And so the scene was set for tonight's game - 'Spandau and Lewis', using my newly rebased 1/600th Tumbling Dice planes, and a first outing for my big bombers.
The Germans had three Frederichshafen GIII bombers, escorted by three Halberstadt CLIIs. They had to fly as many bombers as possible off the opposite end of the table.
Opposing them, the RFC had a flight of three Sopwith Camels and a flight of three SE5a.
Here are the dastardly Germans.
And the Se5s of the RFC.
I used the new spotting rules I'm trying out, but all three formations spotted each other so quickly that I probably shouldn't have bothered.
The first set of German initiative rolls was pretty good. Really the kind of rolls you want when the enemy are on your tail, though.
The Camels line up and close in.
First contact, and a swirling dogfight begins whilst the bombers press on to their target.
The Halbertadts get in the way, as lead flies in all directions.
A bomber comes under a concentrated attack.
One bomber tries the novel strategy of dodging. It is curiously successful, at least for a while.
First blood; long range firing from a Halberstadt finishes off a damaged Se5a.
But the RFC have got the bombers right where they want them. They seemed particularly skilled at picking off the rear gunners; two of the three bombers had lost half of their defensive capability by this stage.
A Halberstadt goes down. Specifically the one with the veteran crew, on which a lot of the German defensive strategy was based.
An embarrassment for the RFC - a veteran Camel pilot finds himself with a bomber and a CLII taking clear shots in his rear arc. He was shot down. By the bomber.
There are no more pictures.
In the absence of morale, or a pilot-preserving campaign structure, the RFC pressed their attacks regardless of casualties. They lost a couple of planes before the first bomber went down, and several more before they got the second. The third bomber was shot down by their last plane, which then fled for home pursued by the two surving CLIIs, who lacked the speed to catch it.
So, losses heavy - the Germans destroyed five RFC aircraft, and lost a CLII and all three bombers. But it was quite a fight. And a lesson that a scenario needs slightly more in the way of victory conditions than 'Shoot down the bombers'.