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  Defending America Intercepting the Amerika Bombers 1947-48 by Compass Games  I have no problem with historical alternative history in game...

Defending America: Intercepting the Amerika Bombers 1947-48 by Compass Games Defending America: Intercepting the Amerika Bombers 1947-48 by Compass Games

Defending America: Intercepting the Amerika Bombers 1947-48 by Compass Games

Defending America: Intercepting the Amerika Bombers 1947-48 by Compass Games

 Defending America

Intercepting the Amerika Bombers 1947-48


Compass Games

 I have no problem with historical alternative history in games, as long as it doesn't go too far away from plausibility. This game is set in 1947-48, and England and the Soviet Union have both fallen to the Nazis and Japan has fought the US to a standstill in the Pacific. So now the Luftwaffe is attempting to bomb and recon the US with bombers from their historically accurate 'Amerika Bomber' project. One of the Amerika Bombers did fly in the war, but most were just projects or designs before the war ended. To intercept these bombers, you are given sixteen real or experimental planes to try and knock them out of the sky. These planes will be familiar to people who have read about the airwar that could have occurred if World War II had continued on past its historical ending. Compass Games also has a game called Amerika Bomber: Evil Queen of the Skies. This is the exact opposite of the game we are looking at here. In it you are flying an Amerika Bomber and trying to evade or fight off the planes you will be flying in this game.

Back of the Box

 This is what Compass Games has to say about the game:

"Defending America is a solitaire, tactical level game which places you in command of an actual or experimental interceptor aircraft during a frightening look at what might have been in World War II. Each turn consists of one sortie, during which the player will fly a mission to intercept Amerika Bombers which are enroute to bomb the mainland of the United States. As the player progresses, he may choose to upgrade to even more advanced interceptors in this alternate history game. Defending America is based on the action-packed “Amerika Bomber” game and reverses the situation with the player attempting to stop conventional and atomic bomb attacks on the homeland. It builds a strong narrative around the pilot as you look to earn skills, rise in rank through promotion, receive awards and survive a dangerous year above the Atlantic Ocean and America.

The objective of the game is to conduct numerous sorties in the role of an interceptor pilot and rack up as many bomber kills as possible, with a special emphasis on preparing to stop atomic attacks. Pilots may use the experience gained to improve their odds of success by purchasing skills. Awards and technological advances via use of the technology track help to narrate the player’s eventual goal – to become the “Scourge of the Amerika Bombers” and end the threat to the United States from the air."


 So, let us see the games rundown, and look at what is in the box:

Complexity: 4 out of 10

Solitaire Suitability: 10 out of 10

Time Scale: Weekly turns (individual sorties, 4 per month)

Map Scale: Abstract

Unit Scale: Individual aircraft, weapon systems, specific crew members, and ammo rounds

Players: One (with option for two or more)

Playing Time: 60-90 minutes


One Counter Sheet of 9/16″ unit-counters

Eight Double Sided Aircraft Display Mats

Three Single-Sided Player Aid Charts

Five Double Sided Player Aid Charts

One Combat Display Mat

One Pilot Awards Display Mat

One Air Operations Map

Rules Booklet

One Logsheet

Two 6-sided, and one 10-sided die

Box and Lid

Mounted Map Board

 While the box does not weigh a ton or is splitting at the seams, there is still a ton of stuff inside. I have come to expect a pretty high standard of components that come with a game from Compass Games. You will be glad to know you will not be underwhelmed with these. The map board is mounted. It is not a large map, but for this game it does not need to be. It also has the Sequence of Play right on it which is always a great plus for wargames. All of the Player Aid Charts are in full color and the material used is similar to  poster board. These are easy to read and once you have played a few times you will have no need of the Rulebook; everything you need is on them. I know some people are put off by Logsheets, but these are set up differently than usual. Like most they look like an Excel spreadsheet. Unlike most, they actually have large enough spaces to actually write something down. My penmanship is horrendous, so I have to write larger than normal to figure out what I have written. The spaces on these sheets help me immeasurably. The counters are large at 9/16". So, you can read them and enjoy the well done pictures of the aircraft from above. The Rule Booklet is twenty-three pages in total. Twenty pages of that encompass the rules. The last three pages have the Designer Notes, and a synopsis of all of the aircraft you can fly. The back of the booklet has the nowadays obligatory index. The Rule Booklet is in full color, and the print is medium in size. I cannot read it without my glasses, but there are not too many things I can read without them. As mentioned, the components are manufactured to their high standards. 

