B-26: The Marauder Strikes!

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B-26: The Marauder Strikes!

The B-26 has arrived in the European Theater of Operations. It has now joined the B-17, B-24 and the Lancaster over the skies of war torn Europe...

Martin B-26 Marauder: The Wingless Wonder was the name of a variant of Avalon Hill's B-17: Queen of the Skies solitaire boardgame. A draft of B-26 was available for play testing which used the B-17: Queen of the Skies rules and B-17 was needed to play. Everything has changed since then, and B-26: The Marauder Strikes! has completly new mechanics and is a stand alone game. It is a solitaire game set on board a Martin B-26 Marauder medium bomber during World War Two in the European Theater of Opearations from July 1943 until the end of the war in May 1945.

B-26: The Marauder Strikes! is a big game in that there are many target lists, rules, mission maps and details which are not found in B-17: Queen of the Skies or B-29 Superfortress: Bombers over Japan. For example, the Damage Tables are more detailed than the earlier games and the combat system is similar, but completely new. The Target Lists include a large selection of targets attacked by B-26s from July 1943 until the end of the war in May 1945 and are placed on 13 maps (movement boards) which are different depending on where your base is located, from England to the Netherlands. Different models of the B-26 is also included from the early B-26 in 1941 until the B-26G which entered combat in October 1944. The earlier models are not used in the European Theater of Operations (the ETO) in which B-26: The Marauder Strikes! is set, but will be used in 22nd Bomb Group: Marauders from Australia, an add-on variant set in the Pacific in the war against Japan in New Guinea.

Players familiar with B-17: Queen of the Skies or B-29 Superfortress: Bombers over Japanrecognize the mechanics used in B-26. One or more 6-sided dice are rolled on tables to plan the mission, to determine if enemy fighters appear, to hit with machine gun fire and to determine damage and wounds and much more. In some ways it can be quicker to play a mission, but at the same time it can seem to be "dice-ee-er" than its companions. B-26 is, with its advanced and optional guidelines, deep, detailed and complex, but still as easy to play as B-17 or B-29 with its basic system which is similar to the mechanics in B-17 or B-29.

You can begin your campaign flying missions from bases in England or jump in later in the war when the B-26 groups had moved to the continent and you will find Mission Maps with your station either in England, France, Belgium or the Netherlands depending on when you fly your missions. Put together a crew, name your B-26 and fly missions over France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Germany, Austria and Chechoslovakia!

You can also find the A-20 Havoc and the A-26 Invader as add-on modules and B-25 is on the way. If you would like to fly low-level missions you can find rules for those missions in the Low-Level add-on. The latest add-on is set in the PTO. You fly the A-26 from Okinawa!

It is being play-tested. If you would like to become a play-tester, please let me know. Honor and Glory: Danger and Excitement: Flak and Fighters - Two positions open!

Website: http://www.themarauderstrikes.magnuskimura.se/
Location: Sweden
Members: 13
Latest Activity: Apr 8

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Comment by Ken Legg on April 27, 2016 at 12:37pm

I would take suggestion #1, just take the lead and resume to the IP.

Comment by Magnus Kimura on April 27, 2016 at 4:55am

How would you play this situation?

The exact procedure is not in the rules. I may add this on Combat Board Table 1: If you are Deputy Flight Lead (#4) when Bombing by Flights and on the Bomb Run, Break Away and Go Around.


Here's where I am now:

* I am Deputy Flight Lead, Box 1, Low
* IP 5
* We are on the Bomb Run, Flak hit Flight Lead and #1 leaves. (Strong, inaccurate. I rolled once on TZ-2, Formation Casualties, and then on CB-1.)

Now what?

Suggestion 1: Break Away and Go Around so that I can move to the Lead.

Suggestion 2: Move to Lead, roll again for FLAK, and use IP 1 modifications on the AP and Bomb Run?

Suggestion 3: Move to Lead, roll again for FLAK. Roll D6: IP 5 minus D6 = new IP (this is to reflect where on the Bomb Run #1 left and I take over.) If 0 or less, I have passed the Release Point and must break away and Go Around.

Suggestion 4: The easy way out - just hop to Lead and continue the bomb run, using IP 5.

