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"Three Triplane games" Topic

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555 hits since 7 Apr 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2017 7:24 a.m. PST

I didn't get out my camera for the first game. This was a trench strafe by an Albatros D.IIIa and Fokker Dr.1. The section of trenches to be bombed (and shot up, except the shooting up didn't occur) was a small forward position. We dropped our bombs (the DR.1 was particularly effective, with a full rack of four, the D.IIIa far less so, because it was carrying only two bombs, and didn't plop them down directly on the trenches either). Then the Germans saw a DeHavilland DH.4 dropping down on them. The two German scouts split left and right and up. The DH.4, now out over No Man's Land, turned back toward his own trenches, went to the deck and scooted back across. The two Germans decided to call it a day, rather than attack low enough to invite defensive fire from the trenches.

Game Two:
Another "early war" balloon bust, by a Fokker E.IV and one of the new fighters, an Albatros D.II. The pilot of the D.II was an ace with six victories. He made three shooting passes on the gas bag.

The bag started only 40" up in "Stick One", very low.

During all of this going up and around and shooting up of the bag, the Fokker pilot was busy with a defending Morane Bullet (with 120 HP motor, so one of the better ones). The second defending airplane was a Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter, which kept trying fecklessly to fasten onto the Albatros.

It was a silly game: other than the one "10+1" rolled by the Albatros (the balloon crit), the shooting was abysmal, especially on the German side. And several silly aspects of the game emerged: first of all the Fokker pilot did not SEE the bag, in spite of one ground gunner putting a hit on him!

Then the Morane and Fokker did a head on pass, and because they were so close (accidentally) they "lightly" brushed each other, the Morane taking two hits and the Fokker three hits, and a crit check (five of his nine hits were now gone).

The Bullet went up and around. The Fokker went low and strafed the gunners who had shot at him, which shot back, without noticeable effect by either side. The Fokker's guns jammed! He flew around in a wide gentle circle, trying to clear his guns, while the Morane Bullet closed and started shooting from the rear.

The Albatros pried the Bullet off briefly, with a forward pass, but the ace's guns jammed too! The Bullet latched back onto the Fokker and finally shot his engine(s) out. By that point the 1 1/2 Strutter had expended so much energy trying to keep up with the higher Albatros that he couldn't follow as the Albatros climbed away.

Game Three: Two Albatros D.III scouts were patrolling just behind their lines, when an FK.8 (Big Ack) and its Spad.VII escort appeared. The FK.8 overshot his photographic run and started to turn back for it, oblivious of the approaching danger. One Albatros stayed high, the other made a very effective forward pass (box cars, at close range, -4, was still 5 hits). The Big Ack crew wondered what had hit them! Then they saw the Albatros streak by and up. The high Albatros dropped into the "dead six" kill position and shot the Big Ack down "out of control". In less than fifteen seconds the FK.8 had been shot to pieces fore and aft. (It seldom happens that fast.) The Spad pilot saw his charge whirling down out of control and dipped his nose into a full power dive, and soon escaped.

The Albatros begins its second run on the bag.

The Fokker E.IV (Sailor Steve's cool rigging is slightly damaged)

Often, you have to wait for bodies to get out of the way so you can make your move. :)

The 1 1/2 Strutter tries to close with the Albatros as it streaks by, shooting at the bag.

Meanwhile, the Bullet and E.IV have "slightly collided" making their mutual head on pass, the Bullet has gone up and around, and the Fokker is shooting up the gun position that shot at him a few seconds ago. "Oh!" says the Fokker pilot, "there's the balloon!" He finally spotted it, after he jammed his guns. :)

The D.II comes back around for his third and final run on the bag. The Morane is closing on the Eindecker. The Sopwith is coming back, in the background, having circled around.

The Albatros rolls to the left and away, his last shooting pass as feckless as the first. The bag is almost down to its nest.

The ace prys the Bullet off the Fokker's tail.

The bag safely back in its bed.

The ace is working on his jammed guns while the Strutter approaches. In the background, the Bullet closes again with the Eindecker as its pilot tries to clear his jammed guns.

The last game:
The already damaged FK.8 is shot up by an Albatros in its "dead six".
The Spad.VII escort saves itself by dropping into a power dive.
(The "trenches" from the first game can still be seen on the floor; masking tape makes suitable targets, from roads, to trenches to "HQ"s.)

Chris Wimbrow07 Apr 2017 9:37 a.m. PST

Lovely photos and models and AAR, but … scale? Rules?

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2017 10:57 a.m. PST

1/72 scale. "Triplane". Currently out of print. But we have our copies. :D

Terrement Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2017 12:23 p.m. PST


Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2017 5:06 p.m. PST


Sailor Steve Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2017 10:08 p.m. PST

Normally I would just dump a newly-created pilot who got shot down on his first mission, but The GWA talked me into writing it up anyway. Part of the Triplane rules require that a two-seater doing a ground attack or photo run acquire the target first. You don't just automagically know where everything is.

By the time I saw the area I was to photograph I was already past it. I was circling around when bullets came out of nowhere. Where did that Albatros come from??? While I was looking at that one the other one finished me off. That's when the fun really started. We have charts for landing in rough areas, burning and outright crashing, I was completely out of control more than ten thousand feet up! The chart does have a chance of regaining partial control, which doesn't mean you can fly home but gives you a little say in how the plane hits the ground. The die modifier roll said that we landed right-side-up. Both pilot and observer survived. I have no idea how or when they got separated, but subsequent die rolls said that the pilot escaped to his own lines, losing only one month of combat duty, whereas the observer got captured (at least he didn't get shot). I recorded the mission after all, and it could be the beginning of an entertaining career. Or he could die on his next mission. Then again, because you never know what the next mission will be, or what side you'll be on, or what plane you'll be in, there's a good chance I won't fly that pilot again for several years. Time will tell.

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