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Subject: Best / favorite miniatures air-to-air combat game (any era) rss

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Don
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I have recently become fascinated with aerial combat having played the free Strike Fighters app and now reading "Fire in the Sky".
I happened upon the idea that I would try my hand at a physical aerial combat game, preferably a miniatures based game, not a board based game.

I thought I would ask the crowd here what in their opinion were the "best" or at least favorite aerial combat miniatures based games.

Era makes no matter as I am game for anything currently.
But if we must discuss era's what are the pro's and con's of each?
WW1
WW2
Korea early jet
Vietnam
Cold War

Thank you.
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Enrico Viglino
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Eugene
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I used minis with Wings and Blue Max.

Really, most air games adapt pretty easily. Those are the
two I'd recommend, depending on how much detail you want.
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I'm a big fan of two systems:

The Check Your 6! rules and supplements will let you fight any aerial engagement from WWII through 2000 or so. A bit crunchy and requiring some DIY to play, it nevertheless rewards players with detail about a lot of different craft, a lot of different campaigns to play, and put an emphasis on pilot skill.

The Wings of Glory / Wings of War is a system that allows players to dogfight one another from WWI through the early years of WWII. The system employs pre-plotted moves through the use of maneuver cards. The game began with airplanes on cards and has shifted towards play with miniatures on flight stands.

Wings of War/Glory delivers a system with miniature aircraft models that need to be purchased separately—and can be subject to availability. The only thing you really have to provide once you have the models you want is a playing surface.

Check Your Six covers a lot more ground, but is more detailed and requires you to supply your own models, playing surface, dice, prepare log sheets for each craft. If you wanted to jump in cheap, you could create counters for the aircraft you want to play with and play on hex grid that's roughly 45 hexes long and 30 hexes wide. You'd need markers or something to track altitude.

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rod humble

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AirWar: C21 (2nd Edition)

Enjoyable.
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Les Marshall
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Why go for mini's? They are expensive, take more space and are harder to model good flight rules for.

For a long time "Mustangs and Messerschmitts" was the go to rule system for WWII. I have heard good things about "Check your Six" but, have not played. "Birds of Prey" is supposed to be a good rules set and has box mini's.

If you are willing to go for hex and counter, check out the old GDW title Air Superiority (jet combat) or it's WWII brother in the Fighting Wings system.

I understand the allure of the Wings of Glory crowd but, I found it WAY too simplistic both in terms of flight mechanics and combat.
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Martin McCleary
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I'm not a big airplane guy but I have enjoyed Wings of War. It's fun, visually appealing with the minis and plays quickly. I think you can add much more detail beyond the basic game.

I have not played Birds of Prey but a friend who tried it commented that it is extremely detailed and takes a lot of time for very little activity. If you've looked at the space version, Attack Vector, you'll get the idea. He didn't enjoy BoP.

I'd love it if they ever do a jets variant of WoW: I love the Mig 29 and the SU 27 series, would really like to be able to play these.

Also check out "Mach Speed Hunters" rules for jets. It's by Polaris games.
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Wulf Corbett
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I had previously favoured the Knights in the Sky / Hunters in the Sky / MiG Hunters / Mach Speed Hunters series, but I'm now tending towards Sturmovik Commander (which is free!) for WWII & AirWar: C21 Max Edition (which has a free introductory module, AirWar: C21 Lite) for modern. I'm waiting for AirWar: 1918 2nd edition for WWI, but as the AirWar series does not model altitude (acceptable in modern, but less so in WWI) it may not do the trick for me. The WoW/WoG series also doesn't model altitude in detail, of course, and it plays well, so it may work for this one.
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Probably the simplest jet age air combat game I've played that was fast, fun, and plausible was FASA's old Top Gun.

The original game was a simple rule book, double-sided hex map, and a handful of tiny plastic aircraft—like the sort you might find for an aircraft carrier model.

You used a pair of d6s to plot the maneuver of each aircraft. From there, dirt-simple tables for gunnery and missiles. The aircraft and time-period were solidly mid-80's.

