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Thread: OTTDYM - Mission 12 - “Ending with a Bang” 27th March 1916 by Mikeemagnus

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    Default OTTDYM - Mission 12 - “Ending with a Bang” 27th March 1916 by Mikeemagnus

    OTT Daring Young Men - Mission 12 Brief - “Ending with a Bang”
    Based on the Actions of St Eloi Craters - the Ypres Salient of Flanders 27th March to 16th April 1916


    On the morning of 27th March 1916 - several mines were exploded, by British sappers, under the German trenches at St Eloi along the Ypres salient in Flanders. “Sint-Elooi (St Eloi in English) is a village about 5 km (3.1 mi) south of Ypres in Belgium. The British dug six galleries under no man's land, placed large explosive charges under the German defences and blew them at 4:15 a.m. on 27 March.” Wikipedia

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    Following these enormous explosions, British infantry captured 4 of the six craters, but a German counter attack held the remaining two.
    Entente: Three two seaters are sent up following the detonations. One to photograph the craters, assess the damage and assess the progress of the subsequent attack by infantry. Two as escorts.
    Central powers: Three two seaters are sent up following the detonations to assess the damage to their lines and to report on the success of a counter attack against the British offensive: One to photograph the area, two as escorts.
    The six two seaters encounter one another.
    Mission Objectives
    1. Required by both sides. Photographs of the devastation around six target locations – six “craters”. (The same for each side).
    2. If enemy aircraft are encountered, prevent them gathering any reconnaissance information. i.e. chase them away or preferably destroy them.
    Equipment
    Two mats, or their equivalent. Three two-seater aircraft for each side. All the usual paraphernalia.
    Set up
    The two mats are set long edge to long edge. Six target locations are placed along the centre line as per the diagram below, with equal spacing between each target and the spaces to the edge of the playing area. These represent the craters left after mines have been exploded.
    (The following link is for some game ground markers, three of which are explosion markers which are suitable for use as craters.
    https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/do...do=file&id=387)

    Aircraft starting positions:
    Assign one mat to each side. For each side, therefore, the long edge farthest from the centre is the starting point and the way home.
    Divide the “home” long edges into “three” equal measures then randomly select which is the starting point for the aircraft, using a D6.
    Place one aircraft in the centre of that position then place the other two, one either side of the first, within a half range measure of one another (base edge to base edge). Finally, if you wish, a) you may move the middle aircraft forward so that its rear edge is level with the front edges of the other two and b) you “may” fly the escorts in formation with the leader of the flight until first contact with enemy aircraft. (See example layout below.) c) Both side’s lead aircraft “will” begin by targeting one of the craters chosen at random.

    Notes:
    After the mines were exploded and following the Entente infantry assault and Central Powers counter attack on the position, there is, temporarily, no “no man’s” land. Aircraft forced down or shot down on their own side of the centre line are in friendly territory. On the other side they are in enemy held territory.

    There will be six areas to photograph, as per the following picture. These are the same for both sides.

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    You must not permit the enemy to leave the playing area with any photographs for their side.

    All anti aircraft guns in the area have been destroyed in the explosions – there is no threat from the ground above altitude three. However, whilst still within one range stick distance of any crater, at altitude three or below, aircraft from either side will face AA MG fire at the rate of one “A” damage card per manoeuvre card from largely unidentifiable sources on the ground.
    OR...
    Use WGF AAMG rules as written
    OR...
    Use a method of ground fire of your choice/creation.

    There are no scouts available for either side – all are occupied with other duties.

    The usual rules regarding photography will apply – the aircraft needs to be at altitude three or lower, within short range distance of any part of the target and observers may use their cameras or their machine guns, not both, in the same manoeuvre. Photos are taken only after a stall. For this purpose, if flying a photo reconnaissance aircraft with AI, any straight manoeuver card may be substituted with a stall, provided this is not automatically an illegal manoeuver.

    For AI movement – do not permit any aircraft to leave from the sides – substitute cards to compensate (shuffle the manoeuvre cards and turn one over from the top until the first one that is sensible and is not illegal comes up). Also, for AI controlled photo reconnaissance aircraft, when selecting manoeuver cards your choice is to target either the nearest enemy aircraft or the nearest unphotographed crater.

