Postal Sopwith Rules (Mk.III)

by Tom Tweedy

RULES: Rules will be as per the Sopwith rule book unless stated otherwise by the GM.

MOVEMENT: RT = Right Turn; RS = Right Slip; A = Ahead; LT = Left Turn; LS = Left Slip; 0 or N = No Move (N.B. If this move used in 'Move 2' must also be used in 'Move 3'); and I = Immelman Turn (see below).

IDENTIFICATION: Players may choose a name to fly under e.g. Hissing Sid, Kraut Von Hinkle, etc.

AMMUNITION AND DAMAGE: The ammo and damage counters will be set at: 16 ammo; 12 dge. Players may reload (back up to 16) every time they land at own airfield.

CLOUDS: Clouds will be placed by the GM and players will be notified of their position at the start of the game. They will be moved once at the end of each Turn (i.e. a set of three 'Moves'), ready for the next turn.

AIRFIELDS: At airfields the three airstrips will be noted, from left to right, as ALPHA, BETA, GAMMA [or Left, Centre, Right]. On landing and taking off, players must state their intention to do so - and which air strip they intend to use.

ORDERS: For ease of translation, orders must be written thus:

                Turn 1: ALPHA/BETA/GAMMA airstrip [or Left, Centre, Right]

                Move 1: A

                Move 2: A       [When landing and taking off players must move

                Move 3: ?         Ahead on the two hexes of the airstrip.]

                The next season/Turn, with firing, could be written thus:

                Turn 2:

                Move 1:  A - fire A

                Move 2: LT - fire R

                Move 3: RS - fire L

If a player doesn't specify an airstrip in his orders when taking off, his 'plane will take off on the BETA airstrip. If a player doesn't tell the GM of his intention to land, then he won't be allowed to do so.

FIRING AND BEING HIT: Players are only allowed three bursts of fire per turn. They may be used spread over the three moves (as above), used all in one move (e.g. "fire L+R+A"), or any other combination over the three moves. An asterisk in front of your fire (i.e. A -*fire A) means you have made a hit that move. A bracketed 'Move' (i.e. [A] - fire 0) means you have been hit that move.

AMBIGUOUS FIRING ORDERS: All ambiguous firing orders (e.g. "A - FIRE") will be centralised. If you have three bursts left, it will be L+R+A; if you have two bursts left it will be L+R; one burst will be A.

NMR'S: If a player NMR's while his 'plane is in flight, his 'plane will fly AHEAD for the three moves of his turn. (A player can NMR any number of times, but his 'plane is considered to have crashed when he reaches the edge of the board.)

ACCIDENTS: If a player accidentally flies off the board, he will be considered to have crashed.

REPAIRS: A player may decide he no longer has sufficient endurance left and therefore in danger of being shot down. In this case he may land and for each complete TURN spent on the ground may repair two damage points. A 'plane may not recover to a strength higher than eight points.

ACE PILOTS: When a player has inflicted/reached 40 hits/points on other players (including bonus points) he then becomes an Ace and is allowed to use the Immelman Turn (see below). If, after being shot down etc, his score falls below the 40 mark, the player loses his Ace status. When an ace starts in a new game, the fact that he is an ace will be published for the benefit of new players.


Hits made on enemy 'plane....  +1 point
Enemy 'plane shot down........  +5 points
Player shot down....................  -5 points
Enemy Ace shot down.......... +10 points
Ace shot down....................... -10 points

If a 'plane crashes either by going off the edge of the board or flying into a cloud, the damage points he has left will be shared out amongst the players still in the game. When shared these points will be rounded down.

THE WINNER: The last surviving 'plane is the winner (and is awarded 5 bonus points).

PRESS: Press and alliances are encouraged [and indeed are needed against Aces].

DECEPTION: Deception of the GM is frowned upon.


IMPORTANT: Firing for the ordinary player is in the left, right and ahead directions. The range is 4 hexes, and the damage done to the target depends on the distance.

Four damage if the target is at one hexagon distance.
Three damage if the target is at two hexagons distance.
Two damage if the target is at three hexagons distance.
One damage if the target is at four hexagons distance.

Ace planes fire better than other planes:-

Five damage if the target is at one hexagon distance.
Four damage if the target is at two hexagons distance.
Three damage if the target is at three hexagons distance.
Two damage if the target is at four hexagons distance.

(NOTE: The range of four hexes remains the same...)


There are four basic manoeuvres available to the ordinary pilot (left slip, right slip, left turn and right turn) in addition to the ordinary moves straight ahead and no movement at all. In each case the plane finished facing in the direction shown by the arrow. The Immelman Turn is a manoeuvre available only to 'Ace' pilots. The 'plane finishes faced in the direction shown by the arrow.






 Other manoeuvres are straight ahead and stand still.


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