Showing posts with label spandau and lewis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spandau and lewis. Show all posts

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Spandau and Lewis - Proper Release

I first started writing the game which would be known as 'Spandau and Lewis' back in 2008. Ever since then it's been in what I've always described as a 'Draft' status, as I constantly tinkered with the mechanisms. Well, having had it back out on the table this week, I finally decided to stop messing around, tidy it up and call it a release.

You can find it here:

Spandau and Lewis v1.0

There's a lot missing that I was planning to include. I still have notes for attacking ground troops (and their shooting back), AA fire, balloons and bombing, as well as a few more oddities. But what's in that document should be enough to get you flying and shooting with the aircraft of your choice. The sample aircraft lists at the back represent those I have i my own collection, plus a few I've used in scenarios I've tried out. It should be easy enough to extrapolate your own designs, but I will post a more complete list one day, since I have a pile of aircraft stats derived from those in the old Aces High boardgame.

As a bonus, here's a link to a thread by an artist called Peter Hill, who seems to specialise in WW1 air-warfare paintings. There's some interesting pictures in it, including this one of Alphonse Pergoud, who features in my previous post.


'Random WW1 Subjects' by Peter Hill

Enjoy!

Pegoud - The First Ace

Adolphe Pégoud holds a number of distinctions. He was the first man to make a parachute jump from an aircraft, and the first to fly one inverted. He was also credited with being the first pilot to fly a loop, but in fact a Russian pilot beat him to it by just over a week. Nevertheless he was a pioneering aviator and after a period as a flying instructor, quickly became a combat pilot when WW1 broke out. Flying a Maurice-Farman two-seater, he and his observer were credited with two kills and an a forced-landing in February 1915. When he switched to a single-seater he claimed two more kills in July and a third in August. His total of six kills made him the first pilot to be awarded the title 'ace'.


On 31st August 1915,  Pégoud was targetting a German reconnaissance plane when he was attacked and killed by one of his former pupils, Unteroffizier Walter Kandulski, flying a Fokker monoplane.

His last fight sounded like it was worthy to be a Spandau and Lewis scenario, so I set it up. A German two-seater is off on a mission. I used the stats for the Aviatik C1, with an experienced crew.


Pégoud appears, closing in steadily on the German plane. Pégoud was flying a Nieuport 10.


A cloud provided some last-minute cover.


Pégoud swoops into the attack.


The damaged Aviatik tried to turn and bring its guns to bear, but Pégoud slipped onto its tail, and a second burst downed the German.


However Kandulski's Fokker Eindecker was in the area.


The German initially had the jump on the Frenchman, putting a few bullets through his fuselage.


Both pilots turned their aircraft hard, trying to get on the other's tail. In a fight of this nature, the Nieuport's better handling, and Pégoud's greater pilot skill counted for a lot.


The blue markers show an aircraft that has lost power due to a tight turn. The German managed to get another shot at Pégoud, damaging his plane.


Pégoud soon regained the upper hand, though. This long-range shot had no effect, but the German was now in trouble.


Another shot badly damaged the Fokker ...


... and a third saw it fall apart in the sky.


So this game saw a reversal of history, with Pégoud gaining two more kills. His plane was, in fact, badly damaged, but luck was with him, and his superiority as a pilot, plus his more agile plane gave him the win. Had the Aviatik survived the first attack, Pégoud would have been harder pressed.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Hawker's VC Again

It's been over three years since I last had my WW1 aircraft out and gave my 'Spandau and Lewis' rules a whirl. The last time I played them I was in the middle of modifying them, but all that fell by the wayside when something new and shiny caught my eye.

However Kevin of Warwell's Wargames recently picked them as one of his Six By Six Challenge games, so I thought I'd best try and tidy up the rules a little, if only for his sake. And whilst that's still ongoing, I did manage to fit in a quick game this evening.

I replayed my Hawker's VC scenario in which depicts Major Lanoe Hawker's exploits on 25th July 1915. Flying a single-seater Bristol Scout, with an improvised Lewis gun mount, he drove off or shot down three German two-seater reconnaissance planes.

Hawker in his Bristol Scout. In 'Spandau and Lewis' terms the plane is Speed 5, Agility B+, Power 1, Hits 8 and has a single gun firing into the left arc, but restricted. Hawker is an Ace, with the Marksman ability.


