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Author Topic: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War  (Read 1544 times)

Offline Easy E

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White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« on: January 10, 2022, 03:44:45 PM »
Greetings All,

I have been tinkering and working on an air combat game for the Korean War tentatively called White Star/Red Star.  For these rules, I went out an purchased a bunch of Tumbling Dice 1/600 aircraft for the period.  I have the forces of the USAF vs the Communists.  However, there is room to expand with the USN/USMC and the British Commonwealth forces for the UN too. 



These include some of my favorite planes like the F-80 Shooting Star, F-84 Thunderjet, the F-86 Sabre, and the venerable B-29 Superfortress.  On the Communists side we have the much vaunted Mig-15 and various late World War II era prop planes.

As you can see, these models can be relatively tiny.  However, that allows you to play a game in a relatively small space.  In addition, the rules I am working on actually model and scale agnostic, so you could just as easily use Warlord's Blood Red Skies: Mig Alley minis too. 



Above is a B-26 Invader, Mig-15, F-84 Thunderjet, and a T-6 Texan for scale purposes. 

I have been testing the rules using paper templates while I get the minis sorted and painted.  The main thrust of the rules is to do the following:

1. Simplify flying with an assumption that all pilots know how to fly
2. Quick, easy, decision based mechanics.
3. Pilot skill difference matters
4. Incorporate key ideas like Detection, Altitude, and vertical vs. horizontal combat 
5. Gun battles at Jet speeds

You can follow some of the design work Here:

V1 Rules:

Cap in MIG Alley
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2021/06/battle-report-white-starred-star-cap-in.html

Bomber Intercept
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2020/08/battle-report-white-star-red-star.html

Bomber Intercept 2
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2020/07/battle-report-white-starred-star-bomber.html
 
Intercept at Suwon Airfield
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2022/01/battle-report-white-starred-star.html

After initial playtesting, I have gone through a major re-vamp of the rules and how Detection, the action economy, and how Wingmen operate.  More to come as I continue to develop this game further.  Let me know what you think of the progress, and if the game is hitting its design goals. 

Thanks.     
Support Blood and Spectacles Publishing:
https://www.patreon.com/Bloodandspectaclespublishing

Offline Easy E

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2022, 03:29:33 PM »
To get started, here is a swarm of Mig-15s.....



The nice thing about small scale models is that they paint up really quickly! 

Supposedly, the initial Russian fighter units painted their planes with the distinctive red engine coverings.  However, this seems suspect considering what lengths the Russians went to try and hide their involvement in the war.  Russian pilots had to learn key aviation phrases in Korean, were forbidden to fly over the ocean, and other complex rules of engagement to keep their participation obscured enough for plausible deniability. 

In addition to the Russian pilots that were rotated in to fly frontline missions, the Soviets were actively trying to train up Chinese and North Korean pilots to fly the Mig-15.  This led to a skill gap in MIg-15 pilots.  Many of the Russian pilots were experienced pilots from World War II, with the leading, surviving Russian Ace of the war as the initial unit commander.  The North Koreans and Chinese did not have this base of knowledge to draw from. 

It is also important to note that the MIG-15s main adversary was NOT the USAF F-86 Sabre.  The primary target of the Mig-15 was the B-29 Superfortress.  Many cite the kill ratio of Sabres to Migs when talking about the Korean Air War.  However, that is a bit of a misconception for two reasons:

1. The Mig's main target was intercepting bombers, and not air-to-air kills vs Sabres.  The Mig was better off trying to avoid Sabres to fight another day, and only fight when they had the advantage. 

2. Many US plane losses were written off as mechanical failures rather than actual combat losses.  This gamesmanship was intended to inflate the kill ratio between the Communist and UN pilots. 

These Migs will be a good start to the Communist forces over Korea.   

Offline flatpack

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2022, 10:43:51 AM »
Looking good. Interesting period to game.
Flatpack

Offline Easy E

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2022, 03:34:28 PM »
I find it interesting as the Jet was relatively new, but the weapon systems were still pre-missile.  Therefore, the tactics of the time were "unique". 

To oppose my Communist air force, I painted up some USAF early jets as well. 



Here, we can see the the F-84 Thunderjet in the left front, the F-80 Shooting Star in the right front, and the famous F-86 Sabre to the rear. The Sabre planes have the distinctive Yellow lines all Sabre models seem to sport in the artwork, models, and many photos.  The others I went with red as well based on actual squadron and aircraft pictures I could find from the era. 

The F-84 and F-80 proved to be inadequate platforms for dealing with the Mig-15 threat.  However, the F-84 went on to be the leading strike aircraft of the USAF during the war.  It went through various design changes, and saw a long service life with Air National Guard units.  There was even a swept wing design called the Thunderstreak, but it never saw service in Korea. 

