DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (Full Version)

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JudgeDredd -> DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/4/2012 5:18:17 PM)

As requested

War in the South - USAF 1965
Medium Length 4 Days and 4 Special Option points
Special Option Points are used to buy Priority Options and Special Weapons
In this campaign the AGM-12 Bullpup, the CBU and BLU-1 require SOs to be expended (1/2,1 and 1 respectively)

Special Rules
  • Select 3 less Average pilots
  • Remove all SA-2 counters
  • Remove the Event cards
    • Bandits!
    • SAM Site!
    • B-52 Strike
    • Show of Force
  • Select 2 less aircraft allowed to fly each mission

I've had to remove Mad Dog, Bat and Vapor from the list of available pilots and aircraft because they are in airframes with a date after 1965.

The list of available targets for this Campaign are:
  • Amunition Depot
  • AAA Site
  • Truck Park
  • Enemy Troops
  • Close Air Support
  • Covert Mission Into Laos
  • Ground Support
  • VC Build Up
  • Rail Line
  • Armed Recon
  • Tunnels
  • Supply Depot

A successful capaign will be judged thus
  • Great 9+ VPs
  • Good 6-8 VPs
  • Adequate 4-5 VPs
  • Poor 2-3 VPs
  • Dismal 1 VP

The pilots I'm allowed to select are
  • 1xNewbie
  • 2xGreen
  • 4xAverage (less 3 with the Special Rules)
  • 1xSkilled

The pilots I've choosen are
  • Jagger F-4 Phanton II Skilled
  • Junior F-4 Phanton II Average
  • Surfer F-100 Super Sabre Green (gain +2 Special Option points for this aircraft)
  • Lefty F-105 Thunderchief Green (gain +1 Special Option point for this aircraft)
  • Cajun F-4 Phantom II Newbie


Given the Special Rule where I take 2 less aircraft per mission and given I have 3 less pilots, I've went for pilots with (where possible) higher Stress limit values and with positive ATG AND ATA values.

This is going to be a tough Campaign with only 5 pilots and with the limitation of removing 2 aircraft from the mission specified aircraft! I often like to take at least one dedicated ATA airframe - but I'm likely not going to be able to do that.

I've decided to buy the Fly 1 More Aircraft Priority Option for a cost of 4 Special Options

Given the Special Options available in the campaign, what I received extra from the aircraft I selected and what I spent on the Priority Option, I start the campaign with6 available SOs for weapons.

Lützow -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/4/2012 6:15:26 PM)

I'll look into Phantom Leader once the iPad version is released. Should be within next 2 weeks. [:)]

JudgeDredd -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/4/2012 6:39:39 PM)

I played the demo of Hornet Leader for the PC - it wasn't great. The offered version just didn't convert well to playing on the computer. I guess that happens with certain boardgames.

Perhaps if they had kept the graphics from the game - I don't know. But there's something about a boardgame...setting it up, maintaining the necessary values and stats...that seems to get lost in a computerised version.

One good conversion I thought was Memoir '44 and I think it's because it stayed almost 100% faithful to the boardgame.

wodin -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/4/2012 7:32:39 PM)

Thanks JD..Though I was asking for more boardgame conversions I think certain games are best as a boardgame..this series being one of those. I think the more complex boardgames are the ones that could really use the PC for the bookeeping and rules etc are what should be converted. Also the two playe ror more boardgames as this is where an AI can come into place.

These games though, especially this series I feel is best as a boardgame..the components and tactile nature aswell as the easy to follow rules etc don't make playing a headache and I think part of the fun is recording your campaigns.

So no I don't think this series is good for a PC or IPad conversion. I'd much rather play it as a boardgame.

Oh and I would be wary of the conversion after Hornet leader which i feel didn't do the boardgame any justice.

Thanks JD for the AAR..good stuff. Lucking forward to how it pans out..also looking forward to the other AAR's. Your a star for doing this.

