‘WINGS OVER FRANCE’
TWO FREE-STANDING SCENARIOS
Whilst ‘Wings Over France’ was designed to be played in a campaign format over the three weeks in 1917 known as ‘Bloody April’ the game is capable of handling multi-aircraft dog fights involving twenty to thirty aircraft in situations that do not normally arise in the context of the campaign. We thought it would be interesting, therefore, to stage a couple of these aerial punch-ups and the two stand-alone scenarios that follow may provide a welcome relief from the rigors of the “Bloody April’ campaign while at the same time demonstrating the ability of the system to cope with encounters of this scale. The scenarios can also be played face-to-face with a fellow gamer controlling the German machines and tactics. However, if they are tackled solo the German aircraft will
Attack and dis-engage in the usual manner (depending on Jasta) as described on the Enemy Aircraft Response Card.
SCENARIO-DEEP PENETRATION IN FORCE
April 10th, 1917 – 0900 hours weather clear and sunny.
Major Barnaby West, M.C., was talking with ‘A’ Flight leader Captain Lawrence Grafton, who just returned from the Dawn Patrol, when the telephone call from the Advance landing Field near Mercatel came in. A large number of enemy machines, 15-20 estimated at 12,000 feet had been spotted flying south-west, directly towards Amiens. Major West guessed at once that this was another of the ‘mass attacks’ that the Hun had been experimenting with during the last few days, a full Jasta or individual Flights from several Jasta joining up to swamp the over-stretched Royal Flying Corps with a penetration deep into Allied territory. With No. 23 Squadron already flying two missions (‘B’ Flight was trench-strafing in Sector A and ‘C ‘ Flight was engaged in a defensive line patrol in Sector C) this was not a good time time to receive this news. With a few quick words of command West sent Grafton to the Flight hut while the C/O himself hurried to get into his flying gear as the Adjutant rang through on the field telephone to get all all available machines re-fueled and re-armed ready for take off.
The only machines and pilots currently available :-
C/O, A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B2, B3, B6, C2, C5 (A6 is being worked on, having suffered an engine problem on the Dawn patrol, and Lieutenant Tebworth (C3) is in sick bay with arm and shoulder wounds sustained yesterday, and his replacement has yet to arrive.)
The combined Flight of eleven machines, led by Major West, take off and head north-east. There are no normal Encounter Rolls and no Weather Change rolls, but from Turn 3 onwards (after moving and / or gaining altitude for Turn 3) a single die is rolled. If a six is rolled, roll again adding the score to the original six. This is your Encounter Total. If a six is not rolled the original (1 to5) is your current Encounter Total. The procedure is repeated after each Turn (but sixes are NOT re-rolled after the Turn 3 roll) and the score added to the previous Encounter Total. When this reaches or passes 12 the enemy formation is encountered. The Weather is Bright Sunlight (6) and the Dog Fight Duration is 50. No additional enemy aircraft join the the dog-fight but a a roll of 11 or 12 when checking for Dog-Fight Reduction in the usual way requires a further single die roll on the Table below: -
1 - ‘C’ Flight, on their Defensive Line Patrol, having heard the firing and have come rushing to investigate. C1, C4, and C6 join the the dog-fight next phase at 10,000 feet ( they use dive bonus [+2] if the dog-fight is currently at a lower altitude). If this is rolled a second time ignore and do not re-roll.
2 – Any Allied machine previously ‘Driven Off’ re-gains height (and nerve) and re-joins the dog-fight at 6,000 feet (with dive bonus if appropriate) or at the current dog-fight altitude if higher.
3 – Lieutenant Tebworth (C3) has shrugged off his bandages and rushed to his waiting machine, and now joins the dog-fight at 8,000 feet (with Dive Bonus if appropriate) or at the current dog-fight altitude if higher. If this is rolled a second time ignore and do not re-roll.
4 – Brilliant flying enables one of your pilots (your choice, but nominate before making his Initiative Roll) to use a Dive/Surprise Bonus [+4] next round.
5 – The presence of Major West (if he’s still in the dogfight) inspires all pilots to use a Dive Bonus [+2] next round.
6 – Tebworth’s replacement (B4) has arrived at Amiens and immediately takes off to join the dog-fight with A6 joining him as his machine is now airworthy again. They arrive at 10,000 feet using the Dive Bonus [+2] if appropriate. The replacement is the Canadian Lieutenant Henri Le Maris and his stats are given in the Replacement Fighter Pilot’s listing in the No. 23 Squadron booklet. If this is rolled a second time ignore and do not re-roll.