The first German appears, and Hawker stalks it using a cloud. I had one German plane appear every four turns. Two of the planes had experienced crews, whilst one had a novice crew. Hawker was assumed to have spotted the Germans, whilst each German plane had to spot him. Until they did, they would fly in a straight line towards an assigned objective, changing speed only to end a move over it. They would then turn and fly back to their base-edge.

Accounts of Hawker's VC don't seem to be clear as to what type of planes he engaged, aside from one I found which mentions that the third plane was an Albatros C1. So I made all three this type. The stats are Speed 4, Agility C, Power 0, Hits 10 and a single gun fired by the observer into the left, right and rear arcs.


Hawker managed to get behind the German unnoticed. But with his gun firing out to the side, lining up a shot was going to be tricky.


The opening shot saw the German plane damaged, but not critically.


The German pressed on to the objective, relying on Hawker not being able to line up a second shot. But he did, and this one caused the Albatros to go down in flames.


A second Albatros was working its way towards one of the other objectives. Hawker flew towards it, but was quickly spotted.


The Germans managed to overfly the objective but Hawker was soon on them. Both planes turned hard, the Germans so they could get a shot without the Albatros's tail spoiling the aim, and Hawker simply trying to get a shot. The blue markers show that both aircraft are suffering from power loss; performing a tight manoeuvre on one turn generally limits the plane's speed and ability to turn on the next.


I ran out of board; my playing area was really too small for this game. Hawker kept turning hard, and scored some serious damage on the Albatros. He took a few bullet-holes in return, but nothing to be seriously worried about.


The Albatros headed for home, with Hawker in pursuit.


It took a few more hits, but managed to make the safety of a cloud.


Hawker now had a single burst left for his gun, and a third German was heading home having flown over its objective.


Using the cloud for cover, Hawker lined up another attack. One burst might be enough to down the enemy.


It wasn't. The crew of the Albatros spotted him, costing him the element of surprise. He fired his last burst, putting a few holes in the German machine, and received a few holes back. The planes then parted ways.


Hawker got one kill, and badly damaged the second German. He received a couple of minor hits in return. Two Germans got home having achieved their mission. So overall this was a minor win for the Germans, but really Hawker has a difficult task to achieve, with his unusual gun-mount making it hard to fire effectively.

The Power rules worked fine; in an early war scenario like this the aircraft are seriously disadvantaged if they turn too tightly, and Hawker has no real advantage over the Germans in that respect. I played with reduced ammo loads; only 8 bursts per gun. But I gave the planes a larger number of hits as well. I still need to find the balance there, between the potential number of bursts a plane can fire, and how much damage the targets can take. This scenario isn't the best test of that, since the firing is, by its very nature, relatively ineffective. I need to try aircraft with more powerful offensive weaponry to see how the numbers play out.

Friday, 11 November 2016

100 Years Ago Today ...


It's not often I do a post which merely links back to another post I've made, but I was looking for something to fill n for me whilst I was on holiday, and this fits the bill very nicely.

Today is the 100th anniversary of Australia's first air-to-air combat. It was a very brief action to be sure, but was the first. And a couple of years ago I posted a scenario for it. Here it is:

Guilfoyle, Wakettt and Turner

Its written for my own 'Spandau and Lewis' rules, but should be fairly easy to convert to other sets.

At the time of writing (two and a half weeks ago) I'm not sure if I will get a chance to play it today, but if I do you'll hear about it when I get back in a couple of days.


Monday, 28 April 2014

The Quirk

From "On A Wing And A Prayer", by Joshua Levine - a book about WW1 airmen told mostly in their own words.

"In Lewis Carroll's poem, Jabberwocky', a monster is slain by a boy in a strange and sinister world. In April 1917, an Albatros was destroyed by a BE2c (or 'Quirk'), in the skies above Arras. William Bond of 40 Squadron, a pilot and parodist, made the connection:

Twas brillig and the Slithy Quirk
Did drone and burble in the blue,
All floppy were his wing controls
(And his observer too)

'Beware the wicked Albatros',
The O.C. quirks' had told him flat;
'Beware the Hun-Hun bird and shun
The frumious Halberstadt'

But while through uffish bumps he ploughed,
The Albatros, with tail on high,
Came diving out the tulgey cloud
And let his bullets fly.

One, two; one, two, and through and through,
The Lewis gun went tick-a-tack,
The Hun was floored, the Quirk had scored,
And came 'split arsing' back.

'Oh hast thou slain the Albatros?
Split one, with me, my beamish boy, 
Our RAF-ish scout has found them out', 
The C.O. wept for joy.

