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Thread: OTT DYM Mission 9 Timing is Everything by Mike

  1. #1

    Default OTT DYM Mission 9 Timing is Everything by Mike

    OTT Daring Young Men – Mission 9
    Timing Is Everything! 6th March 1916

    Uncle sat in a rather comfortable chair, with his feet up, quite disrespectfully, on a very nice wooden desk. It had a green inlaid leather top and had been provided by grateful members of the nearby French escadrille. The same chaps the Bulldogs had been assisting during the last couple of weeks.
    He was in the office that their French allies had found for him, filling the not inconsiderable space with a thick cloud of aromatic pipe tobacco smoke. A very rare moment of peace and tranquility, which he was enjoying immensely.

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    “I must say our allies have done us proud, don’t you agree Dubh?” he said to the new acting Lieutentant who was sitting by the window, surveying his surroundings.

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    Lt Dubh Beard was not yet used to the idea of his promotion, even if it was only temporary. But he was also feeling rather pleased about it too. He came from a not very wealthy, middle class, family in Waterford, Ireland and his family would be very proud of him, he knew. He should write and tell them soon, he thought.
    Added to which, here he was, billeted in the most luxurious building he had ever been in in his life.
    “Agreed Uncle,” he replied cheerfully, “ The French certainly seem to know how to fight a war. But changing the subject. I see we have a few new lads arrived! No time to settle in I suppose?”
    “Maybe Dubh. Its been quiet the last few days and the weather shows no sign of letting up. Cloud cover is very low, so not much chance of any flying for a while!”
    “What do you think of the replacement aircraft Uncle?” added Beard.
    “Bloody sight better than those aweful RE7s, Dubh! The Fees will do us proud, no doubt about it. And the DH2. Well, its’ reputation is good. I’m guessing you’ll enjoy flying that one again, young man!”
    “I hope so too, Uncle. I certainly hope so too! And the new pilots. Who are they?”

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    “Sandy Martin and Jon Swift are their names. Who they are and where they come from doesn’t matter right now. Lets see how long they last before we get that involved shall we?”
    “Mmmmm” muttered Dubh Beard.
    And with that, the two of them would then have continued to feel pretty much at ease. However, right then came the clomping of boots that were so obviously making their way swiftly towards them, along the wooden flooring in the long corridor that gave the boots their approach to Uncle’s office door.
    A sharp wrap of knuckles on the wooden door panelling and the door handle rattled. In stepped a smart looking chap in a French uniform.
    “Bonjour, mes amis” he said amiably.
    “Aah, Gildas, my friend. How are you today?”
    “Comme ci Comme ça, mon ami” replied Gildas, who had been assigned as liaison officer with the Bulldogs. “And I ‘ave som bad niews for you, I am sorry to ‘ave to say it!”
    “Ah, and just when we had agreed we had time on our hands, for a change.” Uncle sighed. “OK, what do you have for us this time, Gildas?”
    And Gildas proceeded to explain their next mission in some detail.
    “Good Lord!” exclaimed Lt Beard, when the Frenchman had finished. “That sounds like another of your suicide missions my French friend!”
    But all the French friend could do was shrug his shoulders in Gallic fashion.

    So it was left to Acting Lieutentant Dubh Beard to brief those involved, on the mission they had to complete in these awful weather conditions.
    Before him, in the briefing, sat the two new boys, Martin and Swift; pilot and observer, who would fly one of the FE2bs. Then there were 2nd Lt Arthur Lee and his observer AM1 Bill Conker, who would take the second Fee. He, himself, would fly escort in a DH2.
    “Your job is to bomb the other end of the tunnel we took out last week, plus any troop or ammunition trains that might be in the vicinity. Reports show that the hun are building up for something big against Verdun and they are still using that bloody tunnel to store stuff for the assault. Train movements have been regular and frequent, according to reconnaisance reports. The weather, which is appalling, to say the least, is just perfect for them. So, we are aiming to spoil their fun.
    “We’ll approach above the clouds, which are currently pretty low, and then dive down as soon as we spot the railway line. Follow that in and bomb the hell out of the tunnel from low level. Any questions?”
    “What do you mean by low level Dubh?” asked Arthur Lee,” and isn’t bombing at low level rather risky?”
    “Low level means below the clouds at whatever height that gives us Arthur. And yes, its bloody dangerous. But you know the importance of this and you know the risks attached. Its bloody war boys. So we get on with it.”
    And that was the end of the briefing.