    There will be no replacements if aircraft are shot down. So, before starting the mission, nominate “one” of the escorts, for both sides, to be equipped with a back up camera. This will only be used if the original photo reconnaissance aircraft is seen to have been shot or forced down. Otherwise, focus solely on escort duties as per the objectives. A photo recon aircraft forced down and not burning, in friendly territory, keeps any photos taken. If in enemy territory, photos are lost.

    All aircraft will attempt to remain in the area until all six photos have been taken for their side. You may, of course, use your discretion around the meaning of “attempt to remain”.

    The choice of whether or not to play altitude is your own. If you do not, all aircraft are considered to start and remain at altitude three. But beware the ruling re photography above in relation to ground fire.

    Finally, a note on aircraft selection. Many early two seaters were armed with a single mg operated by the observer. However, the intention is for you to have a two seater dogfight, preferably with aircraft armed both fore and aft. So try to make this your choice if you can and make it as even as possible.
    The Albatros CIII is the obvious choice of ARES miniature for the Central Powers, but Ares only issued the Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter that is comparable and available at this time for the Entente (at the time of this Mission, that had only been issued to the RNAS). The RAF FE2b is another alternative, if you have them. They can be armed with two mgs from early in their introduction. Just try and avoid the obvious mis-matches eg Albatros CIII v BE2c. Unless of course you’ve recently had a bad run of luck and feel like a bit of revenge

    Victory points : 1 point for each photograph successfully taken home. Deduct 1 point for each photograph that an enemy aircraft successfully makes it home with (“Home” in both cases
    being off the home longside edge of the playing area).
    There is a minimum requirement of three clear points for a victory. Anything less is either a
    loss or a draw depending on what the other side achieves.

    Example Start-up Layout

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    PS Both Sopwith 11/2 Strutters and Albatros CIIIs appear to be currently available from Entoyment at 10% discount. Just saying Happy New Year all.
    Last edited by flash; 12-31-2019 at 03:56. Reason: Ground fire options added

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    Looks like fun... but maybe not for the lead photo planes - 6 craters to be photographed X 1 'A' damage card within 1 ruler's length of each crater = 6 craters X 1 A damage X maybe 3-4 manoeuvre cards / crater = 18-24 'A' damage cards to get all 6 craters photographed. I'll have to get one of the 'attached' German crew for that plane. :evil:

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    Yea I know - not easy huh! Hopefully there are ways around that problem.
    Last edited by mikeemagnus; 12-27-2019 at 16:08.

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    Well you did come up with a Meat Grinder to finish off Mike!
    Those AA Machineguns will make "Mincemeat" of any 2 seaters trying to get pics of all 6 craters.
    I will probably have to sub one later model German 2 seater as I only have 1 Albatross C.III & an Aviatak but might find a walfisch to fit in.
    Just one query: Will the AA MG's only target their Enemy aircraft or will they just shoot indiscriminately?
    Last edited by gully_raker; 12-27-2019 at 17:08.

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

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    Well well, more 2 seater crews to meet their end. Missions 8 and 9 put all my crews either under ground or in the infirmary! The reports of these actions made all the French 2 seater crews in surrounding units somehow unavailable. Looks like we'll have to get a new pair of recruits to fill the bill for this one.

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    Will the AA MG's only target their Enemy aircraft or will they just shoot indiscriminately?
    Indiscriminate Baz. Everyone on the ground is a bit dazed, or otherwise occupied, to bother about looking too closely.

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    Seriously guys, if you feel this mission sucks 'cos its Christmas and the thought of losing yet more two seater crews is unpleasant, I can easily replace it with the same mission that does away with ground fire. Just let me know soon, that's all

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Yea I know - not easy huh! Hopefully there are ways around that problem.
    No worries, Mike. At worst I will lose 2 planes to MG fire if I keep the 3rd escort only plane at altitude 4 or away from craters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Indiscriminate Baz. Everyone on the ground is a bit dazed, or otherwise occupied, to bother about looking too closely.

    I read that as every plane, on either side, within 1 ruler of a crater and at altitude 3 or lower takes one A damage card from AA MG fire. So if 6 planes are at altitude 3 and within 1 ruler of the same crater they all get 1 A damage card.

