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Month: February 2023

Eagles – Late 1917

Splash of the Atari version

Back to Eagles for the second part of our campaign where, at the head of a Jasta of commenters, I keep the skies German. Part 1 here.

July 1917

As we may remember, our jasta underwent a personel change after the tragic death of Unteroffizier Morpheus Kitami, now replaced by Flieger Baud. Our current line-up :

  • Sergeant Scribe on an Albatros DV (plane #11)
  • Unteroffizier Dayyalu on an Albatros DV (plane #12)
  • Unteroffizier Gubisson on an Albatros DV (plane #13)
  • Flieger Baud on an Albatros DIII (plane #14)

As you can see, all pilots with a least a bit of reputation have been granted an Albatros DV, a marginal upgrade on the DIII, the main difference being a more powerful engine.

An Albatros DV, but I could have put a picture of an Albatros DIII and no one would have noticed. I know I can’t see the difference.

It is too bad we don’t have better planes, because today the Allies are not going easy on us, with a patrol of 4 British S.E.5a coming our way !

The S.E.5a is great plane, and superior to the Albatroses in speed and sturdiness without sacrificing in agility.

British S.E.5a. Note the weird machine-gun location : one on top of the wing, one sync. with the propeller.

The battle starts with a frontal pass. A lot of bullets fly around, and one of the S.E.5a turns West and flees, machine guns inoperative. Similarly Baud’s machine guns jam and instead of fixing in situ, he turns East and returns home.. We are 3 against 3 now.

After that, it is a long turning match. I manage to get into the tail of one of the S.E.5a, by chance more than by design, and shoot it down.

Eventually, the German planes run out of bullets. I break combat first, then Gubisson. Dayyalu runs out last, which means there is no one to cover him as he turns toward the East. The faster British planes, who still have some ammo left, can easily line up behind him and shoot him down. Dayyalu’s albatros crashes down burning in our lines.

Not a great patrol, but we shot down one of them and gave Hell to two others :

Only 2 points are received for planes that crash deep behind allied lines

But it is not all gloom, as we had a little miracle : Dayyalu managed to survive both the flames and the crash – he is not even wounded !

Shameful return for Flieger Baud’s first mission. “The machine-gun jammed ! I swear

October 1917

We are back with the same pilots as last time

  • Feldwebel Scribe on an Albatros DV (plane #11)
  • Unteroffizier Dayyalu on an Albatros DIII (plane #12)
  • Unteroffizier Gubisson on an Albatros DV (plane #13)
  • Flieger Baud on an Albatros DIII (plane #14)

Unteroffizier Dayyalu has been downgraded to an Albatros DIII because losing a plane means a loss in prestige, and a loss in prestige means a worse plane.

This time, we are facing a patrol of 3 Sopwith Pup at high altitude, above the clouds. The nimble Sopwich Pup is starting to be obsolete in late 1917, but then so is the Albatros.

A Sopwith Pup

The first frontal pass is bad news for the Pups, and one of them is immediately brought down by collective firepower. The planes then start turning in all directions, but the Sopwich turn a bit sharper, and one of them manages to shoot a short burst at Dayyalu, whose engine stops. Dayyalu tries to steer his plane at it glides toward the ground, and he disappears into the clouds.

In a couple of minutes, Gubisson avenges Dayyalu and shoots the two planes one after the other.

Gubisson’s second kill.

When we return home, we are hit by the terrible news. This time, there is no miracle. Unteroffizier Dayyalu crashed with his plane.

At least, there is no British pilot to tell the tale :

Two more victories for Unteroffizier Gubbison, and one for me.

December 1917 : Sausage Run

It is time for one of the favourite missions of the Germans : the wurst run.

Unfortunately, shooting down a WWI piñata is dangerous. The balloon is surrounded on all sides by AA guns, the defenders will try to bring the thing to the ground.

We can’t upgrade the planes during a special mission, so here is our squadron :

  • Leutnant Scribe on an Albatros DV (plane #11)
  • Flieger Argyraspide on an Albatros DIII (plane #12), replacing the late Dayyalu.
  • Feldwebel Gubisson on an Albatros DV (plane #13)
  • Flieger Baud on an Albatros DIII (plane #14)

We start the battle at very low altitude, around 1000 feet, with the balloon even lower at 800, being pulled down. I immediately dive, gun blazing, while the rest of the squadron turns South to face two S.E.5a.

While descending toward the ballon, I am a nice target for all the AA guns, and I am wounded :

I am finally in range of the balloon and hit it – but that’s not enough. I pass it and start a half-loop to finish it before it reaches the ground. While doing it, I am wounded a SECOND time.

Before I can finish my half-loop, Argyraspide comes and shoots down the balloon just like that..

Mission accomplished ! The engine of the game treats the AA guns as part of the balloon, so destroying it also removes the AA guns. I am wounded and I don’t want to risk a final stray bullet that would kill me, so I head home. The 3 other pilots should be able to finish the battle against the 2 British planes, right ? Right ?

Well, I should have remembered I was with two rookie pilots. Argyraspide’s guns break, and he heads home. That leaves Gubisson and Baud… Everyone fights between 25 and 100 feet, and then this happens :

Uh ! That leaves Feldwebel Gubisson all alone. Alone, he fights like there’s no tomorrow, expending all his bullets, before managing to escape, wounded, at low altitude :

Gubisson’s fighting escape.

The balloon is gone, but the mission is a disaster with one pilot MIA (and probably dead) and two pilots wounded. Including yours truely.

With the loss of Baud and with Gubisson and myself wounded and as such out for the next battle, our two last volunteers join the squadron.

We are going to need new volunteers…