Monday, November 1, 2010
Wings of War 3-sided air battle session report
I think Wings of War miniatures is just about the perfect Game Store Game.
1) It's visually appealing, especially if you use the game mats.
2) It's extraordinarily easy to teach, with very intuitive game mechanics -- no charts, phases, rule lookups.
3) It plays fast
4) It's dramatic
5) World War I air combat is a favorite topic for wargamers and the wider culture.
I decided to try a 3-way scenario.
First I gave myself Richthofen's Roland CII -- the one without a forward -firing machine gun. The game objective was very straightforward. If I landed at the far airfield I won. If someone shot me down, they won. I gave myself a Pfalz DIII as cavalry coming to the rescue from the far side of the map.
To my left were a trio of British planes flown by the redoutable Game Store Tony -- two Sopwith Camels and an Se-5a. To the right of me were three French planes controleed by another Game Store regular named Cory, who's one of the stalwarts of the Magic: The Gathering crowd. He had two Nieuport 17s and a SPAD XIII.
The twist in the scenario design was that each Allied player also controlled a German Albatorss DVa flying escort for the Roland. The victory condition was that whoever shot the Roland down won, so the two All;ied teams were in competition. The allies were prohibited fron shooting at each other -- French on British violence -- but they each had a German plane they could use to hinder their "ally."
The battle itself was a messy affair, as none of the pilots had much experience. The Roland had to endure a few passes in the first rush but the inexperienced Allies found it hard to set up for a second shot. Game Store Tony's British did the most damage, but he twice jammed his guns! There was a scary episode for the Roland as one burst staretd a fire that did some serious damage but eventually it went out. The Alies conceded when it was apparent the Roland would succeed in landing before they'd get back into firing position. In the end no planes were shot down. but everyone enjoyed themselves.