All is not so Quiet on the Western Front - An Aces of Valor AAR

Started by nelmsm, March 20, 2023, 11:23:51 PM

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Finally got started on my Aces of Valor campaign.  Going to do a medium length campaign which is 12 missions long.  I will be playing as the Americans and have the following eight pilots;
Name    Air attack skill     Ground attack skill
Eddie         2                       2
Harold        1                       1
Frank         0                       1
August        0                       0
David         0                       0
Eugene        0                       0
Raoul         0                       0
Fred          0                       0

All my pilots will be starting out in Nieuport 17's which has a performance rating of 6 and a structural rating of 5.  They will need to roll a 4 or higher to score a hit.  One thing about the game is that they treat all the tiers of fighters amongst the nations involved exactly the same.  Only the skills will play a difference.


Mission 1: Escort two bombers to attack German Airfield B. 

  This will be a maximum range misson so if any hiccups we will have to land at a different airfield then our home base which will cost us mission points.  I have selected Eddie, Harold, August, and Fred to escort the bombers.  Had pretty smooth sailing until we were over the target when we were attacked by 4 Dr.1s.  However we spotted them before they could gain an advantage so we fought them with neither side having an advantage.  Harold managed to shoot down one of the attackers but Fred was also shot down.  The rest of the attackers fled.  Meanwhile our bombers managed to get a smooth bomb run in and scored a whopping 28 points of damage to the airfield.  We then turned and headed for home.  Just a quarter of the way home we were again attacked but this time by 3 D.IIIs.  No advantage by either side and Harold scored another kill and Eddie got two more as well and August was damaged.  Made it the rest of the way home but Harold took flak damage passing over the trenches.  Harold managed to land his damaged plane safely and walk away but August was less fortunate and was killed in his landing attempt.
  Overall a decent mission with 4 enemy fighters shot down to 2 lost for us.  Did a large amount of damage to the airfield.  In total we ended up with 29 mission points which we spent as follows;
-spent 1 point to repair Harold's plane
-spent 4 points to replace August and Fred with Wilfred (1-2) and Francis (2-1)
-spent 9 points to upgrade Eddie, Harold, and David to Nieuport 28
-spent 15 points to take 4 victory points for the campaign
Wondering if I should have held on to some mission points (or if I could, rule book dive time) for later use.  Tune in for the next mission when we are tasked with bombing a German railyard, which is outside our maximum range.  Need to do some checking to see what I can do there or if I will be force to land at a base other than home which costs me mission points.


Good stuff.

I have this game. But like so many other games, I just haven't had the time to play yet.

So looking forward to your AAR.
Johannes "Honus" Wagner
"The Flying Dutchman"
Shortstop: Pittsburgh Pirates 1900-1917
Rated as the 2nd most valuable player of all time by Bill James.


Just saw a YouTube playthrough of a mission from this game.  After reading your AAR I'm intrigued.  This looks like a good game with a decent campaign progression system.
"You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend."

Romulan Commander to Kirk


Mission 2 - Escort Bombers bombing railyard

This mission gave me 4 fighters to escort 2 bombers to attack a railyard.  The problem I have is that this is going to be impossible to reach and return with the fuel we carry so we will have to land at another airfield and take a -1 mission point.  We need a good score to offset that.  Taking pilots Eddie, Harold, David, and Francis

Flight was pretty uneventful until we were over our trench lines where we were attacked by three enemy D.III's but the dice gods were smiling upon us and they decided to break away when they saw they were outnumbered.  Hit heavy flak over the enemy trenches but only suffered very minor damage.  Made it to the target without any other action.  Flak over the target failed to cause any damage and my bombers destroyed it for 10 mission points.  We turned and headed home.  Ran into unexpected heavy enemy flak just short of their trench line but again we escaped with no one damaged.  Then over the enemy trench line we ran into an enemy raid, two D.III's escorting three bombers.  The enemy planes spotted us first and had the surprise giving them a +2 to their initiative rolls but again the dice gods smiled upon us and three of my fighters ended up rolling higher initiative.  Eddie shot down one fighter and Harold took care of the other.  David managed to damage one bomber but was damaged himself and Francis failed in his attempt on a bomber and avoided any damage from return fire.  Both sides broke away.  Smooth sailing the rest of the way and everyone landed okay even though it was the wrong airfield.  We gained 10 mission points for destroying the railyard and 2 each for the downed fightes since both pilots had 1 air to air skill but lost one for landing at an non-home airfield.  So we gained 13 mission points.  Used one to repair David's plane, upgraded Francis and Wilfred to Tier 2 fighters and to two VP points to get me to 6 for the campaign. 
  Next mission sees us performing ground support on entrenched infantry on the enemy front lines with 6 fighters.  This should be interesting!


That's pretty cool that you saw an enemy bombing raid with escort on your way home.  Great AAR.
"You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend."