Bond himself described the parody as 'cheap', but others disagreed - most notably Mick Mannock who pasted a copy of it inside his diary ... On 22nd July, Bond, a Daily Mail journalist in peacetime, was shot down and killed by a direct Archie hit."

A great parody, but a couple of things to ponder. Firstly it was the BE2e that was, as far as I know, called 'The Quirk', although it was certainly around when the poem was written. But, secondly, would there have been a reference to the RAF in 1917?

Anyway, I was very pleased the other day to read a comment that WW1 pilots considered 90 metres to be about the longest distance that it was worth firing on an enemy aircraft from (preferably much close). Out of interest I decided to work out what that was in 1/600th scale - it's 15cm or, near enough, 6". The range I assigned to firing in 'Spandau and Lewis'. I was quite pleased by this neat little coincidence until, on the train up to Sydney the other day, I decided to use the information to work out how long a 'Spandau and Lewis' turn was. Apparently it's 1.8 seconds. This means the average game represents an action that lasts about 20 seconds. I hadn't really intended it that way, wanting to include observer actions such as artillery spotting and photography in the action. So I'm going to quietly forget those numbers and state that 'Spanda and Lewis's time- and ground-scale is officially 'a bit abstract'.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Guilfoyle, Wackett and Turner

With our club night falling on the day before ANZAC Day, I thought I'd put together a small 'Spandau and Lewis' scenario featuring Australian airmen. I'm currently reading 'Fire in the Sky' by Michael Molkentin, which is a history of the Australian Flying Corps in WW1, and in it is a brief account of the Corps' first air-to-air fight, over Sinai in November 1916. So I set up that, reasoning that we could play it through more than once during the course of the evening.

And here it is.

********************

ANZAC Day Scenario - Australia’s First Air Combat (11th November 1916)


From ‘Fire In The Sky’ by Michael Molkentin


On 8 November, A-Flight moved from Sherika to Kantara aerodrome, placing all four flights in the Sinai region for the first time.  The squadron was thus able to make more concerted efforts, the first of which came on 11 November when it mounted the largest bombing raid yet to be undertaken by British forces in the theatre.  Beersheba was the target, site of the Turkish Army headquarters and [German squadron] FA 300's main aerodrome.  At dawn, nine BE2cs and a Martinsyde flew from their aerodromes and assembled at Mustabig.  


Eight of the BE2cs carried only a pilot, so that they could take extra bombs and fuel. The Martinsyde and Wackett's BE2c escorted them.  The formation refuelled and set out at 8.30 a.m. Approaching Beersheba, they were greeted with heavy anti-aircraft fire, flying “through a flurry of white, black and green shell bursts.”


James Guilfoyle (who had replaced Oswald Watt as B-Flight's commander in October when Watt went to England to establish another Australian squadron) dropped a 100lb. bomb from the Martinsyde right in the middle of the German aerodrome, while others scored hits on tents, railway buildings and tracks.  


Two Fokker monoplanes took off and chased the Australians as they made for home. Wackett and Turner (as observer) lagged behind, and descended to the enemy's altitude to offer an appealing target.  Wackett kept their tail to the enemy, allowing Turner to stand up in the turret and fire as the Fokkers closed.  "The enemy plane,” wrote the satisfied inventor, “was completely surprised when his attack was met by a continuous fire from this new gun location and he retired immediately..."


This raid marked the beginning of Australia’s history of air-to-air combat.


This scenario covers Wacket, Turner and Guilfoyle’s fight against the two Fokker monoplanes (assumed to be Fokker EIIIs). The Australians are looking to drive them off, whilst the Fokkers are looking to chase down the eight unarmed BE2s that are assumed to be returning home off table after making sure that they themselves are not chased down.


Forces Involved


AFC


1 x BE2                                  Speed 4 Agility D Hits 7 Power 0 O 1xLA,RA,TA

1 x Martinsyde G100              Speed 5 Agility C Hits 9 Power 2 P 1xNA

Both crews are experienced

Turkish


2 x Fokker EIII                        Speed 5 Agility C+ Hits 7 Power 1 1xNA


One pilot is experienced, the other is a novice.


Play Area


A board 2’ square is sufficient for this scenario. One edge is the Turkish edge. The opposite edge is that of the Australians. The Turks set up first, within 6” of their edge. The Australians set up second, anywhere within their own half of the board.


Game Length


The game lasts for at least ten turns or until one side achieves their victory condition. At the end of the tenth turn, and each subsequent turn, roll a D6. If the score is 5 or more then the game has ended.


