Gaming Report for February 6, 2016
Hohndorf, Ulrich Killed in Action ~ New Player Joins Indy
The Indy Squadron is growing. We all expect a fluctuation in attendance that stems from changes in jobs, life and general interest. The last few years have featured consistent but minimal gaming at Indy, but the squadron seems to be gaining a bit of natural momentum right now.
The Meisters (Bob and A. J.) are 2-for-2 on attendance in so far, establishing early eligibility in the 2016 championship race. Bob is coming off a spectacular performance last weekend (February 6) at Saltire Games in Indianapolis, where he scored multiple kills and survived every mission.
The squadron flew three missions on February 6th, beginning with an odd matchup of French SPAD XIII's (Stephen, Joe & A. J.) against three 160 hp Fokker DVII's (Stephen Dale, Ethan and Bob).
Bob's Fokker pilot, Eugene Rommel, who also happens to be the father of the famed WWII general, struck first by scoring a critical head wound on Joe's SPAD flyer. The Frenchman passed out and fatally crashed on final approach while trying to land.
Next, A. J's SPAD went down in a spectacular fireball after Stephen Dale's Fokker pilot flamed its engine and Bob's pilot inflicted a fatal chest wound on A. J's pilot. Credit went to Stephen Dale's pilot, Alex Godfrey, who increases his record to 11 mission and 2 kills.
The final casualty in this bloody battle was Ethan's top Fokker pilot, Hippert Hohndorf (7/0), who was just one turn from making his escape when Stephen's French pilot, Vladimirez Kaskaskia (also 7/1) caught up with him just above a cloud bank and blew his right wing off. Hippert had no parachute and died in the ensuing crash.
The second game featured a trio of Albatros DV and DVa's (Stephen Dale, Ethan and A. J.) against three Belgian Nieuport 17's (Joe, Bob and Stephen). Stephen Dale's outstanding Albatros pilot, Randolf Ulrich (10/1) pelted Stephen's Nieuport with 9 hits and things looked bleak for the Belgian until he was able to turn the tables a few turns later.
Stephen's Nieuport stayed on Ulrich's tail for consecutive turns and eventually scored a massive chest wound that instantly killed one of Indy's top Albatros jockeys. Notably, this game also saw Joe survive his first mission and get his first official Dawn Patrol pilot, Donovan Taskell of the Belgian Air Force.
The day's final flight was a balloon hunting mission. Three German Albatrosses (Stephen, Ethan and Joe) were defending a balloon that hung at only 300 feet altitude. On the attack was a flight of 180 hp British SPADs (Bob, A. J. and Stephen Dale) who by all rights should have been severely over-matched and outgunned.
The Brits dove to the attack with little fanfare and by some miracle, both attackers (Stephen Dale and Bob) successfully rolled "1" to surprise the balloon. The anti-aircraft guns were caught completely off guard as the SPADs attacked from each side, scoring a total of five hits and causing the balloon to instantly go up in flames.
Led by Ethan's top Albatros pilot, Nicholas Bob (8/1), the Germans did their best to defend the balloon but failed in epic fashion. The faster SPADs made a hasty retreat to end the mission with a total victory.
Red Baron Fight XXVII, 3rd Annual Whosyercon Open
The 8th annual Who's Yer Con will be hosted again at the Wyndham Indianapolis West hotel on April 1-3, 2016. Indy's Rick Lacy will be judging a full slate of games, most of which will be held under Indy House Rules. This is an official Indy Squadron gaming day and participation in any events judged by Rick makes a player eligible for the Indy Squadron 2016 championship.
The game schedule is as follows:
12 noon, Friday, Apr 1
4 pm, Friday, Apr 1
10 am, Saturday, Apr 2
3rd annual Whosyercon Open
2 pm, Saturday, Apr 2
Red Baron Fight XXVII
Peter C. Smith
Pen & Sword Books
Hard bound, 324 pages
The Second World War is commonly identified with legendary piston-powered monoplane fighters such as the Messerschmidt ME 109, the Spitfire or the P-47 Thunderbolt. But a handful of little known biplanes saw heavy combat in the early days of the war.
Author Peter C. Smith has done a remarkable job on his new book dedicated specifically to that topic, "Combat Biplanes of WWII." Doing so required reaching beyond the strict borders of WWII and encompassing conflicts including the Hungary-Slovakian war in the spring of 1939, the Spanish Civil War, and others.
These obscure conflicts give the reader a fresh look at air combat as it was in the 1930's up to the brink of Germany's invasion of Poland. They also provide the arena in which the traditional biplane fighter made its last stand.
Smith's work, which he openly labels his "personal selection," includes well-known aircraft such as they Gloster Gladiator and Fairey Swordfish. But it also includes oddities like Italy's sleek Fiat CR-42 Falco and Eastern Europe's incredibly beautiful, closed cockpit Avia B-534.
"Combat Biplanes of World War II" is organized by airplane type. Seventeen total aircraft are covered, each with a dedicated chapter averaging about ten pages in length. Although Smith focuses on the features and service history of each aircraft, the book is not without numerous individual accounts of air fighting that lend texture and life to the manuscript.
The hardcover volume is 324 pages thick in 6x9 format with large, Times New Roman-type font that is easily read. The black and white photos are held in a center section of acid-free stock. Most are of sufficient size to facilitate further study with a magnifying glass.
This book is a rare, well written treat that delves deeply into a period that has been long overshadowed by World War II. It is highly recommended for anyone with a broad interest in military biplanes of the 20th century.