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Flying in a Canvas Eagle

We had a special treat this past Tuesday. LSHM hosted a game of Canvas Eagles, the WW1 aerial dogfight simulation game.  Johnny Rod brought his entire setup to Dragon's Lair which included a wide selection of 1/144 scale model airplanes and a highly detailed 'hard deck' to act as a stage for the battle royale. Johnny doesn't bring out this game often so it is a great occasion when he does.

Sgt. Johnny giving the mission briefing
The players were split into two groups; Germans v Brits. I was on the British side. Aircraft were assigned randomly. I was fortunate to be assigned the Spad XIII with a blue/orange color scheme, one of the best planes in the game.
Detailed pic of the 'hard deck'

My Spad on the far left
The contest started with both flights rushing headlong into one another. The Germans must have been nervous because by the second turn Joe and Abe had crashed into each other's planes. Joe went down in flames but Abe survived to fight on. Fortunately, Johnny let every pilot pickup a new plane after a mandatory one turn penalty, so Joe quickly jumped back into the fray.

I guided the Spad through the middle of the raging fur ball only to find a Gotha bomber with an underside gunner firing back at me. The Gotha clipped my Spad's tail and forced me into a diving spin.  After three harrowing turns I was able to break out of the spin and rejoin the fight.  I was determined not to let that damn Gotha get the best of me. So I scurried through the next fur ball, never getting an opportunity to line up an enemy.
a good mate goes down in flames

The wicked Gotha at the top, me in the spinning dive on the left
The Gotha casually flew circles around the outskirts of the battle until it lined up behind me for another shot.  I survived the hailstorm of bullets and pulled an Immelman turn so as to bring my guns toward the Hun.  The Gotha turned right to escape off the edge of the playing field.  I had him in my sights and let him have it with the machine guns. But, he soaked up the bullets long enough to limp away from the battle. By that time, my mates had finished up the rest of the horde. We celebrated the victory with cold beverages and slept soundly knowing the empire would endure yet another day.  Rule Britannia!

For anyone interested, the Canvas Eagles rules are a free download at


  1. Those Canvas Eagles games are always fun, and that game board is awesome. I saw it (or one like it) at MillenniumCon complete with LEDs flashing in cotton "smoke" to simulate explosions on the battlefield.

  2. Yes, the simulated combat on the ground is nice effect. I tried to take a photo of one of the "explosions" but couldn't time it correctly. Probably have to make a video instead.


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