The Kaiser's Flyers in Action!

Photo by Ed Sansing

The gamemaster, Bill Hamilton (standing), gives instructions to the British players. Left to right: Sean Pitts, Clay James, Bill Hamilton, Phil Young.

We played this at Bill Hamilton's home in Jackson Mississippi on January 16th, 2010. Bill used heavily modifed rules pulling the firing system from "A Sky full of Ships." This game used Bill's beautifully painted Aeronef miniatures.

The Game-Master also provided home-baked Pizza to refresh the weary gamers!

Photo by Ed Sansing

One of the German picket destroyers from LuftFrigatteKapitan Jim Pitts' command. The hex surface was made by Bill Hamilton using a Litko stencil with 2" hexes.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Phil Young's (in the foreground) and Clay James' units. The large British flyer is the King Edward and the slightly smaller one is the Rawalpindi. The inflated airships, were referred to by the Germans as "targets."

Photo by Ed Sansing

LuftShiffKapitan Ed Sansing's German task group. The larger vessel is the Moltke and the smaller is the Prnz Heinrich.

Photo by Ed Sansing

LuftShiffKapitanJay Stribling's German task group - made up of the Scharnhorst and the Prinz Wilhelm following one of Jim Pitts' destroyers.

Who were the players for this game?

Jim Pitts commanded the German picket destroyers. Ed Sansing and Jay Stribling backed him up with the cruiser squadrons. On the perfidious British side, Sean Pitts, Clay James and Phil Young each commanded flights of Lift-ships and/or helium-filled airships who were encroaching on Imperial German airspace.

Jay Stribling argued strenously, but to no avail, with the gamemaster that the British dirigibles should have been filled with inflammable Hydrogen instead of inert Helium. He was over-ruled. Visions of vast pillars of fire, marking the deaths of the dirigibles still fill his head!

Photo by Ed Sansing

The British ships are taking fire. One of Air Commodore Phil Young's ships has taken a critical hit (signified by the cotton). In the background is Wing Commander Sean Pitts' squadron.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Wing Commander Sean's squadron heads across the board opposed only by 2 of Jim Pitts' picket destroyers.

Photo by Ed Sansing

As Phil Young's and Clay James' units near the edge, LuftShiffKapitanJay Stribling's units close into point blank range. Each of the ships had a main armament that could fire at long, medium or short ranges. Most of the ships also had a secondary armament which was only effective at short range.

The secondary armament was often as effective as the main batteries, especially when firing at the enemy's lighter vessels. The Germans (and later the British) found that it paid great dividends to get into "Knife Fighting" range.

The first game ended soon after that.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Beginning the second game, we see some clouds forming around the board and the Germans start more toward the center of the playing area.

In the second game, the Germans were given random locations and headings by the gamemaster. Each player had to "rally" his squadron's ships and some never did manage to group together, engaging as single ships throughout the action.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Clay and Phil stick together again, with the Germans swarming around.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Jay closes into point blank range again

Photo by Ed Sansing

The British were chased across the board and took a lot more casualties

So, who won this game?

Well, we played two games. The victory conditions called for the British to get across the game table and off the edge. Points were given for destroying enemy vessels, and especially for the British to preserve their bomb-carring vessels.

In the fist game, the German's were unable to stop enough of the British flyers and Airships and the British had a lopsided victory on points.. In the second game the Germans had figured out that they had to get in close and concentrate fire on the flyers and dirigibles with the most bombs aboard. The Imperial German Luft service were JUST able to shoot down enough of the British vessels to win.

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