Last week regular opponent and good chum, Dave, came over for a game of Algy (Version 2 Playtest) – and here goes with all the action!!
Lt Bobby Baxter scanned the skies around him – the sun was rising in the East and he and his flight were the dawn patrol. He had 3 Camels as well as his own – to his right rear Charlie Wright, an experienced pilot, and to his left rear, Trevor Halfpenny, another experienced man. To Trevor’s left rear was, however, Ralph Hornby, brand new to the Squadron and clearly struggling to keep his place in the formation. At least he was on the safer side.
Bobby, a veteran himself, scanned the skies again and caught a flash off to their right flank and above – Boche!! He waggled his wings in warning and turned to his right, Charlie following suite. They might get a head on shot but, if not, they could come round and get on the Hun’s tail. Trevor pressed ahead, seemingly oblivious but waggling his wings in warning, sp clearly aware of the threat. And Ralph….he was enjoying himself, he had settled, seemed to be flying along fine and it promised to be a lovely day……..a brightly coloured plane cut across his nose, seeming inches away, and his Camel bucked in response. Ralph fought to regain control and, finally, the Camel settled into steady flight. He looked to his left and saw the brightly coloured plane heading straight and level over the British lines – what on earth?
The British formation with the 2 Albatross coming in on their flank. My photograhy is, as usual, poor and I had not managed to sort everything in time for the game, so we have some SE5as proxying as Camels, I couldn’t find my altitude dials etc etc – I’ll be better prepared next time!
DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA, canvas ripped and Ralph’s plane bucked again – a quick glance behind revealed another brightly coloured Albatross on his tail and pouring fire into his aircraft. DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA….what to do…DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA, that’s it! Bobby had said, if the Boche appear, dive for the British trenches and head for home – rudder, flaps, stick…..DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA – the engine in front of Ralph burst into flames, sweeping around the cockpit, he could feel the burning heat and his aircraft pointed its nose down, down, down……
Lt Hornby’s final moments. Werner Bahnsteiger is firmly on his tail and, despite Charlie Wright being on the Hun’s flank, he wasn’t able to do anything to help. At top and leftish (so precise!!), you can see Bobby Baxter coming in as well, but too far away to do anything helpful.
Werner Bahnsteiger allowed himself a slight grin – one more kill to his tally, but this was too easy. Already a Junior Ace, he had spotted the sprog in the formation and had burst through the British aircraft, onto its tail and then, well, enough said. Where was Rudi?
The talk in the Mess later was that, in that initial dive, Rudi Kopfloser had dropped his Schnapps and had instantly ducked to try and recover it – thereby missing the British aircraft completely as he flew, oblivious to all, through the formation and across British lines. Rudi returned to the airfield later in good health and rattled on about sticky controls or such, but the ground crew found no evidence of any such problem (amazing what a case of beer can achieve) and his plane flew perfectly on the afternoon test flight!
But back to Werner Bahnsteiger. One down, no sign of Rudi and 3 to go. Aware of the 2 coming round on his tail, he turned hard and brought his Albatross directly at the flank of the first Camel – he reckoned he’d get a passing shot and then round onto the tail of the other one. As it was, he managed to get into a great flanking position and pressed down on the fire button DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA. Bobby felt the rounds ripping through his aircraft and bucked and dodged as best he could. DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA – this man knows how to fly though Werner as, again, he poured fire into the Camel but with no apparent signs of success. He could see the further Camel pushing to his right and seeming to try to come round sharply, but not managing it and ending up heading away from the fight. Good. DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA, but still no obvious damage. DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA – Werner felt the rounds rip through his aircraft and heard the canvas tearing – Trevor Halfpenny had pressed ahead, completed an impressive wing over and come back – not quite on the Hun’s tail, but close enough for a good burst and he could see his rounds hitting – got you now!!
But no, Werner pulled back on the stick, climbed over the Camel in front, now very close, and turned for home. The Camels reformed and continued their patrol uneventfully. It was a mixed mood in the mess, sadness at the loss of another young flyer, but elation at driving off that Boche – little did they know that Werner was down to his last couple of seconds of ammo and had decided one kill was enough before breakfast.
A great game, we’re still learning, but much fun and very realisitic. Werner, as a Junior Ace, really did dominate, but that’s as it should be, and poor Ralph was just out of his depth. It was also good to see an experienced pilot able to get into a fire position against the Junior Ace.
Monty the Desert Rat