Ethan Wins Society Open,
Hoosiers Dominate Fits Spring Convention
Ethan Skinner has become the first Indy Squadron player to win the Fight In The Skies Society Open after claiming last weekend's championship with the final shot of the game. The 20th edition of the Open was contested by 20 top players from across the American Midwest.
Ethan flew a Pfalz DVIII and was strongly supported by the wingmen of his German flight: Scott Kolar, Vakis Potamianos, Stephen Skinner and Stephen Dale Skinner. The Allied opposition included Ken Mrozak and Wyatt Kapustanczek, who began the mission with great apprehension and became more discouraged with every passing turn. In their defense, the Allies really were saddled with inferior airplanes which lent credibility to their complaints.
The Sopwith Camel of Janie Fritz was shot down on the second turn of the game by Ethan and Stephen, leaving the Allies outnumbered virtually from the outset. Stephen Dale skillfully maneuvered his Fokker so as to string out the Allied formation, leaving them unable to attack effectively and too separated to defend themselves.
Tremendous credit goes to Carl Fritz and George Mohoi of the British team who fought brilliantly and carried the Allied cause throughout the second half of the dogfight. They were invariably outnumbered and outperformed, yet they stayed in the scrap and somehow managed to fight all three Germans to a draw in the game's final stages.
The three remaining German fighters - piloted by the three Skinners - struggled with repeated and unusually severe gun jams that saved the Allies from a complete route.
On the last turn of the game, Stephen had finally cleared his guns and moved in for a 100-foot shot on Mohoi's Allied fighter only to miss at the moment of truth. Meanwhile Ethan's Pfalz DVIII, with only one functional machine gun, managed to score just one point of damage. That single shot would earn him the champion's cup.
Ultimately, the tournament's top three positions were dominated by Hoosiers. Ethan Skinner of the Indy Squadron won the Open by two points over his father, Stephen, who finished second, with Region Squadron veteran George Mohoi in third. Fellow Hoosier Vakis Potamianos of the northern Indiana Region Squadron also won Friday night's annual Kerry Nash Memorial game to complete the Indiana sweep.
This is the first major win for the Indy Squadron in national competition since Stephen won the Gen Con Open in 2008. Other Indy Squadron victories in national competition include:
- 2002 Overall Fits Society Con champion, Stephen Skinner
- 2006 World's Largest Dawn Patrol Game, Stephen Dale Skinner
Indy Squadron Con Results
Veteran Indy Squadron player Brian Halberstadt, who was a regular on the local circuit in the 1990's, returned for a second straight year to compete at the Fits Spring Convention. He played one of the morning games on Sunday and stayed for the end of the Society Open. Brian also rejoined the Fight in the Skies Society and spent some time talking with game designer Mike Carr, who repeated his determination to get Brian back into Dawn Patrol on a regular basis.
Ethan won the Society Open while surviving 15 times in 17 additional missions. He scored two kills (winning the card cut for one of them) and earned the praise of two-time Indy champ Rick Lacy who said that Ethan's game play had taken a quantum leap forward. Ethan's backup British Camel pilot, LT Humphrey Squire, logged his 4th mission during the Con.
Stephen Dale survived 10 times out of 11 missions. His backup British Camel pilot, LT Elliott Hancock (3/1), first flew at the 2016 Spring Mini Con and picked up two more missions this year, giving his pilot the unique characteristic of never having flown at any other venue. One of Stephen Dale's German pilots, VZFW Draco Carver was hit with a left shoulder wound and fell unconscious. The wings ripped off his airplane and Carver miraculously survived the fall (rolling 1%) only to be incapacitated.
Rick Lacy probably flew in more games than any of the Indy Squadron attendees with more than 20 missions to his credit. He has also upped his roster to nearly 15 total aces through the Spring Convention's many pick up games, and via weekly online campaigns. He now has more aces on his roster than any other local player.
Stephen Skinner finished a close second in the Society Open and, other than the loss of a two-seater crewman, survived all 13 of his missions. He also managed a +26.08 average score to finish in 5th place overall among the 35 players in competition.
The Indy Squadron was well represented with five players present (Brian will always be an honorary Indy member) as well as Indy players scoring top finishes in the Society Open and the overall weekend championship.
In an open meeting on 1 July 1919, the third anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, the Barnsley Victory Loan campaign was launched with great success. During the meeting, which was held in Peel Square, a Mark IV 'female' tank was presented to the town on behalf of the National War Savings Committee.
The tank had arrived in Barnsley several days before, having been sent by the War Savings Committee as a memento of Barnsley's contributions to the Victory Loan. It was driven from the Midland Station to Peel Square preceded by the Mayor, Colonel W E Raley J P, members and officials of the corporation, and other local gentlemen.
Once the tank was in position in Peel Square, a speech was made by the Mayor, who was accompanied by a number of gentlemen including Lieutenant Meek, who was in charge of the tank, Colonel Sir Joseph Hewitt, and Colonel Fox. Lieutenant Meek formally handed the tank over to Colonel Fox on behalf of the National War Savings Committee. The Mayor then received it on behalf of the borough from Colonel Fox, who said that the tank was 'a memento of the Great War, a war which he hoped would be the last.'
The ceremony was scheduled for 6.30pm on 1 July. A heavy downpour about an hour before it was due to start meant that the crowd was smaller than anticipated, however there were still many people gathered, celebrating the arrival of the tank and listening with interest and enthusiasm to the speeches which were delivered from its 'spacious top'. CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE.