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Digital Gaming AARs / Re: Max von Krapp in: The Red Baron
« Last post by BanzaiCat on Today at 02:21:32 PM »
Mission 4: Aces High!

Here we go again!



Another escort mission, bound to attract those dastardly French or British, and rack up my kill numbers!

Or I might die. Eh.



Despite it being January in Europe, the skies are remarkably clear and bright today. Perfect for sighting the enemy - or being seen.



It doesn't take long for the French to rear their heads!

Though it was easy as the smell of wet dog is difficult to miss, even at 900 feet!



The two French interlopers dive in towards the recon planes; my Flight Leader takes them head on but without success. Their sharp turn in front of me means I have an easy approach to shoot them down!



In fact, I oblige one of the buggers for being so accommodating to my machine gun.



Despite in the past having missed out on a second kill, I turn sharply towards my Flight Leader to see if I can take down the other one.



This chap is a little dodgy. I can't quite line up on him!

Doesn't matter as my Flight Leader eventually gets him. And onward goes our escort. We race to catch up to the recon aircraft.



Not much time passes before once again we are intercepted. Tally ho, as they say!



Another pair of French fighters.

And of the pair, one more falls to my guns!



I look out over my wing and see my Flight Leader is handling the other one well enough.



The mission is quiet after that; no more French or British come up to challenge us.

We take our photographs and wing our way home.



Two victories? That means...



...that I, von Krapp, am a new Ace!

Shortly thereafter I am notified that the Allies have introduced a new aircraft.



The Airco DH.2 is a "pusher" aircraft designed by the British, as they had no mechanism (yet) for allowing a machinegun to fire through the front propeller.



Historically, the DH.2 did not see frontline service until July 1915, but as this is all a bunch of fiction anyway, why not?

And next, having heard of my fifth air victory, von Krapp is invited to join another squadron!



Boelcke would later be known as "the father of air combat." Seems rather a good choice to go and join him and his crew.



It is now February, 1916. Lt. von Krapp has five victories and an Iron Cross 2nd Class.

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Ballad of the QRF

The forward observers crawl into their positions overlooking the control tower and surrounding defenses.



They are unable to spot anything on the airfield, even after a few minutes of observing. No matter, as they can call for fires on the airfield, which is precisely what they do.



The fire mission is a low rate of fire, long duration, HE. This will allow me to keep the target under fire for a long time while conserving ammunition. However, there is a catch; the fire mission will take 12 minutes to arrive. This is a painful delay that will put both the FO team and the QRF at increased risk.

Meanwhile, the QRF has arrived.



No time is wasted as they are immediately ordered to move along the ravine providing defilade into their support by fire position.



As the QRF moves into position, enemy spotting rounds begin to land near my FO team.



Shortly after a second spotting round falls, this one even closer to the FO team.



Time to displace. I am concerned by the fact that the enemy is able to observe my FO team in this position, while I am still unable to observe anything on the airfield. Fighting this action at night as the Syrians (who lack night vision devices, BMPs included) is going to be very difficult.

At the same time, the BMPs roll up into their support by fire position. They immediately begin firing 30mm into the control tower, as this is a likely enemy observation post.



The FO team displaces.



Its just in time. Right as they go to ground at their new position, an airburst mortar barrage lands where they were only seconds before.



The airburst shells creep closer to my FO team, and for a moment I worry that I may lose them. This would be a massive blow to my efforts, as it would essentially remove my ability to call for fires. Without fire support, I have little chance of taking the airfield.



Luckily, the barrage ends. No one is killed or wounded.



That was too close. Note the incredibly fast time on target the British mortars have compared to my fire support assets. This is one of the chief advantages of NATO forces, their ability to call for fires and get fire for effect extremely quickly on a given target. The amount of time that passed between the first spotting round landing and the first round of the barrage was roughly 2 minutes.

The BMPs have been pumping 30mm into the control tower for a minute now, but their rate of fire is very slow. I believe this is because of the low light conditions and their lack of proper night optics making it hard for them to see what they’re shooting at. So, I decide to move two of the BMPs up the ridge a little more to allow them to fire their ATGMs at the building. The leftmost BMP has a large enough target to engage with his ATGM from where he is.



