Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Jasta 18 Loses Out.

Having missed the Western Front last week for the Western Desert it was Wings of War this week, only Simon and I were playing but it is always possible to pick up a few extra pilots hanging around on a Tuesday night but not this Tuesday. I decided on a nice easy game, two Fokker DVII's from Jasta 18 'The Ravens', were to escort a Rumpler C.IV, affectionately dubbed 'The Chicken' due to the artwork prominent on the aircraft, on a photo reconnaissance mission over the British lines.

As the target hove into view three allied scouts were spotted, two SE5a's from 85 Squadron and a Sopwith Camel which had joined them from 10 RNAS Squadron. Right from the start it was apparent that the Jasta 18 pilots, Kandt and Kustner were not the best fliers in the German Air Service, the Rumpler soon found itself surrounded by the British while its escort struggled to get back into the fight after being out flown by the Tommies. Although on a good course for a photograph the Rumpler pilot decided he had to do something drastic with three enemy scouts on his tail, he dodged away from the target, the observer all the time picking on his tormentors with accurate machine gun fire.

The Fokkers now came back with a vengeance and managed to gang up on an SE5 and send it spinning earthwards, this elation did not last long as another passing British fighter joined the fray. The Rumpler managed eventually to turn and make another run on the target while still trying to fight off the tenacious British. More bullets slammed into 'The Chicken' as the pilot held it steady while the observer changed from machine gun to camera. This lull proved disastrous as the British closed in for the kill and the brave pilot and his crewman succumbed to gunfire.

Although outnumbered the Jasta 18 pilots thought that they could still manage a couple of kills before heading for home, however in the maelstrom of aerial combat they spent more time dodging each other than shooting and paid the price. In short shrift both aircraft fell victim to the British flyer's.

The game proved a nice way to spend an evening, as we had plenty of time I allowed Simon to dice for a passing scout, he made the roll easily and no time was lost as the odds evened up again. I too was lucky in part, before the mission started I rolled and found I only had to take one photograph before turning for home, and when I did manage to take the shot it was a success, an odd score would have meant trying again. Sadly however the Rumpler took a lot of punishment in its final approach to the target and succumbed to damage just after getting the photograph. I didn't use the Fokkers well at all and a lot of the time they could not shoot for dodging each other or nearby British planes, I should have got some distance from the enemy and came back, but it was too late. I had been very lucky with the damage cards for both my scouts up until the final turns when they both drew some dire scores.

So there you go, we finished about half an hour early so took in what else was happening for a bit, Frostgrave, Bloodbowl, a boardgame and Ryan introducing Andy to Kings of War Historical with Romans vs Macedonians, it looked like a good game and the Romans seemed to have the upper hand when I left, or would have if it had been a War and Conquest game. Next week I am supposed to be playing Bolt Action against Julian's beautifully painted Italians with my British, looking forward to that.


  1. Great stuff, you can't beat W of W for a filler or when time to play or time for preparation of something bigger is short.

  2. The great merit of Wings of War to me is that it's fun, exciting and a novice player can enjoy a rewarding experience. Many miniature rule sets and board wargames (an area of interest for me) require a commitment that necessarily deters the casual player. There are now dozens of companies producing hundreds of board wargames with rule sets often 20-40 pages long, detailed and rarely easy to assimilate. Invariably the first edition rules require clarification and rewriting, long pages of errata are standard and some games may have 2, 3 or more editions of rules plus "Living rules" available online. And, of course, many enthusiasts incorporate their own house rules. It's one of the main reasons why I am more of a collector than a player, owning hundreds of games still in shrink and painting up armies in a variety of scales and periods that will probably never get to the table. Perversely, I enjoy it.