Tuesday, October 12, 2021

RFC scout vs Hun two-seater

This is an attempt to use Wings of Glory on a hex mat. We use hexes in order to simplify play over the Internet while staying isolated at home. Each aircraft has a number of different manoeuvres it can perform, but instead of being represented by arrows they are represented by hexes traversed.

This scenario was designed to test the effectiveness of a Sopwith Snipe single-seater scout against an LFG Roland C.II twin-seater. The Snipe has two machine guns firing fixed forward compared to the Roland with one machine gun fixed-forward and a second machine gun on a ring mounting in rear cockpit with an almost all-round field of fire.

Lieutenant William Algernon "Billy the Bishop" Tempest was patrolling behind the allied lines when he spotted a Hun LFG Roland C.II Walfisch reconnaissance aircraft flying towards him. The Roland was flown by Leutnant Florian Meier with Leutnant Jörg Fritzl-Falconi as his observer, having orders to photograph a railway marshalling yard.

Billy the Bishop side slipped his Sopwith Snipe to his left, in order to get the Roland C,II on his right hand side, forgetting that he was no longer flying his trusty Sopwith Camel.

The adversaries continued to close in on each other.

Both aircraft turned to starboard to meet each other face-on. 

The twin Vickers machine guns in Billy the Bishop's Sopwith Snipe shot large holes in the Roland. Florian Meier in the Roland C.II left enough room so that his observer, Jörg Fritzl-Falconi, could shoot his rear machine gun over the starboard wing, Fritzl-Falconi's single Spandau machine gun did some damage to the Snipe, while Meier's Parabellum machine gun did almost no damage before jamming. 

Meier immediately hit the gun with a hammer that he had placed strategically in the cockpit, and it immediately unjammed, probably because his mechanic had carefully checked all the bullets prior to loading for this mission. 

Note: The was a special single-use "skill" obtained in a previous scenario.

Presuming that the Hun would head for the railway marshalling yard, Billy the Bishop turned his Snipe towards the presumed target.

But Meier in the Roland had decided it was no longer a good idea to photograph his target, until he had first removed the troublesome Snipe. Taking photographs while being tailed by a Snipe was not a desired state to be in.

So Meier didn't turn for the railway marshalling yard, instead he turned behind the Snipe, giving Fritzl-Falconi's single Spandau machine gun a good shot at the Snipe. Flames started shooting from the Snipe's engine cowling.

Note: As a house rule, we only allow Aimed Fire for fixed machine guns, not for observers.

The aircraft we performing an areal ballet, with the Snipe side slipping to starboard and the Roland side slipping to port. 

The flames shooting from the Snipe's engine cowling seemed to be having no effect on the aircraft.

Fritzl-Falconi's single Spandau machine gun got a good shot at the Snipe. However Billy the Bishop was lucky and despite all the bullets hitting his Snipe, little real damage was done.

Note: Billy used his "Luck of the Devil" skill and chose to replace one damage card with a zero.

The Snipe turned to port, hoping to get a shot at the Roland, but the slower moving Roland stayed behind the Snipe.

The flames shooting from the Snipe's engine now started to slowly eat through the fuselage.

The Roland's observer/gunner, Fritzl-Falconi, continued to fire with his Spandau machine gun. 

The slower moving Roland, had no problem staying out of the Snipe's field of fire.

The flames shooting from the Snipe's engine now started to slowly eat through the fuselage.

The Roland's observer/gunner, Fritzl-Falconi, continued to fire with his Spandau machine gun. 

This was too much for the Snipe to take, and it plummeted flaming earthwards!

Leutnant Florian Meier lined up the Roland C.II with the railway marshalling yard while Leutnant Jörg Fritzl-Falconi readied his camera to take a photograph.

Having taken a photograph, Meier slowly circled the Roland while Fritzl-Falconi prepared the camera for a second photograph. They then flew over the railway marshalling yard for a second time to get another photograph.

Meier and Fritzl-Falconi returned to their aerodrome to a hero's welcome and celebrated with a few bottles of looted French champagne.


Sunday, October 3, 2021

Dogfight 1918

This is an attempt to use Wings of Glory on a hex mat. We use hexes in order to simplify play over the Internet while staying isolated at home. Each aircraft has a number of different manoeuvres it can perform, but instead of being represented by arrows they are represented by hexes traversed.

Lieutenants William Algernon "Billy the Bishop" Tempest and Terence “the Rook” Turner were flying a dawn patrol over the front in their brand spanking new Sopwith Snipe scouts when they spotted two rather colourful Fokker D.VII scouts coming straight towards them.

