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Subject: The high cost of WWI air battles. rss

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K G
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I am mildly interested in picking up an old-fashioned boardgame simulation of aviation battles during the Great War. I'm not entirely certain as to why--as this is one area in which computer games do a far superior job--but I am interested nevertheless.

Browsing through eBay, I'm surprised by the prices these games still garner. Does anyone know why? Is my perception simply wrong?
 
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Steve Willows
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Try Noble Knight Games

Example Blue Max

E-Bay new in shrink $125

Noble Knight near mint $95.

I suppose it depends on the specific title and associated reputation. Richthofen's War can pretty much be had for a song.
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Scrogdog wrote:
I suppose it depends on the specific title and associated reputation. Richthofen's War can pretty much be had for a song.

And it's a pretty good game too.

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Jonathan Harrison
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I had a totally different conception of this thread from the title.

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leroy43 wrote:
Scrogdog wrote:
I suppose it depends on the specific title and associated reputation. Richthofen's War can pretty much be had for a song.

And it's a pretty good game too.




Never really felt much like air combat to me,
not with the pure I-go-you-go sequence.

Blue Max is fun as hell - but becomes a puzzle game without
enough people playing. Very much in the same manner as
Ace of Aces (which it basically is on a board).

A fairly cheap to get air game, which meets nearly all of my requirements
is Wings (it lacks a good campaign game though).


 
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Scrogdog wrote:
Try Noble Knight Games

Example Blue Max

E-Bay new in shrink $125

Noble Knight near mint $95.




Yeah, but there is a copy listed here for $69, and the last four copies to sell on eBay went for roughly $30. The prices on eBay and Amazon are wildly skewed by the speculator types who put outrageous prices on stuff hoping to snag a unwary/uninformed buyer.
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Quote:
I had a totally different conception of this thread from the title.


I thought that this thread was going to be about the economic cost of training crews and putting airplanes in the air in WWI. I'd still be curious about that.
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mwindsor wrote:
Quote:
I had a totally different conception of this thread from the title.


I thought that this thread was going to be about the economic cost of training crews and putting airplanes in the air in WWI. I'd still be curious about that.


Getting them in the air was the easy part. A little lumber, a little canvas, a few hours training...

Now getting the plane and pilot back down in one piece? That was the tricky part.



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mwindsor wrote:
Quote:
I had a totally different conception of this thread from the title.


I thought that this thread was going to be about the economic cost of training crews and putting airplanes in the air in WWI. I'd still be curious about that.
I may touch on that yet today, though I'm told I have chores to be done!
 
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mwindsor wrote:
Quote:
I had a totally different conception of this thread from the title.


I thought that this thread was going to be about the economic cost of training crews and putting airplanes in the air in WWI. I'd still be curious about that.


Some notes a relative of mine presented to Mussolini
are mixed in with this diary-like account:

http://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Lt-Camillo-Viglino-1915-1916/d...

Not the numeric breakdown across countries (I remember seeing
stuff of that nature in old S&Ts though), but a somewhat humorous
look at the fledgling Italian AF.
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Kurt Weihs
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wings-World-War-One-Plane-to-Plane-C...

Wings is up on Ebay right now for $40. I enjoyed it a great deal in the day. It was kind of a WWI version of Air Force or Dauntless for WWI with plotted movement. It's classic Craig Taylor.
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Bartow Riggs
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I agree with Kurt. This is still my favorite WWI air game.

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What VERY little I know about aviation comes from reading about Quentin Roosevelt (and watching "Airport 1975.")

For a variety of reasons, the United States hardly prepared its armed forces for an air war until war was upon them in 1917. Flight training was rushed--as it would be during World War Two--and the first aircraft used by the Americans were foreign designs.

Here's something of interest: "On the other hand, the United States Army Air Service was desperately short of fighters to equip its projected 'pursuit' (fighter) squadrons. The SPAD was initially unavailable due to a shortage of Hispano-Suiza engines and the Nieuport was offered to, and perforce accepted by, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), as an interim alternative. A total of 297 Nieuport 28s were purchased by the Americans, and they were used to equip the very first American fighter squadrons, starting in March 1918. All together, four AEF 'pursuit' squadrons flew 28s operationally, the 27th, 94th, 95th and 103rd Aero Squadrons."

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calandale wrote:
leroy43 wrote:
Scrogdog wrote:
I suppose it depends on the specific title and associated reputation. Richthofen's War can pretty much be had for a song.

And it's a pretty good game too.

Never really felt much like air combat to me,
not with the pure I-go-you-go sequence.

You're thinking of fast-paced modern air combat. Back in WWI, planes had to wait their turns.


Actually, RW is a pretty decent game. I recently reacquired a copy and played it a few times solo. Thanks to the sighting (or is it spotting?) rule, you can't just swing around to your opponent's tail every turn. You have to know the characteristics of your plane and your adversary's plane and plan/execute your moves accordingly.

