Before that however I have to remark on the rule-book. This easily has to be the most accessible rule book I have read to date. At first it seems intimidating weighing in at 48 pages. However once you start reading you realize this is because each page is brimming with side bar examples and designer notes. This feature makes learn as you play (my preferred method) a pleasurable breeze.
This post is in no way meant to be a review just a quick first impression.
So the first scenario:
The designer himself lets you know that this is designer to be a solo learning experience.
1) The Set Up:
2 Flights of AVG P-40B (Counters with Single Aircraft) are closing to in intercept 2 Squadrons (Counters with 2 aircraft) of Ki-21-IIa Sallys.
Relevant data about the flights are kept on a separate wing record sheet.
Aircraft data is from some well laid out thick cards.
Two turns in and the P-40's have closed and tallied the bombers who are flying a pre-planned linear route to the bomb run.
The situation before the first combat. Both flights choose to make hit and run attacks on the bombers to utilize their speed advantage over the loaded bombers. On reflection I should have climbed a bit higher and dived to the attack giving a +1 speed differential.
The situation after the first combat. B Flight attacked first and forces a damaged bomber out of formation the second hit then destroys the straggler. Their formation is broken up but they suffered no losses.
C flight attacks damaging a bomber and forcing a straggler but at the cost of one of their number shot down.
End of movement. B-Flight is broken and scattered and has to RTB. C-Flight maintained tally and slashes once again at Y-Squadrons using a diving hit and run attack. Both bomber squadrons will reach their target next turn so this is make or break.
Results of the second attack by C Flight. Picking off the straggler and downing another bomber. On a rules note the Ammo markers for the bombers have been removed. There is only a requirement to track ammo for Fighters and Fighter-Bombers.
Both Sally squadrons are on the final bomb run and maintaining formation so we shall see if they have been damaged enough to make a difference.
After the third attack by C-Flight generating a lone straggler (mainly because the unloaded Sallys have one extra speed) for no loss the flight is broken up and RTB.
Final VP tally: Japanese 2VP (they downed a P40, and due to scarcity this is double vps)
AVG 6VP (Three downed Bombers)
The bombers managed to hit their target and most got home. A Japanese Victory. Without the loss of a P40 it would have been a Draw.
Time to learn and play scenario about 2 hours. Initial impression straight forward game, great rule book, massive replay-ability, components outstanding.