A cold and damp, early December Saturday afternoon, mixed with a bored son, allowed the excuse of a quick game of wings of war.
I played the Japanese, my son took the role of the Americans.
The premise was not complex - two patrols clash over the Pacific in world war 2..........................
Two Japanese planes on a routine patrol - somewhere in the pacific theatre - the lead pilot is Ichi Naka.
Aerial view of the two A6M2 Reisen
The two patrols have met mid way through their flight plan and a desperate dog-fight ensues. Both flights are at high altitude and the Japanese go full throttle straight to the American fighters. To the utter amazement of Ichi Naka and his colleague, the American planes dived to a lower altitude, evading the machine gun bullets.
The Americans dive to a lower altitude - preventing the devastating initial Japanese attack
Neither aircraft could fire on the other due to the rapid loss in height of the American patrol.
The lead American aircraft managed to turn, gain height and fire at the wingman of Ichi Naka - a single hit damaged the engine - this restricted the pilot to low speed for the remainder of the engagement. Meanwhile a vicious side on machine gun attack caused nearly half points damage on the wingman of LePoitier.
LePoitier even attempted to ram one of the Japanese planes - causing rudder damage to his own plane.
LePoitier rams one of the A6M2's
All the planes swerved and turned, each pilot looking to obtain an advantage over the enemy.
A dog fight - the American pilot clearly at an advantage
In the dog fight, both American planes take damage, and LePoiter himself was wounded - but was still able to fly his damaged plane. His rudder was also shot away and his engine suffered damaged.
At one point - the two American planes clip each other, causing light damage, but major embarrassment.
Eventually both sides had to call it a day - tea was beckoning and the table needed.
A draw was a fair assessment, but to be honest, my son held the upper hand, despite the damage to his two planes, and the fact that his lead pilot (LePoitier) was wounded, the Japanese patrol was down to one plane - the other limping off with a shattered rudder and damaged engine.
Wingman of Ichi Naka - engine damaged, rudder shot - he limps from the battle at low level.
A good game - despite the silly names.....................................................................