Archive for May, 2014

1952 and the third season of the historic Formula de is about to commence. This season sees big changes on the team front with a change in formula to engine size (aspirated and supercharged). Lacking government subsides to redesign their cars, both Alfa Romeo and Talbot have withdrawn with just a few privately entered cars potentially appearing later in the season.  Someone’s loss is another’s gain and this time its the turn of the British Garagista’s to swamp the field with a whole host of new and old marques. 

The season will once more comprise seven race’s. New circuits will include Rouen Les Essarts (Fra) for Rheims (Fra), and the daunting Zandvoort (Ned) replacing Pedrables (Spa).

Teams details

ferrariFERRARI (IT) – Clear favourites owing to Alfa-Romeo’s withdrawal.  If a Ferrari driver fails to lift the World Championship this season, expect a National Inquiry.


#1 Alberto Ascari (IT)

#2 Giuseppe Farina (IT)

#3 Pierro Taruffi (IT)

#21 Luigi Villoresi (IT) 


GORDINI (FR) – The only French entrant, a lot more than National pride lies with this team this season.  Expect occasional lower place podiums at best.


#11 Robert Manzon (FR)

#12 Jean Behra (FR) debutant

#27 Maurice Trintignant (FR)

#7 Johnny Claes (BEL)

maseratiMASERATI (IT) – A shadow of the original team with financial issues affecting car development and driver acquisition


#8 Felice Bonetto (IT)

ERAERA (English Racing Automobiles) (GB) – Founder memebers in 1950, the first British team to try their hand at F1. Also rans who will do well to improve on their previous best place of 9th.


#29 Stirling Moss (GB) debutant

HWMHWM (Hersham & Walton Motors) (GB) –  Despite entering a one driver team last season there were no spare places available to race. However a season in the background will have provided some vital experience in logistics and management although translating this into points may be too much of an ask.


#28 Paul Frere (BEL) debutant

#15 Lance Macklin (GB) debutant

#16 Peter Collins (GB) debutant

connaughtConnaught (GB) – Debut team. In pre-season tests they looked more impressive than their slightly more experienced countrymen.  But don’t expect points or miracles.


#19 Dennis Poore (GB) debutant

#20 Eric Thompson (GB) debutant

frazer-nashFrazer-Nash (GB) – Single entrant debut team. Showed some promise in winter tests. Outside chance of picking up a minor points place.


#30 Ken Wharton (GB) debutant

There are also 4 Privateer entrants comprising a single Ferrari and 3 Coopers (another British marque new to F1) that was in the hands of Mike Hawthorn at times impressive and perhaps the most capable of competing on occasion with the Ferrari’s:-

#23 Rudi Fischer (Swi) Ferrari

cooper#13 Mike Hawthorn (GB) debutant

#14 Alan Brown (GB) debutant

#17 Eric Brandon (GB) debutant

Miles Master. The M.24 version was converted fomr the trainer into an emergency fighter role

Miles Master. The M.24 version was converted from the MkI trainer into an emergency fighter role. Illustration from Wings Palette.

v2NOTE The file attachment is below in blue. Just click on it to open it up.

RAF variant 1.45 FINAL home copy consolidated print vers

When I bought this game 2nd hand about 10 years ago at the time it didn’t excite me much, looking a bit drab compared to more recent styles.  About 3 years ago I finally picked it up off the shelf and decided to give it a go.  I’ve not stopped playing it since.  Being a solitaire wargame it suits me perfectly and yet there’s that strange feeling that otherworldly dark forces are present manipulating events out of my control making the experience so much richer.  Immersing myself in the game I became all the more interested in the period which led me onto a considerable amount of background reading and research.   Ultimately I started thinking about other aircraft that I dimly remembered being involved in the campaign that were missing from the core game and so I embarked on writing my own rules for the Boulton Paul Defiant Sqns.  This eventually mutated into a 2 year labour of love of research publishing 5 versions that in the end encompassed no less than 15 aircraft types attached to Sqns not featured in the original game that did or could theoretically have participated. I could have gone on and on with this right into the weeds but drew a line here as those that remained were just too similar to others already included, or just too marginal. Therefore there’s no room for the Sea Gladiator, Westland Lysander, Dornier Do215, Arado Ar196, Cant z.506 or aircraft from Coastal and Bomber Commands.

Fiat Cicogna (Stork) Br.20 of the CAI that attacked Harwich and Ramsgate at the end of the battle.