The RFC pilots held formation and slipped to starboard with The Rook flying on The Bishop's port wingtip. The Huns tightened up their formation. The enemies closed the distance separating them.

The RFC pilots side slipped to port. The Huns turned gently to port.

The Blue Fokker opened fire at close range on Terence “the Rook” Turner. The Spandaus tore up the Snipe and flames started to pour out of its engine.

The Rook opened fire on the Red Fokker at close range, doing a little damage before his twin Vickers machine guns jammed.

The Red Fokker opened fire on William Algernon "Billy the Bishop" Tempest at long range but totally missed the Snipe, perhaps he was distracted by The Rook's bullets. 

The Bishop turned his Snipe towards the Huns who were now moving slowly towards him.

The Rook turned his Snipe to port, dodging the incoming Fokkers as the flames shooting out from his engine started to damage his airframe.

The Bishop opened fire on the Red Fokker and both Fokkers returned his fire. A bullet from the Red Fokker, fired a close range, hit Billy the Bishop half-an-inch below his heart. But luckily he had a pewter hip flask in his breast pocket and he we only slightly bruised rather than being seriously wounded. 

The Bishop stalled his Snipe as the Fokkers slowly closed the distance. He continued all the time to fire at the Red Fokker, tearing up large holes in its fuselage and wounding the pilot. 

The combined fire from both Fokkers was surprisingly inaccurate.

The Rook circled round behind the Fokkers, trying both to put out the flames coming from his engine and unjamming his machine guns at the same time.

Billy the Bishop and the Red Fokker flew past each other with inched to spare. The Blue Fokker stalled while The Rook flew in front of it, being too busy unjamming the machine guns to notice.

Having unjammed his machine guns in the nick of time, The Rook opened fire at the Red Fokker, but his Snipe took heavy damage from a combination of flames from its engine and machine gun fire from the Blue Fokker.

Both The Rook's Snipe and the Red Fokker were kills.

The dogfight continued with both pilots wanting to avenge their fallen comrades. The Blue Fokker got in a rather nasty close range shot at Billy the Bishop, but before it could do too much damage, both machine guns jammed.

Neither pilot was now particularly interested in continuing the fight. The Snipe was badly shot up and the Fokker was in pristine condition but with its Spandaus jammed. The Hun waved at Billy, who waved back with a strange two-fingered gesture, and both planed turned for home.

Lieutenant William Algernon "Billy the Bishop" Tempest returned safely to his aerodrome. Much to the amusement of his ground crew, when he hopped out of the Snipe's cockpit, everyone could see that his trousers were wet. The ground crew spread the rumour that the Billy had wet himself during the action. Actually it was cognac from his damaged hip flask that had leaked, Billy offered up his trousers asking everyone to smell the crotch, waving them under the nose of quite a few airmen, but nobody wanted to take him up on his offer! 

Lieutenant Terence “the Rook” Turner managed somehow quench the flames coming from his engine and glide the Snipe back towards his own trenches where he managed what was either a hard landing or a surprisingly gentle crash. Luckily he was stopped from plummeting into a trench by its protecting barbed-wire. Even he returned to the aerodrome, although somewhat the worse for wear. He was however greeted with less mirth than his comrade in arms.


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Successful Spy Pick-up

This is an attempt to use Wings of Glory on a hex mat. We use hexes in order to simplify play over the Internet while staying isolated at home. Each aircraft has a number of different manoeuvres it can perform, but instead of being represented by arrows they are represented by hexes traversed.

Army HQ had tasked the squadron to pick up a spy with critical information from behind enemy lines. The spy was hiding out in a Belgium farm to escape the German troops that are out hunting.  Lieutenant William Algernon "Billy the Bishop" Tempest bravely volunteered to fly the pick-up in the Brisfit with his friend Lieutenant Terence “the Rook” Turner escorting in his Sopwith Camel.

However they were attacked by two Fokker D.VII scouts and the Brisfit was shot down, crash-landing in a meadow near the farm. In his shot-up Camel, Terence “the Rook” Turner saw the fate of his friend. Not wanting to face the two Fokkers, Terrence turned for home vowing to return to pick up both his friend and the spy. There is a report of this action.

On returning to his airfield, Terence “the Rook” Turner commandeered another Brisfit. Captain Jack "Casanova" Yates had just returned from another mission, and offered to escort the Brisfit.

As the two RFC planes approached the pick-up point, they spotted a lone Hun Fokker D.VII patrolling.

The sly Hun slipped his Fokker D.VII to the right, planning to get on the port side of the Sopwith Camel, knowing that the Camel turned poorly to port. Even Turner chose to slip the Brisfit to starboard, opening the distance to the Fokker.