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    Not to worry Mike. Tough missions make for different stories compared to the 'how we slapped the enemy about' stories we hear a lot.

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    I read that as every plane, on either side, within 1 ruler of a crater and at altitude 3 or lower takes one A damage card from AA MG fire. So if 6 planes are at altitude 3 and within 1 ruler of the same crater they all get 1 A damage card.
    Correct Paul

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Indiscriminate Baz. Everyone on the ground is a bit dazed, or otherwise occupied, to bother about looking too closely.
    Oh Dear! That looks like "curtains" for some of my 2 seater crews!

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

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    Ridiculous AAMG rules. No set gun pos, range exceeding standard rules for altitude.. Good chances of overlapping fire ? I don't think so.
    I'll look at using infantry ground fire instead. Rest of it looks good though.
    Do we know which positions we hold ?

    Baz - Roland C.II's are in play now - as recon or as a fighter escort.

    Uncle will try to ensure we have enough crews for those that need them
    Last edited by flash; 12-29-2019 at 04:47.

    "He is wise who watches"

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    Thanks Dave. No set gun positions is deliberate! Range is fine given the rules for the OTT campaign, where aircraft fire at one another providing they do not exceed five pegs difference in height and all aircraft have the same problem - no idea where your worry about overlapping fire comes from. I do think so - but its your campaign, do with it what you will

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    I know it's deliberate but with no gun pos we can't shoot back to silence them !
    If we're using 1 ruler range no matter what altitude level we're at and measuring from the crater edge then there is a very good chance of overlapping fire from two, or, more, craters by the looks of things - going by the rulers in the setup pic.
    And yes it is my campaign so, like others, don't want to waste time setting up a game just to get blown out of the sky in moments by uber AAMG - Rather have the AI do that !!

    "He is wise who watches"

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    Then normal AAMG rules are, versus aircraft at level 1, 2 A cards at 1/2 ruler and 1 A card at 1 ruler and versus aircraft at level 2, 1 A card at 1/2 ruler. Nothing for aircraft at altitude 3 and above. This assumes the AAMG is in a prepared position for the purpose of anti-air fire. The craters would not seem to allow for prepared positions. Yes, MG could fire further than 1 ruler but not with any degree of accuracy. When used at ground targets at long range MG were used in an indirect fire (i.e., fire onto a 'beaten path' target zone) and not in a direct, targeted fire mode.

    With that in mind, may I suggest that each phase, each crater can fire at just one aircraft with priority to aircraft at lower altitudes and a closer range zone (i.e., at level 1, aircraft at 1/2 ruler range have priority over those at 1 ruler range). If there's more than one aircraft (from both sides) in the priority range / altitude than the target aircraft is chosen at random. Damage is as normal for AA MG at levels 1 and 2; at level 3 the damage is 1 B damage card at 1/2 ruler range.

    The range is measured from the crater's centre.

    That should still be deadly but not the 'killer' version above.

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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    I know it's deliberate but with no gun pos we can't shoot back to silence them !
    If we're using 1 ruler range no matter what altitude level we're at and measuring from the crater edge then there is a very good chance of overlapping fire from two, or, more, craters by the looks of things - going by the rulers in the setup pic.
    And yes it is my campaign so, like others, don't want to waste time setting up a game just to get blown out of the sky in moments by uber AAMG - Rather have the AI do that !!
    Must admit I agree with you on this Dave as after re reading the BRF it occurred to me that you could draw A damage from more than 1 crater especially as you need to play a Stall to take the photos.
    I really think the current AAMG rules as written in the BRF are definitely "Overpowered" & would give virtually no chance to get photos home safe.

    Question for Mike: Mate have you playtested this aspect?

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

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    It's an interesting position, at this point the Germans have lost superiority in scout v scout but in 2 seater planes they are supreme, Albatros Clll, Rumpler Cl and now Rolands, the British have BE2c's - What!

    I like Mikes premis of a 2 seat rumpus, not quite sure what I'll throw at the jolly Germans that they won't throw back harder.

    Just a thought on the mg range, if you fly at level 3 plus 1 counter, then drop to 3 then take photo then climb to 3.1 you will only take 2 A damage cards. I don't generally use altitude but would that interpretation be correct?