When the Encounter occurs you check in the usual way for the enemy’s altitude. In this scenario the enemy will always attack, using the Dive Bonus if applicable. The initial enemy force you encounter will consist of between 12 and 20 machines. Roll a single die on the Table below to see how lucky (or unlucky you are:-
1 - 4, 5, 6 10, 11, 12, 13, 21, 22, 23, 24 25, 26
2 - 5, 6, 13, 14, 15, 16 , 19, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
3 – 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29
4 – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29
5 – 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
6 – 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29
After each round of dog-fight (don’t forget to ‘lose altitude’) check for Dog-Fight
Reduction. If total is 11 or 12 also check Random Events Table above.
Victory Points are awarded for enemy machines destroyed or aborted (but not merely Driven Off) and are deducted for Allied aircraft destroyed and pilots killed (only). However, the location of the dog-fight also controls the modifier applied to the VP’s- the further from Amiens (i.e. number of hexes) the higher the modifier applied to VP’s awarded for destruction or damage to enemy aircraft. This requires you to choose whether to hang around Amiens gaining height (and using up Turns) or move away from Amiens to meet the enemy formation further away. An enemy force penetrating deep into Allied territory is bad for morale, therefore you get more VP’s for carrying the fight to the enemy. For the purpose of this scenario the maximum you can climb in any Turn and move to an adjacent hex is 2,000 feet (4 AFT for the climb plus 3 AFT to move the next hex). If you stay in the same hex you can climb 5,000 feet (10 AFT).
For destroying enemy aircraft-non Jasta 11 machines- 20 points
Jasta 11 machines- 25 points
The Red Baron- 50 points
For severely damaging enemy machines (i.e. in this scenario this is the Damaged-Abort result) 5 points
The total of all the above are subject to a multiplier depending on how many hexes away from Amiens the dig-fight takes place, as follows: -
Amiens hex- 0.5 (multiply The VP’s GAINED BY 0.5)
1 hex away- 0.0 (no adjustment)
2 hexes away 1.2 (multiply the VP’s GAINED by 1.2)
3 hexes away 1.5 x VP
4 hexes away 1.8 x VP
5 hexes away 2.0 x VP
6 or more hexes away 2.5 x VP
VP’s are deducted from the modified VP’s gained as follows:-
Allied aircraft shot down -10 points
In addition are also lost for Allied pilots killed as follow: -
Major West – 50 points
Everyone else- 20 points each
Allied aircraft that suffer Damage – Abort results automatically return to Amiens (no Lame Duck procedure). Roll two dice, any score of 8 or more means that it lands safely and there is no loss of VPs. A roll of 7 or less means that a Crash landing has to be attempted – use the Crash landing Table and deduct VPs if machine is destroyed (not merely damaged, however severely) and / or the pilot killed. The fate of Damaged – Abort aircraft should not be determined until after the dog-fight has broken up.
All remaining Allied aircraft, those still in the dog-fight when it breaks up and those previously Driven Off, are assumed to land safely back at Amiens with no loss of VPs.
Scenario result – any plus score in VPs (VPs gained [modified] less VPs lost) is an Allied Victory. A minus result is a defeat. Degrees of victory and defeat are as follows:-
Plus 20 or more – major victory
Plus 10 to Plus 19 – substantial victory
Plus 1 to Plus 9 – marginal victory
0 – Draw
Minus 1 to Minus 9 – marginal defeat
Minus 10 to Minus 19 – substantial victory
Minus 20 to Minus 50 – major defeat
Minus 51 or more – huge defeat and Major West faces a court martial.
If playing this scenario as a face-to-face game the player controlling the German aircraft can elect to gain or lose altitude in the same way as the Allied flight (subject to the special rules mentioned above) but MUST move a single hex south-west each Turn. During the dog-fight he can elect to attack any Allied aircraft below him on the Initiative Track, he is not restricted to using the non-Jasta 11 automatic target selection rules.
SCENARIO – ANYTHING YOU CAN DO………!
April 15th, 1917 – 0800 hours.
In an attempt to morale Major West has received permission to launch a massed bombing raid on Jasta 11’s airfield at Douai. All machines of all three Flights, plus the six two-seater aircraft attached to the Flights, are available for this this mission, but you can select the aircraft and pilots you send, up to a maximum of 12 fighters and 4 two-seater Scouts. Plus Major West (C/O) who will lead the mission.
Use the Bombing Raid Mission Briefing Manual, Target 4. The Weather Forecast is (5) –
Fine – Cloud increasing later. Take off is scheduled for 0800 hours. This is a normal Bombing Raid, using the the Encounter Rolls, Weather Changes, ect. In the usual way, except that for Encounter Values 5 and 6 the following Table is used (a single die is rolled) in place of that given in the Bombing Raid Mission Manual:-
1 – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 19.
