Background: Hoping to prevent a stalemate and gain the upper hand on Intelligence for a major ground offensive, HQ has called for a renewed effort to eliminate the enemy’s observation balloons.
Type: Balloon Busting
Victory Conditions: Mission Points. The side with the most mission points wins the mission. For this mission, Balloon points are worth double the normal value.
Fallback: Mission 3a or 3b
Setup: Mission was played length wise on a 4’x6’ table. The Attackers have a 16 inch deployment zone and the Defenders have a 32 inch deployment zone. This leaves 24 inches of No-man’s Land.
- Both sides must start the sortie with their planes inside their deployments zones in a loose formation with no more then a ruler length between planes.
- The (French) defender’s side must place two balloons per sortie using the special Balloons rules.
- Each side has a chance for random ground targets. Use the special Ground Targets rules.
Frederick and Kevin ran, respectively, the Germans and the French. Since it was 1917, the best pilot character on each side got an upgraded plane: an Albatross D.V. and a Spad XIII.
Below, Kevin contemplates the table.
Frederick overlooks the defending artillery observation balloons, and the pair of machine-guns placed between them, deep behind the French front line trenches.
The two patrols flew over No-Man's land.
The French opted to pass to the south of the Germans, seeking to gain their tails.
The northern balloon took several hits...
...and took several more as the Germans made long firing passes.
The French ganged up on the German wingman, who weathered their shots.
The German flight leader then fired on the southern balloon.
Concentrated fire brought the German wingman down.
By this point, the balloons had been winched down half of their altitude; the French might save them both!
Frederick's flight leader made a couple of passes at the northern balloon again.
Eventually, the balloon's hydrogen exploded!
Jousting with the French, the surviving German opened up his throttle...
...and headed east for home. Only the Spad had the speed to potentially catch up.
Kevin zigged when he should have zagged, resulting with the French leader ended up facing the wrong direction, and so he decided to head back to the French lines. The Germans won!
Knights of the Air Campaign: Results as of March 19, 2015
- Bill (suffered 2 wounds in Mission 1): +2 (two sorties flown) -4 (being shot down) +4 (one plane shot down) = 1 victory, 2 campaign points
- Brian: +1 (one sortie flown) +4 (one plane shot down) = 1 victory, 5 campaign points
- Byron (suffered 3 wounds in Mission 3a): +1 (one sortie flown) -4 (being shot down = -3 campaign points
- Indo: +1 (one sortie flown) +4 (one plane shot down) = 5 campaign points
- Jim: +1 (one sortie flown) +4 (one plane shot down) -4 (being shot down) = 1 victory, 1 campaign point
- MikeA: +1 (one sortie flown) -4 (being shot down) = -3 campaign points
- Frederick's German Flight Leader: +4 (four sorties flown) +19 (three and 1/2 planes (14) and one balloon (5) shot down) +2 (drove off enemy aircraft) -4 (being shot down) = 4 1/2 victories, 21 campaign points; awarded the Knight's Cross!
- Frederick's German Wingman (suffered 1 wound in Mission 4a): +3 (three sorties flown) + 2 (drove off enemy aircraft) -4 (being shot down) = 1 campaign point
- Kevin's French Flight Leader: +2 (two sorties flown) +6 (1 victory (Frederick's Wingman) and one shared victory) = 1 1/2 victories, 8 campaign points
- Kevin's French Wingman: +1 (one sortie flown), 1 campaign point
Next Game: Mission 5 Break Through