    Anyway good luck to you all

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    I think the ground fire is Uber as well.

    Kinda like the Deathstar Trench a few missions back, where most of you did not use them ...


    The range should be just half a ruler at Altitude 3, not a full length.
    I think something along the lines of drawing a 'B' card with any Special Damage to determine a hit, and then the 'A' - with limitations on any Special Damage drawn - only smoke, fire, pilot wound or Boom will count.

    And come up with a way to penalize the ground if they draw a Jam ... (perhaps make a Jam a miss? or make the hit apply to the nearest 'friendly' aircraft ?)


    Checking the Google Sheets I see that Dave has already added P2 Charles Hall for me, so I am good to go in that department.


    Now I just have to hope my shoulder is up to the task.

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    OK Guys. Nothing like a bit of controversy to get everyone on their toes. I did ask if you wanted the difficult mission or not, quite some time ago. And yes Baz, I played both versions through, successfully. Looks like I'm going to have to set it all up again and play the simpler version again for the records - not sure when though.

    So, to try and settle this dispute, since pics are taken at altitude three and it is being argued that range is only two, there appears to be no reason at all to have any ground fire - which is the main difference with the less challenging mission I might have posted. I therefore recommend the removal of all ground fire. Which leaves, I hope, a straightforward fight between two seaters. But the final decision will rest with Dave. Let me know how you wish to go forward and when I get the next chance I'll re write the brief.

    As for which aircraft are available - we have already set a precedent with RNAS borrowed incendiary ammunition, so I cannot see why that cannot be extended to the Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter that has been available to the RNAS since February I believe. Alternatively the RAF FE2c armed fore and aft.

    Happy New Year all

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    For those that don't like the deadly Altitude 3 ground fire, since it would be at extreme long range, draw 2 cards and take the lesser damage?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    ... the final decision will rest with Dave. Let me know how you wish to go forward and when I get the next chance I'll re write the brief....
    As for which aircraft are available - we have already set a precedent with RNAS borrowed incendiary ammunition, so I cannot see why that cannot be extended to the Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter that has been available to the RNAS since February I believe. Alternatively the RAF FE2c armed fore and aft...
    I'm doing my own thing regarding ground fire Mike so I suggest everyone does their's !
    Bonus then being you won't have to replay anything.

    I think we should all use some form of ground fire though - it will be interesting to see the different ideas played out - I'll be using Trench Fire to keep it simple, the special damage will be deadly enough.

    The Bulldogs can have the Strutters on test from Sopwith's for this mission rather than borrowing kit from the RNAS again.

    Leave the BRF as is for now, I will adjust it idc.
    Last edited by flash; 12-30-2019 at 13:54.

    "He is wise who watches"

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    In case anyone is wondering, here are the German two-seaters at the front in the late April 1916 report of Frontbestand. (The reports only came out every two months, so there isn't one for March.)

    LVG C.II 249
    Albatros C.I 213
    Albatros C.III 208
    Aviatik C.I 150
    Rumpler C.I 120
    AEG C.I 34
    LFG Roland C.II 17
    Ago C.I 15
    LVG C.I 11
    Aviatik C.II 6
    LVG C.IV 1
    Otto C.I 1
    AEG C.II 1

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    Thanks Daryl.

    "He is wise who watches"

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    Cheers Daryl thats interesting, I thought there would be more Rolands and less Albatros Clll's

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    Those stats are great Daryl. Would you have anything similar for the British or French 2 seaters?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teaticket View Post
    Those stats are great Daryl. Would you have anything similar for the British or French 2 seaters?
    Unfortunately only the Germans kept detailed records of what was at the front. For other nationalities we have to guess, based on squadron histories, anecdotes, etc. From some twenty-year-old data I have:
    British: RAF BE2c (most common), Sopwith Strutter, Martinsyde G.100, RAF RE7, RAF BE2d.
    French: Farman MF.11, Farman F.40, Caudron G.4, Nieuport 10, Nieuport 12, Voisin 5, Caudron G.3.

    But those lists are only at a high level and are certainly incomplete. At the time I wasn't aiming for an exhaustive list.

