Saturday, September 26, 2020

WWI Western Front Aerial Campaign - Episode 6

Bombing the Wunderwaffen

This is the sixth episode of a campaign representing fictitious battles in the air over the Western Front during the First World War. It was initially planned to use the Wings of Glory rules, but these were modified to use hex based movement in order to facilitate remote play over the Internet due to Corona restrictions.

The cast of the campaign can be found here.

Mission Briefing

One month earlier, Jörg Fritzl-Falconi had been so happy with his successful bombing mission that he had his portrait painted by the famous artist Toulouse Vinplage. He wrote a letter explaining how he had bombed and destroyed a secret photographic unit that the dastardly Engländer had hidden in a brasserie. He sent both back home to his mother, the Countess Fritzl-Falconi, who lived in the Schloss Schönbrunn.

The Countess Fritzl-Falconi was so proud of her son, that together with her lady companions, she immediately started knitting a sock to cover a bomb on which they embroidered the text Gott Strafe England. It was soon in the post on its way from Schloss Schönbrunn to her son's aerodrome on the Western Front..

The Bombensocke - by MW

Only a few days earlier, the squadron had picked up a spy from behind enemy lines and he was debriefed by the squadron commander Major Fritz Detterman. Still in the nun's habit, the spy explained that there were two huge Wunderwaffen (artillery pieces) ready to stop the St Crupelle offensive. But the sly Engländer had disguised the Wunderwaffen by covering the emplacement with camouflage netting onto which tent like structures were painted so that from the air there appears to be a simple camp. 

Detterman had noted down the exact position of the emplacement. He called Erbprinz Rupprecht zu Sachsen-Zenda, Florian Meier and Jörg Fritzl-Falconi into his office. They were tasked with destroying the Wunderwaffen. Meier would fly the bomber with Fritzl-Falconi in the back seat and zu Sachsen-Zenda would escort them in a scout.

After leaving the office, Fritzl-Falconi explained to the other two that he had just received a Bombensocke from his mother the Countess. He wanted to use it on this mission to destroy the Engländers Wunderwaffen. The problem was that the sock was rather large, too large for a bomb that the Roland C.II could carry. So Meier decided that he would fly the Gotha G.V and that they would take Freiherr Friedrich ”Dickie” von Salzbach as their third crewman and that zu Sachsen-Zenda would escort them in a Fokker D.VII.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the trench lines, Captain Jack Yates (two hearts) and Alphonse Lacourt (white stripes on fuselage) were on a routine patrol in their Sopwith Camel scouts.

The Action

The Gotha and Fokker took off and climbed to 6,000 ft. The didn't climb higher as they needed to be able to pinpoint the target. They crossed over the trench lines. Shortly thereafter they spotted two Sopwith Camels patrolling in the distance in the vicinity of their target. 

When Yates spotted the huge Hun bomber, he signalled Lacourt to turn towards the incoming aircraft and follow him down to 7 000 ft so that they retained the height advantage

Note: The target is hidden under one of the white markers,
it's second from the right, but only the Germans know this.

Both Camels headed towards the Huns, slipping right as they did so.

The Germans continued straight ahead, the Fokker accelerated to full speed and the Gotha entered a shallow dive in order to speed up.

Both Camels moved straight ahead towards the Huns, while loosing altitude.

The Gotha continued straight ahead in its shallow dive, and the Fokker did some fancy manoeuvring to stay next to the Gotha.

The Gotha continued straight ahead in its shallow dive.

Yates in two-hearts continued straight ahead. Both gunners in the Gotha aimed at Yates, but the altitude difference made shooting impossible.

Lacourt in the other Camel slipped right behind Yates.

Erbprinz Rupprecht zu Sachsen-Zenda in the D.VII slipped left and then turn in right.

The D.VII opened fire on Yates causing slight damage to the Camel.

Lacourt opened fire on the D.VII doing some damage, but then his machine-guns jammed. Could it be that Corporal Boyd, the erk, had forgotten to remove the golden bullets from Lacourt's guns. Perhaps the bottle of wine that Half Pint had tossed to Boyd, had caused him to forget his duty.

