Thursday, December 31, 2015

The War in the Air - First Steps on the Road to Chaco

Now that I have been able to confirm the Chaco War aircraft that are actually available in 1/288th scale from Arctic Skunk, the next step is to decide what types of aircraft to purchase.  While these may be small scale, using the frosted ultra detail material to create these aircraft results in a much higher purchase price than comparably sized metal or resin offerings.  Therefore, I need to make my purchase decision with some intelligence and perhaps a little less on the "that is cool looking so I must have it" side.  Most likely I will be the only person within my gaming world who would be getting into the Chaco air war, so I need to provide enough aircraft for a multi player game, and typically when using Check Your 6! a player controls two to four aircraft.

A few other details need to be considered; most players like dogfighting scenarios, yet the Chaco War did not see many fighter vs. fighter encounters.  When there were dogfighting opportunities, the number of aircraft engaged were just a handful on each side, which does not translate to the normal practice within Check Your 6! of giving each player at least two planes.

Before we worry too much about scenario generation/creation, let's look at the numbers of frontline fighters and bombers for each side to give the reader a better understanding of the lack of numbers each side had.  I am only going to list those types that are available on Shapeways in 1/288th scale.

Type - Nation - Role - Number

Curtiss Hawk II (includes Sea Hawk II) - Bolivia - Fighter/Bomber - 10
Fiat Cr.20bis - Paraguay - Fighter - 5
Potez 25 (includes A-2 and TOE) - Paraguay - Bomber - 14
Curtiss-Wright C14R "Osprey" - Bolivia - Bomber - 20
Breguet 19 A2 - Bolivia - Bomber - 7
Vickers Type 143 "Bolivian Scout" - Bolivia - Fighter - 9
Wibault Type 93 C.1 - Paraguay - Fighter - 7
Vickers Type 149 "Vespa III" - Bolovia - Bomber - 9
Curtiss "Cyclone Falcon" - Bolivia - Bomber - 9
Junkers K43h - Bolivia - Bomber - 3
Junkers W34ci - Bolivia - Bomber - 3

Based on the above alone, that gives Bolivia 19 (or 9) fighters and 51 (or 61) bombers, against Paraguay's 12 fighters and 14 bombers.  Of course not all aircraft were airworthy throughout the entire war, but one can see a larger force of Bolivians being fielded, particularly a bomber force.  One scenario idea is to have larger formations of Bolivians trying to bomb Paraguayan targets, with the Paraguayans trying to intercept the bombers.

A random scenario generator could be devised that could determine type of mission as well as what type(s) of aircraft would be used.

More on the Chaco War in the air in future posts!

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