    They took off half an hout later.

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    Meanwhile, two Halberstadt DIIIs circled above the tunnel entrance that was the Bulldog’s target. And the ammunition trains continued to deliver their deadly cargoes to the safety of that underground hideaway.

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    Tunnel and trains must be destroyed. Many allied lives depended on that.

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    Failure would be a catastrophe! (whoops, sorry, saw this pic and couldn’t resist the temptation )

    As forecast, the cloud cover was very low, but in one sense, that was to their advantage. Their approach was unseen. The problems would arise when they eventually dived below it. Not far from their destination, they spotted, in the distance, the first signs of resistance to their attack. A small black spec that, to the trained eye, was an enemy aircraft.

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    So Dubh led them lower into the clouds and slowly but surely crept stealthily towards that distant spec.

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    There were, in fact two enemy Halberstadt DIIIs circling above the target, but only one of them would prove to be a nuisance factor. As they arrived, the clouds above the target area were pretty sparse, but gathering rapidly it seemed.

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    The two germans circled above the railway line and the tunnel entrance they were guarding, oblivious to the approaching danger. Whilst the clouds gathered, rather worryingly from their point of view.

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    And below the clouds, an ammunition train approached the tunnel entrance, puffing laboriously away like an asthmatic smoker. The German pilots needed to be more on their guard.

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    Whilst Dubh Beard and his flight stole ever closer, under the cover of this heaven sent cloak.

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    The train puff puffed merrily along its way. And one of the Halberstadts, with its back to the danger and completely unsighted, flew on its circular route, oblivious to the predators that worked their way ever closer.

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    Until finally, Ltn Kurt Jentsch cursed profusely and profainly under his breath. Because he had finally seen the enemy. And he attacked!

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    Alone and unaided by Ltn Friedrich Collin, who continued along his alloted course, obeying orders and squinting into the gathering clouds for any signs of danger. For him there were none.

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    And the train puff puffed along the track, the driver and his mate thinking only of supper and a well earned rest, not far away! They, of course could hear nothing when the machine guns barked.

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    Daka daka daka, daka daka daka, daka daka daka. The Halberstadt never really stood a chance. Not against all that fire power. He tried, bravely, but bravery is never enough against such overwhelming odds.

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    Perhaps the ground defences would come to his aid. Perhaps Ltn Collin would see what was happening and fly to his rescue. But the clouds muffled the noise above and cloaked them from the ground troops. Likewise, Ltn Collins continued on his patrol and not even holes in the cloud cover revealed to him the extent of Jentsch’s problem.

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    And the train puff puffed along, towards what looked like a rain storm ahead.

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    And Collins, so near yet so far, saw nothing of the danger that threatened. The danger that overwhelmed the little Halberstadt flown by his friend and colleague, Kurt. Outgunned three to one, a victim of the violence hurled at it from three directions, the Halberstadt fought, until something vital was hit and utterly destroyed, sending the Halberstadt and Kurt Jentsch, hurtling through the clouds, to give the troops down on the ground their first real warning that all was not as it should be.

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    Have you ever seen a Peregrine Falcon swoop on its prey? I have. At 120mph it closed its wings and hurled itself vertically downwards upon an unsuspecting pigeon, breaking its back and killing it mercilessly before taking it to a church spire and plucking its feathers with its beak, so that the feathers drifted peacefully along the wind. A beautiful, if rather terrible, sight. And that was what Dubh Beard attempted to re create with his flight right now.

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    Having disposed of the German scout, he signalled to the pilots of the two bombers that the time had arrived to dive below the clouds. The bombing attack must happen now.

    They passed, through the clouds, to discover they were very near the ground indeed. Far too close for comfort. No pigeon there, I’m afraid. Only a whole lot of machine guns, intent on returning the harm done to their countryman. And as AM3 Jon Swift in the lead Fee opened up on them ineffectively, joined by his flight leader, rather more so, so the Germans opened up as well.

