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Thread: AAR OTT DYM - Mission 7 - Di 'Cheese

  1. #1

    Default AAR OTT DYM - Mission 7 - Di 'Cheese

    OTT DYM Mission 7 - di 'Cheese
    OTT – Daring Young Men Campaign
    The Italian Front – 29 November 1917

    The original scenario, by Tikkifriend, is set on the Western Front in February 1916 and can be read here:
    https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sh...by-Tikkifriend

    Hauptmann Michael von Taaffe was concerned. The offensive had stalled – more from the inability of supply to keep up to the advancing troops than from Italian resistance, but it had stalled nonetheless. High Command had shifted their attention to the North, pinning their hopes on capturing Monte Grappa and outflanking the Italian defences. The Flik had flown over Monte Grappa numerous times. It was a impregnable fortress. The poor bloody infantry had been trying for two weeks to take the place. Another attempt was planned.

    High Command had phoned early in the morning. They wanted photographs as soon as possible.. Could he please send up some planes today. Today? The weather was abysmal – fog and low clouds would mean flying close to the ground and all of those enemy machine guns. Fly to high and a pilot risked getting lost and even worse flying into a mountainside. It was idiotic to send planes up on a day like today, but High Command was adamant.

    Slowly the planes started to come – a Rumpler – that of Ltn Albrecht Thoma and his pilot, Fw Claus Creutzmann. Some bullet holes in the plane but Thoma signalled for help. Fw Creutzmann was badly injured and bleeding from a head wound. The next plane in was the Halberstadt of Oblt Karl Klimt and his pilot Fw Ludwig Jäger. The plane’s undercarriage was badly damaged and the aeroplane nosed over. Klimt and Jäger climbed out happy to have landed at all. Michael was glad. He like Klimt. Klimt was as congenial a fellow as one could imagine and had arrived the previous week to take over command of the reconnaissance detachment from the prissy Rudolf Dassler. But where was the Rumpler of Dassler and his pilot, Fw Franz Reimer.

    “Where’s Dassler and Reimer?”, he asked Klimt, but Klimt just shook his head.

    Michael waited for the escorts. There was Neumann’s Oeffag; and the Aviatik of the young Hungarian, Karoly Horváth. Both planes were badly shot up – the Aviatik looked like it was being held together by the fabric only. Somehow Karoly was uninjured but he could see the ground crew helping the injured Fw Neumann out of his Oeffag.

    Where was his cousin, Ryan von Taaffe and their young ace, Wolfgang von Augustin? After a few tense moments the Ryan’s Aviatik and Wolfgang’s Oeffag appeared. A few bullet holes here and there but both pilots were uninjured.

    Later that day, Michael got word from hospital. Günter Neumann would be several weeks recovering but they did not poor expectations that Fw Creutzmann would survive. Reports on the missing Rumpler were not good. The Rumpler had disintegrated and it seemed unlikely that Rudolf Dassler and Franz Reimer survived. Four enemy planes had gone down but at a terrible cost.

    Late in the day, with all of the reports from aircrew in hand, Michael sat down to write his report for High Command.

    At 0900 the two Rumplers and the Halberstadt approached our lines near Monte Grappa. The aeroplanes were flying above effective ground fire but below the low clouds which left little room for vertical manoeuvring. According to plans the escorts would arrive slightly later so that there would be a better chance of surprising the defenders.

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    As the reconnaissance flight crossed No Man’s Land a flare shot up from the fort that was the object of the photographic mission. Only then did the clearing fog reveal that the two Rumplers were too wide of the target and only the Halberstadt was initially able to get good photographs – and ultimately the only photograph of the fort itself.

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    The Rumpler pilots were able to manoeuvre their machines quickly to begin photographing the area around the fort but there were somewhat behind schedule.

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    Kette A, led by Ltn von Augustin arrived about this time. [Actually they arrived on turn 3.1 but I didn’t include any photos of the two Oeffag 153 aeroplanes before this one.]


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    The arrival of the Oeffags was fortunate as the meaning of the flare became obvious with the appearance of two Italian SPAD XIII machines.

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    More help was for the reconnaissance missioned arrived in the form of Kette B led by Ltn Ryan von Taaffe.