At the same time, I order a headquarters section from the anti-tank units occupying the resistance nests up to get more eyes on the airfield.



The leftmost BMP fires its ATGM at the control tower.



Which promptly falls out of the sky hundreds of meters short.



Bad luck. This is either operator error, or the missile’s motor failed.

The other two BMPs get into position and begin firing their autocannons. I was hoping they would fire their ATGMs instead, but in Shock Force there is no way to order a unit to use a specific weapon system. I’ve given all three BMPs ‘Target’ commands, which generally prefers heavier weapons, but this time it didn’t pan out that way.



These BMPs were given pause commands of 20 seconds. This is because the position they are in is more exposed, and I don’t want them sitting there long enough to be engaged by the dug in Brits. The idea is for them to move up, fire an ATGM, then fall back into better cover and reload.

Both BMPs fire off a few rounds of 30mm, begin reversing, and…



Javelin. The best laid plans…

 Once again, the speed of NATO forces shows. The Javelin operator likely only had 20 seconds, or less, to acquire and lock the target. A few of the infantrymen in the back spill out of the burning vehicle, the only survivors.



Its worth noting that a fair few of the infantrymen, including one crewman, survived the initial hit. However, as they are evacuating the vehicle, a secondary explosion goes off, killing close to half the survivors. This infantry element is now combat ineffective.

After seeing this and kicking myself for making the mistake of not dismounting sooner, I order the rest of the infantry out of their tracks. I also ensure the BMPs are in proper hull down positions relative to the control tower defenses.



The HQ section arrives at their observation point, and immediately take fire.



Its machinegun fire from the looks of it, probably an M240, coming from the barracks on the airfield. The fire causes no casualties and doesn’t really cause any suppression effects either. Despite this my men are unable to get a solid spot on anything on the airfield, even the enemy shooting at them.

As this is happening, the FO team comes under spotting fire again. They’ll have to displace again.



This has been a tough, though not unexpected start. The QRF is doing its job. I have a rough idea of where some of the British strongpoints are, and I know they have Javelins. I also know that these British paras must be set to very high training and motivation levels based on the quick spotting and firing times thus far.

Right now, my single biggest problem is my lack of offensive combat power on the field. Indirect fires can help make up the difference, but with a 12-minute call-in time and my FO team being harassed by enemy artillery, the advantages of indirect are pretty well negated. Add on to that the fact that I have yet to get a solid spot on any British positions, and the advantage disappears.

I still have plenty going well for me though. I still hold the initiative as the attacker, I know I have more combat assets on the way, and I’m developing the battlefield and getting an idea of where the enemy strong points are. I am in no way close to being down and out.


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Digital Gaming AARs / Re: Max von Krapp in: The Red Baron
« Last post by Tripoli on May 19, 2018, 10:52:03 AM »
If you like WWI combat sims, check out Wings Over Flanders Field:
http://overflandersfields.com/

Hellshade has some particularly good videos.  Here's one:
https://youtu.be/yM5_KkgCxJ0
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Digital Gaming AARs / Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Last post by JasonPratt on May 16, 2018, 10:42:00 AM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS -- final thoughts!
------------------------------------------------

We've decided to call an end to the game for various reasons:

1.) Turn 4 would only introduce one more minor kingdom -- the most powerful in the game but not anything different really -- plus the eventual probability of higher chariot techs -- which are also not anything different really. In other words we've seen everything the game has to offer by now. The event cards wash through quite quickly, and we've seen most of them, and some of them several times.

2.) It has taken us this long to complete 3 turns, and very probably we've got 7 more turns to go.

3.) Relatedly, while the game would seem to move along reasonably fast on a table, even with 5 players, by asynch multiplayer the game is ponderously difficult and unwieldy. It has passed being fun for some of us and has become a bit of a chore.

4.) Summer is near and we've got various projects (work and home) which will reduce our time and energy for even asynch multiplay.


