Snoopy's Roof Needs Patching Again
The tiered seating of the Hopewell
Room depicts altitude advantage?
A late night Circus heat allows
fliers to congregate for some chance encounters.
Sopwith Camel and Fokker DR1 (the famous
tri-plane) airplanes soared and battled their way around the
convention halls again this year. With the game taking
two small books and only a short duration, flying duels are allowed
to occur throughout the convention at any time and place where
two flyers meet. Special Flying Circuses are held to draw
players to congragate and allow concentrated combats to take
place as you meet fellow pilots.
is done by searching out those with a distinctive green Ace
of Aces badge showing Baron von Richt ofen (buttons designed
and graciously provided by Greg Schmittgens). Battles occurred
around the halls, before those land-based board games, in the
lobby, and almost everywhere two people can stand or sit with
two books. New players joined the flying excitement as
they learned from veteran pilots nearby or during the flying
of flying, the top six pilots based on the point scoring system
were advanced to the Final Fly-off, a round robin event. Qualifying
requires flying a minimum of 15 dogfights with no more than five
against the same opponent. The total flying points are
divided by the number of flights to obtain a 'sort of' level
of pilot skill. Grant LaDue edged into the sixth, and last,
Final Fly-off spot with a 1.96 rating, barely edging out Brad
Raszewski (1.93). Top seed went to Bruce Young with an
impressive rating of 2.5, as he shot down 10 of his 15 opponents
and was only shot down once during the qualifications, and won
the other four matches to top off his feat. The reigning
Ace of Aces, George Deutsch, returned to the Final with the second
seed. Also earning return flights to the Finas were Richard Irving
and Doug Porterfield in the 3rd and 4th seeds. New to the
Final Fly-off and taking the 5th seed was Bill Ashbaugh.
Fly-off has five rounds as each pilot dogfights the others. In
Round 1 Doug and Bill started with the well-known double close-in
shots (see Page 20) and two points of damage, but Doug quickly
rolled up the needed six points of damage on Bill to score the
first victory of the Final. Bruce and Richard were involved
in a classic dogfight. Richard flew out to a 4 to 1 lead
only to see the edge keep sliding away until Bruce was able to
shoot his way to a tie. After another face-to-face, Bruce
was able to complete the comeback and score a victory at 8-6.
In the Final ties continue to fly until one scores another point
of damage. George opened with a a strong 7-3 victory over
an early lead in his next dogfight but Grant recovered for a
7-4 win. Doug and Bruce ended on Page 20 as Doug won 6-4.
Many of the dogfights were close. With no whitewashes,
the largest victory in the Finals was George's 6-1 win over Bill.
Each pilot won at least one dogfight as Richard recovered
in the final stanza to beat Grant.
As the Final
Round began, George led with four victories. Doug was flying
against him. They began with the mid-range head-to-head
for 1 point each. As the other dogfights finished, it became
clear that the George-Doug battle was the fight for the championship
and the winner would take the wood. George and Doug reached a
5-5 impasse, meaning the next damage would take the victory.
George flew ahead of the pack and finished Doug to win
6-5 and thereby repeat as the Ace of Aces champion with
a perfect 5-0 record in the Final Fly-off. Curse you, Red
Baron ! Grant took second over Doug by a tie-breaker.
flying, many others learned or taught others to fly. Thanks
to Paul Weintraub, Chris Villeneuve, Lee Rodrigues, Ray Stakenas
II, Rebecca Hebner, Craig Yope, Tim Hitchings, and Kaarin Engelmann
for running flight school sessions. Until next year and
a new sky full of the roar of rotary engines and flying circuses.