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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 12 March 2024, 08:38 PM   #1
The Hangman
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After action report Balloon Busting

After Action Report: Balloon Busting over Verdun

Custom scenario played solitaire using both Richtofenís War and Dawn Patrol rules.

September 1917, near Verdun. A German Drachen balloon floats above the blasted hellscape at 900 meters, protected by three AA 77mm flak cannons and six MGs. Upon sighting enemy aircraft, the observers will bail out and balloon pulled down at 150 meters per turn. If lowered to 300 meters, it will be considered too dangerous to be attacked with all its ground MGs in range.

Commentary of each turn to be found under photo.

Sergeants Willi in Albatross DVa (#3) and Ernst in Albatross DVa (#4), are flying combat air patrol at 1500 meters. Starting on Turn 1 on a D6 of 4-6, they will enter from Northeast of the map to check on the Drachen. On every successive turn a +1 will be added to their 1D6 roll.
Sous-Lieutenant Jean Marc in Spad XIII (# 1), with his wingman Sgt. Serge in Spad XIII (#2) enter West on map at altitude 1500 meters.

Turn 1
Upon entering the map the French Spads achieve initial surprise, and the Balloon fails to spot them. Both planes dive to 900 meters to close in. The Albatrosses do not make their entry roll. So far, so good.

Turn 2
Now alerted, the observers spot the Spads and quickly bail out of the balloon. As the ground crew begin to pull it down, the 77mm flak guns open up. Jean Marc in Spad #1 closes in on balloon and opens fire, as his wingman covers him.
He gets four hits on the Drachen, but his incendiary bullets fail to ignite it. Jean Marcís Spad is bracked by AA bursts, and suffers six damage points, along with a critical hit to his engine reducing his speed by four movement points. Usually bad luck, even considering how dangerous it is to attack a heavily defended balloon.
The Albatrosses make their entry DR, and appear. The Germans pilots dive to intercept Jean Marcís Spad. Serge bravely climbs to face both Albatrosses alone to protect Lt. Jean Marc, who dives his shot-up Spad to head back to his lines. The Drachen descends to 750 meters.

Turn 3
Serge goes for an angled frontal attack with Williís Albatross and makes a deflection shot outside the Germanís arc of fire. His shooting is poor, making only one hit.
Willi, apparently the more experienced pilot, adroitly performs a loop, and gets on Sergeís tail. Ernst breaks off from his wingman to go after Jean Marcís crippled Spad. Balloon descends to 600 meters.

Turn 4
Jean Marc desperately dives his Spad, trailing white smoke down to 500 meters to gain speed to escape. Williís split-second decision after his loop fails to anticipate Sergeís escape maneuver, and he circles left while Serge turns right.
Meanwhile Ernst pursues after the ailing Jean Marcís Spad. The balloon descends to 450 meters, leaking gas. Feldwebels on the ground scramble about to make sure no one has a lit cigarette....

Turn 5

Ernst gets two hits on the Jean Marcís already ailing Spad. Serge desperately races to engage Ernst to get him off his wingmanís tail. The Drachen now arrives safely at 300 meters, unlikely to be attacked again with multiple ground MGís in range to protect it.

Turns 6 & 7
Willi maneuvers his purple and green-winged Albatross to vector on Jean Marcís escaping Spad. He speeds full throttle, and takes a tail shot, getting two hits on the already bullet-perforated French fighter. Jean Marcís Spad is now a flying sieve with only one damage point remaining.
Serge has a perfect shot at Ernst's Albatross at close range, but he must have flunked marksmanship while attending Pau flight school. His potential kill shot fumbles into a mere single hit.
Ernst is not going to give the Frenchie a second shot. He pulls his yellow and green-tailed Albatross in a tight loop, turning the tables on Serge and gets on the Spad's six oíclock position.

Turn 8
Willi dives to 450 meters after Jean Marc, who hugs the ground at 200 meters. He fires his twin Spandau's. In the middle of the burst, his MGís jam. But itís enough to give Jean Marc's Spad the coup de grace. Despite the low attitude, luckless Jean Marc does not survive the crash.
Meanwhile, Serge takes advantage of his Spadís awesome strength, and pushes his stick forward to dive steeply, arriving a mere 50 meters above the ground. Ernst deduced Serge would dive, does the same. But his DVa wings are not robust like the Spadís to conduct the same steep descent, so the distance between them widens...

Turn 9

Scraping the nape of the earth, Serge opens up his throttle for all its worth. The Spadís mighty 220HP Hispano-Suiza roars like a lion and leaves Ernstís pursuing Albatross DV5a far behind, heading for friendly territory. Ernst sees the futility to pursue his prey, and turns back to return to his Jastaís airdrome.
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