The Gotha continued straight ahead in its shallow dive while the Camels continued to dogfight with the Fokker overhead.

Lacout turned his Camel sharply to the right, while trying to un-jam his machine-guns. 

Yates in the "two-hearts" Camel performed a half-loop.

Rupprecht zu Sachsen-Zenda slipped his D.VII to the right.

The Gotha turned right towards the target.

Yates in the "two-hearts" Camel performed another half-loop. 

The D.VIII turned left. 

Lacourt turned right then left while at the same time succeeding in un-jamming his machine-guns.

The Gotha flew straight and level over the target. The white hex was turned over to reveal that it was the actual target.

The D.VII turned right, following after the Gotha.

Lacourt turned right onto the tail of the D.VII and opened fire.

Yates turned as sharply as possible to the left and even he opened fire on the D.VII.

"Bomben weg!" shouted Jörg Fritzl-Falconi as they crossed over the target.

Bomben weg! - by MW

The Gotha turned slowly right, heading for home.

The D.VII flew straight ahead while somehow managed to confuse Lacourt on his tail who turned away, but Yates slipped right and continued to fire into the D.VII.

The Gotha continued to turn slowly right, heading for home.

Despite his damage, Rupprecht zu Sachsen-Zenda half-looped his D.VII to return to the dogfight and protect the Gotha. Lacourt turned his Camel sharply right and came face-to-face with the D.VII and they both opened fire.

Yates missed the D.VII's half-loop and overshot his enemy. Jörg Fritzl-Falconi, in the Gotha's front gunner position, aimed his Parabellum machine-gun at Yates' Camel but the altitude difference was to much for him to be able to hit anything.

The Gotha headed straight homeward bound in a shallow dive for maximum speed.

The D.VII turned back towards the Gotha, which confused the Camels who had expected the dogfight to continue.

The Gotha headed straight in its shallow dive for maximum speed and the D.VII turned to follow the Gotha.

Both Camels chased after the D.VII and Yates opened fire wounding Rupprecht zu Sachsen-Zenda.

Both the Gotha and the badly damaged D.VII were heading straight home as fast as they could.

But Yates managed to get on the tail of the D.VII and opened fire. The D.VII could take no more punishment, and plummeted into the ground killing Erbprinz Rupprecht zu Sachsen-Zenda.

Rupprecht zu Sachsen-Zenda had courageously taken on both Camels in order to distract them from the Gotha's mission and thus allowing the Gotha to successfully bomb the Engländers Wunderwaffen

The Gotha was now far ahead of the Camels and was crossing over its own trench line. More Fokkers could be seen diving down towards the Gotha so Yates and Lacourt turned away, satisfied that they had downed a Fokker D.VII.

Back at the KuKuK Jagd-Schlachtstaffel's aerodrome, the Gotha's crew went into the dining room where they met the other of the two identical men who both had claimed to be the heirs of Sachsen-Zenda. They explained that the other claimant had been shot down and killed by die Engländer. There and then, Erbprinz Rupprecht zu Sachsen-Zenda vowed to go out and avenge the death of his brother. He explained that it was obviously his brother who was the illegitimate son and had no valid claim to the title and certainly not to the fortune, but it did not matter now and that his death would be avenged.

The Result

Central Powers Victory

Campaign results:

  • Captain Jack Yates:  +7 XP, +1 luck 
  • Alphonse Lacourt:  +1 XP, +1 luck 
  • Florian Meier:  +3 XP, +1 luck 
  • Jörg Fritzl-Falconi:  +3 XP, +1 luck 
  • Freiherr Friedrich ”Dickie” von Salzbach:  +3 XP, +1 luck
  • Erbprinz Rupprecht zu Sachsen-Zenda:  KIA

