tired full one....the 2 better fighters destroy the Betties, while the weaker 1 struggles with the Rita's at High altitude and they make it through undamaged. A good win to start...

Over Khingan Range a very good La-7 escorts an undamaged Pe-8 - he nearly gets the drop on my, reducing my tired Ki-84 leader to just 1 structure on T1, but after that normal service is returned - all Soviets shot down and the Pe8 leader killed.

Over outer Mongolia a single tired Ki-84 and an utterly exhausted 102 (the leader has 63 fatigue) take on a fresh single LA-5 and pair of Sturmoviks - fortune favours me tho, and again all the Soviets are shot down with no damage to my flyers - hte La-5 and Il-2 wing are killed.

Time to head off to the pub - catch you all later...

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We got 3rd in the quiz :)

Anyway - Inner Mongolia sees the tired Yak 3's (structure 1/1) escort a Sturmovik against 1/2 a tired Ki-84 and an exhauseted 102 - it ends up a draw with all of the Japanese shot down, but an Il-2 damaged so they have insufficient bomb points to get the points - a toughi.

The Central Plains - a very tough pair of La-7's escorts a single Il-4 - all the Soviets get shot down, but they shoot down 1 Ki-84 and damage 2 others - just as well it's the final turn!

The last battle is the Eastern Highlands where a single tired La-7 escorts 2 Il-4's, which don't bother 1 1/2 elements of Ki-84's too much.

And T6 gives me 15 pt to a meagre 2 for hte Soviets, and a runaway victory at 76:47.

I don't think it's winnable against a competent human Soviet player, but with a bit of care, and dare I say some skill ( :)) ) it's a challenging scenario against the AI, but one which is eminently winnable.

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