Fiat Cicogna (Stork) Br.20 of the CAI that attacked Harwich and Ramsgate at the end of the battle. Illustration from Wings Palette.

With hindsight I’d probably have left the Gloster Gauntlet and Henschel Hs123 out as well as they’re in that marginal category again but as I’ve already done the work on them they’re still presented here. There’s no excuse now not to have the much maligned Boulton Paul Defiant, the emergency fighter Miles Master M.24,  the Fiats of the Corpo Aereo Italiano or Heinkel He59 floatplane bearing civilian markings over the English channel.

Below, summary table of all types included in the file

RAF BOULTON PAUL DEFIANT Fighter/Night-fighter 3/11 264 & 7/11 141  -1/-2 to 0/-1 2 11 Aug start
FAIREY FULMAR Fighter 3/12 808 (FAA)  0/-1 1 21 Aug if VP = -15
BRISTOL BEAUFIGHTER Night-fighter 4/10 604  1/0 1 1 Sep +1d20 conversion complete
WESTLAND WHIRLWIND Fighter 1/10 263  4/3 1 1 Sep +1d20 conversion complete
BREWSTER BUFFALO Fighter 3/12 71 (Eagle)  1/0 1 19 Sep +1d6
MILES MASTER M.24 Emergency Fighter 3/10 5 OTU  -1/-2 1 Anytime VP = -25
GLOSTER GAUNTLET Emergency Fighter 2/12 Met -2/-3 1 Anytime VP = -30
LUFTWAFFE HEINKEL He 115 Bomber Seaplane LF5 I/KF 506 & II/KF 506 4  6 / 4  7 2 11 Aug +1d6
FOCKE-WULFE Fw 200 CONDOR Bomber/Night Bomber LF3 I/KG 40 5  5 / 5  6 1 11 Aug start
HENSCHEL Hs 123 Dive Bomber LF2 V/LG 2 2  7 / 2  8 1 11 Aug start after all JU87 selected
HEINKEL He 59 Bomber Seaplane LF5 I/SD 1  7 / 1  8 1 11 Aug start on draw of Snap raid event
HENSCHEL Hs 126 Reconnaissance LF2 LG2 0  8 / 0  9 1 11 Aug on draw of Sqn catches Recon event
CAI FIAT Cr.42 FALCO Fighter (LF2 ) 18/56 St 0  3 / 0  4 1 25-Sep
FIAT G.50 FRECCIA Fighter (LF2 ) 20/56 St 0  4 / 0  5 1 25 Sep with above
FIAT Br.20 CICOGNA Bomber (LF2 ) 13 & 43 St 5  6 / 5  7 2 25 Sep with above

 A subsequent minor set of rules will follow next covering ack-ack batteries and some other chrome once I’ve recovered sufficiently! 

The Great War is over. 1917 proved decisive. Sheer weight of numbers and carefully planned offensives allowed the CP to  eventually break through on the Western Front. With the Austrians holding the Alps from an Italian counterattack and occupying Serbia and Turkish forces capturing Cairo and Port Said in Egypt the Allied powers appetite for war finally gave way. First with the destruction of its Army, Belgium surrendered.  Then in a bid to ensure the safety of their colonies, Britain announced it was ceasing operations in France. Russia facing growing unrest at home despite being strong militarily also announced an end to hostilities.  Only France was left wanting to carry on the war but without allies was forced to capitulate and accept the humiliating terms.

In the West, The Netherlands and Antwerp are absorbed into the German Empire. Sedan and Nancy in France are also ceded and all the French border forts are dismantled.  On the Eastern theatre, Lithuania and Latvia join Poland as part of the German Empire.  Serbia is erased from the map and absorbed into the Austro-Hungarian kingdom. Romania despite not carrying out operations is forced to pay reparations to Austria.  Finally Egypt and Libya are given to Turkey with a concession of allowing the British to keep a garrison at Alexandria and still operate trade along the Sues Canal.


Winter Offensive 1917. German armies conduct 2 pronged attack against British and Belgian forces at Cambrai and French forces at Nancy

inter O

1917 Winter Offensive aftermath. Anglo-Belgian forces left reeling at Cambrai. At Nancy French armies are routed allowing Germans to advance.

