MINI WARGAMING: Revisiting the Great War (14 October 2006)
I received a few digital photos from one of our WWI flying aces so I'm republishing the battle report from the recent MWSS game with the new photos. Many thanks to Mike W. for the photos!
1/87 WWI Dogfight Game
- Sponsored by Rob "Mako" Kent.
Ruleset: Blue Max modified for miniatures play.
The Entente Powers (British & French):
- Connor the "Knife" flying a Sopwith Camel
- Maksim "Headhunter" Smelchak flying a Sopwith Camel
- Rob "Mako" Kent flying a RAF S.E.5
- Russell "Big Kahuna" Kent flying a RAF S.E.5.
The Central Powers (Germans):
- Mike the "Iceman" flying a Pfalz D.XII
- Brian F. the "Executioner" flying a Pfalz D.XII
- Brad the "Barbarian" flying a Fokker Dr.I Triplane
- Bernie, The Mysterious Unknown German! flying a Fokker Dr.I Triplane
This was the center ring event of the day and it went well... my only reservation is that Blue Max is very specifically a hex-based game and the hexless adaptation still had a few kinks to work out. It was absolutely fabulous of Rob to host though so many thanks to him!
You can see Connor to the left and Bernie to the right in this photo. If you look very carefully, you can see a WWII P-40 in front of Bernie's t-shirt... I have no idea how that got there! Someone must have been having a bit of fun...
The airplane flights of the opposing powers started at opposite ends of a WWI trench battlefield, complete with a WWI-era German AV7 tank crawling along the battlefield. The Entente powers had difficulty maintaining flight formations on the way in and were furiously communicating with hand signals... as the much more composed Germans kept near perfect flight order before they pounced.
On one end of the battlefield, the two Kents engaged both of the expertly flown German biplanes and quickly ended up in a rapidly turning furball. After a few passes, Russell fell wounded to German guns and his plane began to smoke furiously...
In this shot Rob and Russell have their heads chopped off while examining the dog fight. Russel was near the end at this point...
Meanwhile Connor and I had to face the near invincible German triplanes. Connor tried to make a radical turn to surprise the wiley Germans, but Brad the "Barbarian" was not fooled by this ruse. He managed to pick up Connor's tail and persistently stuck on it until Connor went down after a dozen or so turns of being whittled on.
And I, Maksim, managed to break suddently and through Bernie, the Mysterious Unknown German, out of the fight, but I couldn't keep my spot as Connor's wingman. I ended up entering the Kent furball shortly later, in which despite several succesful machine gun hits on German planes, I never managed to do more than glancing damage. Bernie eventually entered the fight and we made head-on passes at each other, but weren't able to do any significant damage...
You can see Connor again in the bottom right of this photo. The poor kid left the initial scrum to be tailed quickly by Brad, who wouldn't let go. He's quite the camper though and didn't let things get him down.
I was eventually jumped by Mike the "Iceman," a distinguished German ace, and barely managed to escape with my life after being wounded by him. I didn't even see him coming! The game ended as a very decisive Central Powers victory!
All hail Mike, Brian, Bernie and especially Brad the "Barbarian!"
UPDATE from Rob (10-19-2006):
I just wanted to send out a note to thank those that participated in the aerial game last Saturday. It was a lot of fun for me, despite having been shot out of the air at the end of the game, and I hope you had a good time as well.UPDATE from Mike W. (10-19-2006):
I would especially like to thank Mike W. for going to all of the trouble to glue a few extra planes together, and to get them painted, and "magnetized" in short order. They really looked great on the table. I have a soft spot for those Albatrosses, since they are such beautiful birds. I also want to congratulate the German pilots, for their resounding dominance of the dogfight. Clearly, their techniques were superior on this day.
Maks, thanks for posting a note about the game on the website.
Just a minor correction though, the Allied aircraft were Camels and Spad VII's.The latter have a rather anemic firepower rating, so while they look nice, I can't say that I would recommend them in battle. 1 FP vs. 2 FP's for all of the other aircraft.
Rob, who doesn't like flying a Spad VII!
Look for further sorties of WW I aircraft at future club meetings, using a proper hexmat.
This shot was taken near the end of the game and shows what a furball we were in. The aircraft were all circling each other until some Entente aircraft were shot down and then the tide quickly turned.
Ha. Those planes you reported as Pfalz were actually Albatros D.Vs. The Pfalz weren't to be seen yet. I had great fun flying the Blue Ice Albatros with the executioner's ax painted on the side.
I had great fun too. The period was late 1917. If we want, we could progress through the remainder of the war: phase out older planes and introduce newer. The next would be early 1918 with SPAD 13s instead of 7s - Allies have the advantage. After that would be mid 1918 with introduction of the much feared Fokker D.VIIs instead of the Albatros and the Germans have the advantage. Finally end with Sopwith Camel with Bentleys and SPAD 13s vs the Fokker D.VIIF - even match. Need to throw together a couple of the Revell kits.
Mike "the Iceman"
Have a great Monday!
Notes regarding photos / pictures: These are not all my images. I am using various images from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images under public domain, creative commons, or fair use. If I have inadvertently violated any copyrights, please inform me and I will remove your image/s (if it is indeed an infringement).