New Year's Day Gaming Returns
For the first time in seven years, the Indy Squadron revived its tradition of New Year's Day gaming with a strong gathering of local players at the Meister's home on the east side of Indianapolis.
Gaming on or around New Year's Day figures heavily in Indy Squadron history. The Indy Squadron Dispatch archives document gaming on:
- December 30, 1989 in Mooresville
- December 28, 1991 in Connersville
- January 2, 1993 in Indianapolis
- January 1, 1997 in Indianapolis
- January 1, 2002 at Gray Road Baptist Church in Indianapolis
Additionally, games were scheduled on New Year's Day 1999 as well as several other years for which no records exist.
More recently, in 2009 we held the 20th anniversary celebration of the squadron on December 29. Traditional New Year's Day gaming was held in 2008, as well as a full night of gaming on New Year's Eve on December 31, 2005.
So New Year's Day gaming on January 1, 2016 was an enjoyable return to a long-standing Indy tradition.
Seven players played four total games on January 1, 2016 at the home of Bob and Donna Meister, who graciously offered to host at the last minute when illness prevented the Skinners from doing the same. Bob and A. J. Meister, Rick Lacy, Stephen, Stephen Dale and Ethan Skinner, and out of town guest George Henion were all in attendance.
The first game featured the only true fighter-on-fighter scenario when four rarely seen German Seimens Schuckert DIII's attacked an American balloon defended by a trio of Nieuport 28's. Stephen and Stephen Dale combined to shoot down the balloon, but Stephen Dale's Schuckert flew through the burning debris on the next turn and went down in flames, killing his 4-mission pilot. Victory credit went to Stephen's pilot (VZ Jurgen Ulf, 5/1) after a card cut.
The second game featured Rick leading a trio of Hanriot HD-1's against a pair of Rumpler CVI reconnaissance planes escorted by two Halberstadt CL IV's. The Hanriot's managed to surprise the Germans but were not able to capitalize on the advantage. George's German observer, LTN Rolf Stagmann, logged his 22nd mission on a sortie that saw no casualties on either side.
Next, Rick designed an ultimately indecisive Italian front mission that pitted three 150 horsepower SPAD 7's against a mixed bag of Austro-Hungarians.
Our final game was set near the North Sea and featured two Friedrichshafen 33L's (Stephen and George) escorted by a Hansa-Brandenburg KDW fighter (A. J.) against two Nieuport 12 two-seaters and a Sopwith Strutter scout. The Allies flew well in this game, but their lightly armed aircraft were held up late in the game by A. J., who dove his KDW into the fray and allowed his wingmen to complete their recon mission and return unscathed.
The Indy Squadron played three games on January 20, 1996 at the home of Scott Thompson in Greenwood. Scott Jones, Terry Phillips, Scott Thompson and Jon Beight are among the names from the past who participated in the day's activities.
The highlight of the afternoon occurred when Scott Jones' Camel ace (LT Canton Billings, 18/6) lost a card cut to Stephen's Camel pilot (SC Christopher Foxxe, 49/39) over Terry's Halberstadt CL II, which crash landed behind enemy lines.
Okay, I find this simply incredible. Not one. Not two. But three people actually approached me prior to New Year's Day gaming and claimed, in a shocking tone, that they had no idea that we were playing Dawn Patrol on New Year's Day.
Seriously? (Slams head against wall).
Listen, people. There is a new invention called the worldwide web. You may have heard of it. It's an amazing new gizmo that allows people from all over the world (hence the name) to access information.
The Indy Squadron has not been a print publication since 1999. We have a web site. If you can remember the name “Indy Squadron,” you're almost there. Just type “.com” after it and presto. You are on our web site.
Every gaming day is listed a year in advance. Every house rule is available at the click of a mouse.
If you want to know what's going on, check the web site. Please?