Sunday, December 11, 2016

"Bloody April" WW I Mini-Campaign using Wings of Glory

Keith's 1/144 scale WW I airplanes using the Wings of Glory rules
Every once in awhile, my friend Keith gets the urge to fly a plane. Or at least, using Wings of Glory (formerly Wings of War) 1/144 scale World War I airplanes on the miniature tabletop. Rather than just doing the odd scenario, he wanted to try a mini-campaign around the Bloody April phase of the air war in WW I. He would record losses and victory points for aerial kills (I imagine -- he never really explained that part of it to us!).
The Germans -- Steve and Joel -- plot their fiendish maneuvers to shoot down our bombing mission
So, Allen, Mike S, and myself took on the role of an allied flight trying to bomb a bridge and one other target. Allen had a fighter and bomber, Mike S had two fights and a bomber, and I had two Sopwith Pup fighters as cover. Our opponents, Joel, Steve, and Keith, had 5 German fighters which we were told were superior to our planes. I began on the left side of our formation and raced out and flew an arc towards their center, hoping to disrupt their formation and draw attention away from the bombers. I was happy with how I lined up my shots with both of my planes getting in shots at Steve's two fighters.
Colorful Allied and German planes bank and turn to get a shot at the enemy
Once we'd flown by them, my two planes split up, one peeling off to face off against Keith's fighter coming in from our left (and soon to be rear), while the other turned to follow Steve's fighters, which we'd damaged. I was completely unsuccessful in drawing them away from the bombers, though. We soon had a massive, swirling melee with planes from all six players involved. True to form, one of my undamaged fighters drew the dreaded "explosion" damage card and I was down one plane. Luckily, Joel had similar bad luck on the other side.
Allied planes line up to concentrate on one of Steve's fighters
In the end, we lost four planes (both of our bombers and two fighters), while they lost three. Allen did successfully bomb the target, damaging it. Considering their fighters took more and dished out more damage than ours, I considered that a draw. Not sure how Keith will score it, but he recorded all the statistics for the next time. It was fun to get out the Wings of Glory game again. It is a fast-moving, easy game to pick up. The card deck simulates the flying well, and having to choose three maneuvers ahead of time makes up have to do some planning and guesswork. I look forward to our next game, and hopefully avoiding the explosion card!
A good look at the swirling central melee a turn before my plane drew the unlucky explosion card

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