Whos Yer Con Hosts Official Indy Games
For the first time, the Indy Squadron merged its March gaming session with the Whos Yer Con gaming convention held on the west side of Indianapolis each spring.
Each of the games, both scheduled games through the Con and pick up games, were considered official Indy Squadron games that counted toward championship eligibility for 2013.
Indy's Rick Lacy judged Dawn Patrol games in several time slots throughout the weekend and submitted the following report:
Friday, 3/15/13, 12:00 noon
Western Front fighters, 1917
I always hope to have new players when playing at this event. I am hoping that they will become interested enough to continue playing after the con. For this game, I actually had 3 preregister. Only two showed up however, so I altered my approach and turned it into a balloon attack. I took the Allied defender and my two players, Larry and Daniel, were in German aircraft. I also made it a point to give the balloon minimal defenses because I sometimes get lucky rolling AA and didn’t want to kill two rookie pilots quickly.
However, I need not have worried about that. After a brief instruction set for movement, firing/damage, and record keeping, we jumped in and they promptly rolled surprise on me. So I took 11 total from a top/bottom attack. The next turn, numbers put
me moving second out of three. Larry dove toward the balloon while Daniel followed me and pumped more lead into my tail. The third turn, Daniel went first and dove down to Larry, where they lined up for their balloon run. I stayed aloft, not being able to match their dives after losing 650 feet of dive with a strut hit crit.
The third turn, the Germans dove on the balloon. They did not surprise it but the AA missed, so they attacked and destroyed it in flames. That effectively ended the first game, with both escaping and Larry being awarded the kill for the balloon. Daniel seemed to have really enjoyed the first game. The worst part for me was that because of the crit I crashed landing and died. Loss of pilot number one.
We had time for a second game and both new players were able to stay, so with George being able to sit in we were able to do a four-player game. This one was a north sea mission with Hansa Brandenburg KDW's vs an Albatros and something else I don’t remember. This one was over the ocean about 50 squares out. As I was German, it was inevitable I was again surprised, and both Allies rolled to attack me. However, the damage was not too bad and soon both Larry and I were able to attack Daniels plane, igniting his gas tank and sending him fleeing for home (ultimately losing his pilot in a crash).
George managed to get on my tail and shot off my right wing. Loss of pilot number two.
Friday, 3/15/13, 5 pm
North Sea fighters, 1918
Well, it was supposed to be North Sea fighters….however, no new players showed up. 3 members of the Indy Squadron (Stephen Skinner, Stephen Dale Skinner, and Ethan Skinner) did show up however, so we rolled a random Western Front fighter mission. It was set in July 1918 and was pretty much a generic game, nothing really of note happened – no kills, no pilot hits. But a good warm up for the Skinners, who were planning on attending both Friday and Saturday.
This gave us an opportunity to play a pickup game, and I had the opportunity to fly my SE5a ace Lt Percival Stuart with my wingman Stephen Dale against Stephen and Ethan in an DFW and and Alb D-V respectively. Stephen, it turns out, had put up an ace 2 seat crew so the game became very interesting. Stephen Dale hounded Ethan and rolled pretty close to max damage 3 turns in a row, forcing Ethan to make the decision to cut his engine and glide to landing rather than lose arguably the best pilot on his young roster.
Stephen Dale tailed Ethan down and Stephen chose to dive his plane underneath Ethan the whole way as he suspected an atrocity in the making due to Stephen Dale’s aggressiveness. Once Ethan made it to landing altitude, Stephen ran for German territory but SD and I followed. I managed to get around to a front side 100 foot shot on Stephen and scored a 6 hit burst (my only hit of the game) which resulted in pilot chances and 1 observer chance. I missed the pilot but put a fatal round through the head of his observer. Loss of crew number three. SD then came in and braved a top shot-not knowing of the observer’s demise) but when he took no fire in return the cat was out of the bag. The only thing that saved Stephen’s pilot was winning initiative the next round and being able to extend and escape.
Saturday, 3/16/13, 10 am
Western Front two seaters, 1918
This was a variation on the “Two-Seat Terror” game I run for Gen Con. Two American Salmson’s with twin rear guns were on a mission to bomb a mortar position that was holding up the American advance on the last day of the Saint Michel offensive.
