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> Canvas Eagles, and other solo adventures. Narratives, unfortunately, included
b20f08
post Jun 23 2018, 05:57 AM
Post #41


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Turns 9 & 10

Turn 9
Casualties on both sides mount up steadily. For the Germans, however, their losses compared to their opponents are more serious and permanent. Scharnhorst, Wolfenbuttel, Wartenburg all succumb to the deadly raking fire of the French guns. In reply, d'Espagne and Hautpol have been forced to land due to either their injuries (a seriously wounded flight crew can do very little other than land safely and head for the military aid station for a band-aid and lollipop).

One target remains "active" - the last French HQ which happens to be sited on the very "eastern" edge of the hexed map. Typical. Blucher and Wittenburg are making their unobtrusive but steady approach hoping for a clean run at the headquarter hex. They chosen a simple but effective route too.

Elsewhere is chaotic confusion: Lasalle has recovered from his second episode of spinning, Sohr is dogging Saint-Sulpice who is trying to shake his tail. Funnily enough, the Frenchman is also tailing Dobschutz who is looking to attack someone. Anyone. Winterfeldt is assisting the surrounded Gneisenau.

The remaining French planes are all congregating around the last active target. But there is little room to effectively manoeuvre, as Latour-Marbourg is finding out overshooting his post. And with Zeiten active in the vicinity, that window is becoming smaller. But three French bombers are closing in to help.

Turn 10
Blucher lines up the target just as Trelliard, one of the three French bombers, arrives to disrupt his attempt. The other legit German bombers are now paired up with a fighter escort; but no one knows if this is permanent or simply a fortuitous happenstance.

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jun 24 2018, 06:17 AM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jun 23 2018, 06:33 AM
Post #42


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Some of my latest builds for CE.
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Roden's Fokker DVI. Painted up because the decals were long past their use-by date, and I needed an excuse to pull out the lazy paint brush. Came up reasonable. Also painted the underside which is more paler and pastel-ly.

Group shot of the planes assembled (labelled). The others are for comparison.
IPB Image
Apart from finishing off the Roden Fokker, the builds done are Revell Morane-Saulnier N (painted up as Russian Royal Air Force), a SE5a (painted up as part of the US aero squadrons that served in France), the Roden Fokker DVI (painted up to the Bavarian Home Guard scheme, as promoted by the instruction sheet), the Italeri Albatros (part of a two-plane set that includes the SE5a), and the Revell DVII.

Once I finish up the DVI, then it's on to the Handley Page bomber. Looking forward to spending a little more time on this plane. It even has a wire diagram which comes in real handy. Will post a final picture once assembled and painted. Cheers


--------------------
"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jun 24 2018, 06:16 AM
Post #43


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Turns 11 & 12

Turn 11
Only one Allied target remains active for the Germans who are losing planes fairly quickly; and these are not replaceable unlike their opponents. The French losses are recoverable as they are behind their own lines anyway, and they somehow all manage to land their aircraft safely -- which is a surprise to me gaming this scenario. Nonetheless, the damage done necessitating landing is because the aircrew are all seriously wounded and therefore a liability in the air (ie. heavy penalty for contact, limited maneouvring, inability to do any bombing, strafing, etc.).

Turn 12
With Blucher's hopeful attempt to successfully bomb the last remaining French target a failure, it is now up to a smoking Wittenburg. Elsewhere, the conflict in the centre (last turn) sees the Germans lose another fighter escort (Winterfeldt) to a direct head-on clash with Lasalle, seemingly recovered from his spinning episodes. The Germans are causing damage to the French planes, but they are not killer blows. Zeiten, the last of Seydlitz' flight decides to take it up another level by engaging French planes attempting to land. Thus he pursues Trelliard landing but is himself dogged by a returning Hautpol!

It's clear the remaining active target is the place to be. A simple plane would be to zealously patrol the area and wait for the Germans to attempt. But now fuel consideration is now entering the calculations. One Hannover is already leaving (Gneisenau).

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jun 25 2018, 05:15 AM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jun 25 2018, 05:14 AM
Post #44


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Turns 13 & 14

Turn 13
The second attempt at the last French target fails. Wittenburg disappears off the table with his smoking aircraft. His fate is unknown. The contacts are still happening with the Germans coming off worst. This time it's both Sohr and Zeiten who fall out of the sky. Blucher the closest "bomber" left is trying to return but faces a defensive cordon of French planes. Maybe he should just leave?

Turn 14
Gneisenau continues to fly towards home, his fuel situation a growing worry. Back at the combat zone, the contacts are busily engaging. Blucher comes off second-best with Montbrun tailing him. No one, however, spots Bismarck whose approach is masked by the smoke of the ammo dump "bombing". Is he? Can he?

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jun 26 2018, 06:21 AM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jun 26 2018, 06:20 AM
Post #45


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Tunrs 15 & 16

Turn 15
Time is fast running out for the Germans to collect that last bombing scalp. Bismarck, closest, gambles on a run even though his engine is shot up and he is gliding. To make things worse, his plane is on fire. Blucher has gone into a spin while Gneisenau has a change of heart (but that's like trying after the race has already been run).

Turn 16
Bismarck struggles to maintain control over his flaming aircraft as the ground races up to greet him. For a flickering moment flying into the HQ becomes a crazy option but the aircraft does not have enough motive power other than the wind beneath its wings. armata_PDT_34.gif

The French are congregating trying to reorganise themselves as they strive to protect the target zone from any further German attempts. But the Germans decide enough is enough and steer for home.

