Behind the sharp shooting of Rick, A. J. and Stephen Dale, a trio of British Camels scored a landslide victory in the 25th edition of the Red Baron Fight.
The annual spring classic commemorates Germany's famed "Red Baron," Manfred von Richthofen, by recreating his final dogfight of April 21, 1918.
Dice were rolled to determine sides and the battle stacked up as follows: Rick Lacy, Stephen Dale Skinner and A. J. Meister would fly British Sopwith Camels (150 hp), while Ethan Skinner, Bob Meister and Stephen Skinner would fly German Fokker Dr I's.
The game began as a total disaster for the Germans... and then it got worse. Hostilities began with all three Germans taking shots and all three Germans missing. Meanwhile, the British returned fire with A. J. pummeling Ethan's Tripe, while both Rick and Stephen Dale shot up Bob's German fighter.
It was three turns into the game before the Germans managed to score. Even then, Ethan managed only a single hit factor of damage into his opponent. Rick continued to manage the the British side of the battle by alternately helping Stephen Dale in his assault on Bob, and then A. J. in his fight against Ethan. The Germans were losing in both instances, although Ethan's Dr I was beginning to put up a stout fight against A. J's Camel.
In spite of Stephen's best efforts to help, Bob's Dr I Triplane was in serious trouble. His right wing was loaded with bullets and could take only two more hits before going down out of control. At the moment of truth, just when it appeared that Bob was doomed and Stephen Dale's Camel would shoot him down, Bob managed to shake his pursuer by performing a Falling Leaf maneuver.
Just when it appeared that the 25th Red Baron Fight might break up with no kills scored, Ethan dove toward German lines and the entire dogfight re-united. By this time Stephen was nursing a gun jam and Bob was saddled with 9 right wing hits and 8 more in his left wing with one machine gun still jammed. There was little either of them could do to stop the British onslaught, which was now on the verge of becoming a complete route.
With Rick's Camel holding off the Triplanes of Stephen and Bob, the Camels of Stephen Dale and A. J. moved in for the coup de grace on Ethan, who had dove to 50 feet altitude in a desperate bid to escape. With the Silver Goblet on the line, A. J. fired from below but missed. Stephen Dale's Camel fired on Ethan's battered Fokker from above and scored. Ethan's engine absorbed its final two hits and burst into flames.
His Dr I attempted to land in the fields below but crashed badly, completely destroying the aircraft. The Triplanes of Bob and Stephen were in no condition to do anything but escape, which brought the battle to an end. The credit for Ethan's crashed Fokker went to Stephen Dale as a solo kill, which expanded the scoring lead he already enjoyed.
The British had flown extremely well and chalked up an overwhelming victory. Ethan's pilot survived the crash and the Germans were fortunate to only lose a single plane a thorough defeat.
The final scores for the 25th Red Baron Fight were as follows:
Stephen Dale Skinner, Camel 150 119
Rick Lacy, Camel 150 67
A. J. Meister, Camel 150 59
Stephen Skinner, Fokker Dr I 43
Ethan Skinner, Fokker Dr I 26
Bob Meister, Fokker Dr I 15
It was originally Rick's idea to support the Indianapolis-based Whosyercon gaming convention, and it has paid off with two new players. Bob and A. J. Meister played their first games with the Indy Squadron on April 19th after being exposed to Dawn Patrol at this year's Whosyercon.
Both are experienced gamers who picked up on the entire concept of Dawn Patrol in their very first full gaming day. So if you're looking for easy kills among the rookies, you won't get them from A. J. or Bob. Between them they flew four missions and survived four missions, in addition to producing one kill and a podium finish in Red Baron Fight.
Thanks to the Meisters for joining us. It was great to have them and they are fun, enjoyable company. We hope to see them again soon. And thanks to Rick for steering us toward Whosyercon and making it happen.
Thanks to Ethan for making a really nice Dice Dungeon, where under-performing dice are sent to find new owners. When your dice become hopelessly counterproductive, throw them in the Dice Dungeon. Any other squadron member is welcome to raid the Dice Dungeon at any time to retrieve the dice and see if they work better under new ownership.