JudgeDredd -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/4/2012 8:04:20 PM)

Day One

Target List

Ammunition Depot
  • Location - Laos 1 Corps Area with 0 Weight Point Penalty and 1 Stress
  • Tasking - 3 aircraft (modified to 2 with the -2 Special Rule and +1 Priority Option)
  • Sites - 1 Site in each approach area and 2 in the target area
  • Bandits - No bandits in approach areas and 1 over the target area
  • Hits - Target requires 6 hits
  • VPs - 1
  • Politics - 1
  • Recon - 0
  • Intel - 2
  • Special - Hit the target 7 times for overkill to move the politics counter 1 to the left

Supply Depot
  • Vietnam - Route Pack 6 with -1 Weight Point Penalty and 2 Stress
  • Tasking - 6 aircraft (modified to 5 with the -2 Special Rule and +1 Priority Option)
  • Sites - 2 Sites in each approach area and 3 in the target area
  • Bandits - 2 bandits in each approach areas and 1 over the target area
  • Hits - Target requires 10 hits
  • VPs - 3
  • Politics - 3
  • Recon - 2
  • Intel - 2
  • Special - Hit the target 12 times for overkill to move the politics counter 1 to the left

Tough choice here. I doubt I can destroy the Ammunition Depot with 2 aircraft...but then the Supply Depot with only 5 is also a very touch mission.

I take the Supply Depot.

Recon over the site shows the following defenses
  • Southern Approach - 2xInfantry
  • Western Approach - 2xS60
  • Northern Approach - 2xZu-23-2
  • Eastern Approach - 2xZu-23-2
  • Over the target - 2xInfantry + 1M1939

Looking at the defenses, a high approach initially looks like the best option. That would keep me out of all defenses except the M1939. Low level will attract all kinds of attention from everything else - including the 2 S60s which have a range of 1 - so even if I did stay high, I'll have to go low over the target and therefore I'd open myself up to them.

I could go high, approach from the West and fire a couple of AGM-12s which have a good chance of destroying the S60s...then go low into the target. If I took an extra AGM-12 with me, I could take care of the M1939...once over the target with the 2 S60s and the M1939 out the way I'd only have the infantry to worry about.

Of course I don't know what kind of bandit activity will be around...so I'll have to carry a couple of AIM-9s on a couple of aircraft.

I need 10 hits on the target - 12 to reduce the Political fallout of this mission to 2.

Keeping the Politics counter as far to the left of the track as possible is important because it affects the targets you can choose - you can only choose targets equal to or less than the number to the right of your Politics counter. The 3 on this target would push me 3 to the right - meaning next turn I would only be able to choose missions with a Politics value of 1 or less.
the Politics counter moves one to the left after each mission

Of course I could use SOs to pull Recon and get other targets presented - but SOs are like gold dust - I only have 6 for the whole campaign - and I'm already considering using 1.5 for my Bullpups.

This is the Target Area

JudgeDredd -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/4/2012 8:11:30 PM)

No problem. Like I said - I was looking for an excuse to get these open again...and an AAR is the perfect way to make me do it.

AARs are time consuming - especially involving pictures. For a computer game it's not so bad, grabbing a screenshot and uploading...but with boardgames it's getting the camera, getting the right shot which is difficult in the evening, then attaching the camera, selecting the image with the best light and focus, resizing the image, uploading...it's a real lengthy process with a boardgame.

I enjoy doing them though...gets me playing them.

Any questions on the rules, ask away and I'll try and clear up.

wodin -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/4/2012 9:11:12 PM)

SO far I'm on track..getting excited to see how it plays out...I appreciate the time your having to take here..thanks again.

JudgeDredd -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/6/2012 10:13:00 PM)

Pilot Selection

Well, 5 pilots can fly this mission and I only have 5 pilots - so the choice is easy!

Aircraft Arming
The area being attacked has a -1 Weight Point. So all aircraft can carry 1 less weight point in armament. I could counter this by purchasing the Tanker Priority for a cost of 4 SOs (1-3 Aircraft = 3xSOs, 4-6 Aircraft = 4xSOs and 7 or more Aircraft = 7xSOs). Suffice to say I won't be buying the tanker priority...not with so few SOs left for the campaign.

Therefore the Phantoms can take 5WPs of weapons, the Super Sabre 3WPs and the Thunderchief 5 WPs. And just realised that as I only have 1 Thunderchief, and it's the only aircraft that can carry AGM-12s, and I only have 5WPs on the Thunderchief AND the AGM-12 costs 2 WPs - then I can only carry 2...so I'm going to have to pray at some point!