Campaign Log

The Score:
1er Escadrille International 3     -     KuKuK Jagd-Schlachtstaffel 3

   Missions   Kills   XP   Luck   Notes 
Premier Escadrille International
Charles “Half Pint”
Carruthers (GB)
3 1 17 3  
“Dirty” Bertie Parker (AU) 2 1 15 2  
Captain Jack Yates (GB) 3 1 16 3  
Alphonse Lacourt (FR) 3 0 3 2
St John
Featherstonehaugh (GB)
2 0 6 2  
Hank Snapmulder (US) 1 1 8 1  
Kaiserliche und Königliche und Kaiserliche Jagd-Schlachtstaffel
Udo Lockbach (DE) 2 0 2 1
Erbprinz Rupprecht
zu Sachsen-Zenda (DE)
2 0 3 2  KIA Episode 6.
Florian Meier (DE) 3 0 9 3  
Jörg Fritzl-Falconi (HU) 3 0 9 3  
Gaspard Hauser (DE) 2 0 3 2  
Freiherr Friedrich ”Dickie”
von Salzbach (DE)
2 0 4 1  
Slobomir Kraijnc (HR) 1 0 1 0

Saturday, September 19, 2020

WWI Western Front Aerial Campaign - Episode 5

Bombing Supply Columns

This is the fifth episode of a campaign representing fictitious battles in the air over the Western Front during the First World War. It was initially planned to use the Wings of Glory rules, but these were modified to use hex based movement in order to facilitate remote play over the Internet due to Corona restrictions.

Mission Briefing

A motorcycle messenger arrived at the aerodrome, not long after Major Brackton had departed flying the squadron’s only DH.4 in search of the County of Dampshire infantry regiment and the missing beer. He ran into the officers’ mess looking for Brackton.

The messenger had an urgent mission for the Premier Escadrille International. The Hun offensive at St Crupelle was gaining ground and the squadron was ordered to bomb the advancing German infantry. This caused great distress, Major Brackton had taken the squadron’s only DH.4 bomber and nobody knew when he was likely to return.

The French inspecteur général Hippolyte St Prix immediately grasped the chance to put Brackton down, so he told all the officers gathered in the mess that l'aviation militaire française would come to the aid of the squadron. He will supply a superb Bréguet BR 14 bomber for the squadron to use and an excellent SPAD XIII to escort it.

Charles “Half Pint” Carruthers and “Dirty” Bertie Parker offered to fly the BR 14 and Hank Snapmulder took the SPAD XIII. 

The erks loaded the BR 14 with bombs, and then Half Pint and Snapmulder jumped in. There they found a nice surprise, the cockpit still contained a few bottles of 1897 vintage Côte de St Prix. As they taxied away from the hanger, Half Pint tossed one bottle to Corporal Boyd who had been responsible for arming the aircraft.

Entente Powers Officers - by MW

They climbed slowly to an altitude of 7,500 ft and when they were over the village of Saint-Benoît-du-Saucisse they turned toward the front line and St Crupelle.

As they neared the front, Snapmulder spotted two enemy Fokker D.VII scouts, a red and white striped D.VII flown by Freiherr Friedrich ”Dickie” von Salzbach and a speckled D.VII flown by his Croatian brother-in-arms Slobomir Kraijnc. 

Central Powers Officers - by MW

The Huns were slightly lower at an altitude of 7,000 ft.

The Action

As they approached the front at St Crupelle, Half Pint spotted four German supply columns which looked like juicy targets.

The Huns were now directly overhead of their supply columns. It was going to be tricky bombing the supply columns with the Hun Fokkers in the way.

The Huns headed straight for the incoming bomber.

The BR 14 slipped to the right, hoping to avoid the Fokkers.

Snapmulder used the superior speed of his SPAD XIII to move protectively in front of the BR 14.

Half Pint performed a straight dive with the BR 14, hoping to pass safely under the Fokkers. Both Fokkers slipped left so as to meet the BR 14 head on. Snapmulder guessed correctly what the Fokkers would do, and turned in on them with perfect timing.

Both Fokkers opened fire on the BR 14 with their twin Spandau machine-guns as Half Pint returned the fire with his single Vickers machine-gun.

Snapmulder in the SPAD XIII opened fire on the a red and white striped D.VII flown by Freiherr Friedrich ”Dickie” von Salzbach.