We already have a pretty good stock of dice in the Dungeon, so be sure to check it out for a new set of dice at our next gaming day, or to contribute your own poorly performing dice for others to peruse. And thanks to Ethan for making the idea a reality, along with this cool new container.
The Indy Squadron's "Card Restriction Rule" was the center of a controversy midway through Red Baron Fight when Ethan's airplane, restricted to a Bank Left maneuver due to critical damage, was forced to fall out of control when he failed to correctly perform the maneuver. The Card Restriction Rule dictates that a plane can move backwards (as an exception to the squadron's Aircraft Movement Rule, which states that a plane cannot move backwards) when "seventh edition rules mandate the use of maneuver cards."
The use of maneuver cards was not mandated in this instance, although the maneuver was. This instance pointed out a long-standing flaw in the logic of the rules and all players at the table decided to address the issue after the game. Unfortunately, personal scheduling didn't allow that discussion to take place, but it remains an unresolved issue and should be revisited on the Indy Squadron Forum and/or at a future gaming date.
by Rick Lacy
In the Indy Squadron Dispatch there appears an article on a rules controversy (no surprise there really, considering Indy Squadron traditions). I feel that it needs to be addressed to correct a couple of (what I perceived) misstatements.
Awhile back we had a situation awhile back where someone was being tailed. The person played a climb and then moved one square too far and thus had to dive rather than climb due to the existing Indy Squadron rule that mandates once a plane is in a square, it CANNOT be moved backwards. As a result, the plane would be ruled as out of control. As this penalized the tailing player (who would have lost his shot), we enacted a rule that WHILE UNDER CARDS if a player performed a simple FitS lapse and moved one square too far or didn’t do his wingover correctly or turned too tight (or something similar), that the plane would be moved back to make it conform to the card maneuver restriction and not penalize the tailing player by making them lose their shot. Thus we created a rule (the under cards rule) to make sure that another rule (the no backward movement rule) would not cause conflicting rules (tailing restrictions and no-backward-movement) to mess up a turn. Seems a bit cumbersome, I admit, but under the Indy Squadron house rules something that needed to be in place.
Now, in RBF XXV, what we had was a completely different situation. Ethan had taken a wing critical that forced him to bank left. He was NOT under cards and the above rule did NOT apply to the situation. He was, however, under a movement restriction due to the wing crit, so I could see where Stephen thought the situation was the same. I will agree with Stephen that the issue was based on a movement/maneuver restriction, but where I disagree with him is that the two situations are the same.
They are not.
Ethan, who was having an uncharacteristically hard time moving, did NOT move his plane in the required left bank. Very simple mistake, but one he did not take the time to understand before moving.
Under the Indy Squadon no-backward-move rule, as soon as he ignored the restriction, he immediately went out of control. Stephen maintained that Ethan ‘tried’ to do a left bank, but the rule was pretty clear that since he didn’t actually DO it even though he may have TRIED, he was ruled out of control and the turn resolved itself that way. Then he did it again the very next turn and was again ruled out of control. In a low level fight this can be very costly very quickly.
So, from my point of view, the issue does not center on the tailing cards rule as Stephen thought, since no tailing was occurring, it is actually about the no backward movement rule. Had this rule not been in place, Ethan could simply have started over and moved correctly. While it is always preferable to actually move a plane through it’s squares as opposed to placing, the whole argument could have been avoided had Ethan had the ability to redo his move.
I would propose that the Indy Squadron as a whole eliminate the tailing restriction rule and in addition eliminate the no backward movement rule. This would eliminate a whole host of conflicting rules issues. Or perhaps loosen the no backwards rule to allow for things like what happened to Ethan to be corrected instead of causing issues and rules discussions. We could still require people to move through their squares but if they make an illegal move the plane is backed up until the move is legal, for example. Note that this will not be a way for players to correct mis-movement that results in a missed shot if their move was legal, but it will be a way to insure that an illegal move could be corrected and not penalize the following players if they planned on shooting said plane. I’d be willing to vote on this as opposed to pointing at the wrong root cause and not correcting things properly.