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Monty the Desert Rat



Last Friday Dave was round to continue our WW1 air campaign using TooFatLardies’ excellent Algy rules. In fact, we are using the version 2 Playtest rules, which dispense with hexes

It was a very different evening as we have missed a couple of game dates for a variety of reasons and wanted to move things along, so we played 2 games in the evening. We adjusted the firing rules to make things more brutal to help things along and we weren’t wrong about that!

The 2 games were set in October 1917 and January 1918, so the war is marching towards a conclusion. For the first game, I had 3 Camels and 3 SE5a s against a Rumpler, a Fokker DR1 and 2 Albatross DVa s. In each of my Flights I had a Junior Ace backed by a Veteran in the Camels and the rest were Experienced. Dave’s Top Ace took the Fokker, he had a Veteran and an Experienced pilot for the DVa s and a Sprog Pilot with a Veteran Rear Gunner for the Rumpler.

I won’t go into too much detail – to be honest, it was very focused gaming and I had no chance to make notes and the 2 games, being over quite quickly, have merged into one a little. Anyway, the first game went to the Germans, although we both lost a plane. In my case my SE5a Junior Ace was downed but I did get the Rumpler in exchange. The difference was, however, Pilot quality – a Junior Ace being more of a loss than a Sprog.

The second game was even more brutal. Dave and my Camels went head to head whilst my SE5a s came in from my right to try and get onto the scouts. Some nifty moves and a well judged break of formation saw Dave’s Ace and Veteran get on the tail of my Camel Junior Ace and a Veteran respectively (this Veteran had replaced the Experienced Pilot from Game 1, the Experienced Pilot having had engine trouble on take off). Dave’s Veteran duly nailed my Veteran and the Ace jammed my Junior Ace’s rudder. My other Camel Veteran then pulled an amazing move – he managed to get in between his Flight Leader and the Top Ace, going nose to nose with the latter and damaging his engine. The SE5s were coming into the fight as well, all except the Sprog, who just couldn’t get his turns right! The Experienced Albatross Pilot duly got on to him and down he went. However, one of the SE5s then got behind him and they headed for British Lines. The Albatross broke the tail and turned for home, he would be safe!

The other Albatross was trying to run interference for his Top Ace leader, the latter was limping for home, diving as he went to gain some speed and escape pursuit. Two British aircraft were in the hunt – the same Camel, damaged but still able to match the crippled Fokker, and one of the SE5s. The latter latched onto the Albatross and sent him down in flames, leaving the Camel to pursue the Top Ace. Try as he might, he just couldn’t land the killer blow as the Ace played every trick he knew to keep his aircraft in the air, ducking and weaving but, at the last gasp and as safety beckoned, the Camel fired a sustained burst and the aircraft exploded.

Looking at the value of the Pilots lost in the second game, it was a draw. However, across the 2 games, the Germans were in front. Looking at it another way, however, it was 4 British planes lost to 3 Germans, or 50% versus 75%, a loss rate the Germans just cannot sustain. The British have 4 aircraft and pilots left for the next game, the Germans only one, albeit with the Pilot upgraded to Veteran and with a Kill under his belt. If only additional resources could be released from somewhere else, like the Russian Front!!!!!

And here are the pics of the games:

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Monty the Desert Rat