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    And immediately the Bulldog flight was in trouble. The leading FE2b caught fire. Not so badly that it couldn’t be dealt with. But 2nd Lt Sandy Martin, its pilot, was inexperienced and didn’t understand that it was necessary for him not to fly in a straight line under these circumstances. Besides, the fire was behind him and he was intent on his bombing run. I’m afraid his and his observer’s fates were sealed.

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    On the three of them flew, with bullets flying fiercely in both directions, more or less effectively, nobody knew which at that point. The view from above would have revealed, to any hawk, how close they were to their target. But to these daring young men in their flying machines, it was just a matter of timing.

    Jon Swift released the bombs the lead Fee was carrying, and prayed. They were so close to the ground that surely the blast would destroy them.

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    But as it turned out it didn’t. Instead the ground fire and the fire on board did! (Extra A damage taken for flying straight whilst burning - “5 + PW which affected both crew”).

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    And down they went with a thump, crashing through the trees and bushes that covered the top of the tunnel entrance. Both were immediately captured. Their time with the Bulldogs was short indeed!What neither of them could see, of course, was the effect their bombs had had on that same tunnel entrance, which collapsed, dramatically, in a thunderous roar of bomb blast, debris flying everywhere and copious amounts of smoke. But they heard it ok and were content to have done their job.

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    Instinctively, Dubh Beard hauled the DH2 to port, in order to avoid the worst of the blast. But 2nd Lt Arthur Lee had no intention of quitting whilst still carrying their bomb load.
    With the drivers of the train desperately slamming on the brakes in a doomed attempt to avoid collision with the collapsed tunnel entrance and gun fire all around the remaining bomber, AM1 William Conker did his bit and released their bomb load in the direction of the train. His pilot, Arthur Lee, had attempted to pull the aircraft up at that point, but the combination of ground fire and the tremendous blast from the exploding ammunition train, sent the two of them crashing to the ground. Both bombers were down.

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    Leaving the sole survivor of the mission, Lt Dubh Beard, to fly into the cover of the clouds. He returned to his aerodrome with the tale of his dubious success and to reflect on the losses inflicted on his first ever command! A whiskey was needed!

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    The end.

    Butcher’s Bill

    Entente

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    2nd Lt Sandy Martin (Pilot) (RAF FE2b – blue dot) FLM ET / 0 kills but successfully bombed tunnel entrance.
    Roll 2D6 = 10 – 2 FLM 2 WIA x2 = 6 Injured – skip 1D3 = 6. Skip 3 scenarios.
    E & E
    Roll 2D6 = 4 – 3 Wounds – 1 BEL – 1 FLM = - 1. Captured! The war ended for this pilot.
    Result – Captured

    AM3 Jon Swift (Observer FE2b blue dot) FLM ET / 0 kills but successfully bombed tunnel entrance.
    Roll 2D6 = 8 – 2 FLM – 1 WIA = 5 Injured – skip 1D3 = 4. Skip 2 scenarios.
    E & E
    Roll 2D6 = 6 – 2 Wounded – 1 BEL – 1 FLM = 2 Captured! The war ended for this observer.
    Result – Captured

    2nd Lt Arthur W Lee (Pilot) (RAF FE2b – red dot) SD ET / 0 kills but successfully destroyed the train.
    Roll 2D6 = 8 – 1 SD = 7 Injured – skip 1D2 = 2. Skip 1 scenario.
    E & E
    Roll 2D6 = 4 – 1 WIC – 1 BEL = 2 Captured! The war ended for this pilot.
    Result – Captured

    AM1 William Conker (Observer FE2b red dot) SD ET / 0 kills but successfully destroyed the train.
    Roll 2D6 = 10 – 1 SD = 9. All well when you land well!
    E & E
    Roll 2D6 = 11 – 1 BEL = 10. They didn’t even see me!
    Result All good

    A/Lt Dubh Beard (Pilot) (Airco DH2 green dot) RTB / 1 kill
    Result – All good


    Central Powers

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    Ltn Kurt Jentsch (Halberstadt DIII camouflage) EXP FT / WIA / 0 kills
    Roll 2D6 = 8 - 3 EXP – 1 WIA = 4 Injured. Skip 1D6 = 3. Skip 3 scenarios.
    Result – Skip 3 scenarios

    Ltn Friedrich Collin (Pfalz E1) RTB / 0 kills
    Result – All good

    FE2b (blue) was shot down by ground fire having taken an extra “A” damage card for flying a straight whilst on fire (otherwise he could not use his bomb). FE2b (red) was brought down as a result of a combination of ground fire and the blast from the ammunition train exploding. Both the tunnel and the train were destroyed.
    Also shown, in the Entente tally photo, is the damage done to various ground units, none of which were actually knocked out.