At the same time, Two German Junkers CL-1 planes were tasked with destroying two pontoon bridges to hinder the advance of the Americans. Stephen Dale and myself were the Germans, and Stephen and Ethan were the Americans. The Allies both moved first and opted to climb, leaving the Germans with poor shots, so we decided to start are mission right away and dove on the first of the two pontoons. Meanwhile the Allies immediately identified the mortar position and began to line up for their own bombing runs.
The Germans came in split with myself at 400 ft and Stephen Dale at 100. Both our type F bombs hit, destroying the first bridge. The Allies run over the mortars resulting in the atomization of 2 mortars with Stephen hitting one with 5 of his 8 D bombs and Ethan hitting with 6 of his 8. This suppressed the battery and gave the Allies their winning condition. So, having nothing to do, they began to fly in the general direction of the German secondary target.
As I rolled over the pontoon, the AA-which up to this point had missed everything-decided to get accurate and hit my plane in the left side, resulting in a no-right-turn crit and a fatal wound to my 6 mission observer. I did manage to hit and destroy the second bridge though. Loss of crew number four.
Stephen Dale had been climbing toward me and both Allies opted to attack him, allowing me to circle left toward his position. However, he extended the fight to the right side of my plane and I suddenly couldn’t get to him to help out, so I extended and left. Stephen Dale put up a good fight but was taking too much damage and had only 2 hits left in a wing so he decided to glide the plane to a landing at the edge of the front.
He successfully put the plane down and his pilots returned to German lines, giving Ethan a kill by winning the card cut.
Saturday, 3/16/13, 3 pm
Italian Front fighters
This game was a variant on the “Pasta for Dinner” scenario I ran at GenCon last year. We only had 3 players so I set it up as a balloon game. Stephen and I were in Austro Hungarian Oeffag 53.2s and Stephen Dale was in an Italian Nieuport 17.
The game began with Stephen and I taking off from a small flat field on the opposite side of a small Italian village from the balloon. Stephen Dale was above and just far enough away that he could dive and engage with a long shot if he so desired. He chose not too. So, Stephen and I decided we’d meander toward the balloon and maybe collect it on the way back to base.
At that moment, Stephen Dale dove like a laser straight under my plane and came nose up on his dad's Oeffag, hitting for a solid damage score but more importantly scoring a light wound on Stephen’s 32 mission ace. Stephen lost numbers and moved away from the balloon and I opted to follow 200 ft back, but Stephen Dale kept coming, flying right in between me and Stephen for a 100 foot tail shot. I did opt to take the 100 tail myself.
Damage was exchanged followed by announcements where both Stephen Dale and myself opted to tail - until Stephen put out a 13 due to failing his 5% consciousness roll - at 950 feet. Stephen’s plane arrowed into the ground finishing Weissensteiner’s career at 33 missions. Loss of pilot number five.
Stephen Dale threw an Immelman, but I had neglected to re-do my card deck and lost him. With George having joined the game in the second turn-diving in to attack me, I opted to dive on the balloon and managed to do 4 hf on it, without downing it. As Stephen Dale was flying away (he had to get to a church function) George opted to let me get away, ending the mission.
Not wanting to end on a bad note, we managed to talk Stephen Dale into staying for one more quick game. It rolled up with Stephen and I in Bristol 275's vs Stephen Dale in a Fokker D-VI and George in a Dr-I. The altitude was high, starting at 14,600 feet.
At this altitude, the Bristols actually out turn the D-VI and the Dr-I, so the Bristol’s became very aggressive and dogged Stephen Dale for several turns. George did attempt to help out, but was hampered by numbers. Finally, Stephen Dale made his escape. George did fly around a couple of more turns but out-climbed the Bristols handily, so we decided to end it as he was not going to give us a shot and we kept winning numbers.
That is the tale of the Dawn Patrol at Whosyercon 2013. I notice I didn’t mention some of the other unrelated stuff, like Stephen Dale getting his picture taken with the Black Cat cosplayer, or my return the Star Fleet Battles universal on Saturday evening where my Federation heavy cruiser took on 2 Klingon D7s and damaged both severely before being pounded into slag, or Ethan’s expansion to the world of Battletech, but these are stories better told in person. All in all it was a great couple of gaming days.
I would urge any of you reading to consider running a Dawn Patrol event or two if you have smaller local and regional gaming conventions near you. It doesn’t take up a lot of time and could be instrumental in recruiting new players.