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Subject: Using Game Students and need advice on what to get rss

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Matthew Roberts
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I have a strategy game course that I "teach" twice a week to middle school students. For my next six weeks rotation I'd like to use Wings of War. I usually have between 8 and 10 students. What should I get? I'd like to use the miniatures too. I've read the forum and poked around looking for info but I'm still not sure. Thanks in advance!
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Bill Eldard
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TheEldereye wrote:
I have a strategy game course that I "teach" twice a week to middle school students. For my next six weeks rotation I'd like to use Wings of War. I usually have between 8 and 10 students. What should I get? I'd like to use the miniatures too. I've read the forum and poked around looking for info but I'm still not sure. Thanks in advance!


Use this one . . . .

Wings of War: WW2 Deluxe set

It's just recently hit the retail stores, so it's available. Great miniatures; aircraft can fly at slow speed (conserves fuel) or fast speed (to evade or close on enemy planes); mixed weapons variety is factored in.
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Matthew Roberts
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Thanks for the reply. Let me ask this though, with 4 minis in the box, won't I need to pick up additional ones for the remaining players? Is the WWII Wings of War better in anyway than the WWI version. Although from a history stand point I enjoy reading about WWII more I love the biplanes from WWI.
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Bill Eldard
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TheEldereye wrote:
Thanks for the reply. Let me ask this though, with 4 minis in the box, won't I need to pick up additional ones for the remaining players?


Perhaps. I don't know how the Deluxe Edition is packaged, but when the miniatures are purchased individually, they each come with the card version of the aircraft as well -- essentially, two identical aircraft (one mini; one card) for the price of one. However, you only get one deck of maneuver cards per miniature.

If you intend to provide a miniature for each player, you'll need to add more miniatures to the Deluxe Edition, and they aren't inexpensive regardless of whether you get the WW1 or WW2 aircraft. At least with the Deluxe Edition, you start with four.

TheEldereye wrote:
Is the WWII Wings of War better in anyway than the WWI version. Although from a history stand point I enjoy reading about WWII more I love the biplanes from WWI.


The mechanics are basically the same, but the two eras are different.

MANEUVERING: In the WW1 version, you plan three cards at a time, and execute them in sequence before planning the next 3 cards. In the WW2 version, you start with two cards, and each time you reveal one, you replace it another card.

SPEED: WW1 aircraft have one speed. WW2 aircraft have two speeds (see my earlier post). They effect the actual trace of the flight on each card, and fuel expenditure.

FUEL EXPENDITURE: No rules for this in WW1 editions. In the WW2 editions, players track their fuel expeditures -- one unit for each card at slow speed; 2 units for each card at fast speed. This forces the player to plan a strategy on how he/she is going to attempt to engage the opponent. Flying at fast speed the whole fight probably won't work unless you can score a quick kill.

WEAPONS: WW1 aircraft have one type of weapon -- the machine (maxim) gun. It can score more damage at short range vice long range. In the WW2 game, most fighters have a mix of machine guns and/or cannon, each inflicting differing grades of damage per hit. For example, the lighter machine guns generally don't hit at long range.

I can't say which one I prefer more; they are both great air-to-air combat games. The WW2 game with miniatures may be a little more challenging.

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Matthew Roberts
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Eldard wrote:
TheEldereye wrote:
Thanks for the reply. Let me ask this though, with 4 minis in the box, won't I need to pick up additional ones for the remaining players?


Perhaps. I don't know how the Deluxe Edition is packaged, but when the miniatures are purchased individually, they each come with the card version of the aircraft as well -- essentially, two identical aircraft (one mini; one card) for the price of one. However, you only get one deck of maneuver cards per miniature.

If you intend to provide a miniature for each player, you'll need to add more miniatures to the Deluxe Edition, and they aren't inexpensive regardless of whether you get the WW1 or WW2 aircraft. At least with the Deluxe Edition, you start with four.

TheEldereye wrote:
Is the WWII Wings of War better in anyway than the WWI version. Although from a history stand point I enjoy reading about WWII more I love the biplanes from WWI.