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    One of the SPADs attacked the Ltn Dassler’s Rumpler head on and the two aeroplanes exchanged fire while Ltn von Augustin got a deflection shot, damaging the SPAD’s engine.

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    Ltn von Augustin managed to get on the tail of the SPAD – further damaging the SPAD - but needed to break off to clear an untimely jam of his Schwarzlose machine guns.

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    But it mattered not, whether by intent or an inability to control his aeroplane, the Italian slammed into Ltn Dassler’s and Fw Reimer’s Rumpler. Our pilots report that the Rumpler disintegrated in the air while the SPAD spiralled down to the ground.

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    While Oblt Klimt and Ltn Thoma continued their photography mission and Ltn von Augustin worked at clearing his machine guns, Fw Neumann attacked the second SPAD.

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    Whether it was the dampness or some other cause, Fw Neumann’s Schwarlose immediately jammed after the first burst and the Feldwebel could only watch helplessly with the Italian dead centre in his sights at close range. A perfect set up – the enemy was lucky but not so Fw Neumann.

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    Anticipating that the SPAD would go after the reconnaissance aeroplanes, Fw excuted an Immelmann manoeuvre. Unfortunately, so did the Italian pilot which put Fw Neumann dead centre in his sights. The SPAD’s fire damaged the Oeffag and injured the arm of Fw Neumann forcing him to return to base.

    [I forgot that injuries for a return to base when it’s 5 points for A damage and 3 points for B damage. Fw Neumann should have stayed in the fight.]

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    But it was not easy. The Italian pilot’s bullets did considerable more damage to the Oeffag before Fw Neumann could escape.

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    Meanwhile two new Italian craft appeared – two Hanriots. They immediately engaged the Halberstadt and the remaining Rumpler. However, both Ltn Thoma and Fw Jäger caught one of the Hanriots in a crossfire damaging its engine and setting it on fire.

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    Three of our escorts intervened – Ltn von Taaffe, Ltn von Augustin and ZgFhr Horváth. Horváth fired on one of the Hanriots which must have distracted the pilot as he collided with the Halberstadt of Ltn Klimt and Fw Creutzmann and caused considerable damage to their aeroplane. Ltn von Taafee and von Augustin engaged the other Hanriot along with Ltn Thoma. The Italian Hanriot exploded. After careful review of the after action reports, I have to award the ‘kill’ to Ltn von Taaffe. However, in the exchange Fw Creutzmann was injured by the Italian’s return fire – forcing the Rumpler to return to base.

    [Again I forgot that with A damage only an injury with a ‘5’ damage card forces a return to base. I didn’t matter so much in this case, but the Rumpler could have attempted to get a 2nd photo of the fort. Nonetheless Creutzmann eventually died from his injury – so rule or no rule it turned out to be a bad injury.]

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    [I forgot to include the damage for the Romanelli firing on Horváth, so I included it with this picture which shows the fire damage for the beginning of turn 8. Note that I also used B damage instead of A damage by accident. So I awarded an extra point for each card as compensation – so 4 points and not 2 points of damage.]

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    The remaining Hanriot continued to chase down our reconnaissance aeroplanes but their return fire was deadly.

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    I must commend ZgFhr Horváth for intercepting the enemy SPAD even though the smoke coming from his damaged Aviatik was obscuring his vision. His action and allowed Fw Neumann an opportunity to evade his pursuer.

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    However, the intense smoke result in ZgFhr Horváth colliding with the SPAD and nearly destroying his own aeroplane and forcing him to withdraw from the combat. Somehow the SPAD miraculously escaped damage – the 2nd time the SPAD was lucky. Fw Neumann was having trouble controlling his Oeffag with only one good arm and had a near miss with Ltn von Taaffe’s Aviatik – the Aviatik only suffered minor stress damage from Ltn von Taaffe’s evasive manoeuvres. But there was some good fortune as Oblt Klimt managed to shoot down the remaining Hanriot.

