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Thread: WWI Night Fighting Rules and Equipment

  1. #1

    Default WWI Night Fighting Rules and Equipment

    Yet another treasure from the Cirque Volant, our French equivalent site (Thanks Pierre):

    Night Fighting

    Ref: Règles liées à la nuit

    Attacks and night raids were common during the First World War. Taking advantage of a moonless night, on 8 September 1915, four zeppelins tried to bomb London. Here are some rules allow for night play.

    Rules relating to Night Fighting

    At night, it's dark. Shooting in the dark is not easy. Imagine the guys in the trenches, in the cold, darkness and fear. Suddenly the roar of planes and machine gun fire falling all around. No choice but to shoot, even if it is at allied planes, as the bullets hiss by.

    - In the sky, the airplanes could be made out against the light of the stars. However, accuracy is impossible given the lack of clarity, and no plane has the bonus of 1 for two consecutive shots on the same target. The rest of the fight takes place normally.

    - Anti-aircraft guns. In the dark, it is difficult to aim at aircraft. Placement of the target follows the normal rules, with the following exception. Using a range ruler, drop a target token from a half-ruler height, above the desired target location. The place where the token falls mark the target. If the Gunner is not satisfied, he can ignore the first drop, and try again. The second drop location will be the target, and the first drop is ignored, even if the second drop is worse.

    - Machine guns on the ground and infantry in the trenches are literally blind. Aircraft are indistinguishable as it is not possible to make out the roundels in these circumstances. So infantry and machine guns shoot at the nearest aircraft in their arc of fire.

    - But defenders may have large search lights (See below). These searchlights project a cone of light that allows defenders to identify enemy aircraft. Each turn, after the pilots have chosen their maneuver cards, the defenders place the light beam templates. Movements take place normally. At the end of each of the three phases, if an enemy aircraft is in a cone of light, it may be the target of land forces which are within reach, according to the normal rules. Similarly, an allied aircraft in a light beam will not have to suffer the fire of allied infantry.

    [Note:] However, these search lights are not very resilient. If a plane shoots at long range, they are destroyed in the first point of damage. If a plane shoots at short range, they are automatically destroyed.

    - A plane that is on fire is an ideal target. All those who shoot at it have a +1 bonus to their damage cards. Ground forces can shoot at it, even if it is not illuminated, when it is in range.

    Equipment for Nighttime Bombing Defense

    Ref: Matériel pour les Batailles nocturnes

    We are in need of equipment for night scenarios.

    So we made search lights and light beams. Search lights were used early in the war to protect against night bombing, mostly against zeppelins that hit England several times.

    This search light card can be placed anywhere in the field, it generates the light beam below, whose tip is placed in the center.
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    The beam of light is placed at the beginning of the turn, after the selection of aircraft maneuver cards, but before the first is revealed. At the beginning of each round, the beam can be rotated. Any aircraft which is touched by the beam is considered illuminated.
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    This template is to be printed on an A4 page, which gives its approximate dimensions. A little trimming with scissors is advisable (the white parts, anyway).
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 11-19-2014 at 23:02.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  2. #2

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    Thanks so much for these translations - I can remember visiting this site way back when I first got interested in WOW but with French that is non-existent, heck even my Australian is a bit suspect sometimes, I couldn't fathom the rules sets, So, again, thank you Mike!

  3. #3

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    Thanks for shedding light on these Mike, they'll come in handy

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggles downunder View Post
    Thanks so much for these translations - I can remember visiting this site way back when I first got interested in WOW but with French that is non-existent, heck even my Australian is a bit suspect sometimes, I couldn't fathom the rules sets, So, again, thank you Mike!
    Wayne,
    Thank you very much for the rep, but it should go to Andrea [Angiolillo], for posting the Santa Claus link. That got me browsing around. And there were lots of posts for WWII Nightfighting... And I just got my Zeppelin from Dave [Clipper], with lots of people posting missions with Zeppelins...

    Anyway, thanks, but perhaps you (and others) could share it.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  5. #5

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    Great find and thanks for sharing!

    Scenarios by night will be the next step in my club!

  6. #6

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    "Welcome to the Dark Side", they said.................................

