Yesterday had a three player Fighting Wings game at my house using the Quick Start Rules and scenario five from The Sun against The Stars introductory package. This 20 turn action has two A6M2 Zeros vs. two F4F Wildcats in August 1942 in the South Pacific. Set up has one Zero followed by the two Wildcats followed in turn by the second zero.
In our game a swirling dogfight developed with the Zeros trying to slow the speed down of the engagement and turn the furball into a turning contest while the Wildcats tried to keep separation and speed up while maneuvering for shots. First half had a USN Wildcat advantage with four damage points inflicted, two on each Zero. This included a short range head on exchange where the Wildcat firepower and ruggedness trumped the weaker Zero's gunnery. In this half of the game the Wildcats, using opposite banks and turns (one in a right bank, the other in a left bank) kept the Zeros from tailing each other by clearing each others' tails. It was cool to see this historical tactic work in the game at least for a few turns until I bungled a move.
End game saw the advantage shift to the Imperial Japanese Navy fliers as a too wide of separation between Wildcats prevented mutual support and the Zeros both quickly, expertly maneuvered behind to tail one of the Wildcats. Devoid of support and once on the tail, the Zeros proved impossible to shake despite all the twists and turns and climbs. A series of Zero shots at decreasing ranges each turn failed to dent the desperately maneuvering Wildcat until an end game two hex range tail shot caused three damage points and an engine fire critical. The fire was eventually put out, as was the Wildcat ardor for tangling with Zeros on their terms. Both Wildcats began to dive rapidly away to end the game. Final VP had the IJN win by 1 VP for the single critical hit. A great, close game!
It took 6 hours to play 17 turns though speed of play increased significantly each turn as we rapidly picked up on the game mechanics and the rules questions dropped off.