Rick Wins Closest Armistice Tournament in History on Explosive Final Turn
The Indy Squadron's Armistice Day Fits Tournament has produced some incredible games in its 34-year history, but perhaps none more exciting than the game that decided the 2022 Indy Squadron championship and the latest player to earn Indy's Victory Medal.
Dory Oda, SPAD 13 (US) Bob Meister, Roland DVIb
Jonathon Shepherd, SPAD 13 (Fr) Rick Lacy, Fokker DVII (200 hp)
Ethan Skinner, Sopwith Dolphin Benjamin Shepherd, Pfalz DXII
Stephen Skinner, Oeffag Albatros DIII Series 253
In a repeat of his difficulties during October gaming (flying into the ground - twice), Jonathon complicated matters for the Allies by going outside the tourney box and then being forced to dive his SPAD back into the box to remain in the game. But on Turn 3 he was able to rejoin the fight and helped the German cause considerably by plastering Ben's Pfalz with a bottom shot that scored critical damage in the German's wings and tail. The wing damage was particularly crucial and left the Pfalz nearly helpless and unable to maneuver against its opponents. While still leading the scoring, Ben made the wise decision to save his pilot and escape the combat. He dove hard to get outside the tourney box and managed a safe landing in German lines. Now the Allies were only outnumbered by a margin of 3 to 2... but any hope for the Allied team was soon to be dashed yet again.
Dory's SPAD whipped around and finally shook Bob's Roland off her tail while snapping off a quick burst at Stephen's Oeffag Albatros. Bullets splashed into the engine bay, the left wing and the cockpit, scoring a grazing wound in the German pilot's head. Once again, a moment that might have saved the Allied cause slipped away when Stephen's dice roll was unbelievably low and limited the damage to a light wound.
The final wave of bad luck came for the Allies when Bob's still pristine Roland DVIb outrolled Dory's SPAD and jumped on her tail yet again. This time she had had enough. With a wounded pilot, severely damaged airplane and poor initiative numbers, she escaped the fight. Her pilot's wound was critical, awarding a solo kill to Bob and vaulting him into contention for his second Victory Medal. Dory's SPAD pilot would ultimately suffer a fatal crash in Allied lines after losing consciousness.
The Vickers guns on Jonathon's SPAD barked, sending an 8-hit volley into Stephen's Albatros from a range of 200 feet. As his stricken engine sputtered to a stop, Stephen returned fire and slammed 7 shots into the nose of the SPAD. At the same moment, Rick's Fokker sent 8 more bullets into the underside of the SPAD, which instantly exploded under a withering hail of fire. The body of Jonathon's pilot was never recovered, and his name is now engraved on a monument to the missing somewhere in France. Stephen's Albatros glided back to safe dead-stick landing on a German road, splitting the kill score with Rick (the post-game confirmation cut would go to Rick as well).
However, Stephen was awarded only 10 survival points for surviving and returning to his lines. His dead engine meant that his plane was not in flying condition and he was not awarded the additional 5-point bonus. The penalty was enough to cost him his third consecutive championship. It also meant that Dory's 27-year-old record of three consecutive Armistice Day wins remains unmatched in the annals of Indy Squadron history. The final result was an overwhelming win for the Germans, but the narrowest win in history for the Victory Medal itself.
Ethan, the 2011 Indy champ, had terrible luck and lasted only one turn. Ben fought bravely but was forced out with critical hits from his brother, Jonathon, who was the last man standing for the Allies. Dory fought against impossible odds until she was critically wounded by Bob's determined tailing. Stephen outscored everyone with excellent shooting but couldn't overcome RIck's survival points. And Rick now becomes one of only 7 players in the squadron's 34-year history to win multiple championships.
Rick Lacy (Fokker DVII 200 hp, survived, shared kill over Jonathon) 95 points
Stephen Skinner (Oeffag Albatros 253, shot down and survived, shared kill over Jonathon) 94
Bob Meister (Roland DVIb, survived, solo kill over Dory) 71
Jonathon Shepherd (French SPAD 13, KIA) 64
Benjamin Shepherd (Pfalz DXII, escaped and survived, solo kill over Ethan) 53
Dory Oda (US SPAD 13, KIA) 26
Ethan Skinner (Sopwith Dolphin, KIA) 0
Gaming Report, November 19, 2022
Indy Squadron gaming was held at Nelson Skinner's house in Lewisville, IN on November 19, 2022. We enjoyed brats, hot dogs, chips and dip, more chips with salsa and a bevy of other snacks and drinks throughout the day. Eight players showed up for gaming.
Game 1 was set in November 1917 and featured 7 players. Stephen, Ethan and Josh flew British SPAD 180 hp with Ben's SE 5a against Jonathon, Bob and Rick in Pfalz DIIIa's. As a warm up game for the championship, it lasted only four turns with no casualties.
Game 2 was the Armistice Day Fits Tournament described in the lead article of this issue.
The third and final game of the day was an airfield bombing mission designed by Ethan. This game turned out to be very enjoyable and pitted two Bristol 275's (Stephen and Rick) against a pair of Siemens Schuckert DIII's (Bob and Ethan). Bob's pilot was shot down by Rick during take off but he survived and managed to run to a nearby Albatros on the same airfield. While doing so, Stephen successfully bombed a German fighter on the ground but had his engine hit hard by AA fire and was forced to escape.
Bob's pilot managed a successful take off in the Albatros but he and Ethan were unable to corner Rick's retreating Bristol, which successfully escaped after a lengthy chase.
The Archeology of the Royal Flying Corps by Melanie Winterton
Pen & Sword Publishing
"The Archeology of the Royal Flying Corps" is guaranteed to be unlike anything currently on your World War I bookshelf. Well written, annotated and laden with photos, author Melanie Winterton delves deeply into the souvenirs, art and even the mascots held so dearly by the superstitious pilots of the Great War.
Winterton's approach is ethereal, focusing on the emotions and anxieties of early flight and why they necessitated the creation of omens and lucky charms. The book combines the memoirs of the airmen with the artifacts associated with both they and their frequently bereaved families. If seeing trench art and pilot's souvenirs isn't enough for you... if you truly want to understand them, then this is the book for you.