A lucky bullet from Half Pint's machine-gun caused Slobomir Kraijnc's speckled Fokker D.VII burst into flames.

The rudder of von Salzbach's D.VII had jammed and he could only turn right and Snapmulder in the SPAD XIII followed him round. Half Pint and “Dirty” Bertie in the BR 14 continued straight ahead to get closer to the supply columns. The flaming speckled D.VII flown by Slobomir Kraijnc turned slowly left.

“Dirty” Bertie in the back seat of the BR 14 opened up with his twin Lewis guns on Kraijnc's D.VII and Snapmulder  in the SPAD XIII continued pouring bullets into the striped D.VII.

Half Pint turned the BR 14 right and headed for the first enemy supply column. Despite the flames shooting out from his engine of his speckled D.VII, Kraijnc turned to chase after Half Pint. Kraijnc opened fire on the BR 14 and “Dirty” Bertie in the back seat returned fire.

Von Salzbach turned his D.VII sharply left as Snapmulder closed in for a close range shot.

Snapmulder fired a long burst into von Salzbach's D.VII and it began to spin earthwards. Hank Snapmulder had his first kill.

Half Pint flew the BR 14 over the enemy supply column and dropped his bombs.

With the flames still shooting out from his engine Kraijnc closed in on the BR14 and opened fire as the two-seater finished its bomb run.

Snapmulder turned to help the BR 14 fight off the D.VII.

“Dirty” Bertie opened fire from the back seat of the BR 14 and Kraijnc's D.VII went down. 

Slobomir Kraijnc's D.VII crashed into the ground, Kraijnc was scorched and wounded but survived the crash.

Freiherr Friedrich ”Dickie” von Salzbach just managed to exit the spin before crashing into the ground, he managed an emergency landing and escaped the ordeal without any serious wound.

Now unhindered by enemy aircraft, Half Pint and “Dirty” Bertie continued to bomb the supply columns until their supply of 8 kg bombs ran out, when the head home.

Snapmulder in the SPAD XIII circled protectively nearby, in case any Huns should show up.

The Result

Entente Powers Victory

Campaign results:

  • Charles “Half Pint” Carruthers:  +9 XP, +1 luck 
  • “Dirty” Bertie Parker:  +9 XP, +1 luck 
  • Hank Snapmulder:  +8 XP, +1 luck 
  • Freiherr Friedrich ”Dickie” von Salzbach:  +1 XP
  • Slobomir Kraijnc:  +1 XP, wounded

Campaign Log

The Score:
1er Escadrille International 3     -     KuKuK Jagd-Schlachtstaffel 2

   Missions   Kills   XP   Luck   Notes 
Premier Escadrille International
Charles “Half Pint”
Carruthers (GB)
3 1 17 3  
“Dirty” Bertie Parker (AU) 2 1 15 2  
Captain Jack Yates (GB) 2 1 9 2  
Alphonse Lacourt (FR) 2 0 2 1
St John
Featherstonehaugh (GB)
2 0 6 2  
Hank Snapmulder (US) 1 1 8 1  
Kaiserliche und Königliche und Kaiserliche Jagd-Schlachtstaffel
Udo Lockbach (DE) 2 0 2 1
Erbprinz Rupprecht
zu Sachsen-Zenda (DE)
2 0 3 2  
Florian Meier (DE) 2 0 6 2  
Jörg Fritzl-Falconi (HU) 2 0 6 2  
Gaspard Hauser (DE) 2 0 3 2  
Freiherr Friedrich ”Dickie”
von Salzbach (DE)
1 0 1 0  
Slobomir Kraijnc (HR) 1 0 1 0 Miss episode 6.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

WWI Western Front Aerial Campaign - Episode 4

Pick Up

This is the fourth episode of a campaign representing fictitious battles in the air over the Western Front during the First World War. It was initially planned to use the Wings of Glory rules, but these were modified to use hex based movement in order to facilitate remote play over the Internet due to Corona restrictions.

Mission Briefing

Alphonse Lacourt and St John Featherstonehaugh, two of the 1er Escadrille International's pilots, had just received brand new Sopwith Camel scouts. 

