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Games and Flight Sims Topics related to Red Baron, Dawn Patrol and other WWI aviation games

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Old 3 June 2004, 07:12 AM   #1
Lufbery
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HI all,

So far, so good.

I'm flying the dawn patrol on April 1st as A flight(in Pups). The mission is to fly behind the enemy lines in all three sectors then get back to base to report what you've seen.

I haven't even made it to the trenches yet and I've had three encounters with enemy aircraft due to the nice weather and great visibility. The first planes encountered didn't see my flight. The second resulted in a dogfight with the Red Baron and two non-Jasta 11 planes. Two of the bad guys were driven off (including the Baron) and one was damaged. Now, in the next hex over, I have another dogfight brewing with Richthofen again and two more non-Jasta 11 planes. I brought my top three Pup pilots and my top Strutter.

It's taken my about two hours in real time to get to this point, but I'm already noticing the procedures are taking less time than when I started. So far, I've played 12 game turns. A lot of my time so far has been spent reading the rules.

I'll have to see how this latest dogfight turns out. I may end up heading for home instead of trying to finish the mission. Right now, with clear weather, I'm almost guaranteed to have an enemy encounter each turn. Those are some pretty long odds once I cross the trenches.

Regards,
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Old 3 June 2004, 07:56 AM   #2
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Good stuff, Keep us informed on your progress. I have got to get this game. Just don't like
ordering things from overseas. All the cost and stuff. Anyway, good luck with the EAs.

Jim P
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Old 3 June 2004, 10:39 AM   #3
Lufbery
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Okay, I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, there's an excellent replay here:

http://www.grognard.com/reviews1/wof.txt

And two good reviews here:

http://www.grognard.com/reviews/wingsovr.txt

http://flyhi.de/games/wingsoverfrance1.html

The first time I played the game, I really didn't get it, and didn't play it for long. This time, I'm spending more time on it and actually enjoying it a lot. I've found the mechanics are pretty easy to learn. Die rolling seems to be at a minimum necessary.

I still haven't done photo recon, ground attack, or balloon attack yet, so we'll see how that goes.

Regards,
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Old 3 June 2004, 02:30 PM   #4
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Lufbery,

Thank you for the information. I'll check it out soon.

Jim P h34r:
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Old 8 June 2004, 06:00 AM   #5
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AAR continued:

The second dogfight had mixed results. Of my four planes, the Strutter was driven off, but has returned to the flight following the dogfight, One of my Pups was damaged pretty badly, and the flight leader has a jammed gun.

However, the two-seater's gunner drove off one of the EA, and the pup that wasn't damaged or jammed damaged Richthofen and another EA. Those are some good victory points.

So now I have some choices to make. I could let the damaged pup make it to the emergency field three hexes away by himself. His engine has been hit and he's trailing smoke, but he's behind our lines and the emergency field is not far away. Alternately, I could detach one of the other members of the flight to escort him back, but that would leave me with just two planes to try and continue the mission. My third option is to take the whole flight and escort the damaged plane to the emergency field and then try to either continue the mission or head home.

Regardless of what I do, I need to get everyone (except the damaged plane) to a higher altitude so I have the option of not dogfighting when I encounter enemy planes. I've been flying at 5,000 feet and most of the Germans I encounter are at the 8,000 to 10,000 foot level.

This dogfight took me about a half-hour to resolve (half as long as the previous dogfight). I may have been a little slow, though, because I was watching Master and Commander at the same time. So the games does go quicker once the rules become more familiar.

To be continued...
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Old 24 June 2004, 10:35 AM   #6
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Ah ha! I finally finished the dawn patrol!

By any objective account, the mission was a success, but not a major success. I ended up with a positive 3 victory points.

At the beginning of the mission I took up three Pups and one Strutter. At the end, I had two Pups, one with a slightly injured pilot, and a slightly damaged Strutter.

The Pup that was damaged during the second dogfight burst into flames and killed the pilot on the very next turn. A sad turn of events, but it did solve the dilemma of how to see him safely to the emergency field. The remaining two Pups and the Strutter spent the next two turns climbing to 17,000 feet before heading over the lines.

