Welcome to the Blog of a Skirmish wargamer! I hope you enjoy reading it!

All my rule sets are freely downloadable from our club website's Downloads page

If you need to contact me my E-Mail address is richardbradley5@gmail.com

Monday, 25 April 2011

Wings of War - WW2, a suggestion!

Over the Easter holiday I did something I have been planning for a long time now - try to make Wings of War, the dawn of WW2 as enjoyable as the original WW1 version!

Up to now I have found the WW2 version tedious and frustrating, to put it mildly!.

The way it has played has been that it is only possible to win if you go to one side of the enemy aircraft and begin turning, and keep turning till -with luck- you eventually get a shot!.
Trying to stay in a shooting position on an enemy aircraft is nearly impossible!
This does not tally with my understanding of WW2 arial combat!
I therefore decided to try something, first I tried a single combat under the current rules, as a control, then tried my idea in a game using the same basic tactics as in the first game, to see if it plays better.
The Hurricane is run by me, the Me 109 is run by my solo system.This will magify my percieved failings in the system, as we will see...
(PS- We always calculate shooting arcs and range from the stem under the model, not the whole base!- this makes for a more skillful game,we find.)

So in the first game....

I decide to close nose to nose with the 109.. 
The 109 - being over 30" away -- does the same. 
                  My next manoeuvre is to sideslip left ...I aim to turn after the Me 109 when we pass...
The 109, now being within 30" now uses the solo rules template to see which zone the enemy is in...
..Then throws a D6 to see which manoeuvre is chosen.
Ha! - the same manoeuvre as me, crafty Hun! 
Neither of us is in range yet...
My control board is already committed to another sideslip next move, but I assume the Me will be past me then so start my turn for the following turn. I have to hope the enemy keeps going straight on! 
The 109 has a right sideslip for his next move, and dices up a straight forward for his next. 
The first moves put us close to each other... 
We both shoot at short range as we are both in fire arc. 
He takes 5 damage, me 3 and a smoke! 
As previously ordered, I begin a slow tight turn...
The Me 109 continues on. The solo system is not as intuitive as a real player, so it thinks going straight is a good idea, it could have turned if the dice had been kinder! 
The 109 now does a poor right move, it would have been sensible 2 moves ago!
The 109 now reacts to the Hurricane in its new position, and sets up a weaving manoeuvre. 
My Hurricane, already on the 109s tail, just keeps turning to follow. 
The 109 does another weave.... 
Even Mr Tibbs can't figure out what this 109 is doing! 
Surviving the unexpected cat attack,my hurri-bus closes in for the kill. 
The 109 weaves again! 
At this point I call it off--the 109 would eventually go off table, or turn, and I would shoot it. I have found with 2 planes a side, this is less of a problem in the solo system, as the wingmen help each other.
This is the reason I have not put these solo rules on our clubs download page, and why I dont enjoy WofW WW2 much. Even against real players we cannot get a bead on an enemy plane easily.

So - here is my suggestion!...

How about just drawing 1 manoeuvre card each turn, then playing it, this should allow 'pilots' to react to enemy manoeuvres. I would play wounded pilots under the old 2 card system.

We begin again with my Hurricane nose to nose with a 109....

This is how the control panel would look under the single card system:

The aircraft just move straight forward as before... 

Both planes sideslip as before and get an inneffective long range shot.
Both planes sideslip to allow a  turn to follow the enemy...
..then turn rapidly to try to tail their opponent... 
The Hurricane has a tighter turning circle, and it shows...
The Hurricane approaches a firing position... 
But the 109 races out of arc and escapes. 
The Hurricane turns inside the 109 again.. 
This time, the 109 fails to evade... 
The Hurricane keeps on the 109s tail... 
..and with no wingman to help eventually destroys the 109. 

I found this game faster, much more exciting to play, and almost as good as the WW1 Wings of War!

Why not give it a try? - and let us know what you think?

I will try to get the solo system up on the club website download page asap. I need to replace the original artwork with my own manoeuvre cards so as not to breach copyright!


  1. It looks as if your idea is much better. I think itroducing a cat into the procedure was a bit unfair though :-D

  2. Nice work, I have never played air combat games but after an outing to our next show one of the rejects is putting on a WW2 aerial combat game, I'll have to ask him what rules he uses.

  3. I'll have to try using only one card. I too found teh same problem you did, if you fixed it, i may have to go out and get a few of the newer planes!

  4. Last weekend at UK games expo I purchased The wings of glory ww2 and 20 aircraft at £2.5 each + the eagles of the Reich and flying legends. Unfortunately no ww2 German fighters, just Japanese and Italian. I saw your solo rules for x-wing so knew you had the for this game. I will give this a try. How do you propose to handle speed?

    1. The WW2 solo rules are designed with different speeds chosen in the die roll, along with the manoeuvre. Have a look at one of the charts, the speed used for the manoeuvre is not 'greyed out'.
      Hope this helps?