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jun 27 2018, 06:52 AM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jun 27 2018, 06:58 AM
Post #46


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Turns 17 & 18

Turn 17
Notable only for the race between Lutzow and Montbrun for the table edge. Lutzow will win although Montbrun really opened up the throttle pursuing him.

Turn 18
The remaining Germans try to pair up and make their escape. But the French have other ideas. Conclusion to this drawn-out scenario tomorrow. Cheers.

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jun 27 2018, 10:28 PM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jun 27 2018, 10:35 PM
Post #47


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Turns 19 & 20

Turn 19
With Montbrun “blocking” any chance of a clean getaway, Blucher turns “north”, tailed by Dobschutz, the only German fighter left. Gneisenau’s bold attempt wilters as the French block his way through. He therefore turns “north” as well and attempts to fly off the table.

Turn 20
The final move of the game sees Blucher and Dobschutz head north to escape the pressing attention of the French. Gneisenau has already departed.

Game over sees the French win the scenario decisively in two ways:

They have bombed successfully their designated targets
They are now the sole dominating force on the table.

The Germans fall short of their bombing assignments, and the last target proved to be a real jinx on them (two attempts for two failures). Their losses were also a contributing factor in losing the scenario:

Seydlitz’ flight: all four planes downed
L’Estocq flight: all bar Dobschutz downed
Scharnhorst flight: Gneisenau’s fate after flying off is unknown. Bismarck lands off-table and is captured. Scharnhorst and Wolfenbuttel were shot down.
Blucher’s flight: Wittenburg disappeared off-table; fate unknown. Blucher will also fly off-table. The remainder were downed over the combat zone.
=======================================================
These campaign games have been interesting namely because they have all been map games. Abstracting a game without figures is probably against the spirit of the wargame. But then Kreigspeil worked fine enough as a training aid for the Germans. It’s very reminiscent of the TEWTS (Training Exercises Without Troops), a familiar instructional method for field commanders of several decades ago. Similar concept, similar training methods, lessons learned and reinforced.

And so its use by myself has worked well enough in this situation. One simple benefit gained from these scenarios is the value of flying in formation, especially with two-seaters. Another has to be learning about the capabilities of the various planes of the times. But there are many other profitable gains from playing these campaign scenarios. The only criticism is that the solo rules I’m using still require fine-tuning but they still work adequately enough to offer an entertaining “game”.

This scenario would be the final in the campaign series designed by Lisa. But there is still Scenario 2: The Somme, Jul 1916, that hasn't been played out. I am currently engaged in this. Once done, I will present them as well.

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jun 29 2018, 06:42 AM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jun 29 2018, 06:41 AM
Post #48


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Scenario 2: The Somme, July 1916

Deployment & Start
Trenchline strafing and dogfighting. Germans facing superior numbers (roughly 1:2). Opponents are British flying a mix of planes - French Nieuports and British builts.

Only a few aircraft are Speed 3; the majority are Speed 2.

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jul 1 2018, 01:15 AM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jun 30 2018, 06:23 AM
Post #49


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Turn 1
The British commence their advance by gathering into clusters. In neat files they advance on the German trenches, fighter escorts in the lead. The Germans reciprocate although they can only do so singly because they lack numbers. But they have a few good interceptors among that few - Eindekker IV, Fokker IIs, and the Roland II "Walfisch". If they can get to grips early on, they might have a chance.

Turn 2
The opening contacts are circled in red flashes. The German plan becomes clear from the start: whittle down the odds by directly attacking the formations behinds the fighter escort screen. However one of their ground attack planes (Bachmann - not he of the Turner Overdrive fame) slips by the contact intent on delivery an early strike for his side. One of the German interceptors, Bauer, misses his opponents altogether, perhaps overwhelmed at the odds he is facing. But the rest of the Germans make contact further to the right of No Man's Land.

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jul 3 2018, 07:17 PM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jul 1 2018, 01:13 AM
Post #50


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Turn 3
The opposing forces resume their flights after contacting in Turn 2. The Germans are first to reach the British trench lines. It seems they are making for the AA gun positions whose identity are unknown (at least until the aircraft fly overhead). The British ground attack/bombers survive their initial contact but stick together while their fighter escort react to those enemy planes as best they can.

Turn 4
One of the German fighters has latched onto one of the British ground attack planes (Hill) while another is commencing his strafing run (Ponsonby). The Germans (Bachmann) is about to bomb the British AA gun position.

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jul 3 2018, 07:17 PM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jul 2 2018, 09:24 AM
Post #51


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Turn 5
This image shows the numerous contacts involving the planes. Some are plane vs plane but others are ground/AA vs plane.

Turn 6
First plane to go down is the Martinsyde "Elephant" piloted by Hill. It had been tailed by von Hutier flying the Roland CII "Walfisch".

But despite this loss, the British using their numbers are scoring mission points as the strafing commences. Four points per strafe counts up when several planes are involved. The Germans are concentrating on the AA gun positions however.

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jul 3 2018, 07:17 PM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jul 3 2018, 07:40 AM
Post #52


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Turn 7
The British are building up their successes with both bombing and strafing. The German interceptors are struggling to bring down their opponents.

Turn 8
But the success of the British planes is complimented by the bad run of luck enjoyed by the Germans with their bombing runs.

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jul 3 2018, 07:17 PM


--------------------
"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jul 3 2018, 07:14 PM
Post #53


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Turn 9
Apologies for the lacklustre posts -- been distracted lately. Anyway, here are -- word-for-word -- the blog post entries in place of silence, to liven things up. armata_PDT_34.gif

Von Hutier’s race to assist Albrecht is paying off as Pakenham, thus far the only British interceptor bothering the weak German raiders over the British trenches, is distracted enough to target the Roland aircraft. Fortunately von Hutier’s pace will somehow extricate him from the slower British FE8. But help may be arriving soon as Craufurd who is dogging the zippier von Hutier is heading his way in his slow pusher DH2.

