Sunday, May 14, 2017

Dirk's Patrol

After his run-in with the squadron's CO, Dirk stomps off in a huff. His plane is in for repairs so he borrows one of the squadron's Goshawk fighters and sets off by himself.

For my next experiment with Spandau and Lewis I want to see what happens when an ace faces a superior plane with an inferior pilot. In the first encounter a Goshawk (aka a Nieuport 11) faces a Raptor (aka an Albatross). I messed up a bit though. Both planes have an agility of B so I bumped one to an A. Unfortunately, I bumped up the Goshawk by mistake, giving Dirk an extra advantage.

Encounter 1
Dirk, in a blue and yellow Goshawk, spots a crimson EIF (Empire of the Iron Fist) Raptor fighter.

Note that I have some new toys. The Goshawk is actually an American P-26 while the Raptor is portrayed by a Russian I-16. Both came from the O8 range stocked by PicoArmor.

The enemies approach and trade long-range shots. Dirk scores a hit!

Game Note: In S&L forward firing guns have a 45 degree arc of fire.

They circle, looking for an opening.

Dirk takes advantage of a mistake by the inexperienced Raptor pilot. Dirk swoops in on the enemy's flank, his machine guns chattering away. Bullets rip into the Raptor's fuselage.

Now damaged, the Raptor tries to escape. Dirk gets on its tail, but his shots miss!

With its superior speed, the Raptor begins to pull away.

Game Note: In this turn, the Raptor won initiative. Dirk had to slow down to prevent zooming past and letting the Raptor get on his tail. The Raptor took advantage by throttling to full speed.

Seconds later, the Raptor ducks into a cloud bank (i.e. makes it off the board) and escapes.

Encounter 2
Dirk continues his patrol. He spots another lone Raptor, this one heading back home.

The Raptor also spots Dirk. They rush at one another, trading head-on shots. Each takes minor damage.

The inexperienced Raptor pilot has difficulty turning his craft.

Dirk takes advantage and is able to line up a shot. The Raptor takes more damage.

He heads for the clouds. Dirk pursues.

Hoping to shake off the pursuit, the Raptor makes a 90 degree turn in the cloud. Dirk is not fooled, and pounces on him when he flies out of the cloud, Dirk's bullets rip into the Raptor.

Panicking now, the Raptor makes a beeline for home. Dirk stays on his tail and shoots him down.

Dirk continues his patrol but finds no more enemies. As the light fades he turns back home, pleased with his successes.

Final Thoughts
  • In addition to new planes, I also tried some Litko clear acrylic bases. I am very pleased with them. It is nice not having to paint bases. I may have to try them with some of my land forces. For my planes, I used the 3mm thick bases (I wanted to lift the planes off the board a little bit) but I would likely try the thinner 1.5mm ones for my 2-3mm ground forces.
  • These encounters (especially the last) really highlight the importance of pilot experience. The Raptor was faster (speed 6 vs 5) and more maneuverable (agility A vs. B) and had greater firepower (2 machines guns vs. 1). But Dirk's ace status trumped all that. Dirk usually won initiative, making it easier for him to get in a good position,
  • 6 x 6 Challenge: For the challenge, I am counting the 2 encounters as 1 game. I was going to run a third encounter but ran out of time. Still, I think this was sufficient to count as a game.
  • Next up: Dirk will tackle a zeppelin! I whipped up a stylized marker, I intend to scratch build a proper zeppelin but haven't had the time to get the materials. In the interim, I'll be using this marker make from a craft stick. I haven't figured out all the rules yet, but I may borrow some ideas from Junior General.


  1. Don't forget that you can bump a B to a B+. The manuever is the same, but a B+ beats a B on initiative ties. It's makes a subtle, but useful, difference.

  2. I need to keep that in mind. Thanks