Ethan Wins 2nd Indy Crown at 35th Armistice Day
The Indy Squadron celebrated the 35th Anniversary of its marquee event, the Armistice Day Fits Tournament, in grand style during gaming on November 18, 2023 at Nelson Skinner's home in Lewisville, Indiana. Bratwurst, chips and dip, hot dogs and a host of snacks were served all day as a relatively small group of five gathered to determine the Indy Squadron champion.
This event was unique because the contestants unanimously decided to fly single gun fighters exclusively. The purpose was to slow the game down and help the outnumbered team balance the scenario while at the same time preventing newcomers from paying too high a price for a single mistake in combat.
Dory Oda, Morane Saulnier Type N monoplane
Stephen Skinner, Sopwith Strutter
Jonathon Shepherd, Fokker EIII
Ethan Skinner, Pfalz EII
Ben Shepherd, Pfalz DII
Ethan's Pfalz then renewed the attack on Dory but he immediately jammed his only machine gun and was forced to climb above the fight while trying desperately to clear it. Meanwhile, both Ben and Jonathon kept the pressure on Dory, firing until her Morane's engine broke its mount and then burst into flames. At the end of Turn 4, things looked bleak for the French and it appeared that Stephen would soon be outnumbered three to one. The engine mounts on his Strutter had also been hit by enemy fire, slowing the plane to 60 mph.
But Turns 6 and 7 were the pivotal moments of the game. Dory extinguished her flaming engine after just one series of Falling Leaf maneuvers and gamely turned back into the fray. Stephen's Strutter attacked Ben's Pfalz again, scoring 5 more hit factors and reducing the airplane's turn speed below the its stall speed. Ben was forced to cut his engine in order to turn his fighter toward German lines, after which he nursed his Pfalz back to his home airfield and successfully landed (no kill points awarded).
At the same moment, Ethan finally cleared his gun jam and swooped back down into the fight, joining Jonathon to renew the assault. Dory was soon battered and limping back toward French lines while Stephen's Strutter tried to cover her tail. Ethan sensed the opportunity and fired a fatal burst that lit the Sopwith's motor on fire. Stephen was unable to extinguish it and had to make an emergency landing in German lines, awarding Ethan a solo victory.
Jonathon took his battered Fokker back to base while Dory's Morane pilot survived an end-over-end crash on her home field.
Ethan earned his second career Victory Medal and became only the fifth pilot in squadron history to win multiple titles. Stephen's Strutter pilot finished second on the strength of his shooting while Jonathon's persistence paid off with a third place finish.
Stephen Skinner, Sopwith Strutter 48
Jonathon Shepherd, Fokker EIII 37
Benjamin Shepherd, Pfalz DII 33
Dory Oda, Morane Saulnier N 24
December 9 Gaming Reminder, Venue Set for New Year's Day, Nov 18 Gaming Wrap Up
The next Indy Squadron gaming day is set for December 9th at a location to be announced. Mark it on your calendars and let Stephen know that you can attend!
Bob Meister cordially invites the Indy Squadron to his home in Thorntown, Indiana for our annual New Year's Day Bash. Bob specifically requested that January 1st gaming be held at his place this year so he and his new bride could entertain us with authentic Mexican food and an overall riotous time. Gaming will begin at noon on New Year's Day.
The only other game held on 18 November, 2023 was a warm up affair with Ethan, Jon and Ben flying American SPAD 13's against the Fokker Triplanes of Stephen and Dory. No victories were claimed by either side.
Restored Original Footage of November 11, 1918