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Above the Clouds

Sample of Game Play

As of July 24th, 2017

(Copyright 2017, Gavin Tovrea)

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Robert Sendler (order #15381696)


Contents
Explanation of the APD .............................. 3 Example #4, Durability Checks ................ 10
Example #1, Plotting Phase ........................ 4 Example #5, Bailing Out........................... 11
Example #2, Maneuver Phase ..................... 5 Example #6, Fighter Morale ..................... 12
Example #3, Combat................................... 8 Example #7, Bomber Resolve................... 12

This document is intended to give potential players a “taste” of the game and how it is
played. This example is a very small engagement (2 fighters on each side). Normally even new
players can handle operating four aircraft each in a battle.

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Robert Sendler (order #15381696)


Explanation of the APD
Aircraft name, availability and
image.
Special characteristics of this
aircraft and how they affect game
play.
Durability, the ability of the
aircraft to absorb damage.
Guns / Ammo
This aircraft has 4 guns which allow
it to roll 3 dice when attacking. At
range 2 it will roll 2D6 representing
its Lt Cannons, and 1D8 representing
its 2 Light MGs.
At range 5 it will roll 2D10 for its Lt
Cannons but it will not be able to roll
any die for its LMGs.
Maneuvers, if this aircraft were at
speed 4 and plotted Left it could
select any of these maneuvers.
Maneuvers, if this aircraft were at
speed 3 and plotted Straight it could
select any of these maneuvers
Maneuvers, if this plotted Vertical
(at any speed) it could select any of
these maneuvers (some selections
have speed limitations).

Aircraft track ammunition


remaining and damage suffered in
these boxes.

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Robert Sendler (order #15381696)


Example #1, Plotting Phase

In the low altitude block, two Hawker Hurricane (Mk.I) fighters (Veteran speed 3,
altitude 4 and Trained speed 3, altitude 4) are intercepting a flight of Do-17Z bombers (speed 2
altitude 3), while two Bf-109Es are coming to their aid (Veteran speed 4, altitude 4, right bank
and Experienced speed 4, altitude 4). The Germans have the “Edge” marker.
Before plotting begins, the German player declares
his leader is going to pursue the British leader’s aircraft
since he is in the “Tail” arc of the Hurricane and has his
prey within the “Pursuit” arc of his own aircraft. He places
a pursuit marker to indicate his pursuit. (Although the
British wingman could elect to pursue his leader, he
decides not to because he anticipates having an opportunity
to attack a bomber after his move. The German wingman
cannot declare pursuit of his leader because the German
player can only pursue one aircraft per turn.)

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Robert Sendler (order #15381696)


The British player must then place a plot marker
for his pursued aircraft before the German player
decides whether or not he will (1) peek at the
Hurricane’s plot marker or (2) choose to move
immediately following his prey.

Since the German player has the


“Edge” he knows he can force the veteran
British pilot to move before the veteran
German pilot by giving up the Edge marker.
Therefore he elects to “peek” at the
Hurricane’s plot before choosing his own plot.
He sees that the British pilot is going
“Straight.”
(If he had instead decided to move
immediately after the target aircraft, he would
leave the pursuit marker in place to remind all
players that the pursuit aircraft will not move
in the normal move sequence, the marker
would be removed when the pursuing aircraft actually moves.)
Note: because both Bf-109s are controlled by the same player they both get to plot based
upon knowing the Hurricane’s plot. If the Bf-109s were not equipped with radios, the German
player would be forced to place a plot marker for the non-pursuing Bf-109 before he could
“peek” at the Hurricane’s plot marker. Even though they do have radios, any other German
players would NOT be told of the Hurricane’s plot because their pilots would be paying attention
to the radio traffic within their own flights.

Example #2, Maneuver Phase

Before any fighters move the bomber formation


conducts its movement. Each of them moves
forward 2 hexes.
Once all formations have moved, other
aircraft are moved in order of pilot skill, from
lowest to highest. First the Trained pilots move.

