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Subject: The best air combat board game I've ever played rss

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Mauricio de Souza Fonseca
Brazil
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In my opinion, this is the best air combat board game I've ever played. My brother is a military pilot, very well into World War II stuff, and he was absolutely impressed with the sense of really having to "fly" the plane when playing this game.

The components, unfortunately, followed the patterns of old Avalon Hill. The mapboard is incredible dull. Comparing it with the mapboard of "KNIGHTS OF THE AIR" or "RICHTHOFEN'S WAR" is impossible. Plane counters are small and also dull, but at least they have different colors for the three Air Forces included: Luftwaffe, RAF and USAAF.

The Aircraft Cards are the heart, body and mind of the game. Each represents a famous aircraft of World War II air combat in the Western Theater of Operations from 1939 through 1945 (yes, you will miss a lot of airplanes here, but the most famous are all there). The cards are coloured and very well designed, and the special characteristics and exceptions for each aircraft are printed on them, easing the necessity of checking the rule book all the time.

Although it says this is a two-player game (because the fact that, basically, it's about aircrafts of two sides), it can be easily played by any number of players, since controlling one aircraft is already a hard task. Players may control four, one, two, how many planes they feel they can handle, because each control sheet (provided in the game) has room for controlling four planes.

Shooting a plane down in this gam eis indeed very difficult, how it was in reality. One must work in pairs

The game suggests some scenarios, but they are, basically, very few for my taste. In the heyday of our playing group, we created whole campaigns with whole squadrons and personalized pilots in each one, with house rules for perception, maneuvers, experience points, pilot level, and so on. It was very demanding, since it was in the "pre-PC" age!

There is the DAUNTLESS expansion, containing aircraft from the Japanese Army and NAvy Air Office and from the USMC and USN Air Forces. It's almost obligatory to have this own also, because the planes contained on it are also very famous.
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Charles Lewis
United States
West Des Moines
IA
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It is worth doing a bit of internet searching as there are a couple of sites supporting Air Force, including a French site that added a number of aircraft. Also, check out the VASSAL Module.
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Gaston Marty
Canada
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I agree: Best air combat game ever... The outcomes are very predictable though, this because of the gradual crippling damage incurred on firing, setting outcomes long in advance... I fixed that in my variant of that game by replacing initial damage with more maneuvering requirements and restrictions before being allowed to fire: This creates more destructive but less crippling fire when it does occurs, allowing some room for situation reversals. This makes game outcomes a lot more unpredictable and much more realistic in depicting the altitude or maneuvering advantages. You actually have to aim your aircraft now to hit...

It always amazes me that many afficionados of this game do not like the colour Data Cards... They are actually the strongest point of the game... The flight performance knowledge is 1960s vintage though, and though it agrees with a lot of what is accepted today, it is in fact very inaccurate...

Gaston



 
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Mauricio de Souza Fonseca
Brazil
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GastonMarty wrote:

I agree: Best air combat game ever... The outcomes are very predictable though, this because of the gradual crippling damage incurred on firing, setting outcomes long in advance...



This is even worse when playing any Pacific scenario using Japanese fighters. That "damned" two hits allowed in fuel line is certain doom, 90% of times, no matter how hard you try to use the Zeros (or Oscars) better maneuver capability.
 
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Michael Heath
Australia
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GastonMarty wrote:

I agree: Best air combat game ever... The outcomes are very predictable though, this because of the gradual crippling damage incurred on firing, setting outcomes long in advance... I fixed that in my variant of that game by replacing initial damage with more maneuvering requirements and restrictions before being allowed to fire: This creates more destructive but less crippling fire when it does occurs, allowing some room for situation reversals. This makes game outcomes a lot more unpredictable and much more realistic in depicting the altitude or maneuvering advantages. You actually have to aim your aircraft now to hit...


Gaston - I'd love to see your variant rules. Could you post them to the files section please?
Thanks
Michael
 
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Flavio De Luca
Italy
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Hey guys!
Air Force has been the best but is the past.
I played it with my friends for years having a lot of fun, also with Gaston variants that we loved very much.

Then, we tried Fighting Wings system and we discovered the real simulation about WW2 aerial combats...
 
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