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Mustangs was an air combat boardgame that came out near the end of the Avalon Hill era. While it was definitely on the simpler end of the air combat simulation scale, the system proved to be ideal for conversion to a miniatures game using 1/300th models. To this date there are miniatures rules versions for WW2 (Mustangs), Korea (Mig Alley), and the Vietnam era (Phantoms). The hex-based system uses maneuver markers that are placed in front of an aircraft that when the aircraft moves to that hex, the maneuver is revealed. The type of maneuver dictates how many hexes you need to fly straight before performing the maneuver as well as how many hexsides you can turn. Combat is with a D10 and takes into account the various firing angles and altitude of the target, then boxes are marked off a record sheet. The system is relatively easy to explain, provides a lot of fun and excitement, plus it is fantastic for group play with large numbers of aircraft.

Mustangs: English Channel Raid


German Airstrike on a Channel Convoy

We had not tried a Channel raid game in quite some time and with interest in Dunkirk at an all time high, this would seem to fit right in. Here it is early in the summer of 1940 and the British are trying to sneak a small convoy through the Channel with an escort of Hurricanes and Spitfires. The Germans have assembled some forces and are sending a strike towards the convoy, escorted by fighters. The strike consists of 4 JU-87s, 4 HE-111s, and 4 Me-109s. We started the German raid so that it could be over the convoy in about 6 turns, which would give both sides a chance to not only intercept the other, but for the bombers to actually attack the convoy. The first few turns were pretty calm, but by turn 3 a pair of Spitfires tore through the HE-111s, scoring a few hits and sending one down in flames. This was the signal for the inevitable free for all, where the fighters of both sides went after each other for the next several turns. The Stukas ignored the melee and pressed on towards the convoy, trying to take up a position to drop on the leading edge of the formation. One Spitfire that had emerged from the other melee dove on tthe JU-87s and although scoring a few hits, was miraculously shot down by the Stukas! Both sides scored a lot of hits on each other, but nothing serious enough to actually shoot down an aircraft. The exception was the naval flak, which took out three German aircraft. In the end, two freighters were sunk, one escort damaged, five German aircraft shot down, and several damaged for the loss of one Spitfire, although the remaining Spitfires and Hurricanes all had damage. It was a great battle that worked out well and we finished in about 4 hours, which was pretty good.

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