Down in Flames ...
The preliminary round format was double elimination using
pre-determined aircraft in rounds of two dogfights each, from
which three players with 3-0 records and five 2-1 players with
the best net score advanced. The preliminary round aircraft used
this year were from RISE OF THE LUFTWAFFE, C&H and ZERO!
Round 1 1 element A6M5 + 1 element of Ki-61 vs. 2 elements
Round 2 1 element Ki-44-2b + 1 element of Ki-84-Ia vs.1 element
F4U-1 + 1 element Seafires
Round 3 2 elements Bf-109E vs. 1 element Spitfire I + 1 element
The final eight players were seeded on best record first,
then by best net score. In the quarterfinals, the advancing players
had to figure out the best way to use two elements of the sturdy
P-40E Warhawks in dealing with two elements of the 1942 Pacific
menace, the agile but fragile Japanese A6M2 or Zeke. The Japanese
dominated the eight dogfights played in the quarterfinals, 6-1-1,
winning by a margin of five points a dogfight. Three of the higher
seeds advanced: Joe Harrison (#2) defeated Peter Perla (#7),
19-to-7, Chris LeFevre (#3) defeated Sal Vasta (#6), 9-to-7,
and Chris Janiec (#4) defeated defending champion, Daniel Hoffman
(#5), 17-to-12. The lone upset had John Alsen (#8) defeating
David Metzger (#1), 17-to-12, in a close contest that wasn't
decided until the last turn of the second game.
The semi-finals would be another equally challenging round
between two elements each of Bf-109Fs against Spitfire Vs. The
Bf-109s' edge was its leader's performance rating while the Spitfires'
would counter with its own advantage, an extra damage point per
aircraft. The Spitfires' advantage ultimately prevailed, winning
three out of four games played. This round was very equal as
the margin of victory for both combined matches was only 1.5
points! Chris Janiec barely defeated Chris LeFevre, 16-to-15,
while Joe Harrison narrowly defeated John Alsen, 17-to-15.
The finals consisted of two elements of N1K2-Js (George) vs.
two elements of F4U-1c Corsairs. The first game ended with Joe
Harrison's Georges winning by a good margin, 17-to-7. After switching
aircraft for game 2, Chris Janiec's Japanese elements battled
back slowly, until finally at the end of the six regulation turns,
the match was tied, 24-to-24, forcing an overtime turn. In the
first ever DIF Finals overtime period, Chris Janiec shot down
the last of Joe Harrison's damaged Corsairs to take the championship
and his first WBC wood, 27-to24!