    Victory points
    Entente:
    Tunnel destroyed – 10 points
    Ammunition train destroyed – 5 points
    Scout shot down – 2 points
    Total: 17 points

    Central Powers:
    Bombers shot down x 2 – 6 points
    Total: 6 points

  2. #2

    Default

    Notes on Mission 9. Played with altitude for obvious reasons. Representing clouds was difficult for me and my 3D game. I kind of overcame the problem, rather crudely, by adding then removing the clouds for each seperate photo shoot. Consequently many of the movement cards are not shown – you’ll have to trust me on that one. The “Hole in the clouds” was made out of an old plastic packaging box with four white rods rammed through the top to support the clouds. Not quite the correct size, but believe me I did try to calculate, accurately, both its movement and the ability of aircraft / ground troops to see through it. Some of the “Hole” pics are a bit crude and given more time I should have made a better device to represent it. But it served its purpose, just.
    One of the Halberstadts never even came into play. I assumed it hadn’t spotted anything further away than two range stcks or when within that distance couldn’t see through the clouds. I’m pretty certain I played that right, but am open to critisism if someone spots otherwise.
    Playing all three attackers made the mission very simple, for which I was grateful. Hope I got the altitude level 1 bombing right.
    Have to say Sam, that following Mission 8, I was blown away by the thought of repeating the exercise at the other end of the tunnel. But as it turned out, it was an entirely different exercise and, apart from the self inflicted difficulties created around clouds, very enjoyable. So many thanks for that
    Sorry Uncle – I lost three more Bulldogs personnel to captivity and another Eagle to long term injury. Grateful you replace them. I shall pass on names later today

  3. #3

    Default

    Well done, Mike - that is, the AAR and scenery. The mission....a pyrrhic victory for sure.

    I didn't exactly remove clouds for the move and add back for the photo as I had waaaay too many clouds. I rolled back the part of the clouds where the planes were located and then replaced one they were moved / firing done.

  4. #4

    Default

    Bravely done Mike - diving through the hole to bomb was...crazy brave !
    Another enjoyable, if costly romp from your flight
    You don't have to fly a straight to drop a bomb - or was that just for aiming purposes ? I would have been inclined to ignore the fire/no straights thing myself as that's supposed to keep the fire off the pilot & that doesn't really apply to a pusher.
    The Halbs were supposed to go for the attackers when they arrived on the table as they all started at level 4 so the second could'a/should'a got stuck in but not to worry, still a great game.


    Uncle says:

    Poor chaps, bravely done one and all. Seems they might all be in the bag bar one.
    Congrats to Dubh for potting one of the blighters We'd better order up some more tandem wallahs !
    Last edited by flash; 09-19-2019 at 10:17.

    "He is wise who watches"

  5. #5

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    What a great pleasure your AAR's give me. It is always difficult to go back to ordinary fonted posts after reading one of your epics! Love the Catastrophe picture too.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks Gary - yea I liked the cat. Thought he was Purrfect

    Ah Dave - I really thought we were supposed to bomb on a straight Well you live and learn - or not if you crash as a result of being moved by a daft old bugger like me As for the Halberstadt, that was a genuine misunderstanding as I thought all aircraft were ignorent of the presence of others until within two range rulers of one another. And my Bulldogs started at three, not four. Was that wrong too? Another lesson learned Thanks for the heads up
    As for diving through the clouds. Not bravery at all really I just got fed up with fighting above the clouds and wanted to see my layout better without them in the way

  7. #7

    Default

    Great job, Mike, as yours always are.
    The 3D pics really make such a difference. The train looked especially great.

    The mission was a glorious success.


    But at what cost!

    Your boys did the Bulldogs proud, and now can work on creating havoc for their German captors for a year or two.

    The REP pigeon is on his way - hopefully there are no Peregrine Falcons about ...

    P.S. I could have sworn Collin was flying a Halberstadt, not a Pfalz E.1


    P.P.S. and it looks like the falcon took out my pigeon after all - no REP for you!

