Published November 14, 2021
German Comeback Falls Short in Armistice Tourney
The 33rd Indy Squadron Armistice Day Fits Tournament was held in Lewisville, Indiana on November 13, 2021 with the following teams competing for the Victory Medal:
Dory Oda Fokker DVII 185
Stephen Dale Skinner Pfalz DrI
Ethan Skinner Nieuport 28
Rick Lacy Morane Saulnier AI
Stephen Skinner Sopwith Camel 110 hp
Despite the fact that Dory's Fokker scored a light wound on Rick's Morane pilot on the opening turn, the Germans found themselves in serious trouble almost from the outset. Stephen's Camel hammered Stephen Dale's triplane for 11 hits, inflicting a rudder jam that forced the German outside the tourney box. It was ruled that according to squadron precedent, he would be allowed to rejoin the fight if he returned to the box immediately after fixing the rudder.
Turns six and seven were pivotal when Stephen Dale's damaged DrI rejoined the fray while Dory used her lone remaining machine gun to renew her assault on Rick's Morane. She scored more hits, but it was still a surprise when Rick's next initiative number was a "13." Just as it appeared that the outnumbered, smoking and heavily damaged Germans had no hope at all, Rick's pilot had lost consciousness at about 14,000 feet due to the light wound sustained in the game's first turn.
The wings on Rick's Morane finally collapsed just 900 feet above an emergency field. The plane crashed, killing its pilot and awarding Dory the game's first solo kill and making her the favorite to win her fourth squadron title in spite of everything that had happened to the Germans so far. (CON'T BELOW)
Ethan's Nieuport 28 was dishing out significant damage to both Germans despite getting hit hard by his opponents on turn ten. His shooting had been accurate for most of the game and he simply needed a killing burst on an opponent to surpass Dory's apparent lead. Stephen's Camel, meanwhile, had scored no kills but had been consistently racking up points by shooting on nearly every turn all game long. A solo victory for either Ethan or Stephen would likely outscore Dory and give them a tournament championship. The next turn would determine the game.
Stephen soon lost initiative and flew home safely. Dory out-rolled Ethan and was able to escape, saving her pilot and ending the Armistice Day Fits Tournament.
In the end, Stephen's constant shooting paid off with his 11th Victory Medal, while Dory and Ethan tied for second place. This game will be remembered for an amazing comeback by the German team that almost succeeded. Ethan and Dory both came dangerously close to winning if only one roll had gone their way at the moment of truth. Stephen Dale went down in flames determined to help his wingman to the end. Rick flew most of the game with a wounded pilot, helping his teammates until he lost consciousness. And it was clearly a very well flown game with few mistakes and a solid group of veteran players raising the competition to a superb level.
Stephen Skinner 111 points
Ethan Skinner 69
Dory Oda 69
Stephen Dale Skinner 30
Rick Lacy 18
The Whosyercon gaming convention that has become an Indy Squadron staple over the past few years seems to have succumbed to the Covid-19 scam, having canceled last year's and next year's face-to-face events in favor of online gaming. The Indy Squadron pushed our last Whosyercon Open tournament into the fall and will do so again this year, simply due to the uncertain status of the host event.
December 18th is the suggested date for this year's Open (so that it can still be held in the 2021 calendar year). Please let Stephen know if you can make it on that date so we can confirm it on the calendar as soon as possible. We would like to follow that up on January 1, 2022 with our traditional New Year's Day gaming. Please communicate your plans as soon as possible.
The first game of the day pitted a pair of SE 5's (Rick and Ethan) against two Albatrosses and a Pfalz DIIIa (Dory, Stephen Dale and Stephen). Rick's 5-mission SE pilot smoked the engine on Dory's Albatros while Ethan attacked Stephen Dale's 12-mission experienced Albatros pilot (LTN Samuel Dreisbach, 12/2).
The engine on Stephen Dale's Albatros instantly exploded (critical engine hit 1/1) and his pilot rolled 003 on percentile dice to miraculously survive the fall! Stephen's 10-mission Pfalz pilot wounded Ethan's SE 5 flyer, who then passed out and died when his plane crashed. Rick won the cut for the kill over Stephen Dale's Albatros, Stephen's kill over Ethan's SE 5 was a solo victory, and Dory barely managed to escape into the clouds and make it home safely despite extreme damage.
The second game of the day was the Armistice Day Fits Tournament (see lead story in this issue).
The third and final game was on the Italian Front, matching the Italian Nieuport 27 fighters of Stephen and Stephen Dale against the Austro-Hungarian two-seat bombers of Rick and Ethan. Stephen was an early casualty after absorbing 5 engine hits and a severe critical hit that forced him to escape. Ethan's pilot scored an oil leak in the engine of Stephen Dale's N.27. The Nieuport's engine immediately seized and he made an emergency landing in No Man's Land. His 6-mission pilot was captured for the duration of the war.