Mauricio de Souza Fonseca
Brazil
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This is just my opinion.

1: The game needs commitment to learn. But "commitment" is a very different term from "headache in a box" or "impossible to learn" or "very low playability".

2. Forget about that talk of this game being the "SQUAD LEADER OF AIR COMBAT". That's nonsense. This is a fun game (although dealing with deadly subject, of course). The objective is to feel like you're flying World War II combat planes. If you want to play the three game scales available (operational, tactical and combat, where you can simulate an entire mission), it will take more time to learn and more still to play. If you play only the combat phase rules (most scenarios included are for the combat phase) it's not that long.

OPINIONS/SUGGESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO PLAY THIS GAME:

Although I´m still learning the combat phase, I have some opinions about the best way to start this game.

a. Skip the "Quick Start" rules. Although they were made with the best intentions, if you are totally new to the system, the effort to play using only Quick Start Rules will be almost the same to learn the full rules (for combat scale game).

b. Don't try to learn it without putting some plane(s) on the map (be it, just reading the rules). This may work at the beginning, but you may be lost or get discouraged after a while. If possible, try to read it with a friend or friends, and of course one that also likes the subject of the game. (better still, one that knows the dynamics of flight).

c. Make a copy of the combat and flight tables. At least one set of tables should be available for each side. Make copies of the Aircraft Data Cards used for the scenario, if possible one for each player.

d. Play the training scenarios strictly as devised by the author of the game. Then you can make your changes.

e. Don't be scared by the Aircraft Log Sheet and its terms and lenght. Once you learn the rules and follow the scenarios, you'll see how relatively easy is to fill them. The log sheet walks hand in with the reading of the rules while learning the game.

f. Prepare a card (or your own personal aircraft log sheet design) that includes the bank notations (6 possible) and the flight attitude notations (14 possible). This will help you to gain time, although after a time I think it will be memorized.

g. Have more than 1 D10 dice on the table (if possible one for each player).

h. Have a model aircraft at hand.

KEY CONCEPTS (to help grasp the concept of the game and its rules)

1. The Fighting Wings systems works hard to simulate the vectorial aspect of flight (I don't know if this is the right term). He does so by using the old and tested conncept of spending speed points (in this game, called flight points). But, here is the catch: there are rules about how to use the speed points (flight points), separating them in horizontal flight points or vertical flight points. Things like your flight attitude and transitions from one flight attitude to another will determine how you must/may spend the points. This is core to the game, and the faster you grasp this concept, the better.

2. The second important concept are the turns available. You can choose between different angle of turns, from the easiest (larger rate of turn) to the hardest (shorter rate of turn). Here's an importante note: the deceleration shown in the Aircraft Data Card is the same used both for turns rates chosen as for flight attitude changes.

3. Learn to use the Aircraft Data Card in the first place. It's pleasant to do so and very well explained in the rule book. The author clearly recommends in the rule book to pick up some Aircraft Data Card and proceed to interpret it.

4. Speed (flight points) for the next turn are the result of gain of speed (acel) or loss of speed (decel) incurred in the current game turn.

5. Combat includes the weapon power of the aircraft, relative position between target and shooter, arc of fire, damage and critical hits.

So, I was very, very succint. Some may aks: So why all this talk about this game being so hard or so long to play"?

Answer: it is not. The trouble (or advantage. I'd say) is that you will fly the plane. You will not previoulsy note your turn movements on a sheet of paper. Prepared with your speed, flight attitude, throttle setting and bank angle for the turn, you will fly the plane when it's your time (initiative) to move it. Since the game tries hard to emulate vertical movement and allows a lot of maneuvers/aerobatics, it can take time for each player to make its move, because there is a whole lot of possible alternatives.

Checking the tables maybe take a while, too, but that's why the more tables are at hand, the better. But the tables are fun. You will check critical hits to your plane (or at the enemy), learn about "pull" or "push" transitions, see in practice you can turn harder, etc.



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Morten Lund
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Your approach is pretty similar to what I did, when I was learning WD's earlier siblings, Achtung Spitfire! and Over the Reich

Good points
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oystein eker
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Maybe you want to speed up your routine with my post:



http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/92580/whistling-death-flight...
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Craig Benn
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You say the "squad leader of air combat" like that's a bad thing...

Having played (and liked) both ASL and Whistling Death (although much more Achtung Spitfire) the levels of complexity do not lend themselves to simple comparison...

ASL certainly has more rules as it covers a wider subject matter. On the other hand the basic concepts of movement and defensive fire are easier to grasp than the FATT. A simple infantry game of ASL is easier to pick up an to teach than Whistling Death in my experience.

But I would never say simpler is better. The mission scale in Fighting Wings is much more satisfying than the combat scale. It's great rolling up a squadron of pilots and seeing how they develop or die. I had great fun designing historical missions for Achtung Spitfire.