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    The Martinsyde G.100 was a single-seater, not a tandem, though it performed long-range photo-recon and light bombing duties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReducedAirFact View Post
    Unfortunately only the Germans kept detailed records of what was at the front. For other nationalities we have to guess, based on squadron histories, anecdotes, etc. From some twenty-year-old data I have:
    British: RAF BE2c (most common), Sopwith Strutter, Martinsyde G.100, RAF RE7, RAF BE2d.
    French: Farman MF.11, Farman F.40, Caudron G.4, Nieuport 10, Nieuport 12, Voisin 5, Caudron G.3.

    But those lists are only at a high level and are certainly incomplete. At the time I wasn't aiming for an exhaustive list.
    Thanks again for the German list with numbers. I find them fascinating to compare what planes were available compared to others. Also very helpful when putting scenarios together.
    Your Wings of Linen wiki is great. I love your graphs for each plane's timeline use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    The Martinsyde G.100 was a single-seater, not a tandem, though it performed long-range photo-recon and light bombing duties.
    Good point! I had overlooked that because it was on a list of "Recon and light bombers for spring 1916".

    And thanks, Peter-- one of the things that makes WWI fascinating is how quickly these planes rose to prominence and then faded away.

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    I've just played the scenario. The version of the AAMG I played was:

    1) Only one plane targeted chosen at random from all planes at the lowest altitude.
    2) The AAMG has 360 degree arc of fire.
    2) Normal AAMG rules for targets at altitude 1 and 2 (i.e., range is 1 ruler at altitude 1 with 2 damage cards at short range and 1 damage card at long range, only 1 damage card at short range for altitude 2).
    3) For targets at altitude 3 at short range, draw an 'A' card, if it has a special damage card then draw another 'A' card and apply the damage as normal. No effect for targets at altitude 3 and long range - same as targets at altitude 2.

    I ran the game with all planes at altitude 3.

    The end result was that 5 out of 6 planes were shot down and the remaining plane RTB with about 65% damage. It was the plane I flew but I thin it was mostly because I got a rudder hit that took me away from the craters for a part of the game.

    FYI - some statistics:

    Ground fire (AAMG) caused 50% of the hits
    Dog-fighting caused 37.5%
    Fire caused 8.3%
    Collisions caused 4.2%

    AAMG fired 50 times and hit their targets 23 times (i.e., 23 damage cards were drawn).

    Luck really didn't play a part as I ran completely through a double 'A' deck which was almost all due to the AAMG.

    If the AAMG fired at all planes within range, as stated above, they would have fired 60 times. If the rules were applied as described above the AAMG would have fired 90 times with 90 damage cards drawn (i.e., 4 X as effective as the game I played).

    I don't know if I will play this again with no AAMG at altitude 3 or even just trench fire as per the normal rules. I might use different planes. Or...I might just write this up for my alternate campaign and go on to other games. I guess it doesn't make any difference as it's only my alternate campaign, so not really relevant here but the above statistics might help you decide what you do for your campaign game.

    Note that I flew 2 Breguet 14B2 and 1 Breguet 14A2 for the Entente and 2 Rumplers and 1 Ufag for the Central Powers.

    Link for the test game:

    https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sh...DYM-Mission-12
    Last edited by ShadowDragon; 01-13-2020 at 12:07.

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    I think I will use Trench Fire like Dave suggested.
    Any AAMG would be totally disorganized from the explosion.

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    Thanks for the insight Paul. Even ground fire will be devastating with that RoF - a double deck of special damage should see most off.
    Will have to think on it some more.

    "He is wise who watches"

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    Good analysis, ShadowDragon. Quite helpful in deciding how to run this one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    Thanks for the insight Paul. Even ground fire will be devastating with that RoF - a double deck of special damage should see most off.
    Will have to think on it some more.
    Some ideas I'm considering:

    1) AA guns should not have been destroyed in the explosions as these would be well behind the trenches. So place 4 (or 2 or 3) AA guns one ruler away from the centre line and about 1 ruler distant from each other and the edge (i.e., you get a line of guns that defending friendly territory). They will not fire on a plane until one crosses the centre line from enemy territory into the territory defended by the AA guns. After that they will fire at either sides planes as nerves are jittery.

    2) If a plane with photos goes down in enemy territory the enemy get those photos.