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Robert Sendler (order #15381696)


There is only one pilot with the Trained skill level
nd
(the 2 Hurricane), so he moves first.
The 2nd Hurricane pilot (speed 3, altitude 4) flips
over his plot chit, revealing that he is moving “Straight”
this turn. He can select a speed three maneuver from any
of the sections labeled “Straight,” “Left or Straight,” or
“Right or Straight” which gives him quite a bit of
flexibility. He chooses the maneuver which takes him
forward three hexes, headed straight for the leftmost
bomber, and he elects to dive one level while doing so.

The 2nd Hurricane is


in its final position. Speed
Changes: +1 (dive 1 level), and he decides not to add power or
brake. Ending speed = 4, ending altitude = 3. Note, the
Hurricane is pitched nose-down (hard to perceive in the picture)
because he executed a dive, which indicates that he may not fire at
targets above him this turn.

Now it is time for all the Experienced pilots to


maneuver, only the 2nd Bf-109 has an experienced pilot so
he executes his maneuver next.
The 2nd Bf-109 (speed 4, altitude 5) flips over its
marker revealing he plotted “Right.” He may select a
speed 4 maneuver from the sections labeled “Right” or
“Straight or Right.” He elects to move forward 2 hexes,
turn right 60o, and move 2 more hexes. He also elects to
dive 2 levels, which allows him to move forward another
hex as a bonus while diving (due to his Average dive
rating). Therefore with a speed of 4 he effectively moved
5 hexes. Speed Changes: -1 (plotted “Right”), +2 (dived
2 levels), -1 Brake (required to not exceed his max speed
of 4). Ending speed = 4, ending altitude = 3.

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Robert Sendler (order #15381696)


Now it is time for the Veteran pilots to move.
Since each side has a veteran pilot, the side with the
Edge marker is required to move first unless they are
willing to give the edge marker to their opponents.
Since the Bf-109 pilot is stalking the Veteran
Hurricane he decides to pass the Edge marker to the
British. (Note: in this view it is easy to see which
aircraft have yet to be moved…they still have their
plot markers.

The lead Hurricane (speed 3, altitude 4) flips his


plot marker revealing he plotted “Straight” (but then again,
we already knew that because of the Bf-109’s pursuit). He
selects the maneuver where he moves forward 3 hexes and
then turns 60o to the left. He considers diving 1 level but
realizes he would not be able to gain the bonus 1 hex
movement for diving (his aircraft’s dive rating is only
Fair), so he decides not to dive. Speed Changes: +1 (he
decides to add power). Ending speed = 4, ending
altitude = 4.

Finally, the lead Bf-109 (speed 4, altitude 4)


maneuvers, revealing that he plotted “Straight.” (Note:
because he was in a right bank he could not choose to plot
“Left” or “Vertical.”) He moves 4 hexes forward and turns
60o to the right. He considers diving 1 level to gain a bonus
forward movement (Average dive rating), but then realizes
if he does so he will be at altitude 3 with his nose down,
and therefore be unable to attack his prey which is still at
altitude 4. (Fortuitous that the Hurricane pilot did not dive,
or the Bf-109 would be able to close the range!) Speed
Changes: None. Ending speed = 4, ending altitude = 4.

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Robert Sendler (order #15381696)


These are the final positions at the end of the
Maneuver Phase.