Lacourt had just returned from leave in Paris, where he met an eccentric scientist. The scientist, Professeur Le Fou, gave Lacourt one hundred 7.7 mm rounds for his machine-guns. These were very special and valuable as they were made from gold. Le Fou wanted Lacourt to test them in combat, and Lacourt now had fifty rounds loaded in each of his Vickers machine-guns.

Featherstonehaugh, for reasons none of his fellow pilots could fathom, had his erks paint two large red hearts on his top wing. 

They were test flying their new Camels far behind their own lines.

A German spy has identified two very unusual enemy canon. They was much larger than any artillery piece that the spy had ever seen before. He sent a carrier pigeon with a little information and a request to be picked up behind enemy lines. In order to move freely behind the enemy lines, he was in disguise, as a nun. 

Because of its reputation as a crack unit, the Kaiserliche und Königliche und Kaiserliche Jagd-Schlachtstaffel was tasked with recovering the spy. Florian Meier and Jörg Fritzl-Falconi will take the LFG Roland C.II to pick up the spy. The Roland’s deep fuselage, which earned it the nickname Whale (Walfisch) and which contained windows, was big enough to squeeze the spy into. They would be escorted by a Fokker D.VII piloted by Gaspard Hauser.

The Hun Pilots - by MW

The Action

Alphonse Lacourt and St John Featherstonehaugh, in their Camels, two Hun aircraft at 1,000 ft, almost treetop level. The two Camels descended 2,000 ft and the could clearly identify a Fokker D.VII and a LFG Roland C.II. 

Both Camels moved forward while slipping right.

The Huns continued forward, the Roland entered a shallow dive and gained speed. 

Yet again, both Camels moved forward while slipping right.

The Huns still continued forward, with the Roland maintaining its shallow dive. 

Both camels continues straight ahead.

Gaspard Hauser in his Fokker D.VII decided to try and draw the Camels away from the Roland so he turned left. Florian Meier in the Roland decided that he could dive under the Camels and he would be so much lower that the Camels that they wouldn't be able to react. Unfortunately this meant that his rear-gunner, Jörg Fritzl-Falconi, couldn't get off a shot because the range was too great.

Gaspard Hauser in his Fokker D.VII continued straight ahead, having succeeded i getting the attention of both the Camels. 

St John Featherstonehaugh was now tailing the D.VII and got a long range shot which damaged the D.VII's rudder so that it couldn't turn left.

Alphonse Lacourt was also tailing the D.VII but as soon as he opened fire, both his Vickers machine-guns jammed. Could this have been because the bullets he was firing were make of gold, a very soft metal?

Florian Meier was now at only 200 ft, he turned right (away from the fighting) and slowed down preparing to land. 

Somewhat surprised not to have been bothered by the Camels, the Roland touched down gently in a field close to the spy's hiding place.

The D.VII turned right, still followed by the Camels. Gaspard Hauser was leading them on a wild Fokker chase.

St John Featherstonehaugh was still tailing and got a long burst at the Fokker..

Alphonse Lacourt was following the D.VII while desperately trying to unjam his guns.

The D.VII continued straight ahead, using it superior speed over the Camels at low altitude to inch ahead.

St John Featherstonehaugh was still behind the D.VII but his guns didn't quite have the range..

Alphonse Lacourt was following the D.VII while still desperately trying to unjam his guns.

What appeared to be a nun, came running out from hiding in the trees. The nun ran towards the Roland, holding her habit up round her waist to keep her somewhat hairy legs free. Jörg Fritzl-Falconi reached down and pulled the spy into the Roland. As soon as the spy's feet left the ground, Florian Meier gunned the engine and started rolling forward for a take off.

The spy, dressed as a nun, runs out from the trees to the waiting aircraft - by MW

Gaspard Hauser saw that the Roland had landed, so he decided that he had led the Camels far enough away, he half-looped his D.VII and started to fight back.

Alphonse Lacourt was still following the D.VII while trying unsuccessfully to unjam his guns. The D.VII opened fire on him.

St John Featherstonehaugh didn't expect the D.VII to half-loop, so he turned his Camel right.