    Mulling over these ideas:

    3) Have 2 photo recon planes from the start. Of my photo recon planes, 1 got 1 photo and the other 3 before being shot down. Changing ground fire rules should help but it still makes for a long game as you will need at least 4-6 photos to win by 3. With this option I would consider having 2 escorts both without photo equipment.

    4) With option 3, replace the 2-seater escorts with scouts.

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    I just replayed the game without ground fire (technically with AAMG firing up to altitude 2 and the planes flying at altitude 3). It was a draw but fun with a good deal of 2-seater action. A few AA guns would have added some spice but I've found keeping track of 6 planes provides enough opportunity for making errors.

    The Ufag I flew shot down 2 enemy planes. Alas, the one with the photos was in in enemy territory so they got the photos from the wreckage. The other was the escort and 'we' got lucky as the enemy escort was closing in on our photo recon plane with all the photos and might have shot it down in enemy territory which would have been a major defeat for 'our' team. So a draw with 2 'kills' credited to 'my' pilot (Wolfgang) which brings him to 10 kills (double ace!).

    So, YEAH, I will keep this one and write it up for my alternate campaign. woot woot

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    Now the dust has metaphorically settled over the mechanics of this scenario I will be giving it a spin next week.


    I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
    Coming down is the hardest thing

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    Look forward to seeing that Paul - might have to take mine down to Entoyment next week if I can find time.

    "He is wise who watches"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDragon View Post
    3) .... With this option I would consider having 2 escorts both without photo equipment.

    4) With option 3, replace the 2-seater escorts with scouts.
    I like this - we are supposed to be following the exploits of scout pilots.

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    My 1917 (now 1918) Italian Front version is now posted:

    https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sh...ng-with-a-Bang

    Also, here's the link to the test game that generated the above stats:

    https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sh...DYM-Mission-12

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    I'm playing out a 3rd game with 2 AA guns for the Entente and 2 AA guns for the Central Powers. The AA guns are placed in friendly territory with their centres 1.5 rulers and a gun with it's outer edge 1 ruler from the mat edge on each side. Coincidentally that will mean all guns have their centres from the centre of the two mats.

    The guns will not fire on a friendly plane until an enemy plane is in friendly territory, within AA gun range and closer than any friendly plane. After that they will choose targets at random. This is so that guns don't shoot at their own planes as soon as their within range.

    I played 2 turns and it seems to be working with enough AA fire to be interesting without dominating. Three guns fire - one missed, one hit for 0 damage and the third hit with 4 point fire damage card.

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    Finally got past some decorating and managed to get this one in the bag. Just have to get it written up now !
    It played out very well with the changes I made & I hope it kept to the spirit of the match up, if not, the full intent.
    I basically kept aircraft at level 4, intending to dip into level 3 with the photo planes to get the pics but when it came to it the proximity of each target was such that they never climbed back to level 4 between pics. This I allowed to put them into range of ground fire but only if their base overlapped a crater which I'd decided they had to do to get the required detailed picture ie they had to be more or less directly overhead of their target
    To give ground fire some bite I assigned both special damage and the value of the special damage card to the aircraft (rather than just special damage).
    Some aircraft were bitten in the making of this mission !
    Freeing the other machines up from ground fire allowed them to crack on with shooting others up which they tried their best to do.
    As a twist I randomly decided which trenches were in German hands, though it had no bearing on the game, and decided to randomly select which the back up photo plane would be when it was needed rather than pre mission so it wasn't favoured, pre positioned or targeted.
    All in all it was an entertaining clash & I look forward to seeing what you chaps have made of it.

    "He is wise who watches"

