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Thread: The battle of Istrana

  1. #1

    Default The battle of Istrana

    Background

    William George Barker, whose Sopwith Camel is the plane with most victories in all WW1, was just arrived on the Italian front in 1917 when, on Christmas Day, he took off with two other pilots for an unauthorized flight. Ignoring the tacit truce that was respected by Italians and Austrians in that holy day, they attacked the airport of Motta strafing hangars, planes and people with incendiary bullets. They also dropped a cardboard sign: “To the Austrian Flying Corps from the English RFC – wishing you a merry Xmas.”
    Then they did not come back directly to their base - they stopped at the Italian airfield of Istrana to have their planes repaired from AA holes, so that their own officers would not know what happened.
    Austrians and Germans were fiercely offended. Early the next morning, pilots and observers were waken up, still groggy for what they had drunk for Christmas, an ordered to retailate. At 9 am 25 bombers and a higher escort of 15 fighters reached the Istrana airport, thinking it was the base of RFC Camels. Italian sentinels were not considered reliable at first when they gave the alarm, but enemy planes were soon on the airfield. 15 Italian Hanriots managed to take off while 3-4 British Camels were already flying in the zone and joined the fight.

    Italo-British

    Tenente Silvio Scaroni, 76a Squadriglia
    Hanriot HD.1
    Skills: Bullet checker, Daredevil

    Tenente Mario Fucini, 76a Squadriglia
    Hanriot HD.1
    Skills: Acrobatic pilot, Perfect aim

    2nd Leutenant Jarvis Mulholland, 28 Squadron
    Sopwith Camel
    Skills: Sniper, Lucky Pilot

    Germans

    Uffz. Franz Hertling (with Lt. Georg Ernst and Lt. Res. O. Otto Niess), Kasta 19, Kampfgeswader 4
    Gotha G.V
    2 loads of bombs

    Wzfw Karl Uecker (with Lt. Res. Heinrich Pfeiffer) Fliegerabteilung 2
    Albatros C.III
    1 load of bombs

    Oberleutnant Hans Kummetz, Jasta 1
    Albatros D.III
    Special equipement: lockable controls

    Setting

    Two mats joined on the long side, for a total of 136 x 98 cm. On the center of one mat an airfield with three target cards at half a ruler from each other. Place the two hanriots between the targets. Place the Camel anywhere on the side of that mat. Germans are placed on the opposite side of the other mat.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The Istrana airfield

    Special rules
    Lockable controls - Albatros fighters had a special mechanism to lock controls and free both hands of the pilots in case machineguns should be unjammed. If this optional rule is in use, in the phase in which machineguns jam the pilot may decide to lock controls and speed up unjamming. Discard one jammed machine guns counter immediately. Until all jammed machine guns counters are discarded, replace all planned maneuvres with straights.

    Victory conditions
    A load of bombs on the red dot of a target destroy it, on any part of the target but not on the red dot damages it.
    A plane whose center is out of the gaming field counts as destroyed, but after all bomb loads have been dropped within half a ruler from avtarget’s center Germsn planes can exit from their side without penalty.
    German score 1 point for each target damaged, 2 for each target destroyed. Both players score 3 points for each plane destroyed, 6 for the Gotha.

    Options
    If you use advanced rules, the Hanriots are on the ground and must take off while the Germans are already on the table.
    You can add more planes, using the Points System to keep sides balanced:
    https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sh...=points+system
    Historically, the German escort stayed high and did not protect their bombers. For a more historical scenario, replace the Albatros D.III with a second Albatros C.III and add another target to be bombed.

    Aftermath
    A second wave at 1 pm came with surprise and was stopped. Austro-Germans lost 11 planes, while Italian losses were several Hanriots bombed on the ground.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    A German two-seater shot down during the battle over Musano di Trevigiano.

    Historical notes
    Two-seaters involved were actually DFW C.V, twin-engine bombers were AEG G.IV at their first appearence on the Italian front.
    In our game, Scaroni’s and Fucini’s Hanriots have two machineguns on their Hanriots. Actually, only in Spring 1918 Scaroni added a second weapon to the standard one, later followed by other aces. For a more strictly historical setting, replace the three Italo-British planes with four B-firing Hanriots and redistribute skills, discarding Lucky Pilot.
    Last edited by Angiolillo; 01-02-2018 at 22:02. Reason: Victory conditions.

  2. #2

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    Very nice Andrea - look forward to seeing the AAR. Might have a go at this one myself sometime.

    "He is wise who watches"

  3. #3

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    Looks like an interesting scenario to play, Andrea.
    Funny, my annual Christmas WoG games also involved A-H (Seeflieger) and Italian planes. The AAR will follow shortly.
    <img src=http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=2554&dateline=1409073309 border=0 alt= />
    "We do not stop playing when we get old, but we get old when we stop playing."

  4. #4

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    Hm, and I got two copies of Coppens' Hanriot for christmas. Maybe have to give this one a go.

  5. #5

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    Like this mission lots Shall give it a go as soon as I have done with OTT Mission 18. Thanks Andrea!

  6. #6

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    I have also saved in in my Scenarios directory.

  7. #7

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    Added a draft of victory conditions. Please let me know if you find it balanced. First game session was won by Germans even if they did not aim their bombs so well (first experience with bombings).

  8. #8

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    Cool. Thanks Andrea... This is looking good.

  9. #9

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    Looks like an excellent mission.
    Will have to give it a go as well in the coming weeks.

  10. #10

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    Here a larger and deeper scenario on the same battle:

    https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/do...o=file&id=2156

  11. #11

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    Thanks Andrea.
    A very good clip of the battle.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  12. #12

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    The Italian pilots are surprised by the Autro-German attack, but they seem not to fear the drunken aviators coming to attack them.
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    Two-seaters and multi-engine bombers approach the Italian airport to bomb it.
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    Hanriots from 76a Squadriglia and a couple of Camels that were patrolling near there come to intercept the attackers.
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    Soon the targets are near.
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    After the bombing run, the bombers and their escort are engaged in a huge dogfight.
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    A German two-seater is downed but heroic Scaroni follows it soon toward the ground.
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    Other fighters decimate each other.
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    In a final chase, the last Camel destroys the huge German bomber before she reaches the safe sky behind her lines.
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  13. #13

  14. #14

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    Great scrap there! I need to break out the bombers again.

  15. #15

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    Missed this when it was posted - well done Andrea & those involved - what a scrap !

    "He is wise who watches"

  16. #16

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    Thanks Andrea,

    This looks great and the timing is perfect to fill a needed spot. You hit many of the points I've looking for in a single scenario. I'm definitely adding this to my book of scenarios.

    Thanks again.

  17. #17

  18. #18

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    Thanks Andrea, lovely scenario which anyone can pick up and play. Easily adapted to other fronts or periods.

  19. #19

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    Just spotted this Andrea.
    Another little gem from your neck of the woods.
    Thanks for posting.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  20. #20

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    Impressive furball!

    Thanks for posting it.

  21. #21

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    Thanks Andrea, this looks like a great mission to try out. Two additional big thanks from us. First thank you for using planes actually part of Wings of Glory that we have, Whoo Hoo. And thanks for referring to the points for game balance. I know not everyone appreciates that but it is normal in our group.

    We'll get this one to the table soon.

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