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Roger McKay
Canada
Bedford
Nova Scotia
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As a young lad, I was a huge fan of WW2 air combat movies. I got the chance as a teen to see 'Midway'

in the theatre, complete with 'sensurround' audio. Shortly afterward, I recieved as a gift, 'Dauntless', the

Battleline sequel to 'Air Force'. I later picked up the Avalon Hill version of the original game. The

expansion set followed shortly after that.

'Air Force' is a tactical game of WW2 air combat. each player controls one or more individual aircraft

during a 20 turn game. All basic types of WW2 combatant aircraft are included in the total game mix. The

first game 'Air Force' covers the western European theatre from the Battle of Britain until V-E day. The

second game covers the Pacific theatre, and the expansion covers the Eastern front and minor European

powers.

Each aircraft model has a corresponding air data card which specifies weaponry, damage capacity, and

flight performance. The flight performance section has divisions for several altitude levels up to maximum

altitude. This is the heart of the system, as performance relating to manueverability, acceleration, climbing,

and diving vary greatly depending on the altitude band which the plane begins the current turn. Manuever

performance is further specified by which of three speed categories the plane started the turn in. The faster

the plane is moving, the less responsive the controls will be, and manuevers will require more time (hexes)

to perform.

Turns are played out as follows: players consult the current altitude, bank (angle of wings), and speed of

their aircraft. The speed and altitude determine how much distance must be covered prior to execution of

the desired manuever. This is plotted by writing a number indicating how many hexes of straight movement

(and the correct notation for the desired manuever) are to be performed before the appropriate changes

are made to the plane's facing, speed, and banking. After all planes' moves have been plotted, they are

excuted. The official rules call for simultaneous movement, which often resulted in overshoots and no

opportunity for firing of guns. After planes have been moved, the final speed, bank, and altitude are written

as starting
values for the next turn. Each turn functions as a continuation of the last, allowing any straight ahead

movement which ended the previous turn to be banked and used to perform demanding manuevers in the

current turn.

Damage taken during combat (which is determined using a combat result table and a small set of midfiers)

is applied to various sections of the aircraft - wings, engine(s), weapons, etc. A plane which takes

maximum damage in any system other than weapons is destroyed. Simple rules are included for bailing out

of a destroyed aircraft.

There is a great variety of aircraft models which have their own specific data cards, and many variants are

listed also. The Pacific theatre game, 'Dauntless' includes rules for ground and sea attacks. This allows any

type of air engagement to be played out.

The simultaneous movement rules are a flaw, but I have incorporated an impulse movement system which

is simple and greatly improves the timing to allow for opportunity firing. Any remaining flaws are minor, and

the game is a great deal of fun for WW2 air combat fans.

With the standard rules, I rate this game as 7/10. With an impulse movement system, it's a 9/10.
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Mauricio de Souza Fonseca
Brazil
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Why simultaneous movement is a flaw? It's perfect in this game.
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Roger McKay
Canada
Bedford
Nova Scotia
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msouzafon wrote:
Why simultaneous movement is a flaw? It's perfect in this game.



Imagine two planes facing each other at a range of eight hexes. They both fly straight for five hexes. After movement, they are behind each other with no chance to shoot.
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