Elsewhere is mixed fortunes for the British. Paget, his observer killed earlier in Turn 5, is defenceless as he vainly struggles to land his burning “Fee” (FE2d). Severely wounded, he gamely tries to land next to his own trench line. But the effort is too much and he crashes. Unfortunately he does not survive the crash landing.

Lumley’s combat with two Germans (von Below and von Francois) isn’t going all that well. With a third (von Daimling) closing in, he doesn’t fancy his chances. He’s almost flying on the ground, so he opts for the simple solution – fly away and land as quickly as possible and take his chances on the ground.

Over the German trenches the remaining British planes are enjoying easy success. Although the strafing is guaranteed success, you run the risk of returning ground fire. It’s uncomfortably worse if it’s also AA guns. But thus far no British plane has been felled by the pestering enemy fire. Uxbridge, in particular, seems to have made the far right corner his own as one after the other his strafing is producing great results. Vandeleur has made his way over to assist on the last AA gun position. Ponsonby, another successful attacker, has successfully completed his strafing run and has now decided to head home for a good hot cup of tea and some of his mother’s favourite scones with homemade marmalade preserve.

Over towards the centre of the hammered British trenchlines, Bauer is performing the same job as Pakenham in taking on larger numbers on his own. But it’s a bit of a struggle as his Fokker DII is slow and lacking manoeuvrability. He could probably do with some help, so a casual observer might remark. But somehow that’s the least of his concerns as he tries to latch on to Leith’s “Fee” while trying to dodge Fane and Beresford, the English fighters.

=========================================================
Turn 10
Not much is changed from the above Turn 9 commentary. Everything transpires as commented on — Paget’s destruction is a sad blow; Bauer is now being tailed by Fane while his own efforts to tail Leith is a failure. Uxbridge and Cardigan are pelting the German trenches mercilessly while others hasten to line up for their turn. Lumley has briefly escaped long enough to land. But will he suffer the sad fate of Paget? Over on the British trenches, Pakenham now has Craufurd for assistance. Their choice of target is made simpler when Albrecht realises his role is now to run interference for the faster von Hutier, a decision he eagerly embraces. Bachmann, in his Albatros C-III, makes for the second remaining British AA gun position.

Honestly, it’s apparent the German’s focus of bombing the AA gun positions is taking too much time. As they eventually realised, it would have been simpler to just bomb the trenches instead. But try telling them that when radios on aircraft hadn’t yet been fully developed. Grrr!! armata_PDT_36.gif

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jul 4 2018, 09:27 PM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jul 4 2018, 09:25 PM
Post #54


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Turn 11
There is combat as Albrecht succeeds in placing himself and his observer squarely in the way of the slower-moving Pakenham and Craufurd. The exchange yields results for both sides, but what kind? Bachmann and von Hutier are over their respective targets; the latter cops a “How’s your father, then” greeting from the heavy AA guns. Bachmann’s target are out of effective return fire range however.

It has become fairly standard that Altitude 4 is the ideal “bombing” position against both light and heavy anti-aircraft positions. With light AA being outside response range, and heavy AA only ever able to use the Column 2 (initially it’s Column 4 with shifts for altitude differences), the odds tend to favour the attacker rather than the defender (either 2+/3+ on a d6 roll!). The worst damage you can acquire in either Column 1 (if unfortunate enough) or Column 2 is a Blue damage chit. Which may seem dismissive in a sense but these can mount up if you’re flying the entire mission in that zone at that altitude. And sometimes the Blue damage chit can prove devastating (as I found out in earlier games).

Back to the fight, with Lumley landing safely and managing to escape back to a British-held area within the neutral zone, focus for the English seems to return to the continued strafing and bombing of the German lines as evidenced by the growing number of smoke plumes from successful strikes.

But it isn’t all England, England just yet!! And 1966 is still fifty years away. Uxbridge finally arrives over the target he originally meant to target. Vandeleur is waiting in the wings in case he fails to deliver; given Uxbridge’s run of success up until now chances remain reasonably more than favourable with the English pilot. Another pilot – Cardigan – is also over the other surviving AA gun position in the process of delivering his payload.

Turn 12
In No Man’s Land, the British fighters are “giving what-for” against their German counterparts. Meanwhile both Picton and Ponsonby — who have completed their “mission” — are making tracks towards home. The German trenches continue to be pummelled freely without any interference from the German air defence who seem content to just fly around and “look busy”. Ground fire, while happening in volumes, is not nearly as effective as an immediate aerial deterrent.

Further “north” von Hutier and Bachmann fail in their bombing run, a trend that only underscores the woeful German offensive. Which is disappointing but there’s not much that can be done with just three busy aircraft over the zone (in comparison to the British able to field at least five in one turn!).

Albrecht’s valiant interception buys von Hutier freedom and time but leaves his aircraft smoking and in retiring mode. Von Hutier’s failure to take out the heavy AA gun which has survived several attempts drives him to take his frustration out on the trench line below. Well, bowl me down and call me a sandwich! The sudden realisation their bombing focus was erroneous to begin with is cold comfort however as the young German pilot with the French sounding name decides to head for home pursued by the British after discovering he is out of bombs.