I have no idea what kind of CAP to expect - so I'll be taking along 4 AIM-9s. As mentioned earlier I'll be bringing 3 AGM-14s along to hopefully take care of the enemy sites which have range to hit me. I'll carry some rockets for suppression and the rest of the armaments will be either be Mk-82s or Mk-84s

So - Arming
Jagger F4 Phantom
  • 2xAIM-9
  • 1xMk-84
  • 1xMk-82

Junior F4 Phantom
  • 2xAIM-9
  • 1xMk-84
  • 1xMk-82

Surfer F-100 Super Sabre
  • 1xMk-84
  • 1xMk-82

Lefty F-105 Thunderchief
  • 2xAGM-12
  • 1xRockets

Cajun F4 Phantom
  • 2xMk-84
  • 1xRockets

Assuming all hits from the Mk-82s and Mk-84 are successful, then I can inflict a maximum of 21 hits on the target. That will leave the Rockets for suppression and the Bullpups for the more dangerous targets. Of course - there had better not be more than 4 bandits in the area...and with potentially 2 in each approach and one over the target, I'm looking at a possible 9!!

This is the aircraft at take off...


No ECM Pods - no space for them.

As you can see, the enemy defensive sites are set and I've moved the Politics Counter 3 to the right. It's currently pointing at 1 to it's right meaning I can only accept a mission with that Politics rating. It's to reflect feelings of the war at home.

JudgeDredd -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/6/2012 10:40:11 PM)

Target Bound
I have to pull a Target Bound Event Card...and it's...excellent


Sierra Hotel - Good Approach : Add 1 to your Attack and Suppression die rolls.

Great news.

I can now choose to abort the mission or not...and I choose not to.

I now have to place my aircraft. I decide to approach from the West and High. This will keep me out of harms way of the S-60's. I'll strike one with an AGM-12 and keep the other AGM-12 to hit the M1939 in the Target Area.

I now determine Bandit cover by pulling (blindly) chits as required. I pull two for each approach and 1 for the centre. It's decent news - only 3 bandits are present...2xMig-19s and 1xMig-21

This is the Target Area on approach.


Next I pull an Over Target Event Card - good news


Peace Rallies : No Adjustment

Well - so far things are going well. This is probably one of the best starts to a mission I've ever had. But I still have to get bombs on targets - and there's a fair bit of danger around.

Friday - to battle.

wodin -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/6/2012 10:59:03 PM)

Excellent AAR so far..can't wait till Friday!! Only messing, looking forward to it.

JudgeDredd -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/6/2012 11:17:25 PM)

Club bike ride tomorrow night so don't get back until 9 and ATP Tennis Tournament at the O2 on Thursday - so I guess that will be a late night also.

Has to be Friday I'm afraid. I am worried leaving the setting out though with the cat kicking about! [:'(]

Lützow -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/6/2012 11:33:48 PM)

Thanks for the insight. The iPad version is already released but quite expensive and since it looks rather like a card game (more cards than counters) I'm probably passing on this one.

Wisth there would be a conversion of Steel Wolves or WiF. [:(]

JudgeDredd -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 7:14:29 AM)

Well - the iPad version may be very well done. The Hornet Leader game wasn't (sorry to whomever created that). I'm a firm believer that a computer based conersion of a boardgame (especially a successful one) should stay as faithful as possible to the boardgame. After all, moving from a boardgame to a computer version is already going to remove elements of the boardgame (some thankfully and others not) - so they should leave as much in as possible to keep faithful to the boardgame.

I think the Hornet Leader suffered from the combat being too fast - taking away any suspense and it always seemed difficult to me to understand what was going on. On top of that - the game didn't look great. They could've made it look like the boardgame - and that is a MASSIVE part of a boardgame conversion.

So - maybe the iPad will be done properly.

SuluSea -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 11:49:47 AM)

Hi JD! [:)]

I'm enjoying the AAR, thanks for your time and effort. DVG owes you some store credit. I have an itchy trigger finger because of what I've seen so far and wouldn't doubt others do as well. Keep it going. [:)][;)]

JudgeDredd -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 12:21:42 PM)

^ That would be nice! Some store credit! [&o]

Josh -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 12:40:18 PM)


ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

^ That would be nice! Some store credit! [&o]

Yep, if anything sells it's AAR's like this.

JudgeDredd -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 12:53:27 PM)

Thanks for the kind words everyone.

