Martin B-26 Marauder: The Wingless Wonder was the name of a variant of Avalon Hill's B-17: Queen of the Skies solitaire boardgame. A draft of B-26 was available for play testing which used the B-17: Queen of the Skies rules and B-17 was needed to play. Everything has changed since then, and B-26: The Marauder Strikes! has completly new mechanics and is a stand alone game. It is a solitaire game set on board a Martin B-26 Marauder medium bomber during World War Two in the European Theater of Opearations from July 1943 until the end of the war in May 1945.
B-26: The Marauder Strikes! is a big game in that there are many target lists, rules, mission maps and details which are not found in B-17: Queen of the Skies or B-29 Superfortress: Bombers over Japan. For example, the Damage Tables are more detailed than the earlier games and the combat system is similar, but completely new. The Target Lists include a large selection of targets attacked by B-26s from July 1943 until the end of the war in May 1945 and are placed on 13 maps (movement boards) which are different depending on where your base is located, from England to the Netherlands. Different models of the B-26 is also included from the early B-26 in 1941 until the B-26G which entered combat in October 1944. The earlier models are not used in the European Theater of Operations (the ETO) in which B-26: The Marauder Strikes! is set, but will be used in 22nd Bomb Group: Marauders from Australia, an add-on variant set in the Pacific in the war against Japan in New Guinea.
The rules in this Flight Manual try to reflect the twin engined B-26 Marauder and situations and events which the crews saw on their missions and historical accuracy has been an important guideline during the development of this game.
Players familiar with B-17: Queen of the Skies or B-29 Superfortress: Bombers over Japan recognize the mechanics used in B-26. One or more 6-sided dice are rolled on tables to plan the mission, to determine if enemy fighters appear, to hit with machine gun fire and to determine damage and wounds and much more. B-26 is as easy to play as B-17 with its basic system which is similar to the mechanics in B-17: Queen of the Skies. Players who have flown missions in B-17 may find that B-26 is similar, but more detailed and there are ideas included in B-26 which can be found in the B-17: Queen of the Skies community. If you add the advanced and optional guidelines you will find B-26 to become deep, detailed and complex, but still does not stray far from the simple mechanics of the basic system. You will also find yourself in situations where you have to make a decision.
The Core Game Flight Manual will be used to play the A-20 Havoc, A-26 Invader and B-25 Mitchell add-ons.
You can begin your campaign flying missions from bases in England or jump in later in the war when the B-26 groups had moved to the continent and you will find Mission Maps with your station either in England, France, Belgium or the Netherlands depending on when you fly your missions. Put together a crew, name your B-26 and fly missions over France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Germany, Austria and Chechoslovakia!
The lower turret was a remotely controlled, retractable gun turret on the belly of the bomber just aft of the wings, but it was often removed in the field because it was not appreciated by the gunners and disturbed the airflow of the B-25 when it was lowered. Gunners had to kneel by the turret and looked through a periscope with one eye to aim and used a remote control to fire and control the guns. It was an uncomfortable position and the turret was difficult to operate. It took almost a minute to lower and it could jam when lowered. It also caused a drag when it was down in the firing position. Dirt from the airfields would often cover the sight and get into the turret mechanism which made it difficult to aim and could cause turret mechanical failure. When aiming gunners often became too car sick and ill to be able to operate the turret. To simulate the Lower Turret in the game, it cannot be used during the Initial Attack of the first attacking fighter wave. Gunners must roll 3 or higher on D6 to be able to operate the turret before each attempt to fire. When the turret is lowered the formation will be Loose and all attacking fighters receive a +1 To Hit Dice Roll modifier on Table CT-5a (7.43.3). If you are Out of Formation, you may use Evasive Action. Before raising the turret, roll D6. It will jam on “1” and become inoperable.
B-25B: A Pilot and Co-Pilot, a Bombardier in the nose. Aft of the bomb bay is a Navigator/Radio operator/Top Turret Gunner and a Lower Turret Gunner. In B-26 the Gunner will man the Top Turret and the Navigator the Lower Turret. B-25C/D: A Pilot and Co-Pilot, a Bombardier/Navigator in the nose, an Engineer/Top Turret Gunner and a Radio Operator/Lower Turret Gunner in the waist, behind the bomb bay.
B-25G/H: The G has a Pilot and Co-Pilot, and the H has only a Pilot. Navigator/Canonneer behind the pilots. Radio Operator/Lower Turret Gunner in the G and Radio Operator/Waist Gunner in the H. Top Turret Gunner in the G and H and a Tail Gunner in the H. In B-26 the top turret is manned by the Engineer and the Armorer is in the tail by the tail guns. B-25J: A Pilot and Co-Pilot, a Bombardier/Navigator in the nose, a Top Turret Gunner, a Radio Operator/Waist Gunner and a Tail Gunner. The Radio Operator/Gunner had his station in the waist section, behind the bomb bay. He manned both waist machine guns. In B-26 the top turret is manned by the Engineer and the Armorer is in the tail by the tail guns.
B-25 Lead Ship Crew and Non-Lead Composition in B-26: The Marauder Strikes! A non-lead crew will not have a Norden Bomb Sight unless all ships bomb individually. (See the Low-Level Mission Expansion.) Each crew will have the above listed members.
A Box Lead and Deputy Box Lead Crew will have a full crew, but instead of a Bombardier/Navigator there will be a Bombardier and Navigator. A Norden Bomb Sight is installed. The J-Model will have both the Bombardier and Navigator in the Nose. In the other B-25 models they will be at their respective station. Crew Movement In the B-25 it is possible to move from the Nose to the Tail. To reach the Radio Comapartment from the front of the bomber a crew man must crawl through a space between the bomb bay and the ceiling of the bomber, and then to reach the Tail he must crawl from the aft part of the waist all the way through to the tail. In the C/D a crew man have to lie on his stomach but in the tail green house it is possible to sit on a small seat.