US Navy Aircraft Display Mat

 From the Rulebook:

"The system is packed with rich technical detail based on proposed aircraft designs, but without the complexity to capture the key facets of a hypothetical strategic bombing campaign over America. There are 16 interceptor aircraft to available to pilot (both historical and experimental, USAAF and Navy) and six types of Amerika Bomber to shoot down. The aircraft are:

P-80, P-80B Shooting Stars

XP-61, XP-67, XP-81, XP-83

F-86 Sabre, F-89A Scorpion

F8F-1, F8F-1B Bearcats

FJ-1 Fury, FH-1 Phantom

F7F-3 Tigercat


F2H-1, F2H-2 Banshee

For each aircraft, you will be using the date of availability, speed, area of operations based on originating base, individual weapon systems, damage, and crew status.

Players are assigned to a land base if USAAF or an aircraft carrier if Navy/Marine, and conduct interception missions from there while Tench Class submarines stand by to provide “lifeguard” duty if required."

US Air Force Aircraft Display Mat

 This is a solitaire game. This means it pits you as an American pilot against the German bombers. It is played at the tactical level so it pits your single plane in combat against one bomber. Your job is to knock the bomber out of the sky, while still living to tell the tale. Some of these bombers will be carrying atom bombs, so many people's lives rest on your shoulders. You will be defending mostly the East Coast of the United States with some of the bombers able to fly as far in as Chicago to Miami in an arc. This is not a game of one off raids. You will be guiding your pilot through a sustained campaign against the bombers. Your pilot will also be able to gain medals and also become adept in air combat. A nice feature added to the game is being able to fly for the United States Marine Corps. The game also gives you the choice to play either a basic or advanced combat system. The advanced combat system naturally adds to the complexity and game time. I prefer the advanced combat, but to each their own. I am an aircraft nut, and I really enjoy reading about and playing with experimental aircraft from World War II. So, this game ticks off most of my boxes even before opening the box. 

Your Aircraft Position Chart Compared to The Amerika Bomber

 The game was designed by Gregory M. Smith. This alone should have you opening up your wallet. He has designed a good number of excellent solitaire wargames already, and has some in the making.

These are his games published by Compass Games:

Amerika Bomber

Interceptor Ace: Daylight Air Defense Over Germany 1943-44

Night Fighter Ace: Air Defense Over Germany 1943-44

Zeppelin Raider: Imperial German Naval Airships

These two designs of his are coming soon from Compass Games:

American Tank Ace: 1944-45

Western Front Ace: The Great War In The Air, 1916-18

 The last game I cannot wait for it to be in my hot little hands.

 So, the round up is that Mr. Gregory M. Smith and Compass Games have hit another one out of the park. With our fast-paced lives and all that they entail, getting other gamers together is many times not feasible. To still be able to play great wargames by ourselves is a definite must in our hobby. While it is true that almost any game can be played solitaire, it is much easier for the player to have a fully built solitaire game from the ground up instead of trying to make some rules on your own, or waiting until an add on 'bot' is released. 

 Thank you, Compass Games for allowing me to review another great game from your stable. One thing prospective buyers should know is that Compass Games has almost 100% of its games manufactured in the good ole U.S.A. So, thank you again, and pretty please get to work on Western Front Ace. I do not know how much more I can last without it. Solitaire play and World War I in the air, you had me at Western Front.


Compass Games:

Compass Games – New Directions In Gaming

Defending America:

Defending America: Intercepting the Amerika Bombers, 1947-48 – Compass Games

Night Fighter Ace Review:

Nightfighter Ace: Air Defense Over Germany 1943-44 by Compass Games - A Wargamers Needful Things