Vapnartak BRS Tournament results

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    So feedback from yesterdays games at Vapnartak (from the TO’s POV) . Went really well, great group of players and some interesting choices. Hopefully the participants can fill in some details and thoughts about their builds and games but if my memory serves Paul Davison brought Fw190s lead by Priller, Scott Bellerby had P51s, Dan Ibekwe had Zeros, Ian Nichols brought Me109s, John David Blow and Mark Barker brought Hurricanes and I had Martlets as sub. Overall winner was Ian Nichols. Scott couldn’t stay for round 3 so I got to fly against John’s “Wall o Rookie Hurricanes”, which was pretty much like playing one of those computer games where you are being chased by a horde of monsters and all you can do is fight to stay on top of them – at one point one of my pilots got isolated against six Hurricanes. Thanks to the great support from Warlord Games via Richard Carlisle. I think we have the format ok now and will be better placed to run bigger events if people are interested, but we will need a couple of minor tweaks. Thanks again to all that took part – hope you enjoyed it as much as me


    I hope everyone had a good fun (including the organisation).

    I’d love to read more about how the tournament was set and run.

    Mark Barker

    Firstly, a big ‘thank you’ to Ken for taking the time to set up and run the Tournament.

    Format was 500 point force, standard Dogfight set-up, no ‘Numbers’ or ‘Home Advantage’ cards, no restriction on number of Aces but named Aces only allowed once in the force.

    With Bader’s 242 Squadron hot off the painting table I fancied putting out a force of Hurricanes, this was the first time I had played to a points limit so which way to go ?

    The slightly lower cost of the Hurricanes compared to Spitfires suggested I could squeeze an extra aircraft in compared to Spitfires of the same quality, giving me the ability to resist an all-important Boom chit.

    Right up to the night before the event I had been weighing up the best way to use the points, with some very nice combinations stubbornly coming out at 501 points and therefore unuseable. If only the Hurricane were 28 points and not 29 !

    I toyed with the ‘Fistful of Hurricanes’ option – 9 aircraft at Skill 2, lots of boom tokens before I have to pancake, an advantage over lesser mortals whose wives had only bought them a box of 6 aircraft for Christmas rather than 12, Bader and some cool dice (more on these later), but in the end I thought that constantly being out-manoeuvred by everyone else on the table would not be much fun to play and that is what swayed me.

    So I went with 5 aircraft:-
    Bader – 164 points
    Ace + ‘True Grit’ – 129 points. I considered ‘Lightning Reactions’ to be able to get the drop on Aces who were likely to be faster than me but went for extra durability for the Aces instead.
    Regular – 79 points
    Rookie – 54 points x2 = 108 points.
    Total = 480. There were lower quality combos that would get me nearer to using the full 500 points and give me another aircraft but at the expense of any Ace firepower.

    3 Tight Turn and 2 Robust, Defensive Tactics, Heavy Flak and Superior Armament.

    In the event John David turned up with the 9 Hurri option so it was good to see how that played out.

    First round vs Ian with 4 good quality 109s, Great Climb and Dive, Superior Armament and High Altitude performance.

    I split my forces ahead and behind the 109s to try for a sandwich, this turned out to be a mistake. Even without Aces, High Altitude Advantage gave a skill advantage and got my noses down for the Flak to score the first boom chit. Played with a bonus Great Climb, this kept the card in Ian’s hand and the Superior Armament retention rolls kept coming through as well.

    I managed to get the Flak in once but missed and the boom markers started to rack up ominously on me, Ian matching up on my poorer quality aircraft and getting a kill which put me over break-off. Good use of the 109 Great Dive/Dive Away combo got one aircraft out of real trouble and in a position to get a crucial shot in the following turn.

    Right at the end and too late to make a different anyway, Bader managed to rack round into a tailing position from cloud but then completely missed with maximum attack dice.

    Ian’s 109s triumphed without a boom chit on them – I had not hit a thing…

    The 109 card combo was frustrating to play against but historically very accurate, provided the 109 kept to boom and zoom the Hurricane could not get on terms – if the 109s stayed to mix it the Hurris could give as good as they got.