The mechanics are basically the same, but the two eras are different.

MANEUVERING: In the WW1 version, you plan three cards at a time, and execute them in sequence before planning the next 3 cards. In the WW2 version, you start with two cards, and each time you reveal one, you replace it another card.

SPEED: WW1 aircraft have one speed. WW2 aircraft have two speeds (see my earlier post). They effect the actual trace of the flight on each card, and fuel expenditure.

FUEL EXPENDITURE: No rules for this in WW1 editions. In the WW2 editions, players track their fuel expeditures -- one unit for each card at slow speed; 2 units for each card at fast speed. This forces the player to plan a strategy on how he/she is going to attempt to engage the opponent. Flying at fast speed the whole fight probably won't work unless you can score a quick kill.

WEAPONS: WW1 aircraft have one type of weapon -- the machine (maxim) gun. It can score more damage at short range vice long range. In the WW2 game, most fighters have a mix of machine guns and/or cannon, each inflicting differing grades of damage per hit. For example, the lighter machine guns generally don't hit at long range.

I can't say which one I prefer more; they are both great air-to-air combat games. The WW2 game with miniatures may be a little more challenging.

Awesome post and much appreciated.
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Andrew Hurp
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I play the WWI edition, not the WWII (although I would like to do so), so bear that in mind with my response.

There are a couple of other differences that I think you may want to consider:
WWI has more available miniatures allowing you to use 2-seaters for Observation/Bombing missions etc. This means that you can not only do dogfights, but, if they are enjoying the game, then later you can mix up scenario types.
You say you like the WWI bi-planes - so do I, I find them more interesting than the WWII equivilants. With a quick bit of research, I see your Middle School relates to ages 11-14 - so we're in the range of "dem biplanes shit, innit, bruv?" (replace UK slang with US equivilant). I can't help but feel that they would more easily relate to Wildcats vs Zeros (I would have said Spitfires vs 109s, for this side of the pond). When i was that age I certainly knew who Dougles Bader, but didn't have a clue regarding Albert Ball. Then again, everyone knows who the Red Baron is

With 8-10 people that is a lot for Wings of War. If you are looking for everyone to be flying thier own plane, then you would need one of the basic sets for every 4 or so players (just to have enough damage cards/chits). I think I would recommend something like:

Basic Set x2 (to have enough damage cards chits for 8-10 players of your chosen version.)
-WWI: Famous Aces + Burning Drachens (gives 2 "A" damage decks for the dogfighting you will do, plus ballons in case you want to do different scenarios in future)
-WWII: Dawn of War x2

4 Miniatures
-WWI: 2x Sopwith Camel, 2x Fokker Dr.I (include Von Richthofens' red version)
-WWII: 2x Hellcat, 2x Zeros

Optional:
-Playmat (it just adds to the bling and looks good - ermm, not that it would look like the middle of the pacific much)
Buy it in bulk and haggle for a price reduction.

Then, lesson 1 is teaching the game. Dogfight 2v2 with the bling (miniatures & mat). Give each player a player board, miniature and corresponding card (allows the player to substiture the miniature for a card when miniatures overlap and other awkward moments).Then swap over so another 4 players have a go (each game should be about 20 mins)

Then break out into 2 groups of 2v2 .. one group using the bling, the other group using cards from the basic set and bare table top.
Then asses on how it is going from there.

You might get six weeks of dogfighting with one bling set and one bare set, or bling up the second set, or if using WWI then buying the Watch Your Backs box as well and some 2 Seater figures and try some different scenarios.
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Andrea Angiolino
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Yes, a great post. Thanks a lot Eldard! Good notes, useful for anybdy wating to chose between the two collections!

I just add a few pratical notes for you specifically:

- WWI is maybe a less "tense" and maybe slightly easier game, probably better suited for kids - but with the Middle School there should be no problem at all.