The British success over the German trenches finally yields its first victim however – the awesome Uxbridge. Approaching his original target at Altitude 1 (he forgot to climb), he delivered his “package” but got a prompt “return to sender” postal reply from one of the guns before its destruction. He slams into the ground not far from his final success. His corner was virtually his playground that he strafed at will. Seeing his comrade’s fate, Vandeleur makes a fly-over tribute and then begins turning for home. But Fate often prefers company.

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jul 8 2018, 02:02 PM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jul 5 2018, 05:34 PM
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Turn 13
Albrecht’s problems plague him as he tries to turn for home. Copping some further hits as he flies over the English trenches, Albrecht copies von Hutier by releasing his remaining bombs.

The game is slowly winding down as the bulk of the English force is heading back to base. Along the way there are the occasional contacts: Beresford and von Francois engage in a bit of tête-á-tête that sees both losing control and start spinning; Cardigan, as a departing gesture, lets fly with rounds at Bauer; Leith is slow to leave the combat zone. Likewise, Vandeleur is slowly turning for home after paying tribute to his fallen comrade. It is slowly dawning on Craufurd that pursuing the Roland “Walfisch” might be a waste of time; his comrade Pakenham has already changed his focus to what is unfolding to his front left.

IPB Image
Turn 14
Hooray! von Francois’ short stint as one half of the spinning Burrito Brothers ends as he rockets out…straight into the waiting guns of Pakenham who gives him a thorough “what-for!” Bauer, using the distraction of Beresford’s spinning act to engage Leith’s interest to his advantage, make a surprise attack. And von Below and Vandeleur make contact, albeit in an unfriendly manner when one normally considers “contact”.

The blazing speed of the Roland “Walfisch” finally convinces the stubborn Craufurd in his push plan to abandon any notion of running down the German flier. He turns to rejoin the main combat.

Piction and Ponsonby are gradually nearing their exit points, all thoughts directed towards that hot brew and biscuits. Mmm…

IPB Image
Turn 15
The first German manages to exit the table. von Hutier, in his zippy “Walfisch” has to leave given his tail is somehow hanging on by a thread! Both crew have expended their bomb load and are both suffering from light wounds. Elsewhere on the table Beresford has recovered from his spin only to fly directly into the waiting Bachmann. Leith, hanging around to offer assistance, is now engaged by Bauer. Poor Vandeleur is still spinning out of control; von Below flies overhead to make sure — just in case. Fane is dogging a flaming Albrecht; he is hoping the German flames into the ground. But Albrecht has other ideas. Meanwhile Cardigan and the busy Ponsonby are on course to exit the table in their sweet time.

IPB Image
Turn 16
No change for Vandeleur as his out of control spiral is becoming more deadly. von Below is still hovering about waiting to pounce should he survive his fate somehow. Bachmann’s direct attack on an overwhelmed Beresford sees the Bristol Scout spectacular collapse as its tail is shot to smithereens. Leith is now in danger of becoming the next plane to fall to the virile German air assault. Fane is therefore forced to relinquish his easy kill (Albrecht) and fly to the aid of his comrade; his Nieuport 16 is still unscathed.

Albrecht has somehow managed to put the fire out. His plan to slowly descend to land somewhere in No-Man’s Land close to his own lines is still his priority; putting out the fire has somehow eased the immediate danger, that and the looming air battle close to his proximity.

After smoking for much of the game – with the occasional flareup – von Francois, the aggressive pilot flying his Hansa Bradenburg DI, is finally successful is extinguishing the situation. But he is severely wounded from a couple of turns ago, and his tail is making all sorts of weird whining noises. Fearing the likelihood of plummeting suddenly without a parachute, the pilot wisely decides to call it a day.

Ponsonby has departed, and Cardigan is likely to be the next to exit the field of battle. The remaining British fighter planes – Craufurd and Pakenham – are racing to assist Leith and Fane, the scene of concern for the British player. For the Germans, given their failure with attacking the British trench lines, pay back on the departing British planes is deemed essential to regain some “honour”. Therefore they expend all their remaining efforts towards ensuring those of their enemy remaining suffer. As you do.

IPB Image
Turn 17
The interesting thing arising from the spinning acts within this game is that planes exiting from the spin kept flying directly into contact with an opponent. The opponent was able, in all of them, to take full advantage somehow of the plane exiting its spiralling moment and down it.

IPB Image

Anyway, perhaps reminiscent of a maneouvre that would later become very famous in the next “great war”, the remaining planes seems to form a daisy chain (or conga line) whilst attempting to down one another.

Albrecht flies head-on at Pakenham. Or was it the other way round? Anyway, both planes seem determined that one will not be called “chicken”. Leith is still trying to shake his tail, Braune, but not enjoying much success. For the British, Fane seems to have the best opportunity as he targets von Daimling.

Von Francois (yes, there was a von Francois, aggressive little nugget who operated mainly on the Eastern Front and proved to be a danger not just to his opponents but a bit of a headache for his superiors) has had enough. He is only one crit hit box away from falling out of the sky. Using his superior speed, he opens up a gap between himself and any thoughts of Allied pursuit. The rest of the German planes are closing in on the melee in the middle.

IPB Image
Turn 18
No planes fall out of the sky after this melee. But there is damage done. Albrecht’s engine dies and he is forced to glide to safety. Fortunately no Allied plane is on his tail so he can concentrate on getting down safely. His opponent in the last turn, Pakenham, has taken another light wound which now means he is seriously hurt. This also means he needs to get out of battle zone as quickly as possible. Leith is still aerial but his chances are quickly diminishing each time Bauer targets him. But he spots Craufurd approaching and steers towards his associate.

Fane continues his attacks on von Daimling. Von Below tries to interfere with Fane’s effort.

