Volume 30, Number 5 & 6
Rick Wins 5th Whosyercon Open
Rick Lacy is getting better at tournament play. It took him thirteen years to win Indy's Armistice day title. He needed eight years to win his first Silver Goblet at Red Baron Fight. And he won last weekend's Whosyercon Open in just his fifth try.
George Henion, Stephen and Ethan Skinner flew Oeffag Albatros DIII Series 53 fighters against Rick, Bruce Yoder and Bob Meister in Italian Nieuport 17's equipped with both deck mounted Vickers and wing mounted Lewis guns. The scenario was set 6,500 feet above the Italian Alps in September 1917.
The game began in spectacular fashion when Rick's Nieuport took a shot on George's Albatros at the end of Turn One. Rick managed only three hits, but two of them lodged in the Albatros' Austro-Daimler engine.
Stephen fought back, plugging Rick's Nieuport with eight hit factors and successfully tailing him into the next turn. Bruce's Nieuport followed George's burning fighter as it descended, quickly followed by Ethan's Albatros. Plagued with poor initiative numbers from the outset, Bob's Nieuport was unable to keep up with the moving fight and was forced to escape. George's still-burning Nieuport crash-landed on a mountain road and his pilot escaped back to friendly lines.
This left the Albatri of Ethan and Stephen against the Nieuports of Bruce and Rick. Stephen barely pulled out of his dive after Bruce's Italian pilot, scraping his right wing on the snowy peak of a nearby mountain (and accruing two hits in his right wing). Bruce was fighting gun jams. The Lewis gun on Rick's Nieuport was nearly out of ammunition, and Ethan's Albatros suffered a gun jam that could not be cleared.
While the Italians regrouped, cleared their guns, reloaded and out-climbed their opponents, the Austro-Hungarians found themselves unable to engage and at a greater and greater altitude disadvantage with each passing turn. After an intense sparring match just a few feet above the mountain tops, the fight broke up with RIck's victory over George standing as the game's only aerial kill.
Rick secured his first Whosyercon Open win, with Bruce and Stephen in a dead heat for second place.
- Rick Lacy, Nieuport 17 - 61 points
- Bruce Yoder, Nieuport 17 - 43
- Stephen Skinner, Oeffag Albatros - 43
- Ethan Skinner, Oeffag Albatros - 37
- Bob Meister, Nieuport 17 - 15
- George Henion, Oeffag Albatros - 14
Rick Lacy gets all the credit for the Indy Squadron's consistent presence at Whosyercon for the past five years. He was the first to bring the idea to the squadron, and he has designed and managed games at the Con every year since.
Whosyercon has become a local fixture to the extent that it is now an official event on the Indy Squadron schedule, making all participants eligible for the Armistice Day title. All games operate under Indy house rules, and the event serves as a wonderful advertisement for the game and local squadron.
Here is Rick's recap of Whosyercon game action, including his report on the Whosyercon Open to complement the lead story above:
The 2018 version of this free convention was held Fri Mar 30 th through Sunday Apr 1 st at the Wyndham West in Indianapolis. As we have done for the last several years, we ran 4 Indy Squadron games (2 on Friday, 2 on Saturday) to help support this excellent free gaming convention. We also managed to run several pickup games as well. Below is the summary for each of the officially scheduled games:
Western Front, Nov 30 th , 1916
In this game, we were fortunate enough to have 3 rookie players, Klil (who happens to be a PhD physicicst, a point that I found fascinating), Dave, and Leemon. Also playing were Stephen Skinner, Ethan Skinner, George Henion, Bob Meister, and Bruce Yoder, making a nice 8 player game. The game itself was a fighter battle low over the front. On the Allied side were Klil, George,
Bruce, and Stephen Skinner in French Nieuport 17s (each with a deck/wing gun). On the German side were Ethan and Bob Meister in Albatros D-II with Dave and Leemon in Fokker D-IIIs.
The fight was actually quite balanced, with neither side really able to exploit its advantages but never breaking off combat. Bob went down early when a shot from Bruce downed his Alb, then luck again graced the French side when Klil and Stephen combined to saw off Dave’s wing. At that point, Ethan and Leemon broke off and ended the combat. Scoring for this mission as follows:
Bruce Yoder (Fr N17) – 93 points, 1st place
Stephen Skinner (Fr N17) – 77 points, 2nd place
Leemon (Gr Fokker D-III) – 63 points, 3rd place
Klil (Fr N17) – 53 points
Ethan Skinner (Gr Albatros D-II) – 45 points
George Henion (Fr N17 ) – 33 points
Dave (Gr Fokker D-III) – 14 points
Bob Meister (Gr Alb D-II) – 0 points.
Game 2 - 5th Whosyercon Open
Italian Front, July 30 th , 1917
In this game, we moved to the Italian Front for a 6 player game. On the Italian side were Rick, Bruce and Bob in Italian Nieuport 17s (deck/wing) and on the AH side were George, Stephen, and Ethan in Oeffag Albatri (53.2 version). Typically, we run the WhosyerCon open in the 4th slot of the weekend, but this year it moved to the second game on Saturday due to scheduling conflicts. An additional bonus was being able to use our Italian Front board – quite tricky and hard to fly due to the many terrain changes.
