Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Manfred the Moocher

Club night but not Club night, I set off as usual yesterday having organised my aircraft for Wings of War, the bases, the tokens, the bumf, sorted out a scenario but once at the club and having got the table organised found out I had not brought the actual aircraft cards, you can't of course play the game without the cards. The week had started out badly and is obviously set to continue in that vein, god knows what is going to be thrown at me over the next few days.

Despite a kind offer to jump into another game I had set my sights on playing Wings of War so Simon and I set off back to mine, I just knew there had been something missing which is why I fussed over everything before putting it in the car, my only excuse is I had a lot on my mind as real life had kicked me in the teeth.

So, back at my house we set up on the dining room table, the missus was out so no interference there, the mission was to be a photographic one for the Germans, to this end they had a two-seater Rumpler with an Albatross and Fokker Triplane (Von Richthofen) as escort, I rolled a die and the result was that I had to take three photographs of the target. The allied Dawn Patrol consisted of two Camels and a Sopwith Triplane. Much like X-Wing I have so many models some never take to the air and it is usually the old favourites time after time, so it was nice to see the Rumpler and Sopwith triplane flying.

 There was no finesse in the opening movements as the British headed straight for me, I kept the Rumpler on course for the target, the Albatross made for the British while the triplane faffed about trying to make his way over without bumping the two seater. I was soon approaching the target and my observer had to reluctantly drop his gun for the camera, thankfully the Camel on his tail was silent, gun jam.


Von Richthofen found himself at the tail end of the fight but the British ignored him and turned to get the Rumpler, Manfred was staring at an empty sky as the fight moved away from him.

With the first photograph being a success, you have to roll to see whether the plate is dropped or the visibility was rubbish or the camera simply did not work, the Rumpler began to position himself for another run, the observer now concentrating on the stripey Camel on his tail. They were helped by the pilot of the Albatross who was now behind the Camel, a smoke trail coming from his engine.

This aircraft broke off for some respite while his friends arrived, the Rumplers rear machine gun had suddenly gone quiet, the Albatross flung himself around to face the newcomers, a flash of red could be seen in the distance.

 The striped Camel again entered the fray but this time his engine caught fire and he spun out of control towards the ground, the Albatross was now a flying wreck as was the Rumpler, both the pilot and the observer were slumped wounded in their seats and their guns remained silent, the camera hanging useless at the side. As the Albatross turned for home the Rumpler plummeted downwards, Richthofen now turned up and put the second, badly shot up Camel out of the fight, this allowed the Albatross to escape unmolested while both triplane pilots duelled to the death.

Richthofen's patience had paid off, after several fly pasts the British triplane went south.

A good little game salvaged from a bad start, there were no quick kills as all the aircraft took an amazing number of hits before they fell from the sky, the striped Camel in particular had a huge number of cards in his damage pile, most being zeros unfortunately. A lucky shot had taken out the observer so I could not complete my mission, I thought one photograph was better than none but then the pilot was mortally wounded and the plane disintegrated. A victory for the British but a pyrrhic one having lost three planes for one, the Albatross was very lucky as he only had one damage point left as he gunned for home.

When I was a kid and played football a moocher was a guy who hung about the opposite goal doing nothing but waiting for the chance to catch everyone off guard and get an uncontested goal, in this game a well deserved moniker for Manfred. In wargame terms the other aircraft were faster and as I had put the red triplane in a bad position it took me a long time to bring him back into the game.


  1. Oooh! Stop tempting me with such shiny toys!
    I'm skint you know! :o)

    1. You forget how nice some things are when you don't play them often, or how good they are. And I have way more than I need of course :)