IPB Image
Turn 19
Von Daimling enters into a spin; Fane has achieved his aim but at the price of his gun jamming. Von Below flies off unaware of Fane’s situation. Craufurd’s assistance is timely given Leith a chance to land his aircraft. Pakenham has also landed. Albrecht’s gliding finally sees contact with the ground. What is the fate of all three aircrews now that they’ve landed? Did they land safely? No-Man’s Land might appear neutral ground but it is also a free-for-all zone.

Leith: manages to land the plane without it crumpling into a heap. But both are hurt (minor) and successfully make it back to the British lines.

Pakenham: severely wounded, chances seems bleak for this flier. But he lands it well enough. However, he suffers the ignominy of being captured by a German roving patrol. So close and yet so far.

Albrecht: Like the other two British planes, the German flier lands his aircraft. But in the process is hurt once more. The wounds slows him down but he and his observer make it back to German lines without any further problems.

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Turn 20
The end is suddenly upon us. The remaining two British planes have had enough and slowly turn for home. Likewise, the Germans are also done with this combat and turn for their lines. They could delay returning, but choose not to. This is a voluntary arbitrary decision made my myself. Ten moves to catch up is inadequate for those remaining Germans. There is also the fuel situation to consider as well. And the likelihood of those planes returning British planes (those that flew off are still active).

From the map it’s clear the British had more strikes than their counterparts: I count twenty-four “strikes” – a mix of bombing and ground strafing.
=========================================================
Losses: British (killed or captured)
Hill (shot down by von Hutier who has claimed the kill, verified by eye witnesses. Survived landing but killed while resisting capture in No-Man’s Land)
Paget (crash landed short of British trenches. Both pilot and observer died in the crash)
Uxbridge (plane destroyed whilst attacking an AA gun position)
Beresford (tail shot off by Bachmann. Did not survive the crash landing)
Vandeleur (crashed due to spin. Did not survive crash landing)
Pakenham (managed to crash land. Seriously wounded and captured whilst trying to return to British lines)

Losses: German (killed or captured)
None were killed or captured.
==========================================================
Summary of scenario: campaign results

Combat listing: British
Beresford – Bristol Scout D (fighter, single seater)
Dogfight: red hits – 8 points
Campaign Points: 8
Operational Status: KIA
Craufurd – DH2 (fighter, single seater)
Campaign Points = 0
Operational Status: Active
Cardigan – Nieuport 12 (bomber/ground attack, two-seater)
Bombed: 3 – 90 points
Strafed: 1 – 4 points
Game Points: Pilot – 34 points; Observer – 64 points
Campaign Points: 100
Operational Status: Active
Fane – Nieuport 16 (fighter, single seater)
Red hits: 6 points
Campaign Points = 6
Operational Status: Out for 3 weeks (injury)
Hill – Martinsyde G100 “Elephant” (fighter/light bomber, single seater)
Campaign Points: 0
Operational Status: KIA (crashed into enemy trenches. Killed instantly)
Leith – RAF FE2b “FEE” (fighter/bomber/ground attack, two-seater)
Bombed: 1 – 30 points
Game Points: Pilot – 10 points, Observer – 20 points
Campaign Points: 30
Operational Status: Active
Lumley – Nieuport 17 (fighter, single seater)
Strafed: 1 – 4 points
Dogfight: red hits – 4 points
Campaign Points: 8
Operation Status: Active. Awaiting replacement aircraft
Paget – RAF FE2d “FEE” (fighter/bomber/ground attack, two-seater)
Campaign Points: 0
Operational Status: KIA
Pakenham – RAF FE8 (fighter, single seater)
Red hits: 12 points
Campaign Points: 12
Operational Status: Captured (exchanged after one year of imprisonment). Also out of action for 12 weeks (injured)
Picton – Morane-Saulnier BB (two-seater)
Bombed: 1 – 0 points (missed/dud)
Strafed: 4 – 16 points
Game Points: Pilot – 16 points; Observer – 0 points
Campaign Points: 16
Operational Status: Active
Ponsonby – Nieuport 11 (fighter, single seater)
Strafed: 5 – 20 points
Campaign Points: 20
Operational Status: Active
Uxbridge – Sopwith 1.5 Strutter (fighter/bomber/ground attack, single seater)
Bombed: 2 – 60 points
Strafed: 5 – 20 points
Campaign Points: 80
Operational Status: KIA (shot down whilst attacking AA gun position)
Vandeleur – Sopwith 1.5 Strutter (bomber/ground attack, two-seater)
Bombed: 3 – 90 points
Game Points: Pilot – 30 points; Observer – 60 points
Campaign Points: 90
Operational Status: KIA

Combat listing: German
Albrecht – AEG CII (ground attack, two-seater)
Bombed: 3 – 90 points
Red hits: 4 points
Game Points: Pilot – 34 points, Observer – 60 points
Campaign Points: 94
Operational Status: Pilot inactive for 2 weeks (injured)
Bachmann – Albatros CIII (bomber/ground attack, two-seater)
Dogfight: 1 kill (Beresford): 24 points; Red hits: 2 points
Campaign Points = 26
Operational Status: Active
Bauer – Fokker DII (fighter, single seater)
Dogfight: red hits – 8 points
Campaign Points = 8
Operational Status: Inactive 4 weeks (injury).
von Below – Fokker E-IV (fighter, single seater)
Red hits: 8 points
Campaign Points = 8
Operational Status: Active
von Daimling – Halberstadt DII (fighter, single seater)
Dogfight: red hits – 4 points
Campaign Points: 4
Operational Status: Inactive 4 weeks (injury). Also awaiting replacement aircraft.
von Francois – Hansa-Bradenburg DI (fighter, single seater)
Red hits: 8 points
Campaign Points: 8
Operational Status: Out for fifteen weeks (injured).
von Hutier – Roland CII “Walfisch” (bomber/ground attack, two-seater)
Bombed: 1 – 30 points
Dogfight: 3 red hits – 6 points
Game Points: Pilot – 16 points; Observer – 20 points
Campaign Points: 36
Operational status: Pilot inactive 4 weeks (injury); Observer inactive 2 weeks (injury)

Total Campaign Points:
British = 370 points
German = 184 points

Clear victory for the British!
=========================================================
Bonus narrative. Now for a light-hearted take on something sobering.

