P 51c Escort

Unit Card:


Set - Number

Angels 20 - 27/31


The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was a single-seat fighter used extensively in WWII and beyond, claiming 4950 kills, second only to the Hellcat in total air kills among US planes. The Mustang first rolled off the assembly line in late 1940. Starting in late 1943, P51s were used to escort bomber raids into Germany. The appearance of the Mustang revolutionized bombing doctrine by providing a reliable escort for the bombers all the way to the German doorstep. Moreover, as the war progressed, allied doctrine switched again, with the P51s sent ahead of the bombers in order to destroy German fighters before the bombers arrived, devastating German fighter formations as they were in the process of forming up. The main theaters of operation for the P51 were Northern Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean and Italy. They saw relatively limited combat in the Pacific. Expert opinion at the time accorded it the status as the best American dogfighter, and its quality as a plane is exemplified best by its continued use after WWII, and in some of the world’s airforces as late as 1980.


The P51 is a fast plane, with a high speed potential of 7, and a regular speed of 2-4. Gunnery is a respectable 6-5-3, and it can usually get into position to make shots at range-1 or 2. The defensive stats are also a respectable 3-7-3. It lacks the 4 armor of several of the truly outstanding planes in the game such as the Fw190 and the Wildcat, but its defensive line and speed in particular make it sturdy enough that you can often keep it out of harms way. The P51 has average turn and roll scores. A four will usually get the job done if you need to turn or roll, but neither are the specialization of the P51. Instead, the P51 is the quintessential vertical fighter in this game, climbing at an excellent 5, and also diving at an equally excellent 5. The P51C escort captures the nuance of the American bomber escorts with the Escort SA. If you do play a bomber scenario, the P51 is a natural choice to help keep your bombers safe. Boom and Zoom also captures the spirit of the vertical flight. While it may appear baffling at first, the intent is to allow a player to end a turn in diving status, whereby they gain a +1 advantage to their attack dice. At the start of the next turn, they are committed to losing altitude, so upon completing that maneuver, the P51C Escort then has the option of climbing later in the turn. Most other planes in the game cannot both lose and then gain altitude on the same turn.

Flight Builds and Tactics: If you drop the size of the game to 90 points, a single Mustang Ace pairs very nicely with his cousin the P51C escort, and plays nicely against other nation builds at 90 points. The P51C escort is slightly more difficult to use than the Mustange Ace, since I would tend to move the lower quality pilots earlier in the turn. This leaves it with less of an opportunity find a good target, set diving status, and then attack. One possibility to consider is the fact that your P51C can climb and potentially escape harm’s way on a given turn even if it moves first. On a later turn, you’ll probably see an opportunity to move the Mustang Ace first, climb, or otherwise escape harm’s way, while still having your P51C in a position to dive upon an enemy target. This system of rotation where one plane dives and attacks while the other escapes and reestablishes position can usefully keep both planes in the game and attacking over the course of the game. Since you won’t usually have any pilot bonuses on the P51C, you have to pick your target angles more carefully, though you can still get incredible performance out of it..

Plastic Figure Notes:

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