The Camel turned slowly to its left, while the sly Hun reversed the direction of his slip, and opened fire at close range.

Distracted by the tempting target that the Brisfit made, the Fokker turned towards it. Without a crewman in the rear seat, the Brisfit couldn't return fire. However the Camel turned sharply right and got a close range shot at the Fokker.

Yates in the Camel turned onto the tail of the Fokker which was still concentrating on the Brisfit. The Camel got a lucky shot which damaged the Fokkers rudder. But the Fokker opened fire on the Brisfit, but both Spandau machine guns jammed.

With its rudder damaged, the Fokker turned sharp right in an attempt to avoid the Camel. The Brisfit turned in towards the farm where Billy the Bishop was hiding together with the spy.

The Camel turned behind the Fokker, opened fire, but his machine guns jammed immediately. The Fokker, now unjammed, performed an Immelmann turn and now opened fire on the jammed Camel, but the Fokker's machine guns jammed yet again!

The Camel got onto the tail of the Fokker, but Yates was still trying hard to unjam. The Brisfit was slowing down getting ready to land as it approached the meadow next to the farm.

Yates had finally unjammed his machine guns, and opened up from a close range tailing position on the Fokker. The Fokker opened fire on the Brisfit, determined to destroy it before it could land, but for a third time this mission the Fokker's machine guns jammed.

The Fokker could take no more, and crashed into a field.

Upon returning to their aerodrome, "Billy the Bishop" Tempest bought both Terence “the Rook” Turner and Jack "Casanova" Yates double whiskies in the Officers' Mess to celebrate being plucked from the jaws of the Huns. 

The Fokker pilot limped away from his wrecked aircraft. He hitched a lift back to the airfield on a horse-drawn supply wagon. Once back, he tore a strip off his mechanic, how was it possible that the Spandaus could jam three times in a single mission. The mechanic promised to check all the bullets thoroughly before future mission. Special Effect: the Hun pilot may ignore the next jam result he gets. 


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The Decider - The Battle of Beneventum (275 BC)

During the corona pandemic, we decided to play through all of the scenarios in Commands & Colors Ancients Expansion #1. This was done over Skype with each player having their own copy of the game.

The results were logged here: http://keithswargames.blogspot.com/p/greeks-and-eastern-kingdoms-ancients.html

Having played all 24 scenarios and arrived at a twelve-all draw, we decided that a decider was necessary. As penalties are not possible, we took the decision to replay Beneventum and swap sides from the previous game.

Instead of using the normal board, I used a board made by a good friend. It folds out like in many children's books, and the camp fortifications and woodland popped up. 

When set up it looked like this...


The battle commenced. Looking at the Roman fortifications, Pyrrhus decided the best thing to do was to storm them.

As the Romans skirmished, Pyrrhus advanced his centre.

The skirmishing Romans were annoying the Epirotic elephants, causing casualties, so Pyrrhus ordered a mounted charge with his Elephants and Cavalry. The Romans lost a unit of Auxiliaries and one of Medium Infantry was decimated, but the Epirotic elephants were destroyed.

The Romans reformed their lines, bringing forth reserves from the fortifications and hiding the decimated legionaries in the rear.

Pyrrhus ordered his front line to charge. The Warriors rushed the legionaries and the Medium infantry double-timed to keep up.

The fierce Warriors smashed through the Roman light infantry, climbed the ramparts, eliminated the already decimated legionaries behind.

The Medium infantry attacked the elite Roman legionaries, although the caused some casualties, they were both pushed back with severe losses.

The Romans counter-attacked, pushing out the Warriors from the fortifications but taking losses themselves. They also took the chance to attack the retreating Medium infantry.

Again the Epitotic Warriors charged the fortifications, massacring the elite Roman legionaries occupying the central camp and destroying half of the Roman ballistae. 

The Romans had had enough of the pesky Warriors, and attacked in force, only a small unit a warriors managed to escape back to their own lines.

Pyrrhus now ordered his phalanx forward, which engaged and destroyed a unit of Roman legionaries.

Pyrrhus brought forward the cavalry on his left flank, intending to attack and destroy the Roman cavalry.

But before they had a chance, the Roman cavalry performed a Mounted Charge...

...and slaughtered both the opposing cavalry units and causing their commander to flee into a nearby forest. Thus they turned the tide of the battle.

In a vain attempt to save the day, Pyrrhus ordered his right flank to attack, destroying a Roman unit.

But now Pyrrhus couldn't stop the Roman cavalry, they had tasted victory and they rolled up his left flank.

