Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Fokker D.VII vs Sopwith Camel

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.

Captain Jack "Casanova" Yates was still hungover after celebrating his successful rabbit hunt, so early the next morning it was up to Lieutenant William Algernon "Billy the Bishop" Tempest and his best friend Lieutenant Terence “the Rook” Turner to fly the dawn patrol. This was Turner's first mission over enemy territory. As usual, "Billy the Bishop" was flying a Camel with two red hearts painted on the top wing. The ground crew were trying to find out the reason behind these two hearts, but it remains a mystery to them.

In their Sopwith Camels, they took off from their aerodrome and headed eastwards into the rising sun. They crossed over the trenches and shortly thereafter spotted two Fokker D.VIIs in the distance.

Turn 1:
The Huns decided that they would attempt to stay to the left of the Camels.

Turn 2:
The Camels closed up their formation.

Turn 3:
Even the Huns closed up their formation, as Billy the Bishop led Terrence the Rook into the fight.

Turn 4:
The Huns turned in towards the Camels, happy to be on their left side.

Turn 5:
Even the Camels turned in and the adversaries met head-on.

Both Camels opened fire on the Red Fokker at long range.

The Fokkers returned the fire, both aiming at Terrence the Rook, whose Camel burst into flame.

Turn 6:
The dogfight continued with the Red Fokker flying right in front of Billy the Bishop's Camel.

Billy opened fire on the Red Fokker wounding the pilot.

The Blue Fokker opened fire on Terence, the machine gun fire and flames together doing nasty damage to the Camel.

Turn 7:
Both Terence and the Red Fokker managed to dodge away from their adversaries, but Billy and the Blue Fokker met head on. 

The Blue Fokker made some nasty holes in Billy's Camel, but his return fire did greater damage to the Blue Fokker, its engine started smoking and making strange screeching sounds. The flames from the engine of Terence's Camel were burning holes in its fuselage.

Turn 8:
The two Camels performed 180-turns but the Huns both turned in towards them.

The Blue Fokker opened fire on Billy, and now even his engine started to make worrying noises. The Red Fokker took a long range pot-shot at Terence, but his machine-guns did less damage than the flames shooting out from the Camel's engine.

Turn 9:
The Blue Fokker turned onto the tail of Terence's Camel, but the smoke coming from his engine hampered him from getting a really good shot. Even the Red Fokker managed a long range shot at Terence, before being himself shot at but Billy.

Billy's burst of fire did no damage, and then suddenly stopped as his guns jammed.

The two Fokker's shot nasty holes in Terence's Camel, but even the Blue Fokker's guns jammed.

Terence's Camel could withstand no more damage, it crashed into a field quite a way behind enemy lines, and yet again burst into flame.

Turn 10:
The Fokkers started to head away from the fight as Billy tried frantically to unjam his guns.

Turn 11:
The Blue Fokker headed away from the fight.

The Red Fokker, thinking that Billy would get on his tail, so despite his badly damaged Fokker he performed an Immelmann turn. However because of his wound he misjudged the Immelmann and went into a spin.

[House rule: a wounded pilot must test for entering a spin after performing an Immelmann turn. Roll a D6 each turn and rotate the aircraft that many hex sides clockwise. Each turn in a spin take an A damage card. Test at the end of the turn to exit the spin.]

The damaged Fokker could not handle the forces of a spin, its wings fell off.

William "Billy the Bishop" Tempest saw the Hun pilot balls up the Immelmann turn and go into a spin, so Billy decided to claim it as his own kill.

Having seen off the Huns, Lieutenant William Algernon "Billy the Bishop" Tempest found the field into which Lieutenant Terence “the Rook” Turner had crash landed. It wasn't that hard to locate, because of the plume of black oily smoke spiralling up from Terence's Camel. As hew flew slowly across the field, he saw Terence, in a rather singed flying suit and helmet, waving at him. Billy brought his Camel round sharply and put it down next to Terence who ran up to the Camel. 

There then ensued a long and heated discussion about who would sit on whose lap in the cockpit! This was quickly resolved when Billy noticed some German infantry running towards them. Terence jumped onto the port wing, as near as possible to the wing root, and grabbed hold of the forward edge. Billy accelerated across the field and despite the bumps that nearly shock Terence off and the pot shots from the German infantry, he lifted safely into the air. 

They flew slowly, at treetop height back to their aerodrome and landed safely. They went immediately to the Officers' Mess to celebrate, there they found Captain Jack Yates relaxing in a rather dilapidated old Chesterfield armchair with a whiskey in his hand. The Captain was so happy to see that Terence hade survived his first mission against the Hun, that he presented him with a new leather, rabbit fur lined, flying helmet to replace his old flame-damaged one.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Attack the Hun Aerodrome

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.

The Hun aircraft had been getting a little too cocky, so Army HQ decided to give them a lesson and put them in their place. An Airco DH.4 was loaded with four 112 lb incendiary bombs and sent off to attack the Hun's hangers. Captain Jack "Casanova" Yates and Lieutenant William "Billy the Bishop" Tempest were given the job of escorting the DH.4. 

