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Down in Flames: Locked-On» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Quick Review of the Solitaire Rules rss

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Christopher Salvatore

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After having played numerous games of this with my son I decided to give the solo rules a spin. Let me begin by saying that I love aircraft games of all kinds, probably because I could never be a pilot; I have the eyesight of a fruit bat for one and absolutely zero spatial sense. The one thing that has always turned me off about some games is the maneuvering and moves. I am not an aeronautical engineer or a licensed pilot, I want to shoot guns and fire missiles and knock the enemy out of the sky; not have to learn enough for an associates degree in aeronautics.
Here is where Down-in-Flames: Locked on comes in. The game is a ton of fun for two players but it is one of those that also translates gracefully, I might add, to solo play.
First off, a big thank you to DVG for formatting the solo rules in the exact order in which they are played. This makes the game flow as there are no hiccups or stoppages while one looks up a rule.
For today's games I used my all-time favorite aircraft the F8-E Crusader, the "Last Gunfighter" against a MiG-21 Fishbed. Both planes are relatively the same as far as performance, almost exact but the Fishbed has a little more thrust. With a mutual EW of 1, I used a random dice roll to see who would go first. The dice rolls had the MiG use up a lot of his cards closing the range and gaining position. I let him do this as I was holding some pretty good cards. He actually managed to get on my tail but he was still at Radar Homing range. On my turn I reversed my position with a scissors and closed the range to HS. I then played a yo-yo and played a Tone Steady which he couldn't break and got +2 cards in the missile hand. He managed to play one reaction card to the missile but then he was out of cards and I nailed him with a missile shot.
The second game showed me that these rules are not slanted at all so that the human player will usually win. I kept getting pretty lousy cards so he got close and managed to get on my tail. I couldn't shake him and had nothing to react to a tone and the missile got through.
Honestly these solitaire rules are simple to the point of elegance. The game plays fast and deadly either solo or 2-player. There are quite a few decisions to make and one must really think about the tactics used because just as there is more than one way to skin a cat, there is more than one way to splash an enemy aircraft; but this in no way slows down play if anything it intensifies it.
If you want a game with a very manageable foot-print and virtually unlimited re-playability get this game, it is very worth the price and you will not be disappointed.
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Cutthroat Cardboard (Barry)
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Thanks for putting up your thoughts. I'm also enjoying the solo play but it's worth noting that there is quite a lot of dice rolling, which might put some people off in a card based game.

You didn't mention the weapon load for the Fishbed but "if" its only heat seeking missiles (I haven't checked but assume this is the case)then you can't be tailed at radar homing range as an aircraft can only manoeuvre past neutral when it has a weapon system that can be brought to bear. (This of course is if I understand the rules correctly whistle)
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Christopher Salvatore

California
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Skipp wrote:
Thanks for putting up your thoughts. I'm also enjoying the solo play but it's worth noting that there is quite a lot of dice rolling, which might put some people off in a card based game.

You didn't mention the weapon load for the Fishbed but "if" its only heat seeking missiles (I haven't checked but assume this is the case)then you can't be tailed at radar homing range as an aircraft can only manoeuvre past neutral when it has a weapon system that can be brought to bear. (This of course is if I understand the rules correctly whistle)


You are correct of course, it is one of the many mistakes I am sure that I made with the game. As far as the dice rolling is concerned I wasn't sure if it needed mentioning as there are a couple of solo playthrough videos that show this. Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate them.
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Kevin Verssen
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Thank you for the huge compliment to our Solitaire system! I showed this to Dan and even got him to crack a rare smile!
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Tom Taylor
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This is correct. The AI will adjust Range first, then Position to get to Weapons Envelope.
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Peter Ball
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Nr Grantham
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I have not got the game but have the other DIF do the action cards have a number to show which one in the deck. I have used the solo for DIF and instead of rolling a dice I pick a card and look at the last digit of the card number.
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