German Plan (Operation Doppelganger)

Objective: Downfall of the Western civilisationBritish 4th Army front between Ville-de-Blanque and Montshereez. This operation will involve primarily the First Army Group of whom the Seventeen and Thirtieth armies will provide the initial impetus. This plan will be executed in two stages.
  • Phase One will involve shifting the entire First Army Group one hundred and fifty-three centimetres to the left. If this involves moving fortifications, villages, towns, roads, and the entire countryside in order to conform to this general order then so be it. It must be done!
  • Phase Two will conclude once Phase One has been completed and duly inspected, and certified, by the Inspector General’s office and his elected officials. Compliance with this important phase is paramount. In order to ensure high secrecy prevails, all participants will be required to perform this phase blindfolded. No exceptions: from the commanding officer right down to the unimportant vagabond slumming it on the fringes of every village. Blindfolded.
Start date for this operation is TOP SECRET, but please keep free the period between the first of July and the twelve of July free. All leave will be cancelled during this period with notification going out to everyone that the German Armed Forces are closed for maintenance, and will remain so until we succeed in surprising our opponents.

Issued: High Priority (emails will be sent to each formation headquarter for processing before re-distribution via the usual means – carrier pigeon and runner).

Status: CONFIDENTIAL

Circulation: Everyone on our side who speaks German and wears a monocle.

By order of: the third under-butler to Kaiser Wilhelm III (presently indisposed with summer holidays).

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jul 8 2018, 02:03 PM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jul 8 2018, 02:30 PM
Post #56


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Currently completing the campaign results for the recently ended Canvas Eagles solo map campaign. Good practice for the occasional tete-a-tetes that occur monthly. Learning things at my pace (snail) but really taking to the game. It would be nice to meet with other CE players for a get-together. But as it's an old game, I reckon any invites will be relegated to that period of history known as ancients instead of global conflicts that advanced the art of war in new directions. Ok, it's ancient stuff. My mistake. armata_PDT_34.gif

Next solo project due completion will be the remaining four scenarios of Season 3 of Lion Rampant. Fortunately for me the narratives have no direct bearing on the flow the campaign other than adding some light relief and colour.

So, I'm working on writing up Scenario 12 which will be played first instead of the sequential Scenario 9 (another siege one). S12 will feature the heads of two factions - Auron de Saxanisson, current head of the large and influential Saxanisson family, and Ansard de Beuthmont, recent arrival to the area who has affiliation to one of the other rival factions (I can't recall which unfortunately although I suspect his allegiances are "fluid fluctuations in a trying and turbulent time", as he calls it).

This will Auron's first "field" game since the campaigns started; he is generally more the stay-at-home schemer who sends others out to do his deeds on his behalf. Ansard is utterly ambitious and wants to stake a big claim in the border disputes for his own growing family and connections. Fast and emphatic. Knocking off a rival head will certainly gain him that kudos and standing. But will it be enough to cause concern among the other more long-standing and powerful families of the Occitan, like the aggressive de Baxal or the highly respected and noted de Tourmonnes with their strong Papal connections? Hard to say.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the next season when Lion Rampant will become less Euro-centric and more global with focus on Eastern Europe and Middle East. Also keen to welcome onboard Angus who will be running the Saracens he is currently assembling. They will feature in our matchups, maybe even form part of the planned campaign scenarios. Have to see how that fans out.

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jul 8 2018, 02:36 PM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jul 9 2018, 06:14 PM
Post #57


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Campaign Outcome

Scenario One: Fokker Scourge, Oct 1915
Allied - 132 points
Central Powers - 0 points

Scenario Two: The Somme, Jul 1916
Allied - 436 points
Central Powers - 334 points

Scenario Three - Bloody April, Apr 1917
Allied - 816 points
Central Powers - 642 points

Scenario Four - Passchendale, Aug 1917
Allied - 350 points
Central Powers - 118 points

Scenario Five - Cambrai, Nov 1917
Allied - 24 points
Central Powers - 148 points

Scenario Six - The Last German Offensive, May 1918
Allied - 428 points
Central Powers - 212 points

Summary: Every game was won by the Allies. They had more planes too (S5 featured odds of two to one in favour of the Allies). This will skew the points results. And Cambrai shows the Germans with more points but the Allies succeeded in their mission brief - deliver tanks into the Cambrai hex.

Individual performances will be given at a later date. Been a fun but laborious campaign (keeping accurate records was the laborious part). Look forward to playing it actual with the lads. Cheers.


--------------------
"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jul 10 2018, 12:12 PM
Post #58


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Lion Rampant

Now that Canvas Eagle campaigning is done until October (apart from the frequent monthly get-togethers with live opponents), it is now back to Lion Rampant medieval skirmishing finishing off Season 3's remaining scenarios. Up first is Scenario 12: Ambush sprung! It should be Scenario 9 but I'm keen to run Auron because I've not played him at all since I began campaigning three seasons ago.