We're still looking into a much faster game (literally!  :D ): Thunder Road! Which happens to also be much better for asynch play. And we're looking into a deeper game again for autumn, but one more suitable for asynchronous play. (I'm pondering whether REPUBLIC OF ROME can be haxxored into being feasible. It helps that it's more of a card-placement game, and that the interactions can largely be worked out in chat rather than in the Vassal logfile.)

But for GENESIS, the game is now done. Nominally I won, but had we continued I would have been ganged on quite soon. So I have no complaints.  :bd:

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Digital Gaming AARs / Re: Max von Krapp in: The Red Baron
« Last post by Capn Darwin on May 16, 2018, 10:09:10 AM »
Try to find a copy of the Red Baron 3D mod Full Canvas Jacket to get the ultimate Red Baron experience.
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Digital Gaming AARs / Re: Max von Krapp in: The Red Baron
« Last post by BanzaiCat on May 16, 2018, 08:54:05 AM »
Another thing is, the manual to this game was one of the best I'd ever owned. It went over the history, the aces, air power in general in WW1, and had so many other things in it to really make it feel like an immersive experience.

The GOG pack also comes with Red Baron 3D (or Red Baron 2; I think they're the same). This one has better graphics but I don't know if it plays the same. I want to play out this campaign before I give that one a try.
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Digital Gaming AARs / Re: Max von Krapp in: The Red Baron
« Last post by JasonPratt on May 16, 2018, 08:08:01 AM »
Literally the first game I bought for my first DOS machine.  :smitten:
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Digital Gaming AARs / Re: Max von Krapp in: The Red Baron
« Last post by Sir Slash on May 15, 2018, 08:49:38 PM »
Iron Cross Second Class-- that'll get you to second base with those hot Frauleins.  ^-^   And you do look young for your age.
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Digital Gaming AARs / Re: Max von Krapp in: The Red Baron
« Last post by BanzaiCat on May 15, 2018, 04:47:40 PM »
Mission 3: The Patrol

January, 1916. Not a short week goes by before we are once again rousted from our beds to fly another mission. Such is the demands of war!





This time, we are to simply patrol the front line, and hunt the enemy. I rub my hands together in glee – this is exactly what I signed up for! To rack up the body count.



Looks like I am in a formation of three planes – this is not good news if I'm looking for glory. That's two more pilots that can shoot down the enemy. Competition – bah!



The sky is quite overcast, but fortunately it is at a high enough ceiling and not snowing or raining, though it is colder than von Bismark's wife's hollow places up here, by the gods.



Soon, we spot the British! The leader barely has to order us to attack – I already have my throttle at the stops.



They recklessly charge in on us head-on.



I show them the folly of such an attack – my aim is dead on and a British pilot is headed for the ground, wrapped in a shroud of flames and failure!



A second British plane goes down – rather easily! I am somewhat puzzled by this. I maneuver around quickly to find my flight mates.



They are dancing across the sky, engaging their own targets. Soon they are all shot down. I am more than happy with shooting down 2 of the enemy! How the drinks will flow tonight in celebration!



When I land, much to my misgiving, I find I only have been credited with 1 aerial victory this day. One of my flight mates must have scored the killing bullet upon that second British plane. I am now in a severely cross mood, especially as I only scored 15 points instead of the 'usual' 58 for one kill. Then I remember, as I came head on at my victim, he clipped one of my wings. So that's where that divot came from. Maybe I was penalized for being too reckless.



Nevertheless, it is with great satisfaction that I receive an award.



As it is pinned to my chest, near bursting with pride, I inwardly curse the idiots that kept me from crossing into the Ace threshold by shooting down five planes.



But that Iron Cross 2nd Class sure is purty, so I can't complain TOO much, I guess.

It is January, 1916. I have three aerial victories and an Iron Cross 2nd Class. Here's to more victories soon.
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Digital Gaming AARs / Re: Max von Krapp in: The Red Baron
« Last post by BanzaiCat on May 15, 2018, 04:37:22 PM »
I loved this game so much back in the day...and I had to play it on a monochrome VGA (well, 256 shades of gray, but still) monitor. It was still awesome.

Strangely, this is technically the first time I've played it in full color!
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