The Roland struggled into the air, now heavily loaded and manoeuvring even worse that normally. 

Florian Meier slowly turned the Roland right while trying hard to gain both speed and altitude.

Lacourt turned his camel tightly left.

Featherstonehaugh half-looped his Camel, to continue hunting the D.VII which in turn slipped left and opened fire on the Camel. 

Florian Meier continued to slowly turn the Roland right while trying hard to gain both speed and altitude.

Gaspard Hauser accelerated and headed for home. This confused the Camels who expected him to stand and fight, the Camels turned tightly but missed the D.VII.

As the Camels turned to chase the D.VII, Gaspard Hauser looped his aircraft and opened fire on Alphonse Lacourt's Camel and wounding him.

The Roland was very slowly gaining speed and altitude.

Gaspard Hauser now turned his D.VII away from the fight. This confused the Camel pilots, who couldn't work out if the D.VII wanted to fight or run. 

Even the Roland was confused, Jörg Fritzl-Falconi hadn't opened fire once for the whole mission, and was eager to take a few pot shots at a Camel with his Parabellum MG14 machine-gun, so he indicated to the pilot that he really wanted to close with the Camels.

But Gaspard Hauser in the D.VII and Florian Meier in the Roland had completed the mission and headed for home, they were fast enough that the Camels could never catch them.

Alphonse Lacourt and St John Featherstonehaugh gave up the chase and turned for home. Both landed safety despite Lacourt’s nasty wound. Lacourt was sent off immediately to the local field hospital to be patched up. 

St John Featherstonehaugh wandered into the 1er Escadrille International’s officers’ mess where he found a serious dispute under way. The French inspecteur général Hippolyte St Prix was in conflict with the squadron commander Major Brackton. Inspector St Prix had determined that their pilots were drinking too much English beer. English beer is bad for the constitution. So Inspector St Prix ordered that all the English beer in the officers' mess be sent to the nearby County of Dampshire infantry regiment. He then ordered a Bréguet BR 14 to fly to his family’s vineyard and there he purchased with squadron funds two dozen crates of 1897 vintage Côte de St Prix. Drinking such a vintage is healthy for the pilots, not like English beer, he explained to Major Brackton.

The hard-nosed Brackton used words that would have made a navvy blush, to explain what he thought of St Prix. He then rushed out and jumped into the squadron’s only DH.4. He soared off, heading for the Dampshire’s camp in the hope of rescuing at least some of the beer.

When the Roland landed at the Kaiserliche und Königliche und Kaiserliche Jagd-Schlachtstaffel's aerodrome, the spy was immediately debriefed by the squadron commander Major Fritz Detterman. Still in the nun's habit, the spy explained that there were two huge artillery pieces ready to stop our St Crupelle offensive. "Wunderwaffen" he exclaimed.. But the sly Brits have disguised the canons so that from the air it looks like a simple camp, this they did by covering the emplacement with camouflage netting onto which tent like structures were painted. Detterman noted down the exact position of the encampment.

The Result

Central Powers Victory

Campaign results:

  • Gaspard Hauser:  +2 XP, +1 luck 
  • Florian Meier:  +2 XP, +1 luck 
  • Jörg Fritzl-Falconi:  +2 XP, +1 luck 
  • Alphonse Lacourt:  +1 XP
  • St John Featherstonehaugh:  +1 XP, +1 luck

Campaign Log

The Score:
1er Escadrille International 2     -     KuKuK Jagd-Schlachtstaffel 2

   Missions   Kills   XP   Luck   Notes 
Premier Escadrille International
Charles “Half Pint”
Carruthers (GB)
2 0 8 2  
“Dirty” Bertie Parker (AU) 1 0 6 1  
Captain Jack Yates (GB) 2 1 9 2  
Alphonse Lacourt (FR) 2 0 2 1 Miss episode 5 because of wound.
St John
Featherstonehaugh (GB)
2 0 6 2  
Kaiserliche und Königliche und Kaiserliche Jagd-Schlachtstaffel
Udo Lockbach (DE) 2 0 2 1 Miss episodes 4 & 5 because
of wound & food poisoning.
Erbprinz Rupprecht
zu Sachsen-Zenda (DE)
2 0 3 2  
Florian Meier (DE) 2 0 6 2  
Jörg Fritzl-Falconi (HU) 2 0 6 2  
Gaspard Hauser (DE) 2 0 3 2  