Perhaps not the most accurate simulation, but fast and fun!
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Rick Rodrick
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Based on your description of what you are looking for I would strongly recommend the Wings of Glory World War I Wings of Glory: WW1 Duel Pack or World War 2 game Wings of Glory: WW2 Starter Set. (My bias is the WWI game. It has been popular with all types of gamers I have introduced it to, not just war gamers.)

It is in print and widely distributed at this time. It is fairly inexpensive to buy a two player starter set that includes everything you need to play ($30 US give or take). The minis are pre-painted and look very attractive. The rules are simple to start but you can add many variations (including elevation and aces) to make it more complex. There is a large selection of minis available so it is pretty easy to introduce different planes and pilots.

It plays easily and well with 2 players but will support larger numbers with no problem (we've played 12 player games and they have games with dozens of players at Cons).

Wings of Glory is completely compatible with the earlier Wings of War. Wings of War planes are still available at reasonable prices giving even more opportunities including two-seaters, baloons, and bombers.

It's a great game and I think you will find it is exactly what you are looking for!!!
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Phil Lewis
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Axis & Allies Air Force Miniatures: Angels 20 and Bandits High stand alone at the top of my air combat game list. It's an easy 10 and has cracked my Top Five games overall.

I picked up a box a few months back for potential use with Mustangs and Check Your 6!, but after reading the rules, I was completely hooked. Aside from the fact that it's a collectable (though closer in that regard to Wings of Glory / Wings of War than other A&A miniature games).

- There are significant differences in the aircraft; flying a P-38 Lightning is completely different from a Zero or a Corsair.

- It's hex-based movement, so you get a little more exactness/less fiddliness than Wings of Glory.

- There's a lot of variety within the two series--nearly 50 different planes. Each base set comes with a set six planes and the data card for all the planes in the series. The real negative is that the booster boxes come with three "mystery" models.

- Base games come with paper maps with solid graphics. Unfortunately, the maps are thin and don't hold up well. The counters are also low quality.

- The models are very sturdy--no propeller blades--and generally well painted. They're also big (1:100 scale or twice Wings of Glory size) and easily customizable with paint and decals.

- Solid bang-for-the-buck at around $25 for the 6-plane starter and individual models from $1 to $10 on eBay.

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Cracky McCracken
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Canvas Eagles with Wings of War minis. (WW1)

WoW is now called Wings of Glory fwiw.

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Mike Windsor
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I've read the rules and am putting together the components for In Clouds of Glory. The game is PnP, except for the components (planes, scenery, and stands) which can be as elaborate or as basic as you want to make them). The rules are not overly complex (this isn't Whistling Death in miniatures), but it is more complex than Wings of War: Famous Aces. The scale of ICoG is 1/350 rather than the 1/144 of WoW. That means that you can do a lot more in a smaller space.

There are some designers who provide good support for the needed aircraft on Shapeways (who does 3-D printing). You can get 4 unpainted for the $10 - $13 range at Shapeways compared to about $14 for one per-painted WoW aircraft (assuming you can find the ones you want in stock). This is no knock on WoW, I have it and like playing it with my daughter.

There are certainly some more popular games out there, but ICoG deserves a look. It was obviously a labor of love for the designers, and they are real acknowledge to provide support or answer questions.

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Warren Bruhn
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There's a group in my city that has been playing Wings of War (Wings of Glory) WW1 almost every Sunday for the past 5 years. I've played with them several times. Like the 1:144 scale for WW1. There's planes from other companies in both plastic and metal, so one is not restricted to the models from Wings of Glory.

Used to play Mustangs WW2 using 1:300 or slightly larger models. Decent enough game, if you don't mind hexes. Have played a jet age version also.
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j page
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Mustangs and Messerschmitts for WW2, I don't think there is a better modeling of flight characteristics than it.

Canvas Eagles for WW1, plays out like watching the combat in "Wings"
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Marc D. Hernandez
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Has anyone attempted to use Flight Leader with miniatures?
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