Sunday, August 09, 2015

Wings of Glory at Barrie's: WWI Air

Germans: JohnW & Jim flying 2 Albatros V's each
Allies: JohnM flying 2 Spad XIV & Barrie flying 2 Camels

This was my first go at the Wings of Glory WWI air war system.  It's a packaged game system where they sell the rules, planes, stands & accessories in modules.
The hex cloth is incidental - hexes are not required.  The pre-painted 144 scale planes look great.  The dials are optional extras used only in advanced rules for altitude.  The stands are in sections to allow limited altitude variation in the basic game, but for beginners flying on one level is probably enough to worry about.
Movement is controlled by cards.  Each plane has a deck of maneouvre cards.  In each turn you select 3 cards and place them face down in the "consol".  The mix of available manouvres varies to suit the characteristics of the plane type.  The game then proceeds in 3 phases.  In phase 1 everyone's 1st card is revealed, the planes moved accordingly & any fire resolved.  Firing is done by the targeted player drawing 1 or 2 cards from the damage deck (2 at close range).  The damage cards are placed face down on the "consol".  They might be 0 to lots of damage points, say the firer's guns are jammed, or be special damage.  Planes crash on accumulating their damage limit.
To move you put the card down in front of the plane, then move it so the arrow on the back of the stand is on the arrow on the card - then slip the card out from under.
Partway into our game, it has split into two.  On this side one Spad has got behind Jim's Albatri.  On the other side JohnW's Albatri have sent one of the Camels off on fire, but the 2nd Spad has gone over help Barrie out.
Jim's Albatri & the 1st Spad flew over into the general melee as Barrie got the fire out and rejoined the fight.  Both sides suffered from temporarily jammed guns and accumulated damage, but it was JohnW's Albatri that went over the damage limit first.  They went down leaving Jim's Albatri outnumbered 2 to 4.
Not knowing the exact extent of damage to the enemy, but knowing both his own planes were close to disaster, Jim flew his planes past the Camel on the far edge and off the table to personal safety, but conceding the battle to the Allies.

It was a very enjoyable game.  The game system includes a lot of cunning and efficient mechanisms and is quick and easy to play at beginner level, yet I expect that with the advanced rules and the scenarios available on line there is enough depth to keep up long term interest.

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