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    We had lost one Rumpler and two scouts were forced to withdraw but three of the enemy had been shot down. This left two of our scouts to cover the withdrawing scouts and our remaining two reconnaissance aeroplanes. Unfortunately two enemy Sopwiths emerged from the clouds bringing the odds to 3 to 2 in the enemy’s favour. Ltn von Taaffe and von Augustin engaged these aircraft seeking to delay them and to allow their comrades enough time to escape. Ltn von Taaffe was the first to come within range of the Sopwiths and dealt out a fair bit of damage but took a good deal of damage in return.

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    While heading back for the aerodrome, Fw Horváth was lucky to get an opportunity to fire on the English Sopwith.

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    Fw Horváth was even luckier when, having trouble controlling his very damage machine, that he collided with the Englander and somehow managed to avoid any further major damage to his Aviatik as I’m sure it would not have taken much for the Aviatik to disintegrate.

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    Ltn von Taaffe and von Augustin continued their dog-fighting to distract the enemy aeroplanes. Ltn von Augustin exchanged some rathe ineffective fire with one of the Sopwiths.

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    [Nothing much here – but a nice shot of 4 planes crossing paths without one collision!]

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    Finally Ltn von Augustin managed to get onto the tail of the English Sopwith and with some great shooting knocked the Englander out of the sky. Our third victory of the day!

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    With the odds even, Ltn von Taaffe and von Augustin tried to drive the enemy from the skies. Ltn von Augustin and the remaining Sopwith exchanged deadly fire while Ltn von Taaffe was not able to get in position for an effective shot.

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    The dog-fighting continued with no clear advantage to either side.

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    Finally Ltn von Taaffe got a burst on the Sopwith. The Sopwith was seen drifting downwards towards enemy territory. However, we could not confirm a ‘kill’ of this Sopwith. That left just one enemy aeroplane over the fort. [The Sopwith returned to base due to damage.]

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    Ltn von Taafee and von Augustin ‘ganged’ up on the remaining enemy aeroplane – an Italian SPAD. Being outnumbered the Italian decided discretion was the better course and dove down to where Italian ground troops could cover him. Masters of the Sky – Ltn von Taaffe and von Augustin returned to the aerodrome.

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    General comments – the write-up was a bit dry as I didn’t feel that any of the pilots stood out in one way or another so that they could be the centre of the story. With a lot of planes in the sky I thought it would more useful to explain the photos a little bit as there were a few quite complicated ones.

    I controlled Neumann and von Augustin – so a 50/50 success rate there with me putting Neumann in a very bad position that forced him out of the combat.

    Most of the activity was at height level 3 to avoid ground fire and to allow room for immelmanns. Two immelmanns for many of the planes would put them at the next level. I decided that if a plane ascended to level 5 that plane would be out of the game – being disoriented long enough to miss the action or, worse, collide with a mountain side.

    This is the most number of planes I’ve used in a solitaire game – a bit challenging and fortunately enough planes fell out of the sky so that not too many were in the air at once. It was also useful to have used the larger game mat. Two WoG mats would have been cramped.

    Victory:
    CP:
    Fort Photo: 1 X 2 pts = 2 pts
    Cardinal Point Photos: 2 X 4 X 1 pt = 8 pts
    Scouts shot down: 3 X 1 pt = 3 pts
    Total = 13 pts

    Entente:
    Two-seater shot down: 1 X 2 pts = 2 pts

    Not sure it’s easy for an Entente victory if at least one two-seater gets back with a full set of photos (6 pts). Anyway the Flik will take the win.

  2. #2

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    Butcher’s Bill

    Rumpler Crew:
    Ltn Albrecht Thoma – RTB / 0 kills

    Fw Claus Creutzmann – RTB / WIA / 0 kills
    CC: Rolled 2 - 1 (WIA) + 1 (safe return) = 2 = KIA

    Rumpler Crew:
    Ltn Rudolf Dassler – EXP / ET / 0 kills
    CC: Rolled 3 – 3 (EXP) = 0 = KIA

    Fw Franz Reimer – EXP / ET / 0 kills
    CC: Rolled 3 – 3 (EXP) = 0 = KIA

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    Halberstadt Crew
    Ltn Karl Klimt – RTB / 1 kill

    Fw Ludwig Jäger – RTB / 0 kills

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    Kette A
    Ltn von Augustin – RTB / 1 Kill

