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Subject: Which Wings of War to start with? rss

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This game has caught my eye lately and a friend who I'm converting into a gamer saw it in one of my Fantasy Flight catalogs and was intrigued. The game is cheap enough to pick up and try, so my question to you fine Geeks is which version should I start with? I have no real preference to WWI or WWII. The game will be played by either 2 or 3 players most of the time with the occassional need for 4 or 5.
 
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Chip Crawford
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I have the WWII version and like it, but there are, as of yet, no minis to go with it. So you are playing with cards only.

I'll end up getting into the WWI version I suspect, and be picking up the minis to go along with.
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J.L. Robert
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I'm partial to the original game vs. Dawn of War. But that's because I have a personal bias for the romanticized stories of WWI ace pilots, knights of the air, and all of that.

From that, it comes down to what you want. Wings of War: Famous Aces has all of the famous fighters, like the Albatross D.V, the Fokker triplane, the Sopwith Camel, and the Spad XIII. Wings of War: Watch Your Back! adds a few more fighters, like the Fokker D.VII and the Sopwith Snipe, but includes rules for 2-seater reconnaisance/bomber aircraft. Wings of War: Burning Drachens has an even narrower list of aircraft, but includes barrage baloons, solitaire rules and even a few scenarios.
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Ted Groth
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There have been a couple of other threads on this already, although you have suggested slighly different criteria, so the answer may be a little different.

I can't compare WW1 vs WWII versions for you, since I haven't played the WWII series at all. I think the flight speed mechanisms that were introduced in the WWII series look very interesting, but prefer WWI as a game theme, as I was raised on Snoopy & the Red Baron.

If you choose WWI, then the next question is whether you expect to get some miniatures.

If You WON'T be buying miniatures (really?)
Start with Wings of War: Famous Aces, as this offers the best set of matched planes for dogfights with 2-4 people, and includes the popular Fokker Dr1 triplane, and Sopwith Camel. If you only get one set, then this is the set to get, no question. When you want to expand, I would suggest Wings of War: Burning Drachens, which get you the observation balloons, anti-aircraft guns, and altitude rules, along with a somewhat random assortment of other planes. Another good expansion is Wings of War: Top Fighters Booster Pack Which adds in the powerful and maneuverable Fokker D.VII and Sopwith Snipe.
I also have the Wings of War: Watch Your Back! and Wings of War: Recon Patrol Booster Pack which offer two seaters, with tailgunners, but really haven't used them much as yet, as we mostly just play dogfights, not complex scenarios. (By the way, Watch Your Back doesn't actually include the Fokker D.VII or Sopwith Snipe, as stated above.)

If you WILL be buying miniatures (thought so!) then the priority changes:
In this case start with a "Burning Drachens", along with four miniatures: (at least) one each of Sopwith Camel, Fokker Dr.1, Spad, and Albatross from the first set. Just choose your favorite pilot or color scheme for each type of plane, since all planes of the same type fly exactly the same, even though each TYPE of plane flies differently.
Buying these four miniatures gives you the same plane flying capability as "Famous Aces" would have (so you won't need that set), and "Burning Drachens" gives you all of the damage cards, player boards, and tokens you need, along with all the balloons altitude rules and other stuff. If you later want to expand, then I suggest one each of the Sopwith Snipe and Fokker D.VII miniatures from the 2nd set, rather than bothering with the Top Fighters expansion deck with the same planes. There are also some 2-seater miniatures, if you are interested, but the "B" damage deck that most of these planes use is only found in the "Watch Your Back" expansion.

Note that when you get a miniature you also get the plane card maneuver deck for that plane, so you will be able to play with just the cards if you want to. (such as when travelling)

Also, if you expect to be playing with the cards, you might want to get a good piece of felt, or faux suede to play on, as the plane cards sometimes spin on a bare table.
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Jeff Hinrickson
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I second/third/fourth (whatever) Wings of War: Burning Drachens. This will give you a good feel of the game and you can play it solo, which is a good thing to get the understanding of how the game works.
 
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Carl Anderson
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Ted said everything I would have, and more.

First off, if you buy and play just one of the base games (whichever one), you will say, out loud, "This would be so much better with minis." And it really is. Gone is the annoyance of the plane card spinning around, and present is the real excitement of seeing planes fly around the table.

So, Ted's right. But I would recommend Burning Drachens first, if only because it's a nicer overall package, and the designer states that it's a good segue into the minis. If you even think that you like playing it after you first go-'round, go buy two planes--say, one Allied, and one Central Powers--so that you can dogfight. After that, if you're interested in the two-seaters (and believe me, they're a blast to play with), go buy Watch Your Back!, since that's got the required damage deck.

So, here's your shopping list, in order (buy the next one in series if you like the current step):

1. Burning Drachens
2. Two minis
3. Watch Your Back!
4. Two two-seater planes

Incidentally, I haven't played any scenarios yet, but I like that Burning Drachens has the ability to do so and has rules for solo play. I really, really like games that have solo play.
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Awesome. Thanks everyone. So I'll probably go order Burning Drachens and 2 or 3 minis. I can see how the minis definitely make this more interesting, especially with the altitude rules.
 
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Ted Groth
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If you only buy two minis, some consideration should be given to which two, as some pairs coordinate better than others.

the Fokker Dr.1 and the Sopwith Camel are a great match, as both are very maneuverable, but slow. They are also generally the favorite of most casual fans of WWI planes (including me) because of the Snoopy factor.

The Albatross and Spad are less maneuverable but are faster and can take more damage. So they are a good match for each other.

If you try to match a Spad vs a Fokker DR.1 however, the flying styles are so different that a simple dogfight lasts a very long time, as neither plane can keep the opponent in sight long enough to cause much damage. This can be frustrating, until the players have gotten their piloting skills fine-tuned.

I would recommend one each of the Fokker Dr.1, Sopwith Camel, Albatross, and Spad.

From the 2nd set, Fokker Dr VII and Sopwith Snipe are fast, maneuverable and powerful, so they are a great match for each other, but can be expected to overpower any of the first set. But one of these against a team made up of a Camel and Dr.1 might be interesting.

 
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*Lorenzo*
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Hi guys i am just a new user here and i need some of yours ideas about that game.
I noticed it days ago and i like very much minis and the historic period of the game(both WWI and WWII arrrh)
So i would ask to You which is best package for me considering i love play with minis and cards.At the beginning I would like to buy "Wings of War deluxe set",is it usefull or not?Or i should buy one expansion and rules/other type of planes later apart?
When i meet my friends to play BG,we are 3-5 people usually.
So i wait your opinions.Thanks for Your time.Bye.
 
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