Friday, 4 March 2011

633 Squadron

The club show participation game for 2011 has been raising it's head recently. I had vowed never to get involved in this again, apart from the odd bit of painting or modelling, after last years experience but I have had some ideas for next years game. I've floated these on the club yahoogroup and the response has been quite postive, so it may actually happen for 2012?

Anyway, the plan is to do the attack on the V2 rocket fuel factory in a Norwegian fjord, as in the book and feature film 633 Squadron. This would be a multiplayer game so would be on a large scale. We'd make use of repainted diecast mosquito models by Corgi, keeping the cost and effort down to a minimum. They're somewhere around about 1/160th scale. 

Each crew would have three key ratings (Flying, Gunnery and Bombing) which would be used to resolve outcomes using D10's or D6 rolls. The crews would be the characters from the film / book i.e. Canadians, Sikhs, Aussies, etc. This would add a nice bit of roleplay to the game, which always seems to go down well.

Each crew would have a different set of ratings so would be better or worse at certain things. The players would have to decide the sequence of attack i.e. send in the flak suppression specialists, then the bombers or mix them up randomly. The planes would fly up the fjord in pairs, so they could mix and match roles.

The Germans would be at states of readiness from 'Alarm!' to a full on wall of flak. Each turn they would activate more AAA so that the flak would intensify as the raid goes in. The RAF have to knock out as much flak as possible to redress the balance.

The Flak batteries on the sides of the fjord and on a flakship at the entrance, would have an arc of fire (180 degrees or 360 if the flak ship) and a set range. They would be equipped with 12mm Minifigs or 10mm Pendraken single and quad AA guns.

The flakship would feature in the game for visual effect. It could be scratchbuilt or we could convert a plastic kit. I was thinking that the Revell Goodwin Lightship model would be an option for this, even though it's a bit overscale. With suitable gun platforms and other bits and bobs I reckon it would make a pretty good Vorpostenboot type flakship.

The planes have a set quantity of ammo and restricted arc of fire i.e. straight ahead. They would have to be at the right level to attack the flak batteries which could be at different levels along the side of the fjord (sea level , medium or high). The planes would be mounted on lighweight 'pen type' extendable magnetic pick up tool stands so could go up and down altitude levels.
The factory target would have to be bombed at medium level but the cliff has to be flown over at high level, so the crews will need to time it right and pass a successful bombing skill roll to hit the target and a flying skill roll to avoid crashing. Each plane would have only one earthquake bomb, so they'd need to get a few hits or near misses to make the rock collapse onto the factory.

The terrain, consisting of the sides of the fjord, would be built in 4' long sections, 6'' wide at the base and 3' tall with an L shaped cross section. They can be made of mdf or plywood with a foam or chicken wire / modroc covering, which would make it both transportable and tough. The fjord would be about 12 to 16 feet long. The whole thing would fit on a row of tables.

AAA batteries platforms would be built into the sides using blocks of wood or suchlike. The fjord could be L shaped too so that the planes have to do a turn at the end making it harder to bomb the factory. The factory itself would be scratchbuilt out of N scale model railway bits, plastic card and so on.

I don't think anyone else has done this set up but I may be wrong. Either way, I think it's a bit of a winner, although it'll probably never happen.


  1. Sounds like a bloody good idea. I hope it does come off - it would really be a sight to see!

  2. Ditto that. Recommend picking up the novel (and the sequels) as it's very good.

  3. Good luck. I have run show games a few times. Shudder.

  4. I've been involved with the club show games for several years and they usually end up in a last minute scrabble to get everything sorted.

    There's always plenty of volunteers too, but they often leave things until the last minute. I think communication is the problem but, as I'm ducking out of it this year, I don't have to worry about it.

    Hopefully, it'll all work out for 2012?