IPB Image

Starting deployment of the game to be played shortly. Ansard de Beuthmont (yellow/black) are lying in wait in the dark woods behind the ruined village. And who should happen along but Auron de Saxanisson and his retinue. Auron is on his annual tour of his vast estate and passing through a ruined village, victim of the recent incursions by de Beuthmont. Knocking off Auron would be a major feather in Ansard's cap to claiming a stake in the local power struggles. Can he pull it off? Or will Auron repel this usurper with ease? Both sides are fielding French retinues, so lists are identical in strength, quality, and quantity. But Ansard has the element of surprise as a little incentive. Will post batrep soon.

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jul 10 2018, 12:17 PM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jul 16 2018, 02:27 PM
Post #59


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FULL BATREP
Scenario
Late War (Aug 1918) scenario conducted in rainy weather, mainly clear patches with intermittent squally showers. This was a Mission style game: a bombing run conducted by an Allied force comprising:

3 Italian planes (1 x Caproni CA3 bomber and 2 Nieuport 28),
3 Romanian planes (3 x Nieuport 11)
2 British planes (2 x SPAD XIII)

Opposing them and defending the targets (an airfield and an HQ) was the local German force consisting of both single-seaters and two-seaters totalling six planes:

3 x Fokker DVII
1 x Fokker Dr-1
1 x Hannover CLIIIa
1 x Roland CII “Walfisch”

Both sides did receive reinforcements. But their appearance did not affect the outcome whatsover so their inclusion is purely for information purposes.

For the Allies – 1 x Nieuport 28 (Frank)
For the Germans – 1 x Siemens-Schuckert DIII (Piotr)

Assisting in the ground defence was a single heavy AA gun battery of motorised Krupp-Daimler 12 pounders (locally dubbed as the Cabbage and Sausage Bangers).

Batrep: the Plan
Mission parameters for the Allies: bomb both targets to succeed. At 30 points apiece, that is a 60 point bonus there. Secondary mission would be to neutralise the CASB which would yield a further 12 bonus points. So, on offer was 72 points.

Mission parameters for the Germans: Simple. Stop the Allied bomber from achieving its goal. Shooting down a plane is worth 24 points which might seem pittance (when compared to what is tempting the Allies) but the defenders, like all the fliers on the table, receive the usual incentive of shooting down any other enemy plane. With eight planes, therefore, the Germans have rich pickings.

However, the same opportunities also apply to the Allies as well although the Romanians, as Rod pointed out, are flying dilapidated early war machines of no real value or use in a late war setting where the planes are that much faster and more manoeuvrable. It might appear the Germans are outnumber in numbers but if you look closely, there is parity and perhaps even an advantage with them.

Firstly, the Caproni is a slow beast. It’s maximum speed is 2 hexes. We elected to play the table lengthwise. Thus the Allied deployment meant a long and slow approach to the target site. Secondly, the escorts were forced (it may seem silly to suggest they do their “own thing” but given there was only the one bomber, it made sense) to guard the bomber closely which the two Italian 28s did to a point. Thereafter, it became every man for himself once the Caproni returned from its enforced detour (rudder jammed).

The consistency of the German defence strategy meant the Allies were hamstrung by their own innate defects – a lack of adequate communications within the Allied camp. Quite often the common plaintive cry was heard, “what’s the plan, boss?” Also, the Germans had a easier directive – down the bomber. And they pursued that with great gusto and enthusiasm. Had the Allied included more bombers, such as the Breguet 14 or Sopwith Camel which had bombing capabilities, the Germans would have been in a bit more of a bind. As it was, they droned and buzzed the Caproni right up till its fatal ending.

Batrep: the game
The Italians had planned to reach the target by Turn Ten, drop their payload, and then skedaddle. The Romanians, across from the Italians, had planned to fly as protection on their flank. But there was the realisation that the Nieuport 11, although capable back in 1915/16, were way out of their league in late 1918. It therefore developed that their role as tail end Charlie would better suit them by protecting the Caproni’s vulnerable blind spot, and thus gain some credibility. Unfortunately it did not turn out that way as the faster and more manoeuvrable Fokkers, and other German aircraft, were able to target the Caproni at will without much interference even from the Italian escorts who were seemingly distracted.

IPB Image

Opening Moves: As the planes approached one another, it became clear to everyone that the opening shots would be fired in the middle of the table, in among the clouds. Well, sort of. But the first plane to crash and burn would be a SPAD XIII. Simon, whose English planes (Blue) were deployed along the centre edge, had quickly raced in to neutralise the anti-aircraft guns. And initially, it looked as if he might be successfully, racking up two successful strafing runs with no damage from return fire. But then his lead attack plane’s guns jammed; while it was trying to unjam them, Angus’ lone D7 (Black) came up and devastatingly shot the poor SPAD out of the sky!

In the main conflict within the clouds, one of the Romanian-piloted Nieuports (Orange) managed to down the camouflaged D7 from Lachlan’s Red Baron flight (Red) to even up the score. Thereon in opposing planes would shoot at one another, obtaining damaging hits, but never enough to down them. And it seemed to continue that way until Turn 9 when the Caproni (Green) suffered a rudder damaging hit that forced to steer straight ahead right off the board. Luckily, the damage was repairable and he managed to return two turns later.

