Down in Flames ...
A record 36 players flew pre-determined aircraft in three
preliminary rounds of two dogfights each, from which the top
eight players advanced using a modified double-elimination system.
Aircraft used this year were all from Zero!:
Round 1 2 elements A6M2 vs. 2 elements Hurricane IIB
Round 2 2 elements A6M2 vs. 2 elements F4F Wildcat
Round 3 2 elements P-40B vs. 1 element Ki-27 + 1 element Ki-43-I
Unfortunately for him, Stan Buck had to withdraw, allowing
9th-seeded Steve Caler to advance in his place.
quarterfinals were a test of thinking skills as two elements
of Ki-27s faced one element each of I-15bis and I-16 Type 10s,
as all leader's had zero burst ratings. Three of the higher seeds,
Chris LeFevre (#1), Tim Hall (#3), and Ed Karpowicz (#4), fell;
only Roger Taylor (#2) advanced , and he did so by defeating
The semifinals pitted one element each of A5M (Claude) and
A6M2s against one element each of P-40Cs and P-35As. Dan Hoffman
narrowly defeated Peter Perla, 14-to-12, while Caler beat ex-champion
Taylor, 14-to-9, to set up one of the closest finals in the 5-year
history of this event.
The finals consisted of two elements of J2M5s (Jack) vs. two
elements of F4U-4 Corsairs. The first game ended in a 7-7 tie.
After switching aircraft for game 2, Steve took a very early
5-0 lead when his first element's leader blew up one of Daniel's
F4Us wingman even before Daniel had a chance to play a card.
Already down 5-0, Daniel slowly fought back and by the end of
turn 3, the score was 5-4. By the end of turn 4, Daniel took
a slight 9-7 lead. Starting turn 6, it was knotted at 12-all.
On Steve's last play, he tried to finish off Daniel's crippled
aircraft but failed. Overtime loomed but on Daniel's last play,
he shot down Steve's crippled leader for a 15-12 win!
Every participant received a sealed pack of two aircraft elements
from the GMs. Some packs contained rare cards (in full color)
not normally included in the DIF series such as the Hawker Typhoon
1B, the La-5FN, or the MC-200; others included more common types.
In addition, all eight quarterfinalists got to keep their Soviet
aircraft, all four semifinalists kept their P-35s and A5Ms, and
the two finalists took home all their aircraft. Special thanks
go to Martin Scott (artist for the Zero! play deck and
the Full Throttle cards in C&H), who made this possible.