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"Me, as an SE.5a ace" Topic

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World War One

808 hits since 19 Oct 2017
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Great War Ace19 Oct 2017 9:56 p.m. PST


The "Big L" is me, of all my career pilots, the only one I have ever IDed as myself, and I've always flown him as I would in any given situation. He has the most victories of any pilot I've ever run, and in fact is the oldest pilot in my air war gaming career, having started way back in '74, as a "Richthofen's War" (Avalon Hill board game) pilot: my brother Mark and I went at it with me using the SE.5a and Mark using the Albatros D.Va, with him shooting my planes down four times in a row. Finally, on the fifth duel in the skies I shot him down. That's when "my" career started. I converted that pilot into my first SE.5a career pilot when I converted Richthofen's War to 1/72nd scale models on the three-wheeled trolleys and played with friends in my parent's livingroom that year and the next. After that, the game morphed and was printed in several editions, and my SE.5a pilot's score gradually advanced through harrowing adventures, including getting shot down and forced down several times. It is a dangerous business! But his luck has held out, and I play him very craftily, risking "my" neck only when compelled by circumstances. Today's game was typical of a missed scoring opportunity followed by a skedaddle. I was outnumbered by the Albatros that I damaged (one of Sailor Steve's aces), earlier in the game, and another German, a Hannover Cl.3. My plane's superior speed and diving ability (but also knowing when to get the heck out) saved "Big L" once again. :)

Sobieski20 Oct 2017 2:06 a.m. PST

My last three dogfights against my wife have twice ended in her shooting me down, and once in a crash landing. All my pilots have died.

Moral: Don't let here realise a Fokker DR I outclimbs anything else!

Personal logo Battle Cry Bill Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2017 6:18 a.m. PST

I've always wanted to try that system, but am happy with the Wings of Glory game and flying multiple planes.

I grew up on the game Dogfight and kept track of my results. I just found a guy who sells restored parts. I have a cool brand new box and some replacement parts.


21eRegt20 Oct 2017 6:55 a.m. PST

We played Red Baron for years till we quested for a WWII air system we liked. (Still haven't found it.) My pilots of all nationalities were typically named for philosophers. Kant, Hume, etc. My American pilots were movie characters like Jack Kelso (1941). Adds to the game when you have a name and implied personality.

Great War Ace20 Oct 2017 8:24 a.m. PST

Naming pilots: my most (over used) name for my German pilots is "Bruno Stachel", or simply "B.S." :) I've used Navarre for my favorite French pilot(s). And my Brits tend to be variants of "Shufflebotham" (a nod to Goshawk Squadron, the Catch 22 version of WW1 flying). I like the idea of using philosophers and film stars. Perhaps I will expand my repertoire of names to include those and also music composers, classical and modern. I have felt rather staid for some time, when it comes time to come up with another name. My pilots tend to be removed from action on a regular basis, so naming new ones is a constant demand.

Dogfight: I "grew up" on that game too. I have several copies of the game, all of them very well used (the airplanes are all painted, of course). Of course, the entire shebang is stuffed way back in a storage space and hasn't seen the light of day for many years.

Great War Ace20 Oct 2017 9:12 a.m. PST

It's weird, how time warps memory. I got suspicious that my OP details about "Big L's" opening combats were backwards. So I dug out my oldest notes, which confirms that I did, in fact, get it bassendackwards last night. Playing Richthofen's War, my brother Mark tried to kill me four consecutive times and paid the ultimate price each time: it was a single gaming session, his only gaming session (a concession to me with my new board game). His Albatros D.5a went down four consecutive times, putting "Big L" on the verge of acehood as he graduated into the 3D game with the movement stands and 1/72 scale airplanes.

Also, apropos on record keeping: I've read over "Big L's" career notes and he has not been "shot down and forced down several times". Heh! He's been forced down once on record (maybe some of his earlier escapades included being shot down once or twice, I couldn't say, and back then my mission notes were spare in the extreme, listing only kills). I was conflating him with "Navarre" (my N.11 Bébé ace), who has been shot down at least twice.

One should never go by memory. And as memory is challenged by age, one should keep more detailed notes. But, also, one is likely to go on as always and not change a danged thing. So spare notes it is, or nothing at all.

Old Wolfman21 Oct 2017 12:09 p.m. PST

When I play Aerodrome,I try to keep my opponents guessing.

Sailor Steve21 Oct 2017 4:24 p.m. PST

That was a fun game, and showed how quickly the tide can change in a battle. There were three Brits – Two SE.5as and a DH.4 (it was supposed to be an Allied fighter sweep, and therefore all single-seaters, but that player had recently broken his foot and wanted to have an easy escape vector if the pain got too bad); and three Germans – Two Albatrosen and the aforementioned Hannover. Sure enough, the DH.4 ran at the first sight of trouble, using his superior dive speed to outpace us all, and one Albatros chasing him down. As he said, GWA put some hits on me which made me wary. The other SE.5a attacked the Hannover with the result that the German's rear gun shot the SE's radiator out. At that point our fight suddenly dropped to the altitude of the fleeing DH.4, and when he escaped GWA was left alone with three of us. He rightly ran, and very well, with then end result being that the only kill of the night was obtained by an 11-year-old shooting down his mother!

As for naming pilots, I seem to have a knack for coming up with realistic names that aren't the names of any real pilots. I like to cross-check the names I do come up with and compare them to the records to make sure mine are unlike any others.

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