The DH.4 will be flying using my autopilot rules.

Captain Jack "Casanova" Yates would fly his grey-nosed Sopwith Camel. Lieutenant William "Billy the Bishop" Tempest had a new red-nosed Camel onto the top wings of which he had yet again persuaded his erks to paint two red hearts. The erks were still trying to find out the reason behind these two hearts, but it is still a mystery to them.

They took off from the aerodrome and headed towards the Hun aerodrome in line abreast. Approaching the aerodrome, they spotted two Fokker D.VII scouts heading straight towards them.

Turn 1:
The DH.4 and Yates both turned left while Tempest slipped left. Even the Fokkers both slipped left.

Turn 2:
The DH.4 turned back, lining itself up with the aerodrome. Yates turned back in. Tempest and both Fokkers moved straight ahead.

Turns 3 & 4:
The two sides continued to close, with both Fokkers heading straight for the DH.4.

Turn 5:
Both Camels turned in on the Fokkers as the Fokkers went head-to head with the DH.4.

The Fokkers dealt out lots of damage to the DH.4 before Blue Fokker's guns jammed.

Jack Yates made some nasty holes in Red Fokker as did the DH.4. Even Billy the Bishop got in a long range burst at the Red Fokker before even his guns jammed.

Turn 6:
Both Fokkers performed Immelmann turns, but the DH.4 managed to dodge them by turning to the right, away from the target. Both Camels turned sharply right but missed the Fokkers.

The observer in the rear of the DH.4 got of a quick burst but the aircraft's tail hindered his shooting. 

[When playing without altitude rules, we count two-seaters firing directly to their rear in what could be the blind spot as long range. Also we ignore all special damage for aircraft on autopilot.]

Turn 7:
The DH.4 turned left, back towards the target. The Red Fokker turned right towards the DH.4. All other aircraft flew slowly forward.

The observer in the DH.4 continued to fire at the Blue Fokker but without much success this time.

Turn 8:
The DH.4 turned left which surprised the Fokkers who both expected the bomber to continue straight forward. Jack Yates performed an Immelmann turn while Billy the Bishop turned in towards the Red Fokker. 

The DH.4 opened fire on the Blue Fokker. Billy the Bishop opened fire at close range on the Red Fokker, it was a good shot and he saw his target burst into flames.

Turn 9:
The DH.4 continued straight ahead and the Blue Fokker performed an Immelmann in order to get the bomber in his sights. The Camels attempted to get the Fokkers in their sights but failed. The Red Fokker performed a side slip.

[We have a house rule that if an aircraft that is on fire performs a side slip, then it draws a B damage card instead of an A damage card.]

The Blue Fokker exchanged fire with the observer in the DH.4 while the pilot of the DH.4 fired a short range burst into the already flaming Red Fokker.

This was more damage than the Red Fokker could take, and it plummeted earthwards in flames.

Turn 10:
The Fokker turned onto the tail of the DH.4. Both Camels guessed that the Fokker would try to finish off the DH.4. 

Jack Yates got into a tailed position and opened fire on the Fokker, but his guns jammed rather badly. Even the observer in the DH.4 opened fire on the Fokker. The Fokker fired a close range burst into the DH.4 hitting the observer.

This was too much for damage for the DH.4 to take, it flipped over and dived earthwards.

Turn 11:
The Fokker was now badly damaged, so it performed an Immelmann turn in the hope of getting away.

Turn 12:
Both Camels turned after the Fokker.

Billy the Bishop opened fire. Jack Yates was trying hard to unjam his guns.

Turn 13:
The Fokker decided it wasn't possible to escape both Camel's, so he performed an Immelmann turn.

Billy the Bishop turned left, expecting the Fokker to try to dodge. Jack Yates guessed correctly and flew slowly forward.

Jack Yates and the Fokker exchanged bursts of machine-gun fire!

This was too much for the Fokker to take, Captain Jack "Casanova" Yates now had his third kill.

The Hun pilots had sacrificed themselves to shoot down the RFC bomber and saved their aerodrome's hangers from destruction!

Both RFC scout pilots returned safely to their own aerodrome, but no sign was seen of the bomber crew.

Captain Jack "Casanova" Yates celebrated his kill by taking out his matching pair of Holland & Holland double-barrelled shotguns and taking "Billy the Bishop" with him on a rabbit hunt.

Lieutenant William "Billy the Bishop" Tempest, having been the pilot that set the Fokker aflame, and noticing that the DH.4 crew hadn't returned, put in his own claim for the kill. 

The other two-seater pilots in the squadron questioned this, and whether Billy had actually tried to defend their comrades' DH.4, because Billy's Camel didn't have so much as a single bullet hole in it! All the two-seater crews believe that Billy hated the DH.4 pilots because one of them, when landing, ran over Billy's dog, Half, which was sleeping on the runway. Billy had two dogs, one named Half and the other Nelson. Half is buried behind the Officers' Mess.