    Fw Günter Neumann – RTB / WIA / 0 kills
    CC: Rolled 3 – 1 (WIA) + 1 (Safe) = 3 = injured - rolled 3 = skip 3

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    Kette B
    Ltn von Taaffe - RTB / 1 kill

    ZgFhr Karoly Horváth – FRTB - D / 0 kills

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    SPAD XIII – Ten Giacomo dei Ferreti – RTB / 0 kills

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    SPAD XIII – Ten Antonio Maruzzo – Coll / FT / 1 kill
    CC: Roll 8 – 2 (Coll) = 6 = WIA; Roll 6 = skip 3

    Hanriot HD-1 – S/Ten Pietro Guzzoni – EXP / NML / 0 kills
    CC: Roll 6 – 3 (EXP) – 1 (NML) = 2 = KIA

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    Hanriot HD-1 – S/Ten Franco Romanelli – FLM / NML / 0 kills
    CC: Roll 7 – 2 (FLM) -1 (NML) = 4; injured – roll 6 = skip 6
    E&E: Roll 5 + 1 (NML) – 1 (FLM) = 5; In hiding – roll 3 = skip 1

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    Sopwith Camels:
    Lt Raoul Wittington – EXP / FT / 0 kills
    CC: Roll 7 – 3 (EXP) = 4; Injured – roll 4 = skip 4

    Lt Pieter van den Berg (BE) – FRTB – D / 0 kills

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    There you have it. Of 16 aircrew – 4 were KIA, 1 was WIA beyond the end of the campaign, 1 WIA with just 1 mission left and 2 WIA with only 2 missions left. A 50% casualty rate.

  3. #3

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    Definitely a deadly mission, that's for certain

    Nice job showing the action, Paul. Good to see your Oeffags in play.
    And I really like the cloud effects you added.


    Going to attempt my take on Friday.
    Wish me luck.

  4. #4

    Thumbs up

    WOW that was a deadly mission Paul.
    So many Fires, Wounds & the odd Explosion for good measure. Those who survived were truly lucky!
    Great visuals & effects as well.
    Deserved of Rep!

    "Its a fine line indeed between going out in a Blaze of Glory or having Crashed & Burnt!"
    Member Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians

  5. #5

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    Nicely done -- very colorful, especially with all the ground troops and terrain.

  6. #6

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    A costly victory for sure. Love the diorama with the ground troops and clouds, though, you've done an excellent job there.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReducedAirFact View Post
    Nicely done -- very colorful, especially with all the ground troops and terrain.
    Personally, just a bit too much for my tired old eyes - I'm sure there's some great action in there somewhere, but there's just too much going on all around it for me to concentrate on the planes.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    Personally, just a bit too much for my tired old eyes - I'm sure there's some great action in there somewhere, but there's just too much going on all around it for me to concentrate on the planes.
    Sorry that the visuals are making it difficult for you to concentrate on the planes. I do find it a challenge for some of the missions and / or game mats (e.g., the industrial map in the last mission made that one very busy but it was essential for the storyline of attacking a port facility - plains don't exactly give the impression of a port).

    For this mission:

    1) There's always the issue of picture resolution and storage space. With greater resolution I can use small name labels but at the cost of more storage.

    2) Name labels - whether added after or as name tags. Having them adds clutter but makes it easier to relate the written description to the photos. For some scenarios I find it difficult - even with very different planes - to remember which plane belongs to which pilot when reading the story. If these are more an irritation than a help I'm happy to not put them in - saves my effort doing so. With them in I only use the full rank, first name, last name for the very first time a plane is seen. After that I prefer to use just the first name as I usually have short first names but in this case the approach to the story meant the longer last names.

    3) Firing bursts - I find the measuring devices are more clutter than adding the red dashed arrows afterwards. It might not be noted but I have a convention that I use. The base of the arrow is always the machine guns of the firing plane and the end of the arrow is always, where it makes sense, at the point on or near the plane being fired upon. For example, if it's a rudder hit then the arrow will end at the tail. If the damage is '0' the arrow will miss the target plane.