  7. #7

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    Great basis for a set of night fighting rules Mike.
    I have a couple of reservations about the use of small arms fire at night but otherwise they seem good to go.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    Great basis for a set of night fighting rules Mike.
    I have a couple of reservations about the use of small arms fire at night but otherwise they seem good to go.
    Rob.
    Rob,
    You use altitude rules.

    You know me, and what a masochist I am concerning balloon busting scenarios. This wouldn't be too much different.

    I can understand that Zeppelins didn't bomb at ground level, but I suspect the rules are for strafing runs on trenches or objectives, not Zeppelin bombing runs. House rules!

    I think it is a good starting point for scenario building. Some intuitive thought went into it, which is why I shared it.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  9. #9

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    Thanks for your response Mike.
    No real problems, just reservations. But remember I'm blinkered by the attacks on London, which would be by Bombers only, no low level strafing there. Of the conditions regarding bombing of Paris or the Independent Air force missions I have no knowledge. I will certainly use these rules, but without getting into a low level shootout.
    For those who enjoy the excitement of the close encounter, go for it tooth and claw.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  10. #10

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    Baxter and I are going to give this a try tonight - though I'm wondering if we have to play it in a dark room

    In which case our photos for our AAR are probably going to look like this:

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    Or maybe this:

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    Last edited by Biggles downunder; 11-23-2014 at 16:45.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggles downunder View Post
    Baxter and I are going to give this a try tonight - I'm wondering if we have to play it in a dark room

    In which case our photos for our AAR are probably going to look like this;
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I can't wait to hear the discriptions of the action in your photos!

  12. #12

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    Some fascinating searchlight history here - scroll about half-way down the page to get to the early 1900's.

    http://ancientskyscraper.com/85601.html

  13. #13

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    They don't have to be as bad as that Wayne.
    Have a look here:-

    http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/album.php?albumid=2891

    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    They don't have to be as bad as that Wayne.
    Have a look here:-

    http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/album.php?albumid=2891

    Rob.
    Well, our night mission didn't come about but we did have great fun on a bombing mission. See here for my AAR:

    http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sho...407#post322407

  15. #15

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    Ciao all,

    I have a .pdf copy of "Nachtflugzeug!" by Jack Herris about WWI German N-type single engine night bombers.
    Lots of nice pics and color plates in.

    If anyone is interested just PM me an email address. The file is about 4.6 MB.

    Mau.

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  16. #16

  17. #17

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    Cheers for that Mike. Get the Fe's out, the gothas are coming.
    Rep on it's way. Oops need to spread the love again...

  18. #18

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    i seem to recall reading somewhere that when Hp O/400`s were used for night bombing the common pactice was to fly at fairly low level in order to be able to see and hit targets.
    So standard rules are probably Ok to use for night attacks in a lot of scenarios.

  19. #19

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    Suggested modification by Stumptonian (Pete) based on an OTT nighttime game:

    For each searchlight:

    1) Roll a D8 to determine initial placement.
    2) For follow on phases - roll a die for direction of searchlight rotation : 1-3 Clockwise / 4-6 Counter-Clockwise (or 1-4 / 5-8 using the D8). Use one of the game arrow tokens to note the direction and place beside the light.
    3) Each phase move the beam one sector in that direction.
    4) If it finds an aircraft (any aircraft) stop and roll a die to determine whether the searchlight crew thinks the plane is friend or foe (Even: Friend Odd: Foe). If it is identified* as 'friendly' continue moving the beam each phase as normal. If it is identified* as an enemy keep the aircraft in the beam on a roll of 4-6 (or 5-8) each subsequent phase. If they lose sight start the process again from 1)

    * Note the movement is determined by what nationality they think the aircraft is. You could use one of the nationality tokens to indicate that.

  20. #20

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    Wayne I love it LOL.

  21. #21

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    There were some experiments with sound location in WW1. Here is a piece from a Wikipedia article.

    The first use of this type of equipment was claimed by Commander Alfred Rawlinson of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, who in the autumn of 1916 was commanding a mobile anti-aircraft battery on the east coast of England. He needed a means of locating Zeppelins during cloudy conditions and improvised an apparatus from a pair of gramophone horns mounted on a rotating pole. Several of these equipments were able to give a fairly accurate fix on the approaching airships, allowing the guns to be directed at them despite being out of sight. Although no hits were obtained by this method, Rawlinson claimed to have forced a Zeppelin to jettison its bombs on one occasion.



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