Summary – This is the first time I have played this with an actual breakthrough on the Western Front for either side. This time the game seemed to favour the CP right from the off with fortuitous dice rolls. But what I noticed more than before was the apparent advantage the CP side has with his early strategy cards at Mobilisation and Limited War. It was no coincidence that the Allies lost having never reached total war status. This time I was fighting the cards as much as the enemy and felt I was being forced to open up fronts where I could do nothing owing to the more serious situation on the Western Front. Indeed, I managed to build up huge Russian forces but thanks to the poor rail network just couldn’t get to grips with the Germans. Again as every time I have played it before, the US stubbornly refused to get involved (A consequence of not reaching Total War status). And not for the first time, the Russians kept in the game to the end.

In the end this game became a bit tedious, partly as I had to write a blog every few turns but for once it didn’t really fire me up.


The continuation of my mammoth Formula De campaign with the commencement of the 1952 season. Then The Battle of Britain from a single RAF Sqns perspective

HUBRIS – Logophile entry #14

Posted: May 14, 2014 in sport, Words

My introduction to this word came a long long time ago in a distant galaxy far away. Actually when I was studying Classical Civilisation for A level and it popped up more times than the stereotypical camp carry-on sidekick that appeared in EVERY greek comedy play that I had to endure…….I’m fairly confident that its now not a particularly well used word or infact well known and in due course it disappeared from my vocabulary.

Then this year Crystal Palace were promoted to the Premier League.  What’s that got to do with this word? My re-introduction after a few years hiatus (last time before the advent of social media) to the so called fans of the so called big clubs, that’s what. Demonstrating more hubris than a Greek Tragedy your average premier league “big 5” fan shows such disrespect to the fans of the other 15 clubs that in their opinion they just have to turn up to take the points as no one is interested in the opposition and besides, how dare they actually try to win. When things don’t go according to plan they throw their teddies out of the pram and begin blaming everyone from the media, to the ref, to foreign involvement but never their own tarnished team. I saw this first hand this season as Palace managed to totally ruin 2 of the 3 top teams title ambitions.

So there you have it – HUBRIS – noun – Excessive pride or arrogance. In Greek tragedy an excess of ambition, pride, etc, ultimately causing the transgressor’s ruin. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power. In ancient Greek, hubris referred to actions that shamed and humiliated the victim for the pleasure or gratification of the abuser – See supporters of Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal & Manchester United and a minority of Manchester City fans. 



Ultra’s show what it means to be a Palace fan









Crystal Palace 3 (Delaney, Gayle 2)

Liverpool 3 (Allen, some other bloke and Goofy)

Just when you think it can’t get any better this happens. Liverpool turn up expecting little old Palace to lie down and after 79 minutes despite the fans urging the home team on it looks just that at 0-3 down.  Liverpool showing an incredible lack of respect and more hubris than a Greek Tragedy press for a 4th, 5th and more crowing about a 9-0 previous encounter 24 years ago.  Then the game changing moment, Delaney gets the ball and goes for a long range effort. Just at that exact moment Palace’s mascot Kayla the Eagle flies at light speed across the path of his shot, the beat of her wings enough to deflect the course of the ball past the hapless Liverpool keeper.  Sensing their chance, the Palace faithful erupt into song “Steve’s got a ticket to Slide, steve’s got a ticket to slide, slide, slide”  True to form the scousers hit the panic button and completely fall apart. But then another twist, Palace are on parity having scored 3 goals in 10 minutes, at 3-3 in the dying seconds Liverpool seeing their title hopes about to be shattered attack a final time. Up pops Palace old boy Victor Moses to try to break Palace’s hearts and score the easiest of winners for the scousers. BUT………….NO………………WAIT. Displaying that rare thing in modern sport “Loyalty” as he goes to shoot he contrives to mishit the ball and scuff his kick allowing Palace to clear their lines and take a well earned draw.

Liverpools players and fans are inconsolable, in tears they are led out of Selhurst Park to their coaches bound for Bear Gryll’s Island and a month’s training how to behave like men of old.  Palace celebrate shattering another title contenders aspirations and Kayla is given seconds of another liver bird for supper.

And now, time for some some gratuitous orangeness…….

FEAST – Logophile entry #13

Posted: May 4, 2014 in food heaven, Words

Self explanatory word. I love it as like the word unctuous, it conjures up losts of nice images of food for my mind to wallow in. Watching Oliver Stone’s “The Doors” and hearing Jim Morrison use the word so well was probably when I thought properly about it.  I only use it when the experience truly deserves it which makes it sound all the more special.