It was a historical result! Pyrrhus withdrew from the field with what was left of his army and returned to Epirus, never to return to Italy. Beneventum was the final pivotal battle in the Roman Republic's bid for control of the entire Italian peninsula, and the first great victory of the legion over the phalanx.

With a result of 7 victory banners to 6, it was "the nearest-run thing you ever saw in your life".


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Spy Pick-up

This is an attempt to use Wings of Glory on a hex mat. We use hexes in order to simplify play over the Internet while staying isolated at home. Each aircraft has a number of different manoeuvres it can perform, but instead of being represented by arrows they are represented by hexes traversed.

Army HQ has tasked your squadron to pick up a spy with critical information from behind enemy lines. The spy is hiding out in a Belgium farm to escape the German troops that are out hunting. Your squadron must perform the pick-up at midday from the meadow next to the farmyard.

Army HQ has provided a brand new two-seater Bristol F.2B Fighter (perhaps the first one to arrive in France) for the operation because it is must faster than the DH.4 two-seaters that the squadron is otherwise equipped with. The Brisfit has two forward-firing Vickers machine guns and one Lewis gun in the observer's cockpit. The Brisfit will fly without its normal observer in the back seat in order to make room for the spy.

Lieutenant William Algernon "Billy the Bishop" Tempest bravely volunteers to fly the pick-up in the Brisfit and his friend Lieutenant Terence “the Rook” Turner, flying his Sopwith Camel, will escort Billy. They take off from their aerodrome in good time before noon and head towards the front lines. When crossing the German trenches, they are spotted and an officer telephones to the nearest airfield from which two Fokker D.VII scouts are sent up to intercept.


Special rule:
When the Brisfit’s back seat is occupied by the spy, the Lewis gun counts as being fired by a novice. It may not use aimed fire and if jammed will take an additional “jammed” counter.


As the two RFC planes approached the pick-up point, they spotted two Hun Fokker D.VII scouts.

Turn 1:
The RFC pilots flew straight ahead as the two Fokkers turned towards them.

Turn 2:
The RFC pilots flew straight ahead as the two Fokkers side-slipped towards them.

Turn 3:
The RFC pilots side-slipped to their right and the two Fokkers side-slipped again.

Turn 4:
The RFC pilots flew straight ahead as the two Fokkers side-slipped towards them.

The planes opened fire on their opposite number at long range.

Flying his Sopwith Camel, it wasn't Lieutenant Terence “the Rook” Turner's day. After firing a short burst into the Blue Fokker, his machine-guns jammed, and in the silence he heard his engine starting to make strange and worrying noises.

Turn 5:
The two opposing sides now met head-on at point blank range.

Lieutenant "Billy the Bishop" Tempest exchanged fire with the Red Fokker. The Blue Fokker opened fire on Terence “the Rook” Turner's Camel, tearing holes in the fuselage and wounding him.

Turn 6:
Both Fokker's turned to their right as did Terence “the Rook” Turner who was try to get out of the fight while he unjammed his guns. Billy the Bishop turned the Brisfit towards the meadow.

Turn 6:
Both Fokker's turned to their right. Terence “the Rook” Turner flew out of the fight while he unjammed his guns. Billy the Bishop in the Brisfit descended towards the meadow.

The Red Fokker was now on Billy the Bishop's tail, and open fire with a burst from his two Spandau machine-guns. Smoke started to pour out from the Brisfits engine.

Turn 7:
Billy the Bishop in the Bristfit ignored the Fokker on his tail and continued with his run in to the meadow. Terence “the Rook” Turner flew out of the fight while he unjammed his guns.

The Red Fokker opened fire on the Brisfit.

Turn 8:
With inches to spare, Billy crossed the hedgerow that marked the boundary of the meadow chased by the two Fokkers. Having unjammed his guns, Terrence turned his Camel back towards the fight.

Both Fokkers opened fire. The Blue Fokker did little damage before its guns jammed, but the Red Fokker filled the Brisfit with holes and wounded Bill the Bishop.

From a height of about 10 feet, the Brisfit crashed into the ground.

As the Brisfit crash-landed in the meadow, a nun came out from the hedgerow. The nun looked around carefully and then ran over to the Brisfit. She pulled Billy the Bishop out from the wreckage, through him over her shoulder in a fireman's carry, and disappeared in the direction of the farmhouse.

Flying in his shot-up Camel, Terence “the Rook” Turner saw the fate of his friend. Not wanting to face the two Fokkers, Terrence turned for home vowing to return to pick up both his friend and the spy.