  8. #8

    Default

    You can bomb off straights, sideslips, turns & stalls Mike, the bomb card moves on a straight or stall card. I think you must've got the two ruler range from the AAA ranges - the interception was clarified in post #15 by Sam. You were right to start at level 3 with the attackers - the defenders had height advantage so a potential +1 on the attack depending how the game panned out.
    Uncle is having the billets cleared in anticipation of the incoming new chaps !

    "He is wise who watches"

  9. #9

    Thumbs up

    Another super, action filled AAR Mike with breathtaking 3D scenery.
    Congratulations to all your Pilots on a very successful if costly mission.
    At least they all survived even if 3 were captured.
    Rep on its way & NOT by pigeon!

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

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks Baz Replacement pilots are on the rosta - I just hope I can hang on to them long enough to see out this campaign

  11. #11

    Default

    Another great AAR, full of wonderfully detailed scenery, accessories, etc. Just amazed at the job you people are doing with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus
    One of the Halberstadts never even came into play. I assumed it hadn’t spotted anything further away than two range stcks or when within that distance couldn’t see through the clouds. I’m pretty certain I played that right, but am open to critisism if someone spots otherwise.
    Playing all three attackers made the mission very simple, for which I was grateful. Hope I got the altitude level 1 bombing right.
    Not going to criticize-technically, a few mistakes, with the 2nd interceptor, but hey, its your game, and frankly, in war, mistakes like that happen. It fits the story well, and that's what we're really after, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus
    Have to say Sam, that following Mission 8, I was blown away by the thought of repeating the exercise at the other end of the tunnel. But as it turned out, it was an entirely different exercise and, apart from the self inflicted difficulties created around clouds, very enjoyable. So many thanks for that
    I had in mind some sort of timing-dependent bombing mission when I originally signed up to do a scenario; only later did I remember the railroad tunnel on the map sheet, so that seemed to offer a great opportunity for exactly that.

    And then came scenario 8, and I figured it just had to happen-tunnel is likely to have two entrances/exits, and if it's being used for shelter and storage, then yeah, gotta stop up both ends.

    Like I said, though, great AAR, so have some more rep!

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    Blimey Mike, your games go from strength to strength, this must top the lot in terms of scenery including the whopping big clouds.

    A desperate outcome though, 3 men gone and 2 of them didn't even unpack. c'est la vie or guerre.

    I'm back home so should get round to this soon, just have to see what I can come up with, but I think I shall just play a straight game, the cotton wool ball idea I had seems to have palled a bit.

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    Looking forward to your brand of humour John - always enjoy that

    Re the clouds - I cheated horribly. I moved all the planes without clouds then used six of the Litko cloud stands to surround the models for the photos before removing them again for the next move - yes, it was a nightmare. The cloud "hole" was bigger and made seperately, but I only had to use that on a few occassions and otherwise kept a paper record of where it should be. Then towards the end, when my flight dived beneath the clouds, I removed the clouds altogether except for the odd shot. I guess one of the reasons I lost so many pilots was because I couldn't work out how to have them bomb through the plastic "hole" I think my approach would be very different if I repeated the exercise

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Looking forward to your brand of humour John - always enjoy that

    Re the clouds - I cheated horribly. I moved all the planes without clouds then used six of the Litko cloud stands to surround the models for the photos before removing them again for the next move - yes, it was a nightmare. The cloud "hole" was bigger and made seperately, but I only had to use that on a few occassions and otherwise kept a paper record of where it should be. Then towards the end, when my flight dived beneath the clouds, I removed the clouds altogether except for the odd shot. I guess one of the reasons I lost so many pilots was because I couldn't work out how to have them bomb through the plastic "hole" I think my approach would be very different if I repeated the exercise
    A magician should never reveal his tricks

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    Just saw this, Great AAR, it was a great read! REP!

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    Thank you kindly Daniel and thanks for the REP. Appreciated buddy

    A magician should never reveal his tricks
    John, no doubt you are right, but I spent a lifetime teaching folk ideas. I cannot help but share mine still - my pleasure in fact.

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    That was a great AAR! I enjoyed reading it very much. That 3D scenery was incredible!

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    Thanks Nathan. Really pleased you enjoyed it



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