- WW2 has a Deluxe in English, WWI not. So for WW2 you need a Deluxe + 4/6 miniatures (for 8/10 players), for WWI a basic box + 8/10 miniatures.

- WW2 Series 1 miniatures (the only ones available) are all balanced, with slight differences, but McWortehr's Wildcat that's sensiblòy stronger (not so a big issue with 5 planes per side).

- WW1 miniatures are balaced if you take all of them from Series 1 (blue boxes). If you want to balance sides istead than single planes take the same amunt per side of blue boxes and the same amunt per side of Snipe/D.VII (smalle, squae orange boxes). More care in balancing if you want Seies 2 two seaters (larger orange boxes) or Series 3 planes (green boxes). .

- WW2 has plenty of damage chits while with WWI has scarcity of damage decks (but you can write down damages and reshuffle if damage cards run out).

- a good table for 8/10 planes is maybe a table of 120/150 cm x 80/100.

There can be some interesting issue to be discussed with students after playing if you want to go deep into historical discussion. Things like the relationship between jamming guns, mass coscription and militarization of factories that can brig the discussion to little details of a dogfight games to the vision of that huge disasters that both World Wars have been. If you want I am here to find together which ones they are.

Edit: Fabs answered at the same time. Very good notes! Actually mats can be done withut if you do not own enugh boxes. They also can be xeroxed, but don't tell the author nr the publisher...

About splitting tables, I'd rather put all of them at the same table. I have done it with kids, up to 12 of them, and it works fine (anyway the record is 81 people at the same table and it went smoothly anyway).
Consider if removing or not the explosins from the damages - keeping them make the game quicker but can also frustrate sme players that are eliminated on the spot. You can also keep them and make a house rule to have the first two eliminated players, one per side, re-enter... or whatever. Just keep i mind the "poblem" and see which solution better suits you.
 
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Kevin Duke
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Either way you go (WW1 or WW2), you will have a "card" for the planes as well as a miniature. With a bunch of students playing, I'd be inclined to start the teaching using cards alone. While the minies are pretty strong, they are not bulletproof (especially from adolescent boys). Cards won't have the problem of minies trying to occupy the same space and are easier to do the maneuvers with.

AND, if you are buying multiple boxes or repeats of minies, you will end up with (at least) 2 cards of the "same" plane. I find it helps players if they have a card in front of them (on their player mat) that matches the card/plane they are maneuvering.

With WWI stuff, you can have some choices to make the planes easier to tell apart, even if that means putting Italian and Belgian and French and British planes all together on the same side. (Even with calm adults, it helps if the planes are not too similar).

With WW2, this can be tougher-- the Spitfires and Hurricanes, in particular, struggle for visual variety.
 
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Matthew Roberts
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Thanks to all for the great advice. I've decided to pick up the Famous Aces set and then 8 minis or 10 if I end up with that many kids in the group this go around. My only concern is having one damage deck and running out of cards, but I'm thinking a cheap alternative would be to come up with a small damage card a player could note damage on if that doesn't look like it will work I may pick up Burning Drachens too. I will post some results and pictures when we start up in December.
 
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Andrea Angiolino
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Yes please, send pics!

Have fun!

Andrea
 
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Andrew Hurp
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TheEldereye wrote:
I've decided to pick up the Famous Aces set and then 8 minis or 10 if I end up with that many kids in the group this go around.

I think that it's possible to buy each series of planes (12 planes in a series) as a set for a slightly reduced price i.e. you get 12 planes for the price of 10.
This might be a plan if you want 10 fighters, as you could buy WWI Series I, which contains:
3x Fokker Dr.I
3x Albatros D.V
3x SPAD XIII
3x Sopwith Camel
But that might just be packages put together by certain shops rather than official bundles.

TheEldereye wrote:
I will post some results and pictures when we start up in December.

I'm looking forward to seeing that. I used to teach mathematics to 11-16/18 year olds, and often see great ideas in the games I play, that I could have used in teaching. I would have killed for a copy of Roborally for some pupils of mine who needed to exercise some spatial awareness in Attainment Target #4
 
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