Romulan Commander to Kirk


Mission 3 - Ground attack

  The squadron was ordered to strafe ground targets located in the enemy trenches and I sent 6 pilots to accomplish the mission.  They were Eddie, David, Wilfred, Harold, Francis, and Frank.  This will be the first mission for Frank with his ground skill of 1.
  No sooner had they cleared the airfield then we spotted an enemy raid with 3 2-seaters and 2 tier 3 (D.VII's) fighters but since they were outnumbered they broke away before we could intercept.  Then just short of our trenchline we intercept another raid, this time 1 2-seater and 1 D.VII fighter.  We spot them first and gain surprise and Wilfred shoots down the fighter while Francis downs the 2-seater.  Off to a good start!
  We hit the first section of enemy trenches and our target is entrenched infantry.  We avoid any damage from flak and after several runs we manage to destroy the objective.  We repeat this on the 2nd section of trenches where again the target turns out to be entrenched infantry and they are destroyed.  On the 3rd trench section our last target again turns out to be entrenched infantry but this time our luck isn't so good as Wilfred and Frank both take damage from flak.  After 3 rounds of strafing we only manage to damage this last target and head for home.
  Uneventful return trip but unfortunately the flak damage that Frank suffered causes his left landing gear to collapse and he cartwheels over and catches fire.  Brave ground crew manage to pull him out before the flames get to him but he was hurt too severely and perished from his injuries.  Such a sad loss on his just his first mission.
  We gained 10 mission points from this action plus the two we carried over so we have 12 mission points to spend.  Spent 4 to gain 2 VP points to put us at 8 for the campaign.  Spent one to repair Wilfred and 2 more to replace Frank with William who has 1 air skill but still in a tier 1 fighter.  We then spent 3 to upgrade Raoul to a tier 2 fighter.
  Next mission card is a Scramble.  Our home airfield is being attacked by enemy bombers and will be taking off while under attack.  So keep an eye out for that report!


Mission 4 - Scramble

  A scramble is a defense of your home airfield under attack by the enemy.  I was lucky with the die rolls and the Huns only got two escorting fighters for their two bombers and I was able to launch 4 fighters before they attacked the field.  In the subsequent dogfighting both German bombers and 1 fighter were shot down and the 2nd German fighter was shot down in the second round of combat.  Eddie got one kill, Wilfred got one kill, and Francis got 2 kills.  Next mission is Balloon Busting!


Mission 5 - Balloon Busting

  Don't let anyone kid you this is a very dangerous mission.  Not only do you have to face flak passing over the enemy trenches but also flak in the balloon square and then the balloon itself gets to roll 6! dice for their flak rolls.  Managed to shoot down the first of three balloons without any damage.  Shot down the second balloon but Wilfred, who seems to be a flak magnet, took damage.  Attacking the third balloon Harold was damaged and we were a point short of shooting it down but I decided to pass on a second round of flak since I already had two damage planes.  Then over the enemy trenches we received light flak and Eddie was damaged and both Wilfred and Harold, two of my better pilots, were shot down and killed.  The Dice Gods had their revenge.  Fortunately with Eddie's superior flying skills he was able to land his damage aircraft safely.  Hardly worth the 9 mission points I received for the mission though.

9 Mission points
-1 to repair Eddie
-4 to replace Harold and Wilfred (Paul and David)
-3 to upgrade new pilot Paul
-1 to take one Campaign VP

  I had been carrying over unused mission points and finally discovered today that you lose any unused points so making sure to spend them all.  Not sure if it has made a difference or not but playing on.  Next mission is a defensive patrol over some of the Allied Balloons and trench sectors.  Down to just 2 pilots with air skills greater than 0 so things are getting tougher.


Mission 6 - Defensive Patrol

  Assigned to patrol three balloon squares and adjoining trenches.  Flew there with no events and then traversed the trenches and balloon hexes three times with no action so headed back to base.  Received 2 mission points with which I bought one VP.


Mission 7 - Photo Recon

  Made it all the way to the target with no contact where my 2-seater recon plane was shot down by flak!  No points there.  My three fighters were intercepted by 4 enemy fighters on the return leg over the enemy trench line.  They were all Dr.I's and 0 skill pilots except one named Manfred with 2 air skill.  Francis was shot down but managed to glide to friendly trenches but was killed trying to land his crippled plane.  Eddie managed to shoot down one Hun craft before both sides broke off. Rest of the flight was uneventful.  Received no mission points!!!


Mission 8 - Ground Support

  We launched 6 fighters to attack 3 German trenches.  Intercepted an enemy raid deep in our own rear and managed to shoot down 2 enemy fighters before they broke away.  We managed to destroy 2 entrenched enemy infantry and 2 advancing infantry while Eddie took a flak hit.  We intercepted another enemy raid 3 squares from home.  Two 2-seaters and 4 Dr.I's.  Enemy spots us first evades due to being outnumbered.  Received 16 mission points with which I bought 4 VP's

Decided to turn this into a short campaign and end it here since I was ready to get something else on the table.  Ended up with 16 VP points which was just enough to get minor victory.  This is a fun game and it will find it's way back to my table sometime.