I'm back again with another community game. With the coming of the 100th Anniversary of the first World World, or the Great War, there has also been a mini-renaissance of the same era in the wargaming community. Our own group at 7th Dimension Games has been similarly affected, most visibly with the revival of Wings of War/Wings of Glory, the card-driven WWI biplane combat game. The main backer behind this effort has been Gary, whose games I've written about before, and whose massive WoW/G collection was made available for the events he has been organizing.
This event was a 9-person game played across 3 of the WoW/G play-mats, so an area a little larger than 3'x6'. On one side were the Allies - 2 single-seat fighters, a two-seat fighter, and two bombers. I was the pilot of the Sopwith Camel with the two hearts on the top wing.
On the other side were the Germans, all in single-seat fighters. You can also see the three trenchline cards, which represented the objectives for the game. The Allies had to escort their bombers across the table and destroy the trenches, and the Germans had to keep their trenches protected.
With both sides being so far apart, it took several turns to close the gap, and so almost all of our cards took us straight forward at max speed. You'll notice that both sides basically flew in formation for the beginning of the game - once combat was joined, however, orders were damned and pilots flew at their own discretion.
The first pass! Shots were exchanged, cards were drawn, and several pilots just gave each other a grim wave as both sides flew past one another. At this point, however, the Allies had a slight advantage, since three out of their five planes were two-seaters with machine guns able to fire out of a rear arc.
The Germans didn't waste any time, however, and quickly came about to pursue the Allies, who were now flying at high-speed for the trenches. Thinking myself clever, I planned to come about at give the chasing Huns a bloody nose.
Unfortunately, these three colorful fellows foiled my plan. While I managed to fire at the purple, green and yellow biplane, my own Camel was promptly shot down. I wasn't the only casualty, however - Russ, the pilot of one of the bombers, also pulled some high value cards and nose-dived into enemy territory. The game had just started, and the Allies were already down two planes, including one of the all-important bombers!
Amazingly, even with air superiority, the Germans couldn't manage to take down the bomber, whose gunner happily sighted in and wiped one of the trenches off the table.
And then incredibly destroyed the second trench! With all of its bombs gone, the bomber turned away and started to retreat back to the Allies lines, covered by the two remaining fighters.
It was at this point that Russ and I started to suspect we had drawn all the high value cards from the damage decks - it certainly seemed like our fellow players were drawing plenty of zeroes!
The unfortunate bomber was eventually shot down, having drawn enough cards from the fusillade of bullets fired from the following Germans.
And so went the last Allied single-seat fighter. By the now Germans had taken quite a few blows of their own, and had been reduced from six fighters down to three.
Now the game turned into a cat-and-mouse chase between the two-seater Allied fighter and the remaining Germans.
But even with a pile of damage cards with plenty of zeroes and ones, the last Allied fighter was taking too many shots from too many angles, and eventually went down.
The end result was a 30-26 win for the Germans - if the Allies had managed to shoot down just one more plane, they would have won!
It was another fun, big community game. I'm looking forward to playing WoW/G again, and Gary's still working away on his 20mm terrain for a game of Through the Mud and the Blood.