I will improvise. I think I'll follow Suggestion 2 and if the AP is not found (Good Weather) I'll go Around, or Go Around even if I identify the AP to have the IP 5 modifications on the Bomb Run. Do you know what that means? More FLAK! Fighters may also attack...

Before I decide now, I'll roll twice on TZ-5b for Lead and High Flight. If they hit this small No Ball target and scores superior or excellent, I could bomb on IP 1 and then return to base...

Comment by Magnus Kimura on April 11, 2016 at 1:50pm

MTO MISSIONS.

I will now fly missions to test the MTO expansion. I have target lists and maps from November 1942 through March 1943.  This will include low-level missions (Low-Level Expansion needed to play) and skip bombing. The skip bombing rules will be included in the MTO expansion and can be used with the 22nd Bomb Group in New Guinea and in the Aleutians.

Comment by Ken Legg on April 3, 2016 at 9:25am

I like both of the green aircraft as well as the bottom white one (much better resolution). The A20 still looks a little rugged and the bottom white aircraft could use a little more color variation.

Comment by Magnus Kimura on April 3, 2016 at 5:25am

Comment by Magnus Kimura on March 27, 2016 at 6:03pm

Example of Play - Le Trait, Ship Yard (Part 1)

MISSION PLANNING (This takes 2-3 minutes to complete.)

Advanced/Optional in Italics.

1. The date is September 8, 1943. The campaign is JULY TO OCTOBER 1943, 8th AF SUPPORT COMMAND, 8th Air Force and I roll on this Target Table in the Target Lists & Gazetteer Booklet.

2. I roll D6 & D6 and the result is 1 & 6 (i.e. 16). This is Ship Yard and the area is Le Trait. I make a note on the front of the Mission Chart.

3. I look at the next page and find Le Trait in the Gazetteer. Target Size is M (Medium). I put that on the Mission Chart as a reminder when I am over the target and the bomb run. The size will affect the bomb run.
4. At the back of the Mission Chart I copy the values from the Gazetteer (GAZ) in to the boxes where you have Route/Zones & Terrain/GAZ.

ZONE 1: E-W/-5 *(England and Water is the terrain you'll be flying over in this zone. -5 is the modifier you have on the dice roll on Mission Table 2, Luftwaffe Early Warning Operations (MT-2). The asterix (*) tells you that this zone is Me109 heavy and will give you -2 on Combat Table (CT-A) Type of Attacking Fighter, a greater chance of encountering an Me 109 than a FW 190 or another type of fighter.

ZONE 2: W/-2

ZONE 3: F/+0 ¤ t (This is the Target Zone, as you have no more zones in the gazetteer with information that must be copied onto your Mission Chart. The little star (¤) marks this as a FW190 heavy area and you have +2 on Combat Table A. the "t" marks this zone as a Special fighter area and you have +2 on CT-A and if the result is SPECIAL, 110, 410 or Special, you roll on the Special Fighter Table at the bottom of CT-A. In a “t-area” roll on 7/43. (CT-A has columns with different time periods.))Target: F (The Terrain where the Target is located. A Target can be close to the ocean (W-F) or another country (N-G) and if you are shot down over the Target you may have to let a die roll decide where you land. Some Targets located in Zone 7 or 8 are also in this column with the Terrain and a GAZ Mod.

Comment by Magnus Kimura on March 27, 2016 at 6:03pm

5. Mission Planning Table 1a (MP-1a), Season Modifiers. It is September 1943, so the Season Modifier is +0. This is applied on MP-1b, Weather.

6. MP-1b, Weather Forecast
a. I roll 2D6 for weather at Take Off and then on Landing. (I always roll 2x 2D6 (four dice) to save some time and dice rolls.) "5" at take off is Good. "3" when landing is very good!

b. Roll now for weather forecast over the target. "10" is poor. This will affect fighter attacks in the target zone and flak over target.

7. MP-2, Mission Altitude. The altitude on which you fly will affect flak, your bomb run, and there might also be a chance to be affect by lack of oxygen and heat. (B-26s usually flew with out heat and oxygen. On this table you roll D6 to decide Column A-D and 2D6 for altitude. "3" is Column B and "4" is 8000 feet. Column A-C means no Oxygen and heat and in B you have +1 to hit on your bomb run.

