This flight report was first published on Boardgamegeek here:https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2323524/crimson-skies-phoenix-con-2019
I will also post it in German on BGG!Overview
The Phoenix Con
was home to a few Crimson Skies
skirmishes again this year. Altogether I played four times, with a happy mix of new recruits and long-serving veterans.
This time I set up my custom map "Bedloe's Island" aka "Liberty Island" which has all but one red dot obstacle: the Lady Liberty herself.
In all of the skirmishes we used quickstart crews, i.e. pilot and wingman have fixed skills levels, you just need to assign those to the six skills.
Also, we ignored Special Characteristics
to make it easier for the new recruits. But we did use almost all rocket types, we even tried drill rockets and the beeper/seeker set, which are usually shunned by us.Main Flight Book
The 1st skirmish
was against one of our veterans who tries to shoot me down each year. We randomly rolled for planes and he got a Hammer Fist
mini) and a Nemesis
mini) , while I got a good old Kestrel
and an M112
On turn 7 the Hammer Fist
and the M112
luckily didn't collide, but the Nemesis
took advantage of the situation and landed a few precise hits on the M112's
right wing from behind. One magnesium round was bound to burn into the wing tank the following turn, so the pilot bailed during movement to fight another day...
But the Kestrel
fought back hard and damaged the Hammer Fist
for good destroying all of its weapons. After having expended all its rockets, the Hammer Fist
retreated from the battlefield on turn 10.
and the Kestrel
kept circling each other and finally it came to a heads-on showdown. The Kestrel
pilot had a higher Quickdraw
and started blazing away, but the results were abysmal, despite a high Dead Eye
skill. The Nemesis'
right wing was not looking good afterwards, but still airworthy - naturally it started shooting back.
had of course suffered before, and maybe it might have survived the return fire, but one of the magnesium rounds found its mark and hit the right wing tank. The resulting fireball consumed the unlucky pilot while the Nemesis
Kudos to my opponent for downing both my planes this year. But I'll have my revenge!
In the 2nd fight
we were three participants duking it out in a free-for-all: a somewhat experienced pilot, a new cadet and me.
Our new cadet chose a Brigand
and an Avenger
, while the other pilot grabbed a Vampire
and a Devastator
. I chose a Coyote
and a Defender
We each started on our own map edge, thus giving the new recruit a few turns to get a feeling for the maneuver template. Nevertheless we quickly converged around the Lady Liberty, launching flare, sonic and flak rockets like crazy.
Going toe-to-toe with a Vampire
is never a good idea, but it happened to the Coyote
on turn 8. The Vampire
suffered quite some damage losing two of its .40s, but thick as its armor is, it generously returned fire. Sporting about half the armor, the Coyote's
wing was sheared off, sending its pilot to an untimely death.
pilot met the same fate on turn 13 when also the left wing was shot off by the Brigand's
Right on the next turn the Vampire
pilot crashed into the Statue of Liberty! Needless to say that plane and pilot plummeted to the ground without any chance of survival (we didn't roll for damage).
Next turn, next casualty: on turn 15 the Defender
sheared off the Avenger's
left wing. Yes, this is the third left wing to be destroyed this skirmish! The pilot of the Avenger
did not make it...
The two remaining planes ended up facing each other on the next turn. The Brigand's
right wing wasn't looking too good, but it held and the barrage of its .50s cut deep into the Defender's
fuselage destroying its engine and forcing the pilot to bail.
With two kills - one for the pilot, one for the gunner - the Brigand
safely returned home.
Five out of six planes destroyed and four pilots dead is harsh, but rookies rarely make it ouf the cockpit...
The 3rd flight
was a training flight for another new recruit who had watched the previous skirmish with great interest. Thus he knew some of the basics already and setting up was done quickly.
He picked a Kestrel
and a Peacemaker
while I chose a Firebrand
and a Bloodhawk
The record sheet of Kestrel
were erased after the fight so I can't say for sure when and how the Peacemaker
was shot down by the Firebrand
, but it was definitely before turn 10. In any case we know that the pilot did a successful bail.
The pilot of the Firebrand
didn't even get the chance to bail, as the Kestrel's
fire bit deeply into the fuselage, severely wounding the pilot and reducing his constitution below 0. Ouch!
From here on out the Bloodhawk
tried his best to circle and tail the Kestrel
, but by misjudging the intended maneuver in a critical moment, the Bloodhawk
overshot its prey and the Kestrel
was able to double down on the smaller plane's tail. It didn't take many hits to breach the weak armor and destroy the unfortunate bird's engine. While the Bloodhawk's
pilot ejected to safety, the Kestrel
returned home unfazed with two kill markers to be painted on its fuselage.
Congratulations to the new pilot for blazing through this trial by fire!
The 4th sortie
took off on the last day of the convention and thus we were not able to completely finish it.
A total of four players participated forming two teams: the new cadet from the 3rd flight was joined by another veteran who hadn't played until now, while the veteran from the first skirmish helped me against the opposition.
Our opponents chose Kestrel
while we rolled for random planes. My teammate got a Warhawk
mini) + Cloud Raider
mini), while I got a Monitor
mini) and an Ocelot
Teams started on the far edges of the map and both used the long distance maneuvering for advantageous positions. Shock rockets saw their fair share but flak rockets followed suit, directing enemy planes into firing lanes.
made a bold push into our map half, we swerved over to the left to greet them with a staccato from our machine guns. Only our Firebrand
held back to try and tail one of the laggards (Kestrel
On turn 5 Raven
collided. The former was lucky and got away with medium damage that was barely interal, but the Ocelot
took most of the damage to the nose ultimately destroying its engine. The pilot died from the subsequent crash.
Without further casualties we had to end the fight after turn 7, but here's an outlook:
Our opponent's Fury
was heavily damaged, Raven
had suffered medium damage while the Peacemaker
was only slightly damaged.
Our own flight was missing its Ocelot
while the Monitor
was doomed to break apart after turn 11 due to magnesium burning through its fuselage. The Cloud Raider
had also suffered heavy damage being only able to perform S and R maneuvers. The Warhawk's
damage looks worse than it actually is: it is quite deep, but it still retains all its guns; and its maneuverability wasn't exactly good to begin with.
Nevertheless, our opponents would probably have taken us, especially if they had waited for the Monitor
to go down...
A total of 22 planes took off this weekend, with half of these not returning home and seven unfortunate pilots being killed. But some of the others showed real promise and might just become the next aces flying the Crimson Skies
I'll certainly be offering to play Crimson Skies
at next year's convention again, but hopefully we can fly a few more skirmishes in and around Braunschweig before that.P.S.
Feel free to comment, especially formatting/style: too little text? pictures too large? too few pictures? tell me!