2 – 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 19.
3 – 4, 5, 6, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29.
4 – 1, 2, 3, 19, 27, 28, 29.
5 – 2, 3, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17
6 – 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19.
Victory points are as per the Bombing Raid Mission Manual except that no VPs are awarded for hits on Targets of Opportunity – this is a specific raid on Jasta 11’s airfield in an attempt to put it out of action for a few days. The Degree of Victory or Defeat can be determined by using the Table provided for the previous scenario. All normal rules are in force – climbing and moving, AFT, Lame Ducks, ect. Are all as per the basic game rules. This scenario should provide a series of running dog-fights, becoming quite intense as Douai is approached. Beware the dangers of ‘Archie’ with such a large formation of aircraft – they all have to be placed on the ‘Archie’ and Machine Gun Display as and when appropriate, simulating the dangers faced by large formations from Anti-aircraft fire. If this scenario is used as a face-to-face game the player controlling the German aircraft is only able to influence dog-fight activity, by selecting targets without the need to apply the Automatic Targeting for non-Jasta 11 and Jasta 11 aircraft.
‘WINGS OVER FRANCE’
A VERY SPECIAL MISSION
April 5th, 1917. Major Barnaby West, M.C. Commanding Officer of 23 Squadron has been warned to expect a Top Secret Order. Just before dawn an Army Motorcyclist with pillion passenger arrives at the airfield at Amiens and demands to speak to Major Barnaby. He hands the Major a sealed envelope marked ‘Top Secret’ and rides off immediately leaving the pillion passenger, a scruffy individual of about 50, with Major Barnaby in his office. The C/O tears open the envelope and learns that the man standing before him is a spy who must be safely landed a few miles north-east of Carvin (Zone A) that very morning. It is essential that confirmation of his safe delivery be received by HQ by noon. The ‘essential’ is underlined in red. The Major must detail just two fighter aircraft to accompany a single two-seater scout on the mission. The two-seater will have the spy in the Observer’s seat. 9he is not trained to fire the gun so no Return Fire is allowed) and will need to land in the hex immediately to the north-east of Carvin after scanning the hex (see Offensive Line Patrol Mission Briefing Manual – Mission Requirement 1). A two dice roll of 8 or more means that he has spotted a suitable rough landing site and he can land immediately but will need to roll on the Forced Down Table to determine the effect of the rough ground landing. The spy is ‘landed safely’ if he survives the landing uninjured or with only slight injuries. To take off again the pilot of the two-seater must roll 7 or more with two dice, adding Pilot Skill factor to the roll. If the aircraft is ‘ slightly damaged’ in the landing a minus 3 modifier applies. Only one attempt to take off is allowed, if it fails the machine is damaged and the pilot rolls on the Fate Table. If he survives he is taken by the spy into hiding. If scanning fails to find a suitable field for the landing try again next Turn with the same requirements. Scanning only takes place after any Encounter is resolved. Take off must wait till next Turn when, if successful, the two-seater re-joins the fighter escort by climbing a maximum 5,000 feet.
Major Barnaby checks his Mission Roster and curses. ‘A’ Flight, in the persons of Flight Commander Captain Grafton and Lieutenant Street have already taken off in their Sopwith pups on Dawn Patrol. The C/O will have to entrust this vital mission to lesser pilots of ‘A ‘ Flight or use one of the other two Flights with their poorer Spad VII’s or Nieuport 17’s. And his best two-seater pilots Sergeant Donaldson and Sergeant Crudwell, both of ‘A’ Flight are also unavailable, Donaldson was slightly wounded yesterday and Crudwell is ferrying a replacement machine from Central Flying Depot.
He checks Weather Forecast. ‘Overcast – cloud clearing later’. (10-) He reads the Top Secret orders again. ‘It is essential that we receive confirmation of the safe delivery of the ‘package’ by 12 noon, and in view of the Top Secret nature of this mission we must insist that your aircraft return directly to Amiens and do not attempt to land at one of the Advance Emergency Landing Fields to report the successful conclusion of this mission.’ Damn ! another complication.
Major Barnaby makes a decision. The mission will start at 0800 hours. He picks up the telephone to detail the personnel he has selected……… He pauses. Of course, he could lead this one himself, just this once, no-one would criticize him under these circumstances. Perhaps. He begins to speak on the ‘phone, his decision finally made.
You take over from here. As Major Barnaby the decision is yours. Do you go yourself? The Victory Conditions are simple, land the spy ‘safely’ and return to Amiens (just one survivor will do!) to report delivery by 12 noon, you’ve won. Fail in either, you’ve lost.