Volume 30, Number 8
Rick Wins 4th RBF Crown
Terry Phillips played in five Red Baron Fights during his Dawn Patrol career, winning three of them. Graham Shepfer (two titles in five tries) and Michael Morgan (two wins in four events) have also posted record setting performances in the Indy Squadron's spring classic. But a new name must now be mentioned in any conversation of RBF's GOAT (Greatest of All Time).
With his fourth Silver Goblet in hand, Rick Lacy has firmly established himself among the greatest players in the history of the Red Baron Fight. His narrow, two-point win over Bruce Yoder and Stephen Dale was built on the Lacy philosophy of air fighting that has served him so well... consistent shooting, teamwork and focusing on the overall mission.
The 29th edition of Indy's Red Baron Fight was held on the 100th anniversary of the death of Manfred von Richthofen, and featured special guests from Kansas (Scott Campbell and Brad Campbell) and Illinois (Bruce Yoder). With four aces in the sky, the sides stacked up like this:
Scott Campbell (CPT Brimcomb Wood, 29/9) Camel 150
Rick Lacy (FC Neville Higham, 22/11) Camel 150
Brad Campbell (William Taylor, 9/3) Camel 150
Stephen Skinner (CPT Nathanael Morgan, 12/6) Camel 150
Stephen Dale Skinner (LTN Samuel Dreisbach, 10/1) Albatros DVa (rev)
Jim Delp (Hans Vettel, 2/0) Albatros DVa (rev)
A. J. Meister (Edward Steel, 6/0) Albatros DVa h/c
Bob Meister (Jergen Muller, 3/1) Fokker DrI (red)
Bruce Yoder (Warner Van Horne, 15/5) Fokker DrI
On the following turn, Brad's Camel pilot scored a hit on Jim Delp's Albatros pilot. The German passed out and fell out of control, finally crash landing in No Man's Land and dying from his wounds. It was an unwelcome stroke of bad luck for Jim, who was returning after a long absence from Dawn Patrol.
The blood kept flowing on Turn Three when the Camels of Stephen and Brad sandwiched A. J's Albatros. The Brits utterly failed to shoot down A. J., and things only got worse when Bruce's Fokker joined the fray and put ten bullets into Stephen's Camel. Almost unbelievably, six of them went into the Center Wing section for possible pilot hits. Stephen's Camel ace, CPT Nathanael Morgan, died instantly from an abdomen wound.
Meanwhile, Bob's all-red Fokker DrI was mercilessly pummeled by the Camels of Scott and Rick. Bob routinely out-rolled his own wingmen and was therefore unable to get any help at all, while Scott's wounded ace took full advantage of the situation. Finally, using his only functional Vickers gun, Rick's Camel ace put the fatal burst into Bob's red Fokker.
Bob's pilot bailed out over the middle of No Man's Land and was promptly shot by Australian machine gunners with a critical wound. He was rushed by German medics to an advanced treatment station where he died shortly thereafter.
Bruce and A. J. then turned their attention to Brad's Camel, tailing him and firing consistently, but overall, the Germans struggled to work cohesively. Stephen Dale tried to keep up with his wingmen who left him behind repeatedly and his slower, standard compression Albatros was unable to keep the pace. Nevertheless, he continued to stay out of trouble, keep his guns firing and racked up points whenever they were available.
When he was finally able to catch up to the fight, Stephen Dale's 10-mission Albatros flyer promptly put a bullet into Brad's Camel pilot for a light wound.
It is worthy of note that Scott's pilot, CPT Brimcomb Wood (29/9), has now survived four Red Baron Fights. He flew in RBF XI, XII, XV and XXIX. With a traditional casualty rate over 30%, RBF is among Dawn Patrol's deadliest games. Surviving four of them is a feat achieved by only a handful of pilots.
The game action continued when Bruce escaped the combat. A. J's Albatros also departed, unable to rejoin the fight after following Brad's Camel down to the ground behind Allied lines.
This left Rick's Camel ace alone in the sky against Stephen Dale's 10-mission Albatros jockey for a final showdown, with the Silver Goblet at stake. On the strength of two solo kills, Bruce appeared to be the favorite for the win. But Rick had just cleared his game-long gun jam and had considerable ammunition remaining. Stephen Dale needed a solo kill to put himself in contention for his third RBF title, but his odds were poor since he was flying underpowered Albatros against a double ace in a 150 hp Camel.
After a few exchanges of machine gun fire, Stephen Dale tried a 300-foot head-on shot (see video). Both pilots fired and both missed. Rick's Camel latched onto the Albatros' tail and fired until he ran out of ammunition... then Stephen Dale's Albatros skimmed the treetops homeward and the game ended.
Clearing his jammed gun in the final stage of the game allowed Rick to fire heavily and consistently when everyone else was running out of ammo. He amassed a total of 92 points on hit factors alone for a total of 137, edging out Bruce by only two points for the win.
Three of the four British Camels went down, with Stephen's ace as the lone fatality among them. Bob's Fokker and Jim's Albatros also went down (both pilots died). Of the nine pilots who began the fight, only four of them flew back to their home airfields.
Indy players were delighted to have Scott, Brad and Bruce visit us from out of town, and to see the long-awaited return of Jim Delp to the gaming table. We were honored that they played with us last weekend.
Red Baron Fight XXIX will be remembered as one of the bloodiest, unpredictable and unique events in the three-decade history of the game. See the Red Baron Fight home page for updated all time records and details. The final scores were:
Bruce Yoder 135
Stephen Dale Skinner 85
Scott Campbell 81
Brad Campbell 58
A. J. Meister 23
Bob Meister 22
Stephen Skinner 14
Jim Delp 4