The battle started out at 6500 feet and swirled briefly, then Rick managed to hit George with a hit from the bottom that resulted in an engine fire and George having to dive away trying to put out the flames. He was not successful and tried to land in his third turn of burning on a nearby road. He failed at this and crashed his planes, but his pilot survived. This gave Rick a solo kill, which would prove to be the deciding points for the game.
Ethan and Stephen then tried to pull the fight lower hoping it would change things in their favor, but Stephen’s wing clipped a ground obstacle for light damage and kept Ethan from boxing effectively. Bob left shortly thereafter, leaving Rick (sporting a strut hit) and Bruce against two better planes. The fight moved back and forth through the valley on the board, with neither German able to hit effectively while the Italians were unable to concentrate fire. Ethan and Stephen finally took an opportunity to escape ending the game. Scoring is listed below:
Rick (It N17) – 61 pts, 1st
Bruce Yoder (It N17) – 43 pts, tie for 2nd
Stephen Skinner (AH Oef 53.2) – 43 pts, tie for 2nd
Ethan Skinner (AH Oef 53.2) – 37 pts
Bob Meister (It N17) – 15 pts
George Henion (AH Oef 53.2) – 14 pts
North Sea Front, Feb 28 th , 1918
For this game, we had only 3 players, but since I wanted to insure it was played to maximize any interest from passers-by, I went ahead and ran it as an official game. On the British side were Bruce Yoder and Rick Lacy in Short 184s, opposing them was George Henion in a Hansa-Brandenburg KDW fighter. The Brits were on an anti-sub patrol in an area where there was reported coastal sub activity. George was flying intercept. The fight started at 3000 ft. Neither 184 was able to spot the sub for several turns, but Rick’s crew finally saw it and both Shorts dove in to attack. George trailed briefly but Bruce’s plane dropped a torpedo that hit the sub while Rick’s plane dropped 4 B bombs, one hitting. George flew off at that point. Scoring is listed below:
George Henion (Gr KDW) – 47 pts, 1st
Rick Lacy (Br Short 184) – 23 pts, 2nd
Bruce Yoder (Br Short 184) – 15 pts, 3rd
Western Front, Oct 31 st , 1918
This game was supposed to be this year’s WhosyerCon Open for the Indy Squadron. As such, I had a WF fighter battle on the slate, with the British side equipped with SE-5a Viper variants and the German side with a mix of higher performance late war craft. We only had 5 players for the game, so the sides had Rick, Bob M, and Bruce Y in the British scouts and George Henion with new player Dennis Alexander in German SSW D-III / Pfalz D-VIII respectively.
Dennis really got the short end of the stick in this fight, going first literally EVERY SINGLE TURN. In fact, the first turn he had 3 attackers that all hit. His relative lack of experience led him to make a couple of moves that allowed the SEs to stay in contact and concentrate fire. Finally, he pulled a circle to lose a tail, and George extended away with Rick in pursuit and Bruce/Bob out of firing position. Rick missed his shot at George then immediately lost numbers and he turned back toward his wingmen, expecting George to follow – which didn’t happen.
What DID happen was that Dennis brought his severely injured plane in to take a 100 ft HO on Rick (his thinking was that if he was going down he might as well take someone with him). Rick, however, with his jammed deck gun and out-of- ammo wing gun, could not return fire so he opted to try to reload his wing gun. Bob pulled in behind Dennis for a 100 ft tail. End result was 6 in the face to Rick along with a light wound, a sawed off right wing for Dennis courtesy of Bob, and a solo kill for Bob.
George continued to extend ending the game. Rick got back to his own lines but crashed trying to set it down and died in the crash. Scoring is below:
Bob Meister (Br. SE-5a Viper) – 73 pts, 1st
Bruce Yoder (Br. SE-5a Viper) – 49 pts, 2nd
George Henion (Gr SSW D-III) – 41 pts, 3rd
Rick Lacy (Br SE-5a Viper) – 32 pts
Dennis Alexander (Gr Pfalz D-VIII) – 12 pts
All in all, it was quite an enjoyable couple of days. If anyone has the chance to attend WhosyerCon 2019, I would urge you to do so…it is free to attend and has a surprising amount of options for your gaming pleasure.
Rick set a new record in this year's Whosyercon Open by claiming victory with the lowest score ever produced by a winner. Bob, George and Rick also set new participation records, and the entire Whosyercon Open page has now been updated with the latest scores and statistics. Be sure to check out the updated page by clicking here.
With his survival rates consistently improving, Ethan has seen a significant upgrade in the mission/kill records of his pilots. He now boasts two aces on his German roster with several more pilots well on the way. The stars of Ethan's roster include:
- UNT Nicolson Bob (Albatros DV, 12/2)
- LTN Dolf Meinhart (Albatros DIII, 10/5)
- VZFW Buckler Marat (German two seater observer, 6/0).
George Henion brought this proposal up for a vote during Whosyercon on March 30, 2018. The measure passed by a 5-0 vote (George, Rick, Ethan, Bruce, Stephen). Please review the wording and make any recommendations. The rule reads as follows:
"When a gun jam occurs as a result of firing a short burst, 1 hit factor is inflicted by the attacking player. This supersedes the 7th edition rule stating that no hits are scored in this situation."