    4) Clouds - I won't add these to every mission story but these were an essential part of the mission in restricting the flying altitude. It seemed silly to have the 'low cloud' cover in the story but to have bright sunny skies in the photos...and, yes, I am aware that these aren't the right type of clouds but the realistic option would see only a light grey cloud cover over everything. I thought it useful to add the clouds to remind the reader that there was clouds that were part of the story. Would you find modelled clouds placed on the game mat better? I don't have any but over time I could make some up for future campaigns - not sure I'd get any done for this campaign.

    5) Ground troops - these weren't my first choice. With the number of planes and some fast ones in the mix (SPAD XIII) I knew from previous experience that just two mats would be a problem. I wanted a larger space - perhaps 2 X 2 mats, but given the larger space requirement that would have meant 2 NML mats (otherwise the 1 NML mat has the end of the line with an open flank - didn't seem right) and I only had one. I then tried using the NML cards I made up for a previous game but I didn't have enough tiles to reach from side to side so they looked liked an isolated trench section in the middle of nowhere. The final option was to use my 6mm WWI ground troops to mark the edge of NML Personally I find them more irritating than you did as I was frustrated playing the game as I had to continually toss them out of the way. In the future I had already intended to avoid using or to use sparingly just to avoid the clutter problem during game play.

    6) Better materials - yes, that would help and, yes, it costs. I live in wargaming no-where's-ville; it's not easy to just pick stuff up - so it means postage and handling which gets rather pricy for game board pieces. I've spent a fair bit on the game this year. There's a limit, so one has to choose - especially if it's just going to be used for one OTT mission.

    I will keep your comment in mind for the next mission. Constructive comments are always welcome (e.g., I will avoid the industrial mat unless it's important to include for the story) and will be considered, but in the end any reader has the option to not read for whatever reason and that is very much okay.

    Honestly, at the end of game play my thoughts were, "that's why I decided from a previous game not to use all these darned ground troops".

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDragon View Post
    Sorry that the visuals are making it difficult for you to concentrate on the planes.

    I will keep your comment in mind for the next mission. .
    Don't go changing anything just on my account! I'm sure many others are easily able to cope.

    I have an extensive collection of ground troops myself, and loads of 3D terrain, but I haven't used any in any AARs yet (except my Doncaster "Airfield Attack"); partly because they're not homogeneous, coming from a wide variety of sources, and partly because I'm too lazy, and find they just get in the way!
    I aim to play some ultra-low level ground support missions, when I have got my trench systems ready for play, but that's some way off as yet.

    Keep doing what you're doing - lots of folks approve, and you just can't please everyone!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    Don't go changing anything just on my account! I'm sure many others are easily able to cope.

    I have an extensive collection of ground troops myself, and loads of 3D terrain, but I haven't used any in any AARs yet (except my Doncaster "Airfield Attack"); partly because they're not homogeneous, coming from a wide variety of sources, and partly because I'm too lazy, and find they just get in the way!
    I aim to play some ultra-low level ground support missions, when I have got my trench systems ready for play, but that's some way off as yet.

    Keep doing what you're doing - lots of folks approve, and you just can't please everyone!
    No worries - I will change because I’m at least in partial agreement.

    And thank you for your comments.

  11. #11

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    Well done Paul, a big game in every aspect, 14 planes on the table is no mean feat, but a terrible butchers bill at the end of the day.
    I recognise all the planes except Kette A so I'm assuming these are your paint jobs, if so they do look great and a worthy addition to your fast expanding collection.

    It's interesting to read the different views on the graphics, I like the name tags and the tracer lines because they help me follow the action, I probably wouldn't have the figures because I'm a lazy bugger and they get in the way all the time but at the end of the day it's your game and you should do what you enjoy, whether that be scenery or house rules.

    Im looking forward to seeing what you've done with the trench/cutting


  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Well done Paul, a big game in every aspect, 14 planes on the table is no mean feat, but a terrible butchers bill at the end of the day.
    I recognise all the planes except Kette A so I'm assuming these are your paint jobs, if so they do look great and a worthy addition to your fast expanding collection.

    It's interesting to read the different views on the graphics, I like the name tags and the tracer lines because they help me follow the action, I probably wouldn't have the figures because I'm a lazy bugger and they get in the way all the time but at the end of the day it's your game and you should do what you enjoy, whether that be scenery or house rules.