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    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    Finally got past some decorating and managed to get this one in the bag. Just have to get it written up now !
    It played out very well with the changes I made & I hope it kept to the spirit of the match up, if not, the full intent.
    I basically kept aircraft at level 4, intending to dip into level 3 with the photo planes to get the pics but when it came to it the proximity of each target was such that they never climbed back to level 4 between pics. This I allowed to put them into range of ground fire but only if their base overlapped a crater which I'd decided they had to do to get the required detailed picture ie they had to be more or less directly overhead of their target
    To give ground fire some bite I assigned both special damage and the value of the special damage card to the aircraft (rather than just special damage).
    Some aircraft were bitten in the making of this mission !
    Freeing the other machines up from ground fire allowed them to crack on with shooting others up which they tried their best to do.
    As a twist I randomly decided which trenches were in German hands, though it had no bearing on the game, and decided to randomly select which the back up photo plane would be when it was needed rather than pre mission so it wasn't favoured, pre positioned or targeted.
    All in all it was an entertaining clash & I look forward to seeing what you chaps have made of it.
    Agreed, an interesting scenario and one worth playing around with options. I like your idea of needing to overlap the crater to take a picture with your take on ground fire (i.e., range = overlapping crater and effectiveness equal damage points only from a card with special damage). It doesn't take long when one realizes the climb rate of these crates that dipping in and out of altitude 3 ain't gonna happen.

    I look forward to your write up.

  46. #46

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    Well well, all very interesting. Not sure how you managed to get through so many "A" damage cards Paul, but maybe you didn't use altitude and remained at low level, with all aircraft, for the entire scenario. Correct me if I've got that wrong. I hadn't anticipated anybody doing that - sorry, my bad!
    The way I played it was the way I thought most folk would see it - I got that wrong I guess I played the 1 x "A" damage card per manoeuver card per plane at three pegs or under. All aircraft then fought a dogfight at level 4 (ie out of range from the ground) and only Photo recon aircraft dropped to level 3 to take pics - taking 1 "A" damage on dropping, another during the stall move required for the pic, then climbed back to level four. That's two "A" damage cards per photo. Three photos for the entente = six damage cards. Only one photo taken by the Central Powers before a boom card received from an ea. That's another 2 "A" damage cards. Eight in all and nowhere near a full pack of "A" damage cards!. All of the rest of the mission was fought as a dogfight out of range of the ground fire. More "A" damage might have been taken by one side or the other, if the dogfight had been less successful. But with the player able to control one friendly aircraft, the odds are in their favour and therefore the increase is less likely.

    I've added a bit more of an explanation in my AAR thread. Sorry if this has caused so much controversy but I really don't see the need for it myself. The conception was based on getting stuck in with a dogfight to ensure the enemy gets no pics then dropping to get three pics then home. If the dogfight is unsuccessful and the enemy pick up pics then more pics of your own are needed and the mission gets harder. There is clearly room for a win, a loss or a draw. But the ground fire doesn't have to be significant unless you allow it to be.
    I have now played the scenario four times (plus once without groundfire, which I didn't enjoy since it was too easy) and I never experienced the groundfire problems described above.
    Once again, sorry chaps, my bad no doubt

    PS Sorry - been out of circulation for a while - back again now

  47. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    I've added a bit more of an explanation in my AAR thread.
    Maybe we should keep the discussion here rather than spreading it further Mike !

    "He is wise who watches"

  48. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Well well, all very interesting. Not sure how you managed to get through so many "A" damage cards Paul, but maybe you didn't use altitude and remained at low level, with all aircraft, for the entire scenario. Correct me if I've got that wrong. I hadn't anticipated anybody doing that - sorry, my bad!
    The way I played it was the way I thought most folk would see it - I got that wrong I guess I played the 1 x "A" damage card per manoeuver card per plane at three pegs or under. All aircraft then fought a dogfight at level 4 (ie out of range from the ground) and only Photo recon aircraft dropped to level 3 to take pics - taking 1 "A" damage on dropping, another during the stall move required for the pic, then climbed back to level four. That's two "A" damage cards per photo. Three photos for the entente = six damage cards. Only one photo taken by the Central Powers before a boom card received from an ea. That's another 2 "A" damage cards. Eight in all and nowhere near a full pack of "A" damage cards!. All of the rest of the mission was fought as a dogfight out of range of the ground fire. More "A" damage might have been taken by one side or the other, if the dogfight had been less successful. But with the player able to control one friendly aircraft, the odds are in their favour and therefore the increase is less likely.

