Monday, 15 December 2014

Tradition... in the air

The past few years, the Hamilton Road Gaming Group has held a Christmas party with hot chocolate, cookies, hot cider, and other such goodies... and a game of Wings of War (now called Wings of Glory) World War I aircraft flying. When we started, we found a paper model of Snoopy flying his doghouse/Sopwith Camel from the comic strip, Peanuts. His opponent, of course, is Rittmeister Freiherr Manfred von Richthofen in his red Fokker triplane. We've added a few things each year, some of which did not work so well... like last year's "Frosty the Zeppelin."
We kept to the tradition this past Saturday and added a bomber. The first player whose plane was shot down returned as Santa with his sleigh. Snoopy made his appearance in the second game. As always, it was a fun outing. It was cut short this year by the requirement of employment. Beth and I took the photos. Andy, Martin, Katie, Kevin, Connor, Beth, Bear, and I all flew our craft into the storm. (Sad to say, Bear had to leave early because of an upset stomach and Katie had to work at her job - night shift and all.)

"The Flying Circus" - from the left, Martin, myself, Katie, Andy, and Kevin. Beth is behind the camera.

The Italian flight - a beautifully camouflaged Hanriot Hd.1 fighter, the big Italian tri-motor bomber, and a SPAD S.VII in Italian colours. Santa's sleigh brings up the rear. We use the stats for a German Roland that can only shoot to the rear.
If you shoot at Santa, he takes damage but you take the same damage, since you're on the "naughty list."

Another view of the Italian flying team. The bomber, a Caproni Ca.3, looks like a bathtub with wings.
There are two "puller" engines and one "pusher" engine with machine guns front and rear.
The thing's a tank.

The "Pattuglia d'alba" (Dawn Patrol) approaches the first target - the sleepy village across the river from the ruins.
I "flew" the bomber, Kevin flew the SPAD, and Katie flew the Hanriot.

The Central Powers scramble! Beth flew the Red Baron's Fokker Dr. I, Andy the Fokker D.VII, and Martin the Fokker E.III in Turkish markings. (He may as well have been flying a brick.)
The planes mix it up just after the bomber hit it's first target in the small town. Probably some German army cook trying to make a favourite Italian recipe - a fate deserving the death sentence in some peoples' eyes.

Bear came late and scrambled his Fokker D.VII quickly. Unfortunately his stomach was not up to staying long and he had to leave early. The buildings are from the "Distopian Wars" game - hangers and airship mooring masts. Beth painted them up as targets. Notice the improvised runway which started life as a paper towel.

More dog-fighting. The Hanriot bought the farm early.
The village houses are small resin or plaster cast models I've picked up over the years.

Santa runs interference for the bomber as it runs for the table edge after completing it's second bombing mission -
bombing the aerodrome.

The Italian SPAD S.VII - a rather nice model
The first game ended in an Italian victory since I hit both targets and sustained minor damage. The bomber can take up to 25 damage points! In the second game, we moved the terrain around a little and gave the Germans the bomber.

The tiny village. Gepetto's workshop is in the back.

The Allies take to the air. Snoopy makes a shallow dive in his Sopwith Camel (Beth), The Italian Hanriot (Connor) and the Airco DH.4 in US colours (Katie) serving as wing men.

The Luftstreitkrafte makes a bombing run. Martin flew the bomber, Andy the Halberstadte Cl.II, and the white Fokker D.VII was mine. (Hermann Goering's aircraft.)

Town and target

Not the target. I just liked the barn and got a good photo of it.

The bomber's eye view of the action.

Our hero!
Sad to say, he was shot down.
Andy measures to fire on Snoopy. Full range firing gives the target one hit, half range two hits. Cards show what damage you take, both points of damage and special stuff like guns jamming, rudder hits making turns impossible, even aerial explosions, destroying your plane. No dice are rolled.

Crowded skies.

Less crowded when Snoopy took a hit and spiralled to earth. We added some terrain. The small green felt piece is a forest, and the blue is water, either a lake or a stream.

The fighter escorts dance to gain position. There are altitude rules but we don't use them; it probably make for a better game but it makes it more complex.

Martin zeros in on the aerodrome for his second target.
Rittmeister Freiherr Manfred Albrecht von Richthofen
Die Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches,
winner of the Blue Max

Snoopy, incomprehensibly cursing his fate and the Red Baron

Still a great comic.

Just no.
 We held this festival a bit early because Martin was headed to his family's home for the holidays. His classes were over and he wanted to stay for the Christmas party.

Next week, we plan to run a Pulp fiction-ish game using Iron Ivan's "Where Heroes Dare!" rules. I won't say too much, but considering the season, you can expect to see Saint Nick, the Krampus, the RCMP, and other adventurers on the table.

The Krampus ----- look it up.
Of course, Die Weihnachtsmaus
My German congregation says this is who you blame
if anything goes wrong at Christmas!

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