    Ian played well and was too canny to fall into that trap. I need to work out a counter to this tactic …

    Second Round – up against no fewer than 9 Hurricanes, luckily we had chosen different squadron code decals ! I fell back on the classic wargamer tactic of changing my rubbish dice – and we all know how well that works.

    Ditching my white basic set for my nice new RAF dice we rolled for advantage. 4 rolls of I and a II meant I started disadvantaged with every single aircraft, stuck in a corner with no nearby clouds and 9 Hurricanes pointed at me !

    New dice back in the box, the white ones can’t roll any worse than that, surely !

    Crucially I had kept everyone together this time, and powered by a cup of tea from Ken tried to punch my way out of trouble.

    Some careful play to make sure of the wingman effect kept me out of trouble coupled with some unlucky attack dice (from my opponent this time) when the shots came in, which I mostly managed to deflection) and this allowed me to recover from the disadvantaged position.

    Working the two Aces as a pair rather than leading separate flights worked well, pushing the target aircraft down to disadvantaged and keeping them there due to the difference in quality. By the end I had 3 kills and the swarm broke – I reached 5 tokens myself and losing one aircraft meant I broke off as well but had the win on kills.

    Conclusion I reached was that 9 aircraft look well scary but quality will out – starting hard up against an edge/corner looks bad but it stops you from being attacked from all sides – reducing the effect of those extra numbers.

    Third Round – vs Pauls’s top whack FW190s – 4 of them all of high quality blasting across the table at 400mph + with ill intent on their minds.

    Again the tag team of the two aces worked well for me and the flak then gave me a cheap Boom chit which I accepted gratefully. Unlike the second round this fight ended up in a cloudy area which my rookies used to keep out of trouble and come out when those fast, nasty aircraft had gone past.

    The last turn could have gone either way, I got the kill to put the 190s over their break limit – in this case my extra aircraft was key and I got the win.

    The 190s look fun to play – fast, agile and hard-hitting but very expensive and therefore brittle to losses. I wonder whether Robust (which they certainly were) should be an aircraft permanent trait leaving them another performance type card to use. I was expecting them to be more dominant than they were to be honest.

    So that’s my write-up. I came out with 2 victories out of 3 games and lost to the deserved winner of the day. Not bad for my first tournament and a Pips Priller figure from Warlord as a prize to boot.

    Enjoyed Vappa as a show – less busy than my normal haunts (Salute, Colours and Warfare) and an excellent venue. Only problem was it was so similar in layout to Colours at Newbury racecourse that I kept forgetting I had a 6 hour drive home and not my 1 hour hop back to the South Coast !

    Thanks to Ken and all the players for a great day’s gaming and company.

    Mark Barker


    Nice report. Thanks for sharing it.


    I hope mark doesn’t mind if I copy this to the Facebook group as it has lots of interesting insights???

    Andy Chambers

    Thanks for taking time to write the report, Mark (and Renko I guess), that made for some really interesting reading. Those certainly sound like some well-handled 109s from Ian.

    Mark Barker

    Thanks, Andy.

    Just a braindump before I forgot it all.

    It seemed a consistent part of the day (and to be honest most games I’ve played) that the named Aces don’t seem to make that much difference. The double skill cards are nice but with a hand capacity of 3 you just can’t get them out to have an effect, not 35 points worth of effect anyway.

    Those special discs seem to be a magnet for bullets and they often get hosed by a Rookie – most embarrassing.

    I’l probably ditch the Named ace if I play another points game and put the points somewhere else. Options are already coming to mind – which just shows how much fun I had.

    Now if the presence of a named Ace allowed you an extra card in your hand while they were on the table …; now that would be worth 35 points.

    Do you ever do the shows or do you prefer to lurk invisibly in the shadows …

    and Renko, yes – Facebook away. I may come over to the dark side soon myself – need to track offspring on overseas trip and it is Facebook or nothing.




    Plenty of interesting things here.
    Just curious:how long was the average game?

    Mark Barker

    Games were scheduled for 1 hour per round.

    A couple of the tighter fights took 5 or 10 minutes longer that that to resolve but everyone was happy for those games to play out naturally rather than enforce a time limit.

    Most games finished comfortably within the hour.

    We started the first game at 10am and finished around 1:30pm which gave a plenty of time for a good look around the show itself.



    That good to know.

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