Friday, August 21, 2009

One of the things I like about the Wings of War series

Most tactical wargames focus on the usual and the typical while selecting the machines represented. Tank games are filled with T-34s, Shermans and Panzer IVs, naval games will have Fletcher class destroyers, Type VII U-Boats and Kongo-class battleships and air combat games will have plenty of Bf-109s, P-51s and Zero fighters.

The Wings of War series games don't neglect the usual, but they also feature plenty of unusual twists that often end up prompting the remark " I didn't know that!?"

The latest Wor;d War II edition of the Wings of War series -- Fire From the Sky -- has a number of the planes you might expect. There's a German-flown Stuka, an American Volunteer Group P-40 and a US Navy Dauntless SBD among the provided aircraft. But there's also a P-40 flown by a Soviet ace, a Yak-1 flown by a female Soviet ace, a Stuka that was flown by Yugoslav partisans and an RE 2001 flown by the Italians on the Allied side.

WoW designer Andrea Angiolino has an apparent weakness for these sort of off-beat fieldings, examples abound in the entire Wings of War line. But I think it's overall a good thing, even if it might mislead some folks into thinking that some of those oddball planes represented something more common than they really did. I don't doubt that that Yugosllav partisan-flown Stuka existed, but I'm also sure the number of sorties flown by such a plane must have been miniscule comapred to those flown in German -- and even Italian -- service.

That female Soviet ace is a remarkable person, but she was one of just two female Soviet aces in the whole war (both were KIA).

Still, I applaud the inclusion of these sorts of planes. Besides being informative, it expands the scope of possible games are very little cost. Sure, there probably weren't very many dogfights between Co-belligerent Italian RE 2001s and Romanian-flown Bf-109s, but it makes for an intersesting matchup.

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