The Dual is an event everyone took part in. 2 pilots working together against another 2 pilots. A warbirds fight to the death using the same aircraft, same level, same fuel. My partner, Dhyran.
The rules (as they started): Same Plane, Same Altitude, Same Fuel: No firing until after the "merge", which is where the two aircraft pass each other straight and level. Then you can turn, pull up, push down, roll, whatever you like. Fight until someone hits the ground.
OK, so that was a good start, Dhyran won last year's event with Flubby. Seeing as I replaced Flubby at short notice it was only natural we should set out to win.
Event 1: Dhyran & Kanga versus Kculon & Zonix - It's a >>>PARROT\<\<\< fight folks!
Bearing in mind we had just beaten KC and Zonix in our practice sessions we were pretty confident. Plane selected was the KI43, a Japanese fighter Luck was on my side, they both went for Dhyran! While they followed his 6 o'clock I got to come in and kill one and after lots of circling between the 3 of us I got to kill the other too. Alle ist gut! We're through to round two.
Event 2: Dhyran & Kanga versus Fo-ski & PJK - It's a "Trainer" fight folks!
Well, all except for me. Dhyran had convieniently forgotten to tell me they were past Warbirds Trainers which is perhaps just as well. The second round had the Spitfire 1a. I quite like this plane though if you try any negative G manoeuvres the engine stops. I got some shots on one of them after turning from the merge. Then it was hard work as I remember. Dhyran killed the other one shortly after. A minute or so later Dhyran was close behind the remaining player and he crashed into the ground during his avoiding turns. Dhyran hadn't got a shot off and I got the kill credit - it was the player I hit earlier. So, two rounds, we both survived and I even managed to get three out of four of the credits. Alle is gut! We're through to the semi-finals.
Event 3: Semi-finals: Dhyran & Kanga versus Tomkin & Unguis - Parrots versus our old friends the Greenwings
OK, this had us a little nervous. Unguis is still a CM and we know he is a very good pilot. Tomkin doesn't fly so often so we felt we had the advantage there. So, we used the same tactics but I found myself being followed by someone. Suddenly, Dhyran died. Collision! No kill message on the buffer but he lost his wing as he passed by the enemy. Someone was behind me firing. I lost an aileron - meaning I could no longer roll as fast as they could. Things were not looking good. The person behind me kept firing, but my turns meant they kept missing. Things were looking good, I figured they must be low on ammunition. Then, no more firing. I took my chance to turn towards the second. And earlier pass I fired for just pure luck and he hadn't been so active since. It turns out I had shot off his elevator, the fact he was still flying was a miracle. So I followed him and shot him down properly. It was Tomkin. So, unguis was behind me but not firing, the noise from the room made it clear he was out of ammo. The question was, could I get behind him. Not easy, he was very good at following. I climbed then cut the throttle he got close, I turned, got behind a little for seconds but then he was behind again. I climbed, kept the throttle full, he expected me to cut it so was falling back, then just before stall I roll and dive behind. Again I get shots off but no kill. This went on for 20 minutes! It became a race for fuel. I thought that as he needed fuel to fly, perhaps I could land, wait then go up and get him later. Not a fair fight, even if it wasn't against the rules, so I pressed on. Just before my fuel ran out I turned off my engine. He and the whole room saw my engine stopped and assumed I ran out of fuel. I hadn't, three litres left to let him pass, turn it on and make one last pass. I still missed!
The Eurocon management had come to a decision. Never, in the history of Eurocon had a fight lasted so long. We would go head to head to decide the win. First, we needed a break!
So, back again after a rest. Same plane, just 3% fuel so we didn't fight all night. We dived, we climbed, we turned. Neither appeared to have the advantage though it felt to me Unquis always did. Then, I ran out of fuel! That was it, they had decided to end it there, Ung shot me as I glided earthwards.
It was over, Unguis won and I could at last relax. The final was won by two other players, Unguis accidentally put too much fuel in his P40B which didn't help. In defeat he was gracious as I would expect having known his name for years (and his voice over TeamSpeak for a shorter time). Krod, from South Africa originally but currently working in the UK, and Netfly were the winners. For them, lots of prizes (Champagne, Mobile hard disks, software and other things). I also gave them each a bottle of prized "Spitfire" Ale.
Next some beer. I'd like to say it was the stress of fighting that meant I performed so badly in the beer pulling steaks. In reality, I'm just not barman material. That's not white beer, that's white beer foam. I guess I won't apply for any bar work in the near future.
Halb has to leave tonight. He has to go to work tomorrow. Therefore we had the official parrots photo for our web site, along with the official autographed flag. This flag was created by KC last year and signed by every parrot at last years con. Now, it's been signed by those of us here this time too. You might just about see my squiggle above the parrot.
I finished this post about 2am local time, it's great to talk to people face to face \<S>