There's also a "Maneuver Cards" variant (available in BGG, I think) that adds some realism. And there were many articles on RW in the General, mostly intended to add some complexity and realism, including an impulse-move system.

The mapboard is nice, the unit-counters are kinda plain. Scenarios offer some nice variety.


For those on a budget, there's always Snoopy and the Red Baron. It predates RW by two years, so it's definitely old school.


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You know, as a child I had NO idea who the Red Baron was. Today's children must think he delivers pizza!
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Patrick Carroll wrote:


There's also a "Maneuver Cards" variant (available in BGG, I think) that adds some realism. And there were many articles on RW in the General, mostly intended to add some complexity and realism, including an impulse-move system.



Ah...good point. I've only played the vanilla.

Certainly plotted movement would help.


If I could only get my head around it fully,
the very best might be Knights of the Air.

It uses a pulsing based upon position, which really seems
to capture the advantages of tailing better than either pre-plot
or RW. Unfortunately, it is also something of a flight simulator
on a board, and some of the things which become available just
don't seem intuitive. I trust (perhaps incorrectly) that the
designer understands the physics correctly - but wow, it's just
too much for my little land-locked brain.
 
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badinfo wrote:
Yeah, but there is a copy listed here for $69, and the last four copies to sell on eBay went for roughly $30. The prices on eBay and Amazon are wildly skewed by the speculator types who put outrageous prices on stuff hoping to snag a unwary/uninformed buyer.


Oh, I'm sure. There was a copy of War of the Ring Collectors Edition being sold for $5000 on E-Bay.

Frankly, E-bay just isn't my cup of tea, so it was more about offering another place to search for OOP stuff.
 
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I have tried several of old type air battle games, with each turn represent seconds of real time. More or less boring.

You should really try Bloody April 1917. A new game released last week. With game turn of 2 minutes you solve multiple aircraft dogfights quick by dice rolling a few tables.

Price? Check NWS store - $ 31

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/69136/bloody-april-19...
 
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
I had a totally different conception of this thread from the title.



Yeah Thats what I thought too!
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Kluvon wrote:
I am mildly interested in picking up an old-fashioned boardgame simulation of aviation battles during the Great War. I'm not entirely certain as to why--as this is one area in which computer games do a far superior job--but I am interested nevertheless.

To my knowledge the last game we might apply "superior job" term to it was the Red Baron (1990) by Dynamix.
So I couldn't agree what computers make a better job than board games in that area.
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calandale wrote:
Never really felt much like air combat to me,
not with the pure I-go-you-go sequence.

Blue Max is fun as hell - but becomes a puzzle game without
enough people playing. Very much in the same manner as
Ace of Aces (which it basically is on a board).


As the fisherman said when he handed the lighted stick of dynamite to the game warden, "did you come to talk, or did you come to fish?"

 
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Eric Brosius wrote:
calandale wrote:
Never really felt much like air combat to me,
not with the pure I-go-you-go sequence.

Blue Max is fun as hell - but becomes a puzzle game without
enough people playing. Very much in the same manner as
Ace of Aces (which it basically is on a board).


As the fisherman said when he handed the lighted stick of dynamite to the game warden, "did you come to talk, or did you come to fish?"

:D


Why would I fish on forum?


*lights cigar with stick*
 
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You can get Dawn Patrol on the BGG Marketplace for $25, and it's a pretty solid game.

Second, if you do settle on a game, go to this Geeklist and post it:
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145551/playing-matchmaker-...

Get your fellow wargamers scouring the 2nd hand stores for it. Heck, if we had that Geeklist/resource a year ago, I could have told you how to get Richthofen's War for $10 at my favorite 2nd hand store.
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Another option--one that I'm leaning toward myself--is to get a copy of Mustangs (I've done that already) and then download the Flying Circus rules from this Web page.

At that point, you'll have a nice, playable game that covers close-up air combat in both World Wars. And if you browse around the above-linked Web page, you'll also find more air-combat rules, all closely tied in with the Mustangs game system.

The base game is intro-level, and it remains fairly simple even with all the optional rules. Judging from the few solo games I've played so far, though, it's a solid game design. I'm not a big air-combat aficionado, so this is probably all the game I'll ever need or want.

If I were a real WWI air-combat fan, I'd get a copy of Wings. I had one but traded it away. It looks like a top-notch game, and there's a "basic game" to ease new players into the system. The original Yaquinto edition is a little hard to find and can get pricey; if you can stand the side-view aircraft counters, you should be able to pick up an Excalibre reprint at a reasonable price.
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Dawn Patrol and the whole FITS (fight in the sky) series is worthy.

Dawn Patrol came out, if I remember correctly, at the same time RPG's were immensly popular. Dawn Patrol tapped into that. It had a campaign system.

And It was not too dissimilar from Richtofen's War, in that it had sequential movement. The basic game of Tac Air (kudos Mr Morgan) used the same general motif.
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