Victory Conditions


The AFC win by shooting down at least one Turkish plane before the game ends.


The Turks win by shooting down at least one Australian plane, and exiting at least one aircraft off the Australian edge of the table before the game ends.


If both sides achieve their victory conditions in the same turn, or neither side achieves it before the end of the game, then the game is a draw.


Special Rules


The BE2 is armed with an experimental mount which enables it to fire LA, RA and TA. All arcs count as restricted (-1 dice).



On the turn after the BE2 fires on either Turkish plane, both Turkish planes suffer a -1 to their initiative roll. This represents the surprise at being fired on by a BE2.


********************

Note that it uses the Power rules which I think I outlined in a previous post. Obviously it's easy enough to convert to other rules. Unlike the real action the Turks (who may have been Germans, and indeed probably were) stick around to fight rather than flying away at the first shot.

The planned games for the evening were this scenario, plus a couple of small, six-unit Black Powder games, with the idea being that people could move from table to table playing each game during the course of the evening. In fact I ended up playing or umpiring this scenario three times.

The first game saw four of us taking part (which wasn't really how I designed it, but there you go. Dave and I took the Aussies, whilst Caesar and Geoff took the Turks, with Geoff's consistently poor maneuver rolls seeing his novice pilot have a particularly frustrating game. Geoff has played Spandau and Lewis recently, Caesar not for a while and Dave never.

We piled into a dog-fight in the middle of the table, and lots of bullets flew around. Here's the first pass. Possibly not as attractive as it could be, with the initiative dice and lost Power marker on the table, but they keep the game running smoothly.


Dave took a structural critical on his BE2 early on, but continued to fly it aggressively, despite bits coming off it. Towards the end of the game the inevitable happened, and it was shot down. I told him he should have turned left instead of right.


Despite Geoff's bad luck with maneuver (which, it has to be said, also translated into lucky rolls for Power, as that mechanism rewards low rolls), he was able to get his plane off the table, giving the Turks a victory in 11 turns.

In the second game I played against Tim, who was up from Melbourne for the holidays. I took the Turks (or Germans), and he ran the Aussies. He went for an aggressive approach, and pushed the fight hard up against the Turkish baseline.


There was lots of shooting, of course, and chasing around, but none of it translated into kills. The Germans (or Turks) had a slight edge in the fight, but as time ran out it was obvious that even if they shot down an Aussie plane they were unlikely to get off the Australian edge before the end. The game ended in a draw after ten turns. Wacket and Turner in the BE2 had fired off every last round of ammo by the end.


I umpired the third game, as Ulli (AFC) took on Bryan (Turko-German). Bryan pretty much made a run for the Australian edge with his novice pilot, reasoning that he could take down an Aussie plane with his other pilot if he could keep them split up.


The novice EIII chased after the off-table BE2s.


Bryan couldn't get a clear shot at either Australian plane with his other EIII though - initiative rolls like this didn't help, and neither did abysmal shooting which saw no plane take any significant damage. The game ended in a draw.


The scenario played well, and was good fun despite the low casualty rate (one plane shot down over three games). In my three solo test games, honours were even; the Turks won the first, shooting down the BE2 and then pursuing the bombers, then the Australians won a quick victory in the second, with the first burst from the BE2's Lewis killing a German pilot. Finally the third game was a hard-fought draw. And how often do you see WW1 air games set away from the Western Front?

I only got a brief look at the Black Powder games. They involved generic armies, with six units a side in a 3-2-1 format (examples: 3 infantry, 2 cavalry and 1 artillery, or 3 cavalry, 2 artillery and a skirmisher unit) and were designed to offer interesting tactical puzzles and quick games, whilst allowing people to explore nuances of the rules.

This one involved one force ambusing a road column.


And this involved two forces fighting for control of a central building.


I think both scenarios were run at least a couple of times, including with new players, and worked well. There's a cavalry action one I'd like to try - of course.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tinkering With Spandau And Lewis

In odd moments I have been playing small, quick, games of 'Spandau and Lewis', in order to try out possible changes. Most of these I have written about over the last couple of weeks, but I'm slowly settling on some alterations that I think I can live with.

Firstly, I have tried increasing the number of hits an aircraft can take. This increases their survivability and offsets the ease of lining up shots that my generous, but easy to adjudicate, firing ars offer. Aircraft are generally shot down by critical hits now - the pilot being killed, or an engine hit. I'm still playing with the numbers, but I have increased a 5 hit plane to 8 and a 6 hit plane to 10.

