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Saturday 2 July 2016

The alternative Somme memorial

Today, after a tough week at work, my original idea of doing Sails of Glory got put back, and Lawrence and I did Wings of Glory WW1 instead.
Poor Alex was unwell (get better soon pal!) so couldn't join us.

Lawrence was a little late in, so I set up a game with 2 Albatros D2's against 3 Spad VII's. These were operational at the tail end of the Battle of the Somme. There was a major struggle for air superiority over the Somme battlefield which is often forgotten.

 Lawrence (when he had arrived!)- ran the yellow hulled Albatros (Boelcke) and I had the drab purple one (Richthofen).
Our enemy, a British Spad (23 squadron) In the lead, le vieux charles flown by Georges Guynemer, and the leader of Escadrille Lafayette, Robert Soubiran.
We started straight forward 
 ...as did the Allies.
 Lawrence banked left... to bypass the Allied advance.
I got a good hit on the British Spad, and suffered no damage back, but my guns jammed!
 We passed through each others formations.
 I 'Immelmanned' as the Allies all turned towards Boelcke.
 I kept clear of them as I tried to clear my guns.
 Boelcke managed a hit on the Brit.
 We began a tortured circling for a shot.
I followed Boelcke against the American pilot. 
The American evaded the attack. 
The Brit and Guynemer began a right hand turn.
 We turned to follow.
I hit 'La Vieux Charles'... 
 ...but was lucky not to get hit by the British Spad.
 Boelcke followed onto Guynemer's Spad.
I was sparring with the Brit. 
Guynemer had a breather out of the action! 
 I turned to chase him.
..then turned to avoid the American! 
 Guynemer re-engaged to tail Boelcke.
 I turned to clear his tail. 
 Guynemer shot at Boelcke...
Boelcke 'Immelmanned' and... 
 ...Guynemer fell in flames! (The BANG card again!)
Both sides now tried to get re-organised. 
The American turned to engage Boelcke. 
I chased the Brit as he tried to attack from the other side! 
Neither side got a shot. 
 Boelcke flew past the American...
 ...then Immelmanned to chase him.
 The American turned to face his pursuer but got caught.
I was chasing the Brit. 
..but he was too fast to catch! 
Boelcke moved away from the American... 
...then Immelmanned to face him. 
The Brit Immelmanned too, and damaged my engine!
Boelcke and the American closed at speed... 
 But they just missed getting a shot in! 
 I was still chasing the Brit.
 Both sides parted again.
I paired off with the American... 
 Boelcke was left with the Brit...
 ...who turned on me for a good hit!
I was facing both Spads. 
Boelcke was returning to help. 
At this point, the damaged British Spad left the table, and the American followed, they realised they would not win, I think!

The second game

Having some time left, Lawrence suggested a single plane opposed game. Having been reading about the Fokker DR1 during the week, I got out a Sopwith Camel to face it...
I randomly got the Sopwith, Lawrence's favourite plane!
 Lawrence got a Fokker DR1, I like Fokkers!
 We moved to engage...
As we passed, Lawrence turned sharply to pursue me. 
I turned too, Fokker pilots were warned not to try turning with a Camel, I wanted to know why! 
I began to out-turn my enemy. 
He flew straight on. 
 An Immelmann of course!
 I flew past, leaving the Fokker behind.
I decided to Immelmann myself. 
The Fokker was turning to face me. 
 I turned to engage him.
 We both missed each other.
 We began turning again...
The Fokker broke off again, tempting me to follow. 
 Seeing no alternative, I obliged.
 He Immelmanned and made me pay for it!
 I turned on him again.
Ah, we have been here before! 
I decided to try engaging at a greater range would possibly work better? 
We both turned... 
...and passed each other again! 
The Fokker turned... 
Instead of chasing, I turned left and circled. 
The Fokker Immelmanned again, as I had expected. 
I got lucky, and caught the Fokker. 
He turned to parallel me. 
 I Immelmanned.
 I was able to get an ineffective shot.
 The Fokker was in a good position and turned after me.

We both moved to create space between us. 
We turned... 
The Fokker went straight (an Immelmann?) 
...But he turned instead, straight into my guns! 
I chased him, only for my guns to jam! 
Fortunately, they had done enough! 

The Third game!

We STILL had time, so we just swapped sides, so we got to use our favoured planes!

I got the resurrected Fokker DR1... 
 ...Lawrence got the hump, or rather, the  Camel!
 We closed as before... 
 I turned sharply as we passed!
 We flew over each other...
 The Camel was soon far off.
He closed quickly... 
...but we passed without incident. 
I turned quickly... 
..a lucky long range shot started a fire on the Camel. 
The first flame damage was...less than dangerous! 
We passed... 
My Immelmann was timed well...for once! 
It was his time now to turn on me, but it was him who took damage...from his fire! 
I turned sharly, but did not get a shot. 
 We parted...
I turned after the retreating Camel. 
His last fire damage was a big card again! 
 Unknown to me, Lawrence was close to crashing with all that fire damage.
He turned to engage me again--despite his damage!
Next turn, his new orders tried to get him safely off table.
 I turned correctly, however, and got on his tail...
...fortunately, next move, he was still in arc... 
..and perished bravely. 
Good games, and we both enjoyed them, I had the luck today though, especially in the second game!  Ah, the fickle Fortunes of War!

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