B-25 C/D The C and D were basically the same model, but built at different plants. The C-model was built at Inglewood and the D at Kansas City. There were no waist guns and no tail guns. Apart from a top turret in the waist, there was a remotely controlled retractable belly turret which caused drag when lowered and the gunner often became dizzy and disorientated due to a poor sighting system. There was also a flexible .30 nose gun in the early version of the C/D. There were self-sealing main and auxiliary tanks in the wings and a ferry tank could be installed in the bomb bay. In later C/D-versions it was also possible to install tanks in the waist and a 335 gallon jettisonable metal bomb bay tank or a self-sealing 215 gallon bomb bay tank. The internal bomb load was 3000 lbs. An additional 2200 lbs could be carried on wing racks. Mid and later C/D version had provisions for a torpedo.
B-25C and D in B-26: The Marauder Strikes!The B-25C and D are different versions in B-26 to reflect changes which were made on the models during the period they were manufactured. The C-model includes the earliest versions of the C and D with a .30 cal. machine gun in the nose. B-25C-5 simulate changes made on the C and D to increase fire power with a flexible and fixed .50 in the nose. This version will also have auxiliary tanks in each wing. Finally, the B-25D includes all following changes made on the C and D. It will lack the lower turret, but include wing bomb racks, two fixed .50 and one .50 nose gun and can carry a torpedo.
B-25C and D Field Modifications To increase the defensive capabilities of the C and D models additional armor and guns were installed and the lower turret deleted in field modifications, either before leaving the US or at field modification centers in the MTO or PTO. The 321st Bomb Group had their bombers modified in Georgia and Alabama before they went to North Africa. The other B-25 units modified their bombers in the Therater. In the PTO a B-25C was modified for strafing, skip boming and low-level bombing missions. The lower turret was removed and four .50 machine guns were put in the nose in the bombardier’s position, plus a pair of .50s in a pod on each side of the fuselage, beneath the cock-pit were added as were a .50 och each side of the waist. It turned out to be a successful conversion and many more C/D’s were modified into strafers. The observer’s dome in the tail was often deleted and the opening faired over. On some conversions one or two .50 tail guns were installed. The green house was painted over and decorated with colorful art of bats, dragons and falcons. The later J-model with a green house could also be seen with extra machine guns in the nose. The modications made on the C/D were incorporated on following models, waist guns and nose gun pods, for instance.
B-25G and H One B-25C was modified to hold two fixed .50 and one 75mm cannon in a solid nose. It also had the fuselage pods and the lower turret and the top turret in the waist. After the initial tests and a total of six modified B-25Cs this version became the B-25G when produced, plus another 58 C-models were modified and redesignated as B-25G. It was widely used in the PTO from July 1943. Some were used in the MTO, but with heavier oppsition it was used only for a short period. The B-25Gs in the PTO were further modified in Australia with more guns and armor. Gun pods on the fuselage, two more nose guns and waist guns were installed. Some even had twin tail guns with the gunner in a small green house.
The first H-model prototype was also a B-25C. The co-pilot’s position was removed and a seat was instead provided for a navigator/cannoneer. The lower turret was deleted and the top turret was now moved to the front of the plane, just infront of the bomb bay. A lighter version of the 75mm cannon would follow on the production model accompanied in the nose by four .50 machine guns. The first H-models had only one pod with two .50 on the right side of the fuselage, but another on the left side was added. The H had a larger green house for the tail gunner and two waist guns. It was used in the PTO from February 1944, but the cannon turned out to be unnecessary as targets for it became scarce and the large number of machine guns could be as effective on many targets as the cannon, and it was not liked by the groups. In the fall of 1944 many H-models were transferred to the 38th Bomb Group who were operating G-models and appreciated the H. A few went to the CBI Theater and others were sent to depots.
B-25 J The final B-25 model was the J. It had a co-pilot and a green house nose with a bombardier. There was also a strafer nose with eight .50 machine guns. It had four package guns on the side of the fuselage a flexible .50 in the nose and one fixed .50, two fixed on later Js, the same tail green house as the H-model and also the same type of waist gun positions. The top turret was in front of the bomb bay. Later Js could carry rockets under the wings. They entered combat in April 1944 in the MTO and began to appear in the PTO during the summer and fall of that same year.
B-25Posted by Magnus Kimura 2018-08-03 22:30:07 Working on it... I would like have it finished along with the MTO expansion, but the B-25 campaign in the MTO will have to wait, I think. In the MTO expansion bases and targets for B-25s are included, but in 1943 there will be a separate B-25 campaign expansion, which I will have to work on later, after the MTO and PTO, low-level, and night mission expansions are done.
Don't forget that with the B-25 and the B-25 campaign expansion you will be able to follow the 319th bomb group from North Africa with B-26s and then B-25s from Italy for two-three months in 1944 and then move to Okinawa and fly A-26s until the end of the war in August 1945.
B-25Posted by Magnus Kimura 2017-04-13 01:21:08 It is April 18 in a couple of days. On April 18, 1942, B-25s took off from USS Hornet and bombed Japan. I would like to have a version of B-25 done by then so you can take off from USS Hornet, bomb Tokyo and land in China - hopefully.
After China, return to the US and learn to fly the B-26. You'll then fly it to North Africa...
Time is running out though and I don't think I'll be able to finish that B-25 idea...