In concert with the above I have reduced the number of shots an aircraft has. Each gun now only has 8 bursts. This equates, on average and very roughly, to about 16 dice over the course of the game, so with a 1 in 3 or 1 in 2 chance of each gun scoring a hit you can see that you have to be very lucky to bring down a plane by shooting it to pieces. You can hinder its performance by scoring half damage on it, though*.

Finally I am settling on a way of representing loss of speed and agility through sustained maneuver, and the ability to recover via power. It does require an on-table marker, though, something I've always been keen to avoid.

As with previous incarnations of this rule, a plane has a Power rating of between 0 and 4. Generally early planes and two-seaters will tend towards the lower end of this score, whilst scouts and later planes will be at the upper end.

If a plane turns more than 45 degrees or sideslips more than 1" - an Extreme Maneuver -  then it must roll under its Power on a D6 or pick up a  marker. If a plane begins its Maneuver Phase with a marker then it cannot declare a speed greater than half its maximum (rounded up). It can still maneuver, but generally will do so at a penalty (there's a -1 if your declared speed is 3 or less, don't forget). If it turns 45 degrees or less, or sideslips 1" or doesn't maneuver at all, then the marker is removed. If it does another Extreme Maneuver then the marker stays on; there is no roll to remove it. In other words, once a plane acquires a marker, only limiting your maneuver (voluntarily or otherwise) will allow you to remove it and move at greater than half-speed on your next turn.

Testing continues ...

*And if it sounds difficult to shoot down enemy planes, consider one test game which saw four Sopwith Camels take on three Fokker DVIIs and a Triplane. Three Camels were shot down for no German loss - one with its pilot killed (an Ace as well), one through an engine fire and one via progressive damage after being tailed for several turns. Most hits were scored by a single DVII (also an Ace) with some help from the Triplane.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Hawker's VC

I'm still tweaking, poking and tinkering with Spandau and Lewis, although I'm  not sure I'm actually getting very far. But it keeps me off the streets.

Regardless of progress, though, I'm still getting some entertaining games out of it. This morning I set up a game based on the VC-winning exploits of Major Lanoe Hawker when, with a Lewis gun attached to his Bristol Scout fixed to fire outside of the propellor arc, he tracked down and shot down three German two-seaters, all themselves armed with machine-guns.

Once again Hawker's Scout was played by one of my scratchbuilt BE2s. I graded Hawker as an Ace Marksman. When you have a gun which only fires to the left, you need all the help you can get.


His opponents - three Roland CIIs, masquerading as DFW C1s. One was a Novice, the other two Experienced.


This was the board.


There were three objectives to be photographed. The Germans would enter at the bottom of the picture, one plane every four turns. Hawker started on the other side. Hawker was assumed to have spotted the Germans, whilst they had to spot him. Each German plane had 20 turns to complete its mission.

I didn't keep a detailed log of the game. Hawker started right across the board from the first German to appear, so spent a lot of time trying to close with it.


The Germans got their photo, but Hawker shot the observer with his first burst.


At this stage all three German planes were on the board. The first one, with the dead observer, was heading for home; Hawker just couldn't get another clear shot at it, and there wasn't time to mess around trying to improve the situation. You can see Hawker closing in on another German plane, though. He inflicted some damage on it.


Again, though, the German completed its mission, and Hawker couldn't turn to chase him down. He inflicted more damage, but the second German plane was likely to get away. The real game now became a fight against the third plane. The yellow counter was part of an experimental rule I was trying for aircraft losing power as they turned,


Hawker turned after the third German, and got in some clear shots, inflicting some damage. But the Germans were shooting back, and scored a few hits in return.


Despite his greater success, Hawker couldn't shoot down the third German plane. He chased it pretty much to its home edge (and took more damage as he did so), but ran out of ammo before he could finish it off. To add insult to injury his gun jammed as it fired the last burst.


Hawker didn't get his VC, although all three German planes knew they'd been in a fight.

With some tweaking there's probably a fun scenario here. The power rules I was less satisfied with; for the effort required to run them, plus the requirement for markers, they didn't add a lot to the game.

And in case you think Hawker is hard done by, I played a couple of quick games before this one. In the first I reran Hawker's DH2 vs Albatros DII fight against Von Richthofen and despite the Albatros outperforming him, he killed the Red Baron with his first shot. And in the second game his Scout with the lashed-up Lewis was quite sufficient to force down a single DFW in the first burst.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Rifles In The Sky

How could I manage to take so many pictures of three games so devoid of real incident? Ah, the perils of unrestrained digital photography.