Sunday, September 6, 2020

WWI Western Front Aerial Campaign - Episode 3

Contact Patrol

This is the third episode of a campaign representing fictitious battles in the air over the Western Front during the First World War. It was initially planned to use the Wings of Glory rules, but these were modified to use hex based movement in order to facilitate remote play over the Internet due to Corona restrictions.

Mission Briefing

Spring 1917 – Premier Escadrille International - Officers’ Mess

When the pilots are seated, Major Redmond, their Intelligence Officer, addresses them “Gentlemen. The German offensive at St Crupelle continues without slowing down. Day by day, step by step, the British and Canadian forces have been pushed back. Now only two small bridgeheads remain on the northern shore of the Juliana Canal. In the ruins of St Crupelle itself, the 2nd Battalion Dampshire Regiment are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. In recent days, the division headquarters has lost contact with the battalion as the front line is now very fluid. You will carry out a contact patrol, fly low over the fighting, identify the positions of friendly troops, and report back, thus enabling Army HQ to build up a picture of the front line and how the battle is going”.

Major Redmond and his map - by MW

After a hearty lunch, washed down with a nice bottle of claret, Charles “Half Pint” Carruthers walked to the hanger where his beige Airco DH.2 was kept and St John Featherstonehaugh went to the adjacent hanger and his olive green Airco DH.2. They taxied out, took off, climbed to 2,000 ft and flew towards St Crupelle. 

They knew that they would be fairly safe from small arms fire from both the enemy and their own infantry when above 1,500 ft. Soon after spotting the town and its canal, they saw two Hun scouts patrolling nearby.

Udo Lockbach and Gaspard Hauser were patrolling over their advancing infantry in the vicinity of St Crupelle. Hauser had an old Fokker Eindecker monoplane and Lockbach had an Albatros D.I biplane, a new modern design. They stayed above 2,000 ft to avoid friendly fire and in the hope of finding a lone enemy two-seater. 

The Hun in the Sun

We added a new rule for this game. If an aircraft is firing out of the sun then it gets the "aim bonus" and will do extra damage. This is because it isn't easy for the target to see the firer and thus has difficulty in manoeuvring so as to avoid the machine-gun fire.

The sun marker shows the direction of the sun, which is fixed throughout the game.

The Action

Udo and Gaspard parted in what could have been a pincer movement.

Half Pint and St John could see eight different infantry units on the ground in front of them. Some of them were the Dampshires and some were German. They dived their DH.2's so as to give themselves a good chance of recognising friend from foe on the ground.

Half Pint and St John continued to dive, but at 800 ft they were still too high to see the troops clearly.

Udo dived his Albatros while Gaspard stayed at 2,000 ft in his Eindecker.

Half Pint and St John continued to dive, and now at only a couple of hundred feet they could see the troops clearly.

Udo in his Albatros turned in towards the British. Gaspard finally realised he was too high and started to dive his Eindecker.

Gaspard realising he was still far too high, started to crash dive his Eindecker.

Gaspard Hauser in the dive - by MW

Both Half Pint and St John turned right and flew low over two infantry units. They could tell that these were infantry units, two companies of the 2nd Dampshire Regiment. Unfortunately for Half Pint and St John, the Dampshires hadn't had much experience at aircraft recognition, and both companies opened fire on the DH.2's despite the roundels on the underside of their wings.

Udo dived his Albatros down to the same height as the British, but in doing so missed an opportunity to open fire.

Gaspard turned in to chase the Brits. Udo got on Half Pint's tail and opened fire.

Udo turned slowly right.

Half Pint performed a half-loop and St John a very tight turn. Both now had Udo's Albatros in their sights. They opened fire wounding Udo and damaging his aircraft.