Example #3, Combat


All combat resolution is considered
simultaneous and all attacks should be declared before
combat resolution begins.
The British player declares that the lead
Hurricane will attack the lead Do-17, and that his
wingman will attack the leftmost bomber. The German
player declares that the lead Bf-109 will attack the lead
Hurricane, and that his wingman will attack the 2nd
Hurricane.
Defensive Fire (see bomber rules). The trained
Hurricane pilot has successfully approached the bomber
formation from a direction where there are no defensive
guns which can bear on his aircraft. Unfortunately that
means that he is attacking from the worst possible
position (the front quarter). On the other hand the
veteran Hurricane pilot has approached from a more
rearward position, giving him a better attack but
subjecting him to defensive fire from the lead and
leftmost bomber. The left bomber’s Upper Tail LMG
can fire at the Brit, rolling a D12 and needing a “1” to
score a hit (yep, defensive LMGs are not typically that
effective). The lead bomber’s Upper Tail LMG can
also fire at the Brit, rolling another D12 but this time
needing a “1-2” to score a hit since the Hurricane is
firing at the bomber. (This represents the fact that (a)
the gunner is more motivated to succeed, (b) he will
likely fire more ammo defending himself, and (c) the
fighter is easier to hit as it points directly at the
bomber.)
The German player rolls 2D12, the black one representing the front bomber and the blue
one representing the left bomber. The roll of “4” is a miss, but the left bomber rolls a “1” and
scores a hit on the Hurricane. (Normally we would immediately make a durability check, but
for now we will wait to make all the durability checks in the next example.)

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Robert Sendler (order #15381696)


Next the lead Hurricane makes his attack
from range 4 (3 hexes distant + 1 altitude level
difference) which means his LMGs are at Long
range and must roll D10s. He checks the gunfire
modifiers and none of them apply, but he chooses to
fire a “heavy burst” so he can reduce the size of his
attack dice to D8s (and he marks off 2 ammo points
to do so). From this angle on the lead bomber
(attacking from its left-rear quarter) his guns hit on
rolls of “1-3.” His 8x LMGs give him 4 attack dice,
so he gathers 4D8s and rolls them: he scores 2 hits
and 2 misses. He is a veteran pilot (he is allowed to
re-roll one gunfire die) so he re-rolls the “7” and
again misses (with a roll of “8”). The lead bomber
will make two durability checks.

The 2nd Hurricane now attacks the left bomber at


range 1 (1 hex + no altitude difference). At this range the
Hurricane’s guns are effective (D8), so the player rolls 4D8
looking for “1s” to hit (the attack is from the bomber’s left-
front quarter). The rookie Hurricane pilot rolls 1, 1, 5, 7 (a
very lucky shot indeed!) and scores 2 hits! The left bomber
will make two durability checks.

The lead Bf-109 attacks the lead Hurricane at range 3


(3 hexes + 0 altitude difference). At this range the
Messerschmitt’s LMGs and Cannons are all effective (D8).
With his prey dead in his sights, he decides to fire a heavy
burst and no other gunfire modifiers apply, so he will mark
off 2 ammo and roll 1D6 (white) for his LMGs and 2D6 (red)
for his cannons, scoring hits on rolls of “1-3” (the attack is
from the left-rear quarter). He rolls poorly and scores no
hits, but as he is a veteran he gets a re-roll! He chooses to re-
roll one of the cannon dice and rolls another miss. Cursing
that his gun-sight must need calibration, he starts planning
ways to make his gun camera film disappear lest it fall into
the hands of his ground crew. “Hauptman Karl, why do we
even bother putting ammo in your plane?!?”

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Robert Sendler (order #15381696)


Meanwhile the 2nd Messerschmitt attacks the other
Hurricane, again at range 3 (3 hexes and same altitude).
Again, all of the Bf-109’s guns are at effective range (D8)
and the firer elects to fire a heavy burst (no other gunfire
modifiers apply) so he will roll 2D6 (red) for the cannons
and 1D6 (white) for the LMGs, scoring hits on rolls of “1-
3.” The Messerschmitt rolls and hits with everything!
Things are looking grim for the newly trained Hurricane
pilot. The Hurricane will make three durability checks,
including 2 from cannons.

Example #4, Durability Checks


Durability checks are always made using D6s, and
they are normally resolved immediately after the gunfire
which cause them. We have set them aside to illustrate
durability checks all together.

The lead Hurricane now makes his required durability


check from taking hits from the bombers’ defensive guns.
The Hurricane has a durability rating of “2” so he rolls a D6
hoping to roll “1-2.” He rolls a 3 and therefore has failed his
durability check and his aircraft takes damage from the hit
(mark off one damage “bubble”).