    Im looking forward to seeing what you've done with the trench/cutting

    Kette A are 2 of the 4 Shapeways Oeffag 153 planes I painted up for the aces of Flik 55J - from whence I derived my Flik of 55J bis. Three are with dark green fuselages and the fourth I use for the plane I control so that it stands out from the others.

    I've gone with the tracers and name tags because I also find it difficult to relate the text to the pictures without those aids. The options are adding them in as graphics or using physical versions (range rules and name tags) each as its advantage. Maybe next time I might go with physical name tags. I'm not sure if the range rulers are better or worse than the tracers; maybe I should play around with the properties of tracers - colour / thickness. No more figures unless they are part of the action. Here the problem was marking out NML on the plain game mat. I did mission 8 with the Ares mats but once I reviewed the pictures I may go with the plain game mat for the remaining missions (depending on the mission).

    I had some concerns going into mission 8 but it worked out well in the end. Although my interpretation of the mission specific rules were slightly different than intended I think it still let to some good fighting. It does require more of a squadron wide plan to be successful than simply letting individual planes go at each other. I'm in the midst of doing the picture graphics. I don't know if name tags needed for my Flik's planes as these come on the mat in a specific order - three at a time, but they will help with the TIE fiighters - er, Nieuport 17s. I used the Ares Hannovers for one flight of bombers - and they are very dark and do blend into the Ares mats. Maybe I should get some Shapeway bombers and paint them so they will stand out.

    As for a terrible butcher's bill. I lost one plane in Mission 7 but 4 aircrew (3 KIA and 1 wounded for the duration). In mission 8 I lost 3 planes but just 2 aircrew - both wounded for the duration. Them's the dice gods at work.


  13. #13

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    Excellent Paul. I love the visuals. Think what it must have been like for real Liked the write up buddy - didn't find it too dry in the least. Also like the action taking place with aircraft from later in the war. That added more interest for me. Pretty blood hungry fight though, with four KIA, but that seems to be happening quite a bit in this campaign.
    What a nice size table too. Thanks for the entertainment - REP inbound

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Excellent Paul. I love the visuals. Think what it must have been like for real Liked the write up buddy - didn't find it too dry in the least. Also like the action taking place with aircraft from later in the war. That added more interest for me. Pretty blood hungry fight though, with four KIA, but that seems to be happening quite a bit in this campaign.
    What a nice size table too. Thanks for the entertainment - REP inbound
    Thanks, Mike. I have an additional objective which is to work my way through using the 200 planes I now - using each at least once. And more KIA to come.

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    Looks like quite an amazing game!

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    Quote Originally Posted by camelbeagle View Post
    Looks like quite an amazing game!
    It was fun, Dan....and a challenge. It was the most planes I had up in the air at once with solo play - 13 planes in total but only 9 in the air at once thanks to explosions! The next mission came close with 7 in the air at once.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDragon View Post
    It was fun, Dan....and a challenge. It was the most planes I had up in the air at once with solo play - 13 planes in total but only 9 in the air at once thanks to explosions! The next mission came close with 7 in the air at once.
    I think just moving around all the minis would be a challenge in itself, The action report was really nice! How did you solo. Did you independently run each plane or use some type of solo AI. I have been experimenting with the solo template that is sold in the aerodrome store and using some solo deck rules I found in the forum file section.

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    Quote Originally Posted by camelbeagle View Post
    I think just moving around all the minis would be a challenge in itself, The action report was really nice! How did you solo. Did you independently run each plane or use some type of solo AI. I have been experimenting with the solo template that is sold in the aerodrome store and using some solo deck rules I found in the forum file section.
    I flew Wolfgang's plane and the recce planes until they had their photos. All the other planes including the recce planes after mission completion I used Dave's D8 AI charts found in the files section. Sometimes you have to be sensible about when to modify them but they work. For awhile with one on one encounters the AI charts had the edge but I think I do now - maybe.

    One area the AI charts need intervention is when they're attacking a plane that's ignoring them. The AI charts sort of assume dog-fighting so if an enemy plane ignores the AI plane the AI plane will often overshoot - that can easily be fixed by inserting stalls when appropriate.

    I also use altitude, so I often replace a straight or stall with a climb if altitude would be an advantage.



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