NB: if this is your first visit to this series of reports concerning Mission 6, don't read this account now, but scroll down to read the first instalment (3 Turns to Target).
This is the final turn before the Axis strike force arrives over its target. Time is running out fast for the Brits to take a chunk out of the bombers before their payloads come tumbling down over the heads of the stubborn defenders of Tobruk.
#1 The Bf110s. Sensing vulnerability, the German wingman targets his hurricane counterpart. He draws his one offensive card: a 1B In My Sights. Attack! The hurricane pilots draws two cards...both are attack cards. Noooooooooo!! His plane takes a peppering....enough to reach his damage level and flip the card. That's what happens when you leave your rabbit lucky charm back at the barracks.
The Germans have no reason to change altitude. The leader can sense another kill and also targets the hapless wingman, who can now only draw a single defence card. The leader has a 3 Burst card and two maneuver cards. He goes in for the attack:
* He plays a maneuver card
* The British wingman has only one chance...it's a tight turn.
* The German pilot counters with.....a tight turn!
* It's all over....the German plays his second maneuver card, so now has enough burst points to open fire. His Out of the Sun card delivers four hits....enough to send the wingman spiralling to the ground, out of control. A ball of black smoke rises into the bright sky........
The German draws 3 cards....one more damned Englander to finish off before lunch.
#2 The Lone Hurricane: Goodman can't afford to grieve the loss of his wingman. That will have to wait until he returns to base...IF he returns to base. Alas, still lacking the cards to support an attack that will make a difference, he decides to climb to medium altitude and rebuild his hand (discard 1, draw 2).
#3 CR42s: There is now no target for the wingman. The Italian leader has a weak offensive hand, but elects to climb, discarding a card. No attack - draws 1.
#4 & 5 Stukas: hold position, content to approach the target.
In the Final Step, all of the fighters break off. For this mission against ground targets, the area flak level is zero. There is no modification to this at 'Low' altitude for dive bombers, so no cards are drawn to determine damage. The stukas now commence their bombing run, while Goodman and his adversaries duke it out above them......
The next instalment in Mission 6 is coming soon.......