8.
 MP-3, Initial Point. Roll D6 to decide how far from the target your IP is. It will affect your chance of identifying the aim point, your bomb run to hit and flak. I roll "2" and the to hit is -1 and flak intensity is +1.

NOTE: When you are flying as the leader of the formation (Box 1, Lead) you may choose your altitude and IP (This option is not in the rules.) If you'd like you can chose on MP-2 & 3 already from Mission 1.


9.
 MP-4, Expected Flak over Target. The Type of flak guns which will fire at you depends on your mission altitude from MP-2, step 7 above. On this mission I will be at 8000 feet over Le Trait. In B-26 heavy flak guns will fire at you if you are at 8000 to 15000 feet. Roll now to check if the guns will be controlled by radar. I roll "4" which means that they are radar controlled and thus poor or worse weather will not affect their offensive fire.There were different types of anti-aircraft guns, and they were effective at different altitudes. The Germans had 20 mm light flak guns, 37 to 50mm medium flak guns and 75 to 150mm heavy types of flak guns. One B-26 Pilot Training Manual categorizes the guns into light (20-50 mm) and heavy (75-155 mm, although the largest gun according to other sources is one of 128 mm and still others refer to a 150 mm caliber flak gun). Flak batteries of various sized guns were placed around potential targets with search lights for night defense. There were also flak trains with guns on flat cars which could be taken quickly to areas that needed protection. Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna were defended also by 128s in pairs on top of large flak towers which could be used as bomb raid shelters. Heavy guns were usually aimed by radar which calculated the range and altitude and could be fired accurately even through heavy clouds. “Window,” strips of aluminum, could be dropped by “Window Ships” to disturb the radar. Light and medium guns were manually aimed and more or less effective depending on the weather and altitude.

Comment by Magnus Kimura on March 27, 2016 at 6:03pm

10. Enemy Air Force Resistance. The level of Enemy Air Force Resistance (EAR) can be Token, Light, Moderate or Heavy. It will give you a greater or lesser chance of encountering enemy fighters. There can be several factors behind the resistance level. For example, the number of fighters available and how many fighter units in the area, weather over a fighter base, enemy communications and friendly operations. The modifiers on Table MP-6, Enemy Air Force Resistance, are based to some degree on the progress of the war. You can find a high modifier in the beginning and a very low at the end of the war. Roll 2D6, modify the result, check the effect and make a note of what the modifier on Table MT-2, Luftwaffe Early Warning Operations, will be (see Table MT-2 & 6.0 Luftwaffe Early Warning Operations.)
I roll "10" then +2 for 5/43 - 11/43. 12 is heavy resistance.


11. MP-6, Fighter Cover. To simulate the fighter cover provided in B-26: The Marauder Strikes!, roll D6 on MP-6 during the Mission Planning to decide what type of fighter cover that will be provided for the mission. After the type has been determined, roll D6 again to find out the strength of the fighter force available, and if it is Close Escort it is either Poor, Fair or Good. Area Cover gives only a modification on MT-2, Luftwaffe Early Warning Operations.My roll is first "3" then "4" and I have Fair Close Escort.

12. 
MP-7, Formation Position. In B-26: The Marauder Strikes! your B-26 will be positioned in the Lead, High or Low Flight of Box 1 or 2. You will also be a Box Lead, Flight Lead, Deputy Lead or Wingman. You may also be in the Lead or Tail Group.My first roll is for Position in Flight. "7" and -2 for my pilot's experience. I am flying lead wing and then I let a D6 decide if I am #2 or #3. My D6 says I am #3, on Lead's right wing.

The second roll is for my Flight Position and that is "5" Box 2 Lead, and my third roll ("3") determines that I am in the Lead Group.

13. Mission Planning is done and I will take off. See Example of Play - Le Trait, Ship Yard (Part 2a) to follow the mission from england to Le Trait.

Comment by Magnus Kimura on March 25, 2016 at 5:24am

In the MTO expansion you'll also encounter two types of transport planes:

Comment by Magnus Kimura on March 21, 2016 at 5:20am

Play-Test Counters (still working on them. Final version will look better):

 

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