Now the lead bomber makes its durability checks for the
two hits inflicted by the lead Hurricane. The bomber rolls 2D6
(the red ones) which result in a “4” and a “6.” The “4” exceeds
the bomber’s durability rating (Do-17Z durability is 3) and
therefore causes a point of damage. The “6” not only exceeds
the bomber’s durability, it is a critical hit which causes a point of
damage and the die is re-rolled for another durability check! The
re-roll (the white die) also fails the durability check so the Do-
17Z has taken three points of damage from the two hits. The
bomber marks off three damage “bubbles” the third of which is a
“©” which indicates it is now Crippled (note the crippled
“smoke” marker now trailing behind the aircraft).

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Robert Sendler (order #15381696)


The left bomber now makes its durability checks. The player
rolls 2D6 – a “1” and a “4.” The one is less than the aircraft’s durability
rating so it causes no damage, but the four exceeds the bomber’s
durability rating so one damage point is marked off.

Finally the 2nd Hurricane (durability 2) makes


its durability checks having taken three hits, two of
which were from cannons. (The cannons reduce the
target’s durability by -1, so checks caused by the
cannons will only pass on rolls of “1” instead of the
normal “1-2.”) The player rolls 2D6 (red) for the
cannons and 1D6 (white) for the LMGs. The white die
reads “2” which passes the durability check and causes
no damage. The first red die also reads “2” but for
cannons that result is a failure (durability is -1 for
cannon hits), so the Hurricane takes a point of damage.
The other red die is a “6” which clearly fails the
durability check, but also causes critical hit. The re-
rolled die (the purple one) is also a “6”, which causes
another damage point and another re-roll! However
the additional re-roll is not required as the Hurricane
has now taken 3 damage points which destroys it
outright. The wingman has scored an impressive kill (a
fact which will not help Karl’s reputation among his
ground crew!).

Example #5, Bailing Out


The inexperienced Hurricane pilot now finds
himself inside a burning wreck hurtling toward the earth.
In desperation he attempts to bail-out. He rolls 3D6
hoping to see at least one result of “1,” but no…his
cockpit is shattered and now jammed shut, he cannot get
out. (If he were a Veteran pilot or better, he could have
re-rolled one or more of the failed bail-out dice).
The crew of the crippled Do-17 considers bailing
out, but they decide to stay with their aircraft hoping that
their escorts will drive away any further enemy
predators. Had they decided to bail out, they would have
succeeded on any roll of “1-2” as they would be bailing
out of a crippled aircraft instead of a destroyed one.

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Robert Sendler (order #15381696)


Example #6, Fighter Morale
Both sides may now elect to break-off or make a
morale check. The British player chooses to check
morale to attempt to stay in the fight, and he checks
the Morale Factors discovering he will need to roll
1D6 for having one aircraft destroyed, and another D6
for the pilot having failed to bail out. He rolls 2D6
resulting in a “3” and a “6.” The single result of “6”
means that his morale is wavering and he will need to
roll an additional die for each future morale check.
Had he rolled “6” and “6” his morale would have
failed and he would be forced to always choose to
“Break off” in future turns.
The German player now checks his morale
factors, discovering he rolls 1D6 for the “if none of the
above apply” factor. He rolls a “6” and he is now also
wavering (perhaps they are running low on fuel?) In
future turns the German player would roll at least 2D6,
one for the “if none of the above apply” factor and
another for the Wavering result.
If the British force’s morale had broken, on any future turn the Germans could simply
end the fight by choosing to Break Off.

Example #7, Bomber


Resolve
The bomber formation must now
check its resolve to see if it will continue is
mission to attack the target. Checking the
bomber resolve factors, the bombers gain +1
die for having 1 crippled bomber, and a
second die for having a small formation (5
or fewer aircraft). The bombers roll “3” and
“4” passing their resolve check. If either die
had been a “6” the bombers would jettison
their bombs and start to turn back for home.
Note: bomber resolve checks are not made
every turn, only on those turns where a
bomber becomes crippled or destroyed.

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Robert Sendler (order #15381696)