Thud Ridge – Photos and Overview

Posted: March 6, 2015 in Gaming, Vietnam War

Not truly a full battle report, but I managed to get a few cool photos of my brother and I playing a game of Tumbling Dice’s Thud Ridge last night.  We played on a slightly smaller 5’x3′ table, as opposed to the recommended 6’x4′, and I have to say that I think it actually worked better.  It cut down on the first couple turns of flying straight forward, and unless we were playing a particularly large battle, or if I were fielding four B-52s or something, I’d probably stick to playing on a 5’x3′ in future.

Thud Ridge is a great system; the always desirable “Easy to Learn, Hard to Master” gaming grail.  For £10 you can pick up the rules, as well as more than enough planes to get you through your first few games.

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Two F-105 Thunderchiefs (background) look like they’re in danger of being intercepted by two MiG-21 Fishbeds.  The gouts of flame indicate that the planes have fired their afterburners this turn.  Afterburners both allow a significant speed boost, and give planes a little more leeway when pushing their vehicles to the limits.  The number in blue represents the plane(s) height, and the red number represents their “Energy” (an abstracted combination of thrust and momentum).

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The SA-2 guideline (MDF disc on he left), manages to get a target lock onto Echo, piloting an F-4 Phantom II.  The USAF player then has one turn to either pull off enough evasive manoeuvres to break the target lock, or hope that a Wild Weasel plane can eliminate the SAM, or force it to shut off its targetting.  This disc is just a place holder until I can knock up some model SAMs that I’m happy with.

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Echo and Splashdog flying the F-4s in formation.  Formation flying allows you to move one plane, and then place the wingman in any position with the bases touching.  It serves no apparent strategic purpose, but does speed up movement in the early stages of the game.

11044501_10153256272650832_1206192453592889998_nTwo MiG-19s prowl around the railyard which – for this scenario – is the USAF’s prime target.  They score points for dropping ordnance on target, so stopping them is vital for an NVAF victory.

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MiG-21 breaks to the right of a wing of F-105s.  The call-signs on the base, combined with the character sheets (on the clipboard, top right) are an invention of my own for tracking ordnance and damage to individual planes.  The call-signs for the USAF planes are taken from Phantom Leader, one of my favourite boardgames.

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The F-105 Thunderchiefs (nicknamed “Thuds”) are debatably the fastest and most manoeuvreable planes in the game, with both a high energy capacity, and afterburners.

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The Thuds drop Mk82 Iron Bombs on their river target, and easily avoid the inferior MiG-19s.

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Cajun dives his Phantom to Height Level 2, which effectively screens it from the SA-2 on the other side of the ridge.  SAMs cannot draw line of sight through high ground, if the target is at Height Level 1 or 2.

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Mastering the banking and turing circles is vital to victory.  Here, the MiG-21s have just overshot the F-4, and will not be able to make a shot on it just yet.

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