Gaspard came racing in towards the dogfight and took fire from the Dampshire infantry.

Udo in the Albatros went straight ahead out of the fight as Gaspard in the Eindecker came whizzing into the action and opened fire on Half Pint who's DH.2 was now more holes than canvas.

Udo turned sharply right and got behind Half Pint. 

St John and Gaspard nearly collided, but both managed to get off a quick burst before the dodged each other missing by inches.

Half Pint had decided his badly damaged aircraft wouldn't hold out much longer, so he put his foot down and was streaking towards his own lines with the information on the Dampshire Regiment's location. 

St John was still dogfight with the Huns and in what could have been a tricky situation. He had an Eindecker on his tail and an Albatros at close range to his left. Udo in the Albatros opened fire, but his machine-gun jammed immediately.

Although Gaspard in his Eindecker was on the tail of St John's DH.2, Gaspard couldn't fire because his machine-gun was jammed.

With his machine-gun jammed, Gaspard pulled out his trusty Mauser C96 pistol.
He emptied the 10-round magazine, but without any apparent effect - by MW

Half Pint was in the distance, heading towards home, but both the Huns gave chase. This gave St John a chance and he took it, he turned sharply and got behind Udo's Albatros, he opened fire but his machine-gun jammed. 

Half Pint could be seen in the distance, as the other three aircraft headed towards the British lines.

St John noticed that there were two Huns in font of him, so he turned his DH.2 away, as the Huns continued in vain to chase after Half Pint.

Seeing that the distance between the two Hun aircraft was opening, St John turned in to have another go at the nearest one: Udo's Albatros.

St John was lucky; Udo's engine started to flame!

St John turned towards the British lines, but neither Gaspard nor Udo could reach him before the needed to turn for home due to lack of fuel.

“Half Pint” and St John landed at a small strip near to Army HQ and reported the position of the companies of the 2nd Dampshire Regiment that they had located. When flying back to their own airfield, they flew over a huge cannon, the like of which neither had seen before.

Gaspard Hauser headed back to his aerodrome, to complain about his jamming machine-gun and to get more pistol ammunition for his Mauser. After landing he met Jörg Fritzl-Falconi, the Hungarian pilot, who, just the previous day, had suffered a horrible jam while dog-fighting with a Camel. "Scheisse!!" said Jörg, I am starting to think it really is "Sabotage!!".

The wounded Udo Lockbach decided that his fire damaged Albatros wouldn't make it back to the aerodrome, so he landed in a farmer's field right next to a small village. He climbed out, left the somewhat smoking aircraft, and walked into the village. There he found a small bistro with a rather attractive waitress. She tended his wound before serving him some local cuisine. Afterwards he hitched a lift back to the aerodrome. The next morning he woke up with a nasty case of food poisoning which would delay his return to flight duties. 

The Result

Entente Powers Victory

Campaign results:

  • Charles “Half Pint” Carruthers:  +2 XP, +1 luck 
  • St John Featherstonehaugh:  +5 XP, +1 luck
  • Udo Lockbach:  +1 XP, +1 luck
  • Gaspard Hauser:  +1 XP, +1 luck

Campaign Log

The Score:
1er Escadrille International 2     -     KuKuK Jagd-Schlachtstaffel 1

   Missions   Kills   XP   Luck   Notes 
Premier Escadrille International
Charles “Half Pint”
Carruthers (GB)
2 0 8 2  
“Dirty” Bertie Parker (AU) 1 0 6 1  
Captain Jack Yates (GB) 2 1 9 2  
Alphonse Lacourt (FR) 1 0 1 1  
St John
Featherstonehaugh (GB)
1 0 5 1  
Kaiserliche und Königliche und Kaiserliche Jagd-Schlachtstaffel
Udo Lockbach (DE) 2 0 2 1 Miss 2 episodes because of
wound and food poisoning.
Erbprinz Rupprecht
zu Sachsen-Zenda (DE)
2 0 3 2  
Florian Meier (DE) 1 0 3 1  
Jörg Fritzl-Falconi (HU) 1 0 3 1  
Gaspard Hauser (DE) 1 0 1 1