The weather stayed with me as I had unlimited visibility for the entire rest of the mission. The flak was not too bad during the trip over and behind the lines except for one hit that holed the wings on the Strutter and one hit that slightly wounded one of my Pup pilots. I had encounters with enemy aircraft for ten of the twelve turns spent behind the lines, but I was always at least 2,000 feet above them and was able to decline combat the whole time.

The survivors all landed safely with some fuel to spare. We damaged three enemy planes, including the Red Baron himself. We won?t see him for the rest of the day!

Now that I've finally finished a mission, I have a few observations with the game.

1) Encounters with enemy aircraft seem far too frequent. I understand that each hex represents 16 square miles, but seeing enemy planes for an entire 48-mile stretch of area behind the enemy lines, not to mention how frequently they were encountered behind Allied lines, is far too high a concentration of German planes compared to the real-life accounts I've read. As it was, with weather modifications and archie puffs pointing out my position, I had to roll a 10, 11, or 12 to avoid an encounter (on a two-sided die).

One easy, but still realistic fix, is to reduce the modifications to the encounter value due to weather by two. That way, the weather will still modify the chance of an encounter, but only down, and not up.

2) I really like the way flak (archie) is handled in this game, but I wonder why there is no penalty for accuracy when trying to hit planes at 17,000 feet compared to 4,000 feet.

My suggested fix would be to reduce the result of the archie effects die roll by one if the player?s planes are between 10,000 and 14,000 feet; and by two if the planes are between 15,000 and 20,000 feet.

For the time being, I am going to continue to play without the suggested variants mentioned above. Subsequent missions may prove my misgivings unfounded.

Overall, this mission was very enjoyable. Now I have to get my flight ready for the next mission of the day.

Regards,
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Old 25 June 2004, 05:39 AM   #7
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Lufbery - Thanks for the updates. I find them interesting and informative. I'm thinking of picking up WoF and your posts are heliping me along in the decision making process. Plus, a friend of mine just bought it, so I'm waiting hear what he thinks of it as well.

One thing I detect from your most recent post is that, like me, you like to add house rules to board games to correct perceived issues. My friend and I made huge changes to Richthofen's War to make it more realistic. I've also added some house rules for Dawn Patrol, such as more realistic altitude effects, a revised tailing procedure, etc. The one thing board games have over computer games is that you can change them to do whatever you want. More often than not computer games have a tendency to frustrate me because there's always something that is really annoying that I can't fix.

If you start putting together a list of house rules for Wings Over France, please let us know.
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Old 25 June 2004, 06:27 AM   #8
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Kirk,

I'm glad you like the AARs. Overall, I find the game very enjoyable, but there are a few quirks.

You're right that house rules are one of the highlights of board games versus computer games. A ton of effort has gone into fixing the Red Baron computer game by a lot of folks who were unhappy with the game and its patches as presented by Sierra.

With a board game, it's a lot easier to change the mechanics to suit one's own ideas on how things should be.

I'll keep posting AARs and suggested house rules in this thread as I play more missions.

Regards,
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Old 8 July 2004, 04:59 PM   #9
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Hello!

I took my boys up for their first sortie last night- the Dawn Patrol of course, taking 4 Pups.

I only got halfway to the Front when 4 of those nasty Jasta 11 Fritzes dropped down on me, KIAed my Flight Leader and damaged another Pup. In the subseqent Dogfight phase, another pup got blown away and the remaining pup was damaged also! Luckily that was the end of the dogfight...

Made the emergency airstrip 3 hexes away worrying that one of the lame ducks would fall from the sky en route.

Not a good start for the Lads, 2 crashed aircraft, 2 damaged, 2 pilots KIA, 2 wounded. And I never got a shot off!

Great game though, I shall be back at the Squadron tonight!
 
Old 9 July 2004, 02:55 AM   #10
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Can this game only be bought through the authors website?
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