    I've added a bit more of an explanation in my AAR thread. Sorry if this has caused so much controversy but I really don't see the need for it myself. The conception was based on getting stuck in with a dogfight to ensure the enemy gets no pics then dropping to get three pics then home. If the dogfight is unsuccessful and the enemy pick up pics then more pics of your own are needed and the mission gets harder. There is clearly room for a win, a loss or a draw. But the ground fire doesn't have to be significant unless you allow it to be.
    I have now played the scenario four times (plus once without groundfire, which I didn't enjoy since it was too easy) and I never experienced the groundfire problems described above.
    Once again, sorry chaps, my bad no doubt

    PS Sorry - been out of circulation for a while - back again now
    One thing I noticed is I misread your intentions for AA fire. Read correctly a plane takes one 'A' damage card when within range of one or more craters. I had read that as a plane gets one 'A' damage card from each crater within range which very often was two craters. That would reduce the number of damage cards taken.

    Your description of altitude changes is not correct. You can dive from 4 to 3 with a dive card but it takes several climb cards (6 for an Albatros C.III and 5 for a Sopwith 1 1/2) to get back to level 4. There's only one climb card in each manoeuvre deck so that's several turns to get back to level 4. Plus you can't follow a stall with a climb as those are both 'steep' manoeuvres. All in all I thought that the photo recon plane might as well try to get more photos instead of trying to get back to altitude 4. Did you intend that there be a special 'climb' rule for the scenario?

    I did play the escorts at level 3 in order to get the improved range. As you point out it's really important to take out the opposing photo recce planes to win. So, it's a risk assessment for the escorts as to whether they take the risk at level 3 with the improved range or not. I didn't lose any escorts to AA fire as they really didn't need to get that close to the craters. If I played again I would still fly the escorts at level 3.

    As for preferences I've played it with AAMG (with my version of a modified rule - half ruler range and each crater targeting just one plane at random), no AA fire (i.e., with normal
    AAMG rules) and AAG fire. I'm not sure how it would play with your version but that would depend on whether one used a special altitude rule or the altitude rule as written. I liked the game without AAMG as that's the one I wrote up for my campaign, but it all depends on how the cards play out. I thought the one with the AAG was fine. I'm not sure why you didn't favour AAG but maybe that's personal preference.

    If I play the game a fourth time - and I just might.

    Options for a 4th game:

    1) Use a rule that requires planes to be at low altitude (altitude 2 or 1 - maybe with pictures at altitude 1 worth 2 points and those at 2 worth 1 point due to better detail and you need 'x points' more than the other side) and have each crater able to conduct 'trench fire' as per the normal rules. This one is probably the most realistic. (I know that MG can fire at longer ranges but it is 'indirect fire' not 'targeted fire' which means the MG fires into a beaten 'path' hoping the enemy walks or, for planes, flies through it. It requires a lot of ammunition and I can't see that as realistic for the chaos in the craters...but we need not be constrained by realism as it is a game.)

    2) Play it using Dave's version.

    3) You version? I'd have to think about it. I don't mind the AA rules as you described - just one A card if within range of one or more craters but I'd have to think about the altitude climb rules. I'm not sure about your version.

    I wouldn't have brought it up again as I've played to my satisfaction and it's up to others to do what they prefer but you did ask me.

    At this point I've written far too much about it, so enough from me. I'm interested in what others do and how it plays out for them.

    Anyhow it's a interesting scenario or I wouldn't have played it 3 times.
    Last edited by ShadowDragon; 01-22-2020 at 10:16.

  49. #49

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    I note also, that the dive card is a steep maneuver-so dive, maybe out of range of the crater, a maneuver to bring the crater within range, (taking an A card), the stall to take the photograph (another A card), maybe, if you've planned it right, a maneuver card to take you out of range, then climb? But at this early stage of the war, the aircraft are taking 5 or 6 climbs to get back to level four.

    I did like your AAR, but I'm still not completely sure what you intention was here. Is the above outline accurate?

  50. #50

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    As I commented in the actual AAR, I think Mike is using something similar to what Neil gave us for the 'Death Star' mission where pegs <> altitude.
    I think taking pictures at actual Level 2 is more in keeping with the intention of the mission, using Trench Fire rules instead of AA, to get 'down and dirty' pictures with detail.

    I also pointed out the issue with climbing and steep maneuvers - the 1-1/2 Strutter has a climb rate of 5 - and therefore 5 Turns (not phases) to get from Level 3 to Level 4 - not to mention the Dive and Stall also being 'steep' that cannot be played consecutively.

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