Ein jeder kann den Immelmann. – Chap. 4, Act 3, Strip 5

In his desperation, Captain Valiant goes for the ultima ratio of space combat – digging out a WWI-era dogfighting tactic. Space combat, you see, is basically just like WWI aerial dogfighting, aside from the distances and speed involved, the completely different weaponry, and the way in which spacecraft handle completely differently from aircraft in the absence of friction and gravity. But aside from that, it’s like identical twins!

And this effect always works in favour of people from Earth. Apparently, highly developed aliens civilization have all missed that crucial step of having world wars in their historical development, and that’s why their space pilots tend to be completely unprepared when you draw something out of the Bloody Red Baron’s big bag of tricks.

This tends to work on both individual opponents as well as large groups. In the latter case, you just have to make sure to pull the trick at the exact moment when you are surrounded and all enemy fighters are headed concentrically toward your position. That happens quite frequently in space combat, probably another side-effect of alien civilizations being unable to develop effective dogfighting doctrines in the absence of world wars in their histories.

Captain Valiant timed it perfectly and pulled it of without a hitch…probably aided by the fact that the Thunderstreak Three is red, a color which grants any craft an automatic +1 in dogfighting for historical reasons.

More on Thursday.

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