I am continuing to fiddle about with ideas for Spandau and Lewis, and in-between getting home from work and having tea I played three quick games to try out a scenario that came to me in an idle moment at work.

I wanted to try a very, very early war game, where both sides had unarmed planes but were touting rifles. I'd worked out some simple rules for using small-arms, and thought that it would be fun to try them. I also wanted to try a tiny tweak to the maneuver rules as well.

So, it's early 1915. A German Rumpler C1 sets off on a reconaissance flight, its target being that village in the distance. The observer has a rifle, which enables him to shoot into any arc but the front one.


Lurking in  the same sector is a Bristol Scout. This is also unarmed, but the pilot also has a rifle. He can fire it left and right only, but if he maneuvers he gets a penalty (flying a plane and aiming a rifle being incompatible). However I made him a marksman, which meant that if he did score a hit it would be more likely to be telling.


I used the spotting rules. The German plodded slowly up the table, whilst the Scout tried to get a clear view. But the (randomly placed) cloud kept getting in the way.


The Germans spotted the Scout, and quickly pressed on with their mission, overflying the village and getting the photo they needed. All they had to do was get it home.


The Germans turn for home, whilst the Scout patrols, oblivious to their presence.


Back to the German lines goes the Rumpler. It has a store of power and applied it to add speed, diving for home in a dramatic manner.All pointless, as the Scout still hasn't spotted it.


And so to safety ...


The Scout continues to circle, unaware that a game has even taken place.


The next day the Germans send the Rumpler out to photograph another village. The same Scout is patrolling.


The planes spot each other this time.


The Germans take a pot-shot at the Scout ...


... who returns the favour whilst the Germans photograph the village. Both planes are rolling between two and three dice, needing sixes for a potential hit. Neither side rolled any.


With their photo safely take the Germans turn for home, using the greater power of their plane to evade the more nimble British plane.


Another successful mission, with only a couple of shots exchanged.


The Rumpler needed maintenance after that last mission, because the Germans sent a more agile, but slower and far less powerful DFW C1 out the next day (in reality I realised that the Rumpler B1 really outclassed the Scout in this set-up).


The Scout comes in again. As an aside you'll notice that the Bristol Scout is played by one of my home-made BE2s, whilst the Rumpler and the DFW are actually a Roland CII.


The Scout really has the jump on the Germans this time, and opens fire before they realise he's there. Despite his advantage he misses (I allow planes shooting at an unalerted target an extra dice when firing).


As the Germans head towards the village, both planes exchange long-range fire.


The Germans overfly the village, but the observer fails to get a clear view. They will need to go around again.


They fly into a cloud, as a temporary refuge from the advancing Scout.


Their turn takes them off the board. But who's checking? The scout closes in, and more shots are exchanged to no effect.


The Germans start another photo run, whilst the Scout plugs away at long range.


The Germans get their photo, but without the power of the Rumpler they will have a tough run home as the Scout is more agile and flies faster.


The planes close up and there is plenty of ineffective rifle fire ...


... until finally the Germans score a potential hit. It comes to nothing.


The Germans sideslip, forcing the Scout to maneuver, which throws off his aim.


Bang! The Germans score another hit, and the Scout has to break off with a disabled engine.


Another victory for the Kaiser! And Photoshop Elements.

Rules: I treated the small arms as normal fire in terms of determining dice, but only sixes counted as potential hits. No damage was scored, but the normal check for criticals was made. A score of 3 or 4, however, only caused one point of damage, instead of four (so it was virtually impossible to bring a plane down by shooting it to bits). The maneuver tweak was to allow a +1 on the Maneuver Table for planes that were more than 6" from any enemy when it came to checking their move. This should get planes back into the fight more easily.

I am still working out how to balance the rate at which damage is dished out. I have considered radically dropping the ammo supply (to restrict shots) reducing the chances of a hit or increasing the number of hits a plane can take. The latter strikes me as the most interesting; having fewer shots, or missing a lot, is more frustrating to a player than progressively whittling down their foe. I may still drop ammo to 8, though, whilst increasing the number of hits a plane can take by about 20%. Since the criticals offer a Sudden Death option, it should be possible to down one or more opponents, if you're fortunate. Obviously I didn't really try out these changes in this game, as the damage was irrelevant.

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