Whistling Death is the ASL of air combat. It's not simple. It's much better than that.
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Mauricio de Souza Fonseca
Brazil
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Crom Cruach wrote:
You say the "squad leader of air combat" like that's a bad thing...


Never said that Squad Leader it as a bad thing. Just mentioned it because some people (people that don't bother about army war simulations, but would like to try air war simulations), may be put aside of trying the Fighting Wings system due to comparisons made around to Squad Leader and may have heard how difficult ASL game is (or may seem to be. After all, it all depends on the taste of the player), without really knowing that game.

I never played Squad Leader. Independent of the rules, don't know about its playability, time, whatever. But, with the appropriatte attention to the rules and carefully playing the training scenarios, I did not think FIGHTING WINGS is that hard, although clearly needing commitment. Maybe Squad Leader also isn't that hard. Maybe what I heard about having to keep checking for rules (not tables, but rules) all the time is a bit of exxageration. I´ll try it sometime.

 
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Tomasz Niedzinski
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msouzafon wrote:
and of course one that also likes the subject of the game. (better still, one that knows the dynamics of flight).


If you don't love the subject I recommend not approaching this game (and I'm saying it as a great compliment).

msouzafon wrote:

h. Have a model aircraft at hand.


One with a pole in a tailpipe is a great aid in visualizing what aircraft does on the board. I'm in a middle of making one in 1:144 scale

Tables are great, because you don't need to memorize lots of exceptional rules, you only need to look at the right table at the right time. That's why I think that FATT table is great improvement over altittude changes in Achtung Spitfire! where you needed to memorize a lot of excetpions at each change of attitude.
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J.D. Webster
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Re: How do prepare (learn) to play the Fighting Wings system: QS rules
The quick start rules are very short by comparison to the full rules and therefore less intimidating. If you haven't played a J.D. Webster air game before, I can see where you might think that learning the QS is almost as hard as learning the full rules. However, the QS rules serve an entirely different purpose than just teaching the game.

The Quick start rules are "free" and available on line as a type of "share-ware". There are also ADCs available on line to be downloaded free. This means that some-one who wants to try the FW system, doesn't have to shell out between 60 and 100 dollars to buy an actual copy of one of the games.

The QS rules have been a successful form of advertising for me. Players who are on the fence about the system can download the rules, read them, and then try the game on line or at home. Usually this is enough to get those fence sitters to step off on the full rules side in the future and they are complex enough to still give you a good feel of "flying" in the game, such as the illusion is presented. They also serve to turn away those not committed enough to spend the time to learn a good "flying" game early and thus saves them time money and frustration.

However, if you are a fan of World War Two air combat and have already spent the bucks to own the game, which is not cheap IMO, then yes, skipping the QS rules will save you time in the long run with regards to learning the hard core system.

That said, I have many players who now know and can play any of the rules levels (BW, QS or WD) and thus it is easier to find games and opponents. A benefit in my book!

Just my thoughts on QS.

cheers,

JD
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Mauricio de Souza Fonseca
Brazil
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That was it in my case, J.D.

Gregory Wong sent me the Quick Start Rules. It was enough to entice my curiosity and see the obvious potential of the game, mainly when I saw the vertical/attitude rules (those great two FATT tables PULL and PUSH). But I did not even try to begin to learn the QS fully, because I did not have all the "real" game components in my hands (snob, maybe...:), So, I went for the game knowing that, no matter how hard, I could handle it (mainly with the help of a game friend who wlso knew Air Force and other war games -and best still, was a glider pilot in the past).

So, I ordered both Whistling Death and Achtung Spitfire! at almost the same time, concentrating only in WD rules because they are the most recent. This Friday, after carefully reading the air-to-air comb'at, the shots types and damage rules, I'll play Training Scenario 3 (lets fire some real guns upon some poor Bettys...). Although it's a solitary scenario, we will add one Allied and one Japanese plane for each side, so two paleyrs can handle the Allied fighters.

I'd like to seize to opportunity to ask if somenone knows a game store on line which could have a Over The Reich used copy to sell.






 
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Dimitrios Retalis

New York
New York
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Ok, it's been a while since your post above asking about OtR, nevertheless I had seen somewhere (sorry for being too lazy at the moment to search for a link) that a reworked reissuing of OtR is in the works. Thought perhaps you might be interested to know, in case you didn't. I am eagerly awaiting for it myself.

Cheers!

P.S. Also, as an info point, perhaps you are aware that an East Front Fighting Wings is being prepared too.

 
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Stephen Parker
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msouzafon wrote:
2. The second important concept are the turns available. You can choose between different angle of turns, from the easiest (larger rate of turn) to the hardest (shorter rate of turn).


One tiny correction. The word "rate" should be replaced by the word "radius".

Otherwise, great advice to newbies like me who are new to the game. I'm not new to flying. The tighter the aircraft turns the higher the G factor and the higher the rate of turn and the smaller the radius of turn. Not trying to parse words or quibble.

Thanks,

S.
 
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