Author Topic: Bloody April III  (Read 8332 times)

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Offline =CfC=Father Ted

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Re: Bloody April III
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2015, 02:59:10 PM »
I'll see...The short report after two sorties is two inglorious deaths :'(.  But it is fun getting into a sort of MP wargaming situation.  I'm sitting here now listening to our "CO" working out what missions to fly to try to win the battle

Offline =CfC=Father Ted

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Re: Bloody April III
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2015, 04:02:29 AM »
Just for you Woof...

Just to recap, this campaign is an attempt to bring a bit of structure and a sense of consequences to MP missions.  Players are invited to register and state a preference for the side they want to fly.  Once that has all been hashed out, each side elects a leader.  The organisers work up some side-specific missions - photo recon, bombing, trench-mapping, and so on - and pass them on to the commanders.  These gents then use  their pilot-availability and pliot-preference (ie fighter or two-seater) spreadsheets to come up with a plan to try to achieve the objectives.

The basic rules are that if you die then that's it for the mission, and, once airborne, you should only use TS to talk to members of your own flight.  You can re-fly if you land alive on your own side of the lines, but planes are limited.

All three of the missions I flew were similar, so I'll just describe the middle one.

At the designated hour all Entente pilots assembled in the ready room (TS lobby) for roll-call and flight-designation.  Once we had been detailed off we made our way to our respective fields (TS channel).  I was in a flight of five N17s.  Three were supposed to go into enemy airspace on an aggressive patrol, whilst the other two were to maintain a presence over our own artillery positions.  I volunteered for the latter and pulled along a chap I'd flown the previous sortie with (name of Voodoo).  We quickly decided that having five of talking at cross-purposes would be counter-productive, so we sub-divided our comms still further into a two-ship and three-ship flight.

Out on the field the weather was grim - light snow and ten-tenths cloud at 1200m, with low horizontal visibility to boot.  Thankfully at least there was no lying snow, as that makes navigating much more difficult.  It was not a part of the front I'd been posted to before, so that was going to be hard anyway.  We all started up and went through pre-flight checks as we awaited the klaxon to signal take-off.

None too soon its raucous blare cut across the idling engines and we all powered up and took off in a careful echelon (no one wants to prang their kite, or someone else's, at this stage).  Once all safely aloft we formed up into a gaggle and climbed northwards towards the war.

Presently the three leading aircraft slid onto a different heading, leaving us defensive johnnies to our own devices.  Time was split between studying the map and peering over the side to see if I could work out where I was, keeping tabs on Voodoo, searching below for Hun two-seaters after our guns, and, mostly, checking six.

Suddenly a flare, and then another, popped into the gloom off to our north.  By straining my eyes I could just make out a shape next to them.  A plane?  No a balloon.  Hmmm...ours or theirs?  We consulted the maps more carefully, but were unable to work it out.  If ours,  then the Hun was about. If theirs, then some of our chaps could need assistance [In RoF balloons shoot flares when enemy planes are nearby].  On balance we though it best to investigate and set out across the mud.

A flicker in the corner of my eye drew my gaze downwards and I made out one...two...three machines circling low over the trenches.  Voodoo had seen them too.  We thought they looked like Nieuports, possibly our erstwhile flight-mates.  Their behaviour was odd though: they seemed to be fighting an invisible foe, but there were no tracers.  However, I was uncomfortable spending so much time with my eyes on the ground and when I next looked they had vanished.

[On my second monitor I had TS up.  I glanced over and all three of those pilots had disappeared from their channel.  The convention is that when you die you go back up into the ready room channel, so TS was telling that all three had been killed in very short order - most chilling!]

As we neared the balloon another flare and Archie bursts - ahead of me Voodoo called out that it was Albatrosses attacking the balloon.  We tried to crank out more revs from our engines to hasten onwards.  A brief ball of orange flame and a rising pall of black smoke told us that we were too late.  Despite the crew's best efforts in winching it down, the Albies had caught the balloon and torched it.

Voodoo was still a bit ahead of me and announced that he could see a lone Albie low down, perhaps trying to finish off the crew.  He dived to attack and I tried to provide top cover and/or assistance.  More Archie alerted me to the Hun's two pals returning to the scene.  Inititally I though I was their target, but they turned on Voodoo and so I turned on them.  The fight was brief and bloody.  With odds of three to two neither of us  was able to pick a target without having someone on our tail.  Also we were quite literally outgunned.

[For this campaign we are using mods.  One of these reduces the lethality of the MGs.  All the Entente buses have a single gun, whereas the Albies have twin Spandaus, each of which has a higher rate of fire than the N17's Vickers.  You, as they say, do the maths]

We met our ends on the shell-pocked banks of the river Aisne, a few yards from each other.

Posthumously reporting to the ready room, we found our CO fuming about the extent of our losses [Not really!  He's a genial Aussie - handle "I Got Shot" , or "Shot" for short - but he was a bit exasperated].  We'd lost ten fighters in about twenty minutes.  Despite this carnage (it's not called "Bloody April" without reason after all) our two-seater boys brought home the bacon and by the end of the mission we were well ahead points-wise.

So, all in all, as with last time it's a fun experience.  I guess the only downer is the time involved.  Each mission is scheduled for two hours and I ended up at my PC from 18.45 - 00.30, but you don't have to volunteer for them all.

More later maybe...

Offline =CfC= Binks

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Re: Bloody April III
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2015, 08:16:02 AM »
Sounds as depressingly real as the actual events Ted, with great loss, for little gain, and grindingly relentless nervous stress. I'm very impressed by your tenacity, I never really got to grips with ROF, but your accounts make it sound very worthwhile, if a trifle tense. Bon chance!

HE Lord Binks.

Dust,heat and sweat. Like living in Matron's armpit.......

Offline Mak

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Re: Bloody April III
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2015, 10:21:24 AM »
Makes excellent reading Ted old chap.

Mak

Offline =CfC=Father Ted

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Re: Bloody April III
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2015, 01:16:27 PM »
Thanks chaps.  I don't know about tenacity Binks - it was love at first sight for me with RoF so I've just enjoyed it.  These events do tend to produce quite intense virtual experiences for me and it's fun to share them.

Offline =CfC=Woof

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Re: Bloody April III
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2015, 06:19:42 AM »
It sounds great, Ted.  Thanks for posting.  I think I'll pass, however, as my grit low level light is shining bright.

 :-*


I'v got deja vue all over me...