Good morning Gentlemen. The High Command suspect the Tommies are planning a push in our sector. You know what this means, the command wants photographs of the artillery park south east of Ypres off to the south of the road to Comines to see what the activity is there. You have been there before so I don't have to tell you to watch for their aircraft patrolling out of Furnes to the North or Bailleul to the west of the target. To get the best chance of a decent picture you will need to get your photograph from under 6,000 feet. The bad news is that the staff want two shots of the target so you will need to make two passes! I know that increases the risk but it's better than having to go back a second time when the British will know we are interested in the state of the ammunition supplies. Good luck.
Settle down chaps, yes Carstairs that means you too. Now we have some news that Fritz is showing an interest in the area South East of Ypres, if he is interested it makes sense that we should stop him getting what he wants. So we have been tasked with patrolling the lines in that area to make life difficult for his photographic excursions. If he is true to form then we can expect a two seater and escort to try a quick sortie over the area about an hour after first light when the light is good for his purposes. As he needs to come to us I suggest you patrol just this side of our lines, no point risking Jerry Archie getting you now is there. If he does come over you main objective is to down the two seater before he can get back over his side of the lines. Right off you go, take off is at 0500, see you in the mess for a spot of lunch later,what?
The mission is set in July 1916.
The Germans have a Roland CII and two Albatros DIIs as escorts. The Roland is an old Irregular Miniatures model I have had for probably twenty years or more! The two Albatri are more recent Heroic & Ros offerings.
|The Germans, It looks a tad exposed flying the Roland|
They enter the playing area at point 'A' at heights of the German player's choosing.. One fighter must close escort the Roland but the other is free to roam. The Roland must over fly point 'B' before exiting at point 'C'. To get the photographs the Roland must over fly point 'B' at 6,000' or less at a speed of 60mph or less and in straight and level flight during each attempt to take a photo.
|The view the British are hoping for?|
The British consist of two Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutters who enter from point 'D'. Their entry height must be below 13,000 feet but can be as chosen by the player. They enter as a pair at the same height and within 180 yards of each other they may separate once they sight an enemy aircraft.
The table is the usual banqueting table and is laid out as below
The German observer is the photographer, so cannot man his MG and take photographs at the same time. To obtain a photograph he must be on the camera for 30 consecutive seconds before passing over the target (including the turn passing over the target). After the first shot, he must spend a further 30 seconds (non consecutive) changing the plate ready for the second shot and for the second shot a final 30 consecutive seconds lining up the second shot again including the time passing over the target. He can abandon the attempt at shooting to man his gun if needed but would have to start again to be able to take photographs.
Once a photo run has been carried out roll 1D6. On a 1 the photographic plate is damaged or the observer is convinced the shot was spoiled and it has to be retaken. That pass doesn't count! On a 2-6 its OK.
Archie (Anti aircraft fire); if an aircraft passes over the enemy trench lines or (if a German aircraft) the target at under 1,000 feet or less they will come under small arms fire from MGs. Each turn they spend more than half of their move over or within 1,000 feet of enemy trenches or the target throw 1D6 on a 6 the aircraft is hit, throw for damage as if hit by a single belt fed MG.
This is a tough ask for the Germans. The Roland is a tough old bird but the need to take two photographs will make life difficult for them. The table isn't that big (at least not with the rules I'm using) so the British will be able to intercept fairly quickly. The Germans have to make the tactical choices here the British are focused on one objective and their choices will be reactive in response to the German's decisions. I see three main options for the Germans firstly try to get in and out fast and then back over the friendly side of the lines ASAP. Second stay on their own side of the lines and try hit and run attempts to get the photo's, third let the Albatri attempt to shoot down the British and then get the photo's at leisure. If anyone comes up with a different plan do let me know in the comments.