When you live on Carrier Strike Group Thirteen, “vacation” means “we’ll just blow up a little bridge and call it a day.”
Well, I should specify. When you live on Carrier Strike Group Thirteen and your name is Raven, Cowboy, or ThickMcRunfast, a vacation means blowing up a bridge. Everyone else stayed home and watched Ghostbusters.
After the destruction on day two of the major airfield just south of Tripoli, Gaddafi is moving forces up from southwest Libya to reinforce the area. A small bridge along the way is critical to getting armored columns across. The area is lightly defended. Although there are two menacing SA-11s in the area as well as an SA-2 and a Zu-33-2 directly atop the bridge which collectively cover high and low altitudes alike, it’s not nearly as bad as what the Sky Wolves have faced in the past.
Cowboy takes evasive action when one of the SA-10s targets him right before Slate Fistcrunch blows the SAM up. The way damage works in Hornet Leader is that the enemy rolls a d10. The enemy counters have three damage values printed on them. If the d10 roll is at least as high as the first value, it’s a near-miss and the pilot takes one stress. If it’s at least as high as the second, it’s a damaging hit and the pilot takes two stress and immediately loses all munitions. If he’s damaged a second time, his plane is destroyed. If the attack roll is at least as high as the third value, the plane is destroyed instantly. A pilot can always take evasive action, taking two stress in order to force the enemy to roll 2d10 and take the lower result.
The problem with Cowboy is that he needs to lug so many bombs around that he’s often unable to bring an ECM pod, and because he’s always the lynchpin of the bombing plan, I absolutely cannot afford to let him be damaged and drop his munitions. So, any time he is in any kind of danger at all, he needs to take evasive action.
Despite a brief bit of tension with those SA-10s and evasive action, by the end of turn 2 Lump Beefbroth had cleared out all the SAMs. The remaining AA guns scared the Hell out of Raven but that’s it. They dropped a bunch of bombs on the bridge, it blew up, everyone was fine, and the Sky Wolves were still on-target for an overwhelming victory over the Libyans.
“You know, I’m starting to get real sick of being the only decent attack pilot on this squadron. Don’t tell Wolf.”