The F-80 was somewhat less successful.  The interceptor squadrons were swapped out to other aircraft in 1951.  However, it still operated as a ground attack aircraft.  At the start of the war, the F-80 was the primary jet interceptor versus the older, prop powered North Korean forces, and it did fine work against such opponents.  However, the F-80 was the first jet shot down by a MIg-15, and the F-80 struggled to protect the B-29's from this new threat.  By the end of the war, the only F-80s still in service over Korea were photo recon birds.

Offline Easy E

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2022, 04:34:19 PM »
Next up, I needed to build up the American Bomber force for White Star/Red Star since strategic bombing from B-29's and A-26s was a key UN strategy.  The MIg-15's main job was to stop the B-29s from getting through.  In this job, they were very successful and forced the cessation of daylight bombing.  However, the bombing campaign continued with night raids.



The B-29 is in the back with the A-26 Invaders in the front.  The Invaders are in an actual paint scheme I found photos of for night attacks. 

The B-29 tried to attack infrastructure, but it was soon learned that North Korea had only a handful of key infrastructure items.  Meanwhile, the Invaders were attacking more tactical targets such as troop concentrations, logistical cross roads, etc.  Most of these bombers were based out of Japan, and had to travel long distances in order to launch their attacks.   

Offline flatpack

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2022, 08:33:56 AM »
Keep up the good work, looking great.

Offline has.been

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2022, 11:21:15 AM »
I like what you are doing.
Tumbling dice have had quite a lot of money from
me over the years. Maybe I should paint up some
of the aircraft ;D. Don't have any jets...yet.

Offline flatpack

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2022, 09:11:21 AM »
Pete....dare you ! Do it.

Offline has.been

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2022, 05:00:33 PM »
Quote
Pete....dare you ! Do it.
I might weaken at a show...Hammer-Head is coming up  ??? ??? ???

Offline Easy E

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2022, 03:22:12 PM »
They are dead easy to paint, and you can get a lot done in one sitting. 

Offline Easy E

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2022, 03:19:24 PM »
Next, I turned to the Communists air forces again.  This time the North Korean's in the early war will be the focus. 



Here we can see the late WWII model aircraft used by the North Koreans.  Their air forces was small and mostly focused on ground attack and support.  However, it was supplemented by a few interceptors. 

To the left is the La-9 (or La-11 in a pinch) with the red cowlings.  The right has the Yak-9 with the red nose cones.  In front of them is the Yak-19 Maxx which was primarily used as a night-time, nuisance bomber, recon aircraft, and trainer. 

The La-9 and Yak-9's would lead the effort in the Air Battle for South Korea in the first month or two of the war.  The planes and pilots performed effectively, but were no match for the much larger, better trained, and better supported UN air forces that arrived.  The North Koreans lost the Air Battle of South Korea decisively and allowed the USAF almost unfettered control of the air over Korea.     

However, the arrival of the Soviet MIG-15 would change the air war yet again.   

 

Offline Easy E

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2022, 05:21:19 PM »
I have a playtest of a V2 set of White Star/Red Star up on my blog.  V2 I made some significant changes to the rules to see what happens on the table!   

http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2022/01/battle-report-white-starred-star-cap-in.html



Sadly, this was completed BEFORE I painted up all my fun new models.  Paper templates ahoy!
« Last Edit: February 02, 2022, 05:23:07 PM by Easy E »

Offline Easy E

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2022, 03:37:14 PM »
Work continues on the 1/600 Tumbling Dice aircraft for the Korean War.  Here is the "Old school" USAF with F-51 Mustangs, F-82 Twin Mustangs, and a couple of A-6 Texans/Mosquitos. 



In addition, I have a play test battle report with most likely the "final version" of the rules for White Star/Red Star on the blog here:
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2022/02/battle-report-white-starred-star-combat.html

The next battle report will have fully painted aircraft in it!

Offline Easy E

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2022, 03:56:07 PM »
Welp, the game is out in the wild on the Wargame Vault now.  You can find it here:

https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?keywords=blood+and+spectacles&x=0&y=0&author=&artist=&pfrom=&pto=

So far, it is number 6 in the top sellers category!  I hope it lasts! 


Offline Easy E

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Re: White Star/Red Star- Korean Air War
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2022, 10:34:35 PM »
Some Bombers.....



The B-29 was the main USAF bomber in the war.  The TU-2 Bat was the main Chinese bomber.  However, the TU-2 Bat and strategic bombing was not a large part of the Communist plans.  Instead, tactical bombing and support bombing was more common.

 

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