(originally published in The Aerodrome)
Reworking Medal Types
By Martin A. Stever
I’m suggesting a more careful description of the three bravery medal types. This suggestion comes for two reasons. First, there is a wide disparity between playing groups over when medals should be rolled for. Thus, some groups are laden with metal and some are not. The second reason is that in the many years since the last edition came out, some fine tuning is needed. For instance, a C-type medal is called something that happens every 200 or so missions. In the last 1,200 or so missions, I’ve seen a C-type medal rolled for only once or twice.
As another example of a needed adjustment, saving a wingman down behind enemy lines is rated a B-type medal. I’ve tried to save downed wingmen at least twenty times. I’ve done it successfully twice. It’s gotten my pilot or pilot or observer killed or captured on at least one third of the attempts. So to my mind, that’s a C-type risk.
Of course exact circumstances for the rewarding of medals will remain subjective. These guidelines are more specific than those currently offered, which reduces the level of subjectivity. For instance, leaving a wingman out to dry and getting him killed might make the award of any medal impossible, even if the pilot had gotten a triple kill. Likewise, determining when a pilot has aided a wingman in dire straits can only be a subjective call. Also, it’s a lot easier dropping pamphlets than it is bombing a heavily defended target a low altitude, again, some good judgment is needed.
Remember to use wounds when considering the medal type. Let’s say you’re thinking a mission is right on the border between A and B. If the airman involved was wounded, then the call should be for a B mission. When reading medal commendations, it’s obvious that bleeding or getting killed is an excellent method for getting a bigger, shinier medal.
If you’re flying British, rather than the leader of a successful mission getting a shot at a medal, the survivors may vote using secret ballot, as was British custom. When units were particularly successful in the face of the enemy, especially against the odds, the British command would allow the unit to choose who would get the individual medal(s), which were actually a nod to all the British combatants. It would not be unusual to have an officer and an enlisted man to be honored, each selected by a secret ballot of his peers. Officers only had a vote for the officer to be honored, while non-coms chose one of their lot. Keep that in mind on successful British two-seater missions.
These new guidelines do one more thing; they reward the flight leader. Right now, there is no reward for honestly declaring who the flight leader is. It simply points out to your opponents who the best pilot is. Personally, I advocate the flight leader going to the player with the highest rank. That sometimes hides who the most dangerous pilot is. Regardless of the method used for choosing flight leader, making some medals more available to this pilot offers an added reward to go with the greater risk.
When the next edition comes out, I also hope the medal types are inverted, so that A is the rarest and C the more common. All our lives we’re taught to shoot for the A, and FitS should be no different!
-Any double kill
-A kill along with successful completion of a mission
-A kill along with denying the enemy the completion of their mission
-A confirmed kill on a pilot with 36+m/15+k
-Any triple kill
-A double kill including a confirmed kill on a pilot with 36+m/15+k
-A double kill along with successful completion of a mission
-A double kill along with denying the enemy the completion of their fighter mission
-A kill while leading a particularly successful fighter mission of at least 5 planes, 10 players at the table
-A completed mission with grave inherit danger when the odds for success are particularly poor, e.g., successful bombing when the fighter escort is Albs against Camels.
-Denying the enemy completion of their non-fighter mission when the chance of their success was particularly high, e.g., stopping bombing with Albs and Pfalz against Camels and Bristols
-Any quad kill
-A triple kill including a confirmed kill on a pilot with 36+m/15+k
-A triple kill along with successful completion of a mission
-A triple kill along with denying the enemy the completion of their mission
-A double kill while leading a highly successful fighter mission of at least 6 planes, 12 players at the table
-A completed mission with grave inherit danger when the chance for success was incredibly poor, e.g., a suicide mission
-Saving a wingman downed behind enemy lines
Hey Marty! How've you been?
I'm good. I'm just posting some old stuff I wrote trying to score enough geek gold to score a better signature. Do a brother a favor and give it a thumbs up, would ya?
How's about what's up with you?
Life is good! Have three kids now:
Ethan 15 months
They are all happy and healthy.
I am just finishing the development for Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery, which will be published in N.A. by Tropical Games (my new development company) in partnership with an established manufacturer.
Also playtesting two other designs that look very solid for Pirates! and a Civ-builder (both Euro designs).
Here's a thumbs up and a tip! Hope to see you in Vegas.