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Subject: Aerial Warfare and Innovation in the First World War....the game! rss

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Matthew Barber
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Friends, countrymen, grognards...

I've been consuming a lot of WWI air war material recently and had a thought/question. Is there a game that simulates the entire air war over Europe...PLUS the innovations that occurred during that time?

I guess what I am interested in is something where you can choose to implement, say, disruptor gears/improved engines/new tactics/equipment for range-finding(sounding) in a non-historical fashion (maybe random draws from a Innovation table?).
Also what about the idea of focusing your Air units into certain fields such as scouting (maybe the safest for your units?) to balloon busting (a dangerous game!) to play the odds between risk and reward?

...and if this doesn't exist...what is YOUR idea for a perfect WWI aerial warfare game?
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Norm Stewart
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You should at least check out Wings for the Baron. The players are different Germain aircraft manufacturers in WWI, attempting to product the most effectively designed fighter planes. I found the concept particularly appealing after reading Three Wings for the Red Baron, by Leon Bennett. The game is not nearly as wide-ranging as I think you are hoping for, but it does explore an interesting aspect of that technologically exciting period.
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Joshua Gottesman
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VA-Norm wrote:
You should at least check out Wings for the Baron. The players are different Germain aircraft manufacturers in WWI, attempting to product the most effectively designed fighter planes. I found the concept particularly appealing after reading Three Wings for the Red Baron, by Leon Bennett. The game is not nearly as wide-ranging as I think you are hoping for, but it does explore an interesting aspect of that technologically exciting period.


Victory Point Games has acquired the rights to WftB. This is from their November 14, 2014 "Crimson Courier" newsletter.

Quote:
Wings for the Baron is an economy / war game designed by Dave Townsend that is currently in development by VPG. Wings is set during World War I and the players take on the roles of German aeroplane manufacturers competing to produce the best plane for the Fatherland (and the Red Baron). The major events of the war come into play through a deck of War Status cards, and both Allied and German morale are tracked to determine when the war ends (i.e., the game is over) so you can determine who won (both the war and the game).

The first edition of Wings for the Baron was self-published in 2007. It supported two to four players and featured 56 cards, playmats, and 101 counters. The VPG edition is being developed to extend gameplay and replayability to allow for a fifth player and including additional cards and components. The VPG edition also adds an optional "extended-play mode" that allows the players to build interesting recon planes and heavy bombers in addition to the pivitol fighter plane from the base game.

The historical details of the game have been painstakingly researched and VPG is fully commited to preserving the historical accuracy of the original edition. Wings for the Baron is a compelling re-creation of the economic struggles of WWI Germany and it has been a pleasure to work on.


Joshua Gottesman
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Matthew Barber
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VA-Norm wrote:
You should at least check out Wings for the Baron. The players are different Germain aircraft manufacturers in WWI, attempting to product the most effectively designed fighter planes. I found the concept particularly appealing after reading Three Wings for the Red Baron, by Leon Bennett. The game is not nearly as wide-ranging as I think you are hoping for, but it does explore an interesting aspect of that technologically exciting period.



Very, very interesting! You're correct that this seems a bit limited compared to what I want, but it is a great starting point! Maybe some sort of mashup game could be made from "Three Wings" and another combat oriented boardgame? Three Wings for Bloody April, perhaps?
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Norm Stewart
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thatsmybarber wrote:
VA-Norm wrote:
You should at least check out Wings for the Baron. The players are different Germain aircraft manufacturers in WWI, attempting to product the most effectively designed fighter planes. I found the concept particularly appealing after reading Three Wings for the Red Baron, by Leon Bennett. The game is not nearly as wide-ranging as I think you are hoping for, but it does explore an interesting aspect of that technologically exciting period.



Very, very interesting! You're correct that this seems a bit limited compared to what I want, but it is a great starting point! Maybe some sort of mashup game could be made from "Three Wings" and another combat oriented boardgame? Three Wings for Bloody April, perhaps?


From a philosophical point of view, you may want to consider several games that focus more tightly on your specific areas of interest, rather than one (that I don't think exists) that tries to include everything. I have less patience (and opportunity) these days for monster anything.

Admittedly, translating the developments from Wings for the Baron to the Wings of Glory system, or something like it, could be interesting.

Good news that VPP is picking this up, they'll do a good job. They may even need playtesters.
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Jon M
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Wasn't it the case that as particular innovations were bought in the side that did it cleaned up for a while until the opposition caught up with it. So the air combat would only be interesting when both sides where kind of evenly matched thus the idea of putting them into one game seems a bit problematic. Who want's to fight dog fights with planes that are going to get shot to pieces by the opponent.
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Joeseph McCarthy
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My idea of the perfect WW-I aerial combat game (after having played MANY, MANY, MANY since the 1960s), turns out to actually exist.

Canvas Falcons.

You don't manufacture the things, but you get to see how they work in combat, and the performances are highly realistic.

Mogadeet
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Matthew Barber
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Jon_1066 wrote:
Wasn't it the case that as particular innovations were bought in the side that did it cleaned up for a while until the opposition caught up with it. So the air combat would only be interesting when both sides where kind of evenly matched thus the idea of putting them into one game seems a bit problematic. Who want's to fight dog fights with planes that are going to get shot to pieces by the opponent.


This is a valid point but I think you take it a bit far. While there was definitely dominant designs that came out I don't think any portion of the air war was entirely lopsided. Even the introduction of new technologies doesn't mean much unless you put them out in large number...which by that time your enemy had begun to react. Plus the technologies weren't all specific to dog fighting. If you develop a better system to train your artillery via plane then I think that's just as important of an innovation as higher performance fighters.
 
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Matthew Barber
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Mogadeet wrote:
My idea of the perfect WW-I aerial combat game (after having played MANY, MANY, MANY since the 1960s), turns out to actually exist.

Canvas Falcons.

You don't manufacture the things, but you get to see how they work in combat, and the performances are highly realistic.

Mogadeet


This type of game is definitely what I was looking for! It seems like this system will really show the performance differentials of the aircraft.
 
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Timo Timo
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Working on this.

R&D, then design your airplanes, then produce them and then use them as squadrons in your game.

Except the era I chose is WW2.
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