Another Slice of the Battle of
This tournament is a multi-year continuation of the Battle
of Britain. In the tournament format, two players sit at a board
and are the pilots for a section of RAF fighters. The GM draws
German raiders and randomly determines their flight path. One
player, each turn, is chosen as the temporary Squadron Leader
and he is in charge of vectoring all the pilots into intercept
position, but once he calls for the engagement, players at each
board can plot their own routes into the target.
We began this format in 2001, and had previously played the
days of 11 through 27 August 1942. We continued in 2004 with
two rain days (for repair and recovery) and then four active
battle days. Players began with one Spitfire and one Hurricane
pilot and, as a new feature this year, an unlimited number of
Defiant crewmen. Players chose with which plane they wanted to
start the game.
First, we had a great turnout of would-be aces this year, including
five new Laurelists, and I thank everyone for coming. I hope
they had a great time and will return
-- 8 Raids over the four days played, with 266 German aircraft
(50-50 fighters and bombers) faced by our 18 pilots.
-- The RAF downed 42 fighters and 31 bombers while losing eight
Spitfires, six Hurricanes and six Defiants (with eight pilots
killed, and nine wounded) for an exchange ratio of 3.65
-- German bombers damaged fivr airfields (including our home
base) and made it to London once only to be turned back by AAA.
The winner was Rich Phares with eleven kills (all in a Hurricane!).
Rich was followed closely by Mark VanRoekel with ten kills and
Doug Williamson with eight. In all we had six Aces this year
(including Jeff Cornett, Chris Villeneuve, and Bruno Passacantando).
However, not everyone was tallying up kills on the Hun. Rob Doane,
Bob Hamel, Scott Cornett and Chris Lefavre all lost three or
more aircraft of their own. And Frank Cunliffe and Steve Munchak
missed engaging raider aircraft three times by entering the engagement
one altitude level too high.
The use of the Defiant this year made for some interesting
situations. The aircraft requires a die roll to see if it can
take-off with the rest of the squadron or must wait one turn
on the ground in preparation. On several occasions, when the
squadron leader would call: We're all going in!, Mike Lam and
his Defiant were heard to reply: Not quite all of us!