In its absence, things started to happen. The two Italian 28s, now left to their own devices, suddenly came alive. Likewise the Romanians dove straight into the chaos developing. Meanwhile, Simon’s other SPAD was downed by a quietly efficient Angus. The Germans were more than holding their own while dishing it out to the Allies. But Angus’ command did not emerge unscathed from its participation. His D7 ran out of fuel and had to fly off-table. While it landed without mishap, the pilot was inexplicably killed. The Hannover went into a spin and was perilously close to slamming into the ground but recovered at the last minute yet ended up flying off the board like the D7. Its fate was unknown. And the engine of the Roland “Walfisch” was so badly shot up it was forced to glide for the remainder of the game. But it survived its engineless descent without being targetted by the Italians and Romanians and landed safely, the crew relieved at their survival.

With the return of the Caproni in Turn 12, urgency was a priority for the Germans given the close proximity the bomber was to its target (only two turns away). To that end, young Lachlan showed focus and dedication to the task. He was able to tag the Caproni as it commenced its bombing run, but he was unable to effect enough damage to down the bomber. For its part, the Caproni dropped its first bomb on the airfield. A hit! But in repeating its success with the HQ, the Caproni was to suffer a twisted fate: Lachlan finally got his reward as raking fire from his twin Spandaus killed the crew of the bomber. With no one left to pilot the aircraft, it slowly veered towards the ground in a stupendous explosion (it still had one bomb left). The Germans had succeeded in downing the bomber. But it might be a hollow victory because the Italians managed to successfully bomb the final target.

IPB Image

Lachlan’s efforts were admirable but he was surprised and partly frustrated by the amount of punishment the Italians could take, which he openly confessed. When one of his planes managed a devastating attack on one of the Italians 28s earlier, he was fairly confident in believing his 3 red attacks would do enough to down the plane, especially given the hits were all concentrated on the Nieuport’s fuselage. But the Italian pilot’s luck was with him that turn as all his fuselage boxes were ticked off yet he did not suffer any further hits which would have been critical. And most likely fatal.

With the downing of the Caproni, though, the game was effectively over. Mission accomplished for both sides. One feels that victory was shared. Technically, the Allies won because they achieved their mission while Germans failed to prevent the successful bombing. But it could be seen as honours even given the Caproni was taken out, albeit too late.

Batrep: Aftermath
Individual honours: Lachlan for persisting and finally getting his reward by shooting down the Caproni bomber as it successfully dropped its bomb on the final mission target. Talk about close one!

Team honours: Germans for putting up a valiant defence despite fielding a newcomer (Lachlan) to the game. The numbers were relatively even (if you discount the Caproni that was plodding along steadily at its 2-speed towards it fate), but the experience level was slightly in favour of the Allies, as expected. To overcome that advantage therefore showed both the determination and teamwork between Lachlan and Angus. Hats off to you both.

IPB Image

Mission honours: Allies for achieving their mission objective which also happened to be the game objective. That victory, however, was tempered by the loss of the Caproni at the very last instant of its success. The Caproni took some heavy hits. Better use of the pair of gunners could have improved their survival chances, but the dice fell the other way. Next time.

Most kills:
Shared between Angus and Lachlan who both scored 2 kills apiece. The Allies had planes able to equal the success of the Germans but their firepower was poorly utilised (ie. dice rolls were unfavourable). But one of the Romanian Nieuport 11s did account for a Fokker DVII so the Germans didn’t have it all their own way shooting-wise.

Most experience gained (including those “pilots” who died): Everyone gained experience points. Given that we are always changing our pilots each time we meet, the relevancy of experience points is better suited to campaigns and the like, not one-dayers of casual gaming.

Game summary
It was an excellent day for Canvas Eagles. Lots of laughs all round, and dramas galore on the table. Simon’s attempt to take out the AA guns was admirable if hasty. That his aircraft guns jammed when they did and failed to recover proved calamitous for one of his planes.

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Angus’s contributions to the fun was when two of his planes nearly collided in the one turn which immediately revived memories of Mr. Magoo and his poor suffering nephew Waldo. It certainly revived memories for me of the last get-together when my two Russian pilots ran into each other by accident!

I was copping flak because my Nieuports would not sit flat on the magnetised head of the telescopic rods. The problem was one of shape: the fuselage of the 28 is curved making lying flat wishful thinking, especially these planes had internal magnets rather than external glued-on washers like some of the others. Because I was flying Italians, there was some ribbing that my planes were leaning right because of the sausages being transported. Just which was the source of merriment between the Italians and the British.

IPB Image

Funnies aside, we are still becoming familiar with the system. Minor problems did crop up but that’s because not enough playing time and a lack of familiarity with the system (especially for newcomers) was evidenced. Leeway is therefore generously applied in such a situation. Besides, we were having such a fun time. No one was really that concerned if someone did something they shouldn’t have done.

© 2018 Batrep and batrep hexmap showing flight paths by author.

This post has been edited by b20f08: Jul 16 2018, 08:50 PM


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"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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b20f08
post Jul 16 2018, 09:16 PM
Post #60


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Just a couple of pics of Simon's lovely flight stand for Canvas Eagle.

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Finished flight stand in all its readiness for an outing of aerial jousting a la Canvas Eagles. The water effect is done using common clear glue built up in layers after drying. The duck board pallet is for the D10 (used to denote altitude). The boarding around the hexagonal stand completes the WW1 look of the piece.

IPB Image
The flight stand pre-final detailing. The base has been built up using modelling techniques and materials; it even has a helmeted skull of some unknown unfortunate. Simon has further stabilised the base by applying a sheet magnet so that it can even fit on the outside of your car!


--------------------
"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!" for Spike Milligan & Dave Chapelle & Charles Bukowski
"Life without regrets is no life at all" Yip Man
"If you lack technique you lose the freedom to create" Paco de Lucia
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 19th July 2018 - 01:36 PM