We had a great game at Gencon in Indianapolis last week. Of the 30 players that participated, at least half already owned the game. This made the game much easier to run.
Each player chose an aircraft, with its maneuver deck, and a laminated damage record sheet. We lined each side up on either end a long table covered with three 4.5 ft x 9 ft playing mats. I made the battle mats with the help of my kids, $2 a yard fabric and cans of 99 cent black and walnut spray paint from the Wal Mart.
Many of the aircraft we used had been slightly changed to make them unique. The addition of stripes and wingtip and fuselage repaints made each plane clearly identifiable by its pilot. I made the cards in powerpoint, with the changed paint schemes and new names for the pilots. I can post these files if there is interest.
From other who have run large games, we used the advice to not use the critical hits in the damage deck, and to call out damage to everyone as it was dealt. The deck was created by Art DeFilippo, who made big 5x7 inch cards to show the damage. We also removed the instant kill effect, and replaced it with a 5 damage card. This ramped up the excitement, and everyone howled with delight when someone took a bad hit, and complained when a series of zero damage results were pulled. As the game went on, Art kept 'tweaking' the damage by removing the 0 damage cards to make the game more bloody, which everyone seemed to enjoy. We decided to use only the A deck, instead of using the B damage deck for some of the observers' guns.
We let the first two pilots shot down get a replacement aircraft. One was the 'Freddi Von Richthofen' aircraft, which represented Manfred's less successful (but equally stylish) second cousin. Like the first aircraft run by that player, it too plunged to its doom after a spirited fight.
Since we had a good number of two-seater aircraft, we set up a series of objectives for bombers and reconnaissance aircraft to target along the center of the table. As they passed directly over these targets, they were given one victory point. Killing other planes also earned a victory point. We did notice that the American two-seater aircraft were too fast for the swarm of angry German planes to catch. The tail guns really dealt a lot of damage to the German planes, making the Allied two-seaters the most powerful planes in the game.
To keep the game interesting, and to finish in the three hours allotted, we rolled up the mat on either side. The reason (because historical accuracy is PARAMOUNT :-) ) was that high command was directing signal flags on the ground to redirect all available planes to the central front (the middle of the board)
In the end, the overall winner was an Allied two-seater who already had been shot down. Before going down in flames, he had bombed two objectives and shot down three aircraft. Three other pilots had four victory points each. The winner won a Watch your Back boxed set that was provided by Fantasy Flight Games (thanks FFG!)
Honorable mention went to the last German player, who tried to fight off eight allied planes (unsuccessfully). He won the coveted Red Baron award (a boxed Richthofen WOW miniature), also provided by Fantasy Flight Games, who had a great set-up and booth at the con.
Pictures from the event can be found at the Wings of War Nexus Yahoo Group, located here:
Thank you everyone for the great advice on running the game. It was a blast, and we're hoping to run it again at Cold Wars in Gettysburg this Autumn.
Steve Gibson and Art DeFilippo
Northern Virginia Gamers (NOVAG)
I think we're all bozos on this bus.
Thanks for the report! I was in that game too and had a good time - lots of chaos and excitement.
Two seaters firing all A damage with no gunjams was a devastating combination -- it's not surprising that they fared so well. I think some planes had increased HP as well -- it made my SPAD XIII tactics near useless.
You did get a shot of me scoring a hit on a german though so my prowess has been documented and I survived til the end.
We did notice that the American two-seater aircraft were too fast for the swarm of angry German planes to catch.
When I run scenarios with two-seaters on a bombing mission I require that the players fly them as if they had engine damage (i.e. must pick a stall card as one of the three maneuver cards each turn) until they release their bombs. Beginning the turn after release, they go back to normal. This accounts for reduced speed and agility while lugging the bombs, and allows hostile fighters to be a bit more effective. It seems to work well.
Great report indeed, thabnks so much for doing all that!
I was at this game, and thanks for running it so smoothly! It was a blast and I hope you run it again next year, or something like it!
It was MUCH better than the "official" FFG "tournament" that was later that night.
See you again next year!