|Hauptmann Erhard 'Jack' Braune (far left)|
Saturday, 25 February 2017
Bag the Blenheims: Stab III./JG27
I've been tracking down some more information on the characters that will feature in the up and coming Bag the Hun Operation Crusader scenario. These will add a bit of colour to the game and give the Luftwaffe and RAF some extra flexibility, which the latter will need to complete the mission and the former to deal with being outnumbered. This is the real trick with scenarios and doesn't always work according to best laid plans, so I've had to put some additional thought into balancing the capabilities of both sides.
The Luftwaffe element will consist of four Bf 109F4's of Stab III./JG27, the head quarters flight (schwarm) of the fighter wing (gruppe). These would have been highly experienced, veteran pilots who fought through both the Battle of Britain and Operation Barbarossa. I have decided to rate all of these pilots as Veterans, which in Bag the Hun terms means that they will find it easy to perform manoeuvres as they gain a +1 bonus for pilot skill. It's been impossible to track down any names for these pilots but that isn't essential.
The schwarm leader, however, needs to be a bit special, so I've decided to use the Gruppe commander, Hauptmann Erhard 'Jack' Braune, to fill this role. On the 31st December 1941, Braune shot down a Hurricane East of Agedabia, which corresponds exactly to the engagement that I'm trying to replicate in the scenario, so it would seem entirely realistic to feature him in the line up. With twelve kills to his name to date, he will be rated as a Junior Ace which gives him a +1 Luck rating and a Junior Ace bonus card, allowing him an extra schwarm move and move/fire option.
He will also get a Character Card to reflect his status as a highly experienced leader and fighter tactician. The Character Card will, in effect, allow the Luftwaffe to make up to three potential moves in a turn and gain additional opportunities to fire, assuming the cards play out in a convenient order. I think this will more than make up for their numerical inferiority but they will still need to work hard to hit both the bombers and the fighter escort, even if they split the schwarm into two rotte or pairs.