Like I said, they are time consuming but I do like doing them and this latest request helped me get them out the box - which I kept meaning to do and just never got round to.

wodin -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 1:34:48 PM)

I too think JD deserves some DVG store credit..if your listening Mr DVG! The advertisement he is giving is well worth it I feel.

As he owns most of the titles..maybe send him the Phantom leader deluxe when it's finally out.

JudgeDredd -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 1:37:16 PM)

[:)] Keep going - I'd love to upgrade to Phantom Leader Deluxe but can't really justify replacing a perfectly good game for some extra content.

DampSquib -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 7:28:34 PM)

Very nice AAR JD,cheers & good luck with the P-40 btw.

JudgeDredd -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 9:26:47 PM)


The P-40 is coming along nicely. I'm stuck to weekends because of bad light and late nights at work...but it's getting there and starting to look the part. How did you know about it? Wargamer? SimHQ? Grogheads?

wodin -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 9:53:32 PM)

JD..if you had a choice between Hornet leader and TAL which one would you go for...I may ask for one of my Mum and dad for Xmas...I like the sound of fighter combat..but I also like the sound of TAL being more of a tactical game..looked for PL everywhere but all out of stock now. Otherwise I'd have bought it, cheaper and love sixties jets.


JudgeDredd -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 10:14:56 PM)

I don't think you know how hard that question is! Both really are awesome games but totally different. TAL takes a completely different way to play. I mean alot of the rules and gameplay are the same - but there's more of a "feel" for a battlefield in TAL.

But Hornet Leader is packed with so many goodies!

I think TAL (and I really had to think about that for a good 10-15 minutes!)...there's some nice rules in there, some good kit, some nice weapons and the replayability is added to even more than in the two previous games by the random hex layouts. Also - I'm hoping he releases expansions for TAL as he seems to have made it a bit more modular.

wodin -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 10:56:35 PM)

Thanks mate..hopefully if I'm a good boy father Xmas (Mum and Dad) will get me TAL. Do you get to fly any fighters in TAl..I'm sure I saw one or two in component pics..

wodin -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 11:13:43 PM)

JD. Just read over at BGG that you can do a campaign using both Hornet and TAL, the rules are on the DVG site apparently. Not sure if you knew.

DampSquib -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 11:47:30 PM)

It was GrogHeads JD.
Watched the B 17 take shape as well...nice job on that :)

wodin -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/7/2012 11:52:39 PM)

Wish I lived in the States..TAL Leader around $49..shipping to the Uk add another $55!!! (plus could get stung for Customs)

Looks like I will have to find a UK stockist. The cheapest I've found including shipping is Around £60. Phantom leader is sold out everywhere.

kvob -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/8/2012 4:55:08 AM)

It's available here for £43.95 but it's on pre-order.


wodin -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/8/2012 7:36:12 AM)

Yeah I've found it for £37 but out of stock, No one has it until the deluxe version is released and I don't expect that too soon. SO going to get TAL which is around £60.

JudgeDredd -> RE: DVG - Phantom Leader AAR (11/8/2012 7:51:58 AM)

I had heard rumblings I think some time ago about "joining" them - I'll have a look - maybe that's a 4th AAR! There are alot of rules between the two games though - I wonder how easy it'll be to join them.

Thanks DampSquib. I was a little sad when I saw the B-17 kit on opening the box and even sadder when I started to piece it together - but I was very pleased with how it looked in the end. It turned out a fair bit of work but a decent finish I thought. The P-40 is the saem - seems like a fair bit of exra work, extremely simplistic looking model but it's looking like it might end up nice.

Wodin you couldn't go wrong with Hornet Leader or Thunderbolt Apache Leader - both a great games and packed full of great, high quality kit. TAL nips it as mentioned above. And I know £60 is alot of money - but there is a hell of alot in those boxes...and on top of that, replayability seems almost endless. If you only had one campaign in there the different pilots, airframes, weapons and terrain tiles all make that campaign different each time.

Phantom Leader Deluxe is going to be superb. Unfortunately I simply couldn't justify paying the £60 to replace the £45 version I bought. I know it's packed to the rafters...but it's still £60 for something which I already own £45 worth of. It's almost like buying one of those computer games for £30 then buying the DLC but paying £45 just because it contains the full game as well. Shame he doesn't do "upgrade" kits but I guess profit is prohibitive in the boardgame industry.

You never know, I may change my mind...

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