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  • #142239
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    I’ve played Bag the Hun to destruction over the last decade or so and I’m looking for an alternative, not that there’s anything wrong with it but mainly because I need to refresh.

    I’d like a non-hex based system, fast play, focussed on formations rather than just individual aircraft and definitely not CY6, which I’m not a fan of. I’m planning to switch from 1/285th to 1/600th scale too, so that I can have larger formations of aircraft and multi player friendly scenarios.

    I’ve looked at Sturmovik Commander as one option but would appreciate some more ideas. I already play Wings At War too, so that’s not on my wish list.

    Thanks for your help.

    Jim

    #142244
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    I am interested in this, as well. Bag the Hun did not get my interest on a read and though I like CY6, I would like something that plays faster and without movement plots.

    Is there a WWII version of AirWar C21?

    That’s a fast playing non-hexgrid game, though not, to memory, formation oriented (but can handle plenty of planes). I suppose it wouldn’t be enormous work to convert it over.

    #142245
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Lacquered Coffins?

    Wings of Fire?

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #142249
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Not really formation based but pretty quick to play are the Wings At War series found at Tumbling Dice: Wings at War

    I also played the “Hunters” series a few times and enjoyed them. Hunters In The Sky

    Not many formation based games out there really.  Most rules are based around individual aircraft, perhaps grouped, but not like BtH.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #142251
    jeffers
    Participant

    I never regretted moving from BTH to Wings At War. BTH has some good ideas but can’t seem to decide whether it’s fish or fowl. For WaW we pinched the BTH bogey rule and introduced initiative rules, so ace pilots leading formations moved before individuals out of formation etc.

    More nonsense on my blog: http://battle77.blogspot.com/

    #142252
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    I took a look at Wings of War but the Tumbling Dice site doesn’t say much (or anything) about them—I’d appreciate a briefing on those rules if someone would be kind enough to share.

    #142253
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    The Wings At War series are a very “heads up” type of game (as opposed to a heads-down” like CY6 where you are looking at charts) that focuses on Energy for speed and maneuver.  They are VERY short rule books, like Thud Ridge is only 8 pages or so, with very simple rules that provide a surprising amount of depth.  As I recall there are very few altitude levels and easy to keep track of, especially if you use those dial bases with one pointer for energy an another for alt.  Not a lot of difference between planes in the stats, so you won’t get the little nuances of how one plane rolls faster one direction than the other.

    I thought they had a free sample set out there somewhere…

    Found it: Desert Spitfires

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #142267
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I already play Wings At War too, so that’s not on my wish list.

    😉

    #142272
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    Yep, Wings at War is another set I play already..but I like the crossover initiative idea.

    Thanks for the input.

    #142275
    Tony S
    Participant

    Yeah, as far as I know, Bag the Hun is the only set of rules that accurately reflect formations.  Most rules play lip service to formations, but it’s mostly just to make plotting movement easier.  BtH actually shows the difference between the finger four and the vic.  Brilliant set of rules…but I ended up growing tired of them because I really don’t believe the player has any input or decision making.  When your card comes up and you’re in the dogfight, there’s usually just one real move you can make.  Then it’s a matter of hoping you can fire before your opponent moves.

    I kind of settled back to CY6, as the plotting feels like you’re doing something that matters.  But there are no real formation rules.  That said, their scenario books are amazing!

    Luftwaffe 1946: Fight for the Skies seems relatively simple, no plotting required.  It claims to focus on formations, but again not really.  You move by formation, but as far as I can see, there are no rules actually requiring the planes to be in formation.  You could be across the table from the rest of your schwarme and still move when that formation wins initiative.  And since there are no rules for wingman support, there’s no reason to remain in pairs.  On the plus side, the rules are comprehensive, with rules for bombing, strafing, flak, jets, ships, and torpedo attacks and then all the fun of an alternative 1946 universe.  The rules are simple enough that you can put a lot of planes on the table I think.  (I admit I haven’t gotten around to playing it).  Maneuver rules are clever – you accumulate points by flying in a straight line, and can only perform a maneuver once you have enough points, at which point your total drops to zero.  The maneuver costs vary by plane and maneuver.

    The designer does mention that the rules will show why Me262 pilots flew in threes, so perhaps the reason for formations will emerge in play.  It also has rather weak rules for aces versus raw pilots.  Aces should indeed rule the skies in WW1 & WW2 air combat, but I don’t think that will be the case in these rules.  The earliest plane is the Me109F.  It also uses hexes.

    So, not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it does allow a lot of planes, and claims to be formation based.  Maybe worth a look, in spite of the hexes?  It does look like fun to play to be honest, if rather light on simulation.

    http://msdgames.com/epages/bccb46a7-1a07-48ac-8a77-e8e6cce9e958.sf/en_US/?ObjectPath=/Shops/bccb46a7-1a07-48ac-8a77-e8e6cce9e958/Categories/%22LUFTWAFFE%201946%22/%22LUFTWAFFE%201946%7CRules%20and%20Supplements%22

    #142280
    DM
    Participant

    I am interested in this, as well. Bag the Hun did not get my interest on a read and though I like CY6, I would like something that plays faster and without movement plots. Is there a WWII version of AirWar C21? That’s a fast playing non-hexgrid game, though not, to memory, formation oriented (but can handle plenty of planes). I suppose it wouldn’t be enormous work to convert it over.

     

    There is, it has been ready for a number of years. I u understand from Steve Blease that he’s working on publishing it now

    #142301
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    I have the Luftwaffe 46 rules but put them to one side as they’re hex based but I will take another look. Thanks for the idea.

    #142302
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    Airwar: 1940 sounds like it might be spot on.

    I’ll have to pester Mr Blease!

    Thanks David.

    #142318
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Jim Jackaman wrote: I already play Wings At War too, so that’s not on my wish list.

    Yea my bad, I read that as Wings OF War for some reason.

    Years ago there was a rule set being developed in a Yahoo group with a temp name along the lines of “Squadron Scramble” but they were also considering Angles 12 or something.  I may still have a playtest somewhere.  It was meant for dogfights and maneuver, was “heads up” and IIRC the wingman had to make piloting checks to keep in formation with the primary when they maneuvered.  There were turning templates for various speeds and “maneuver group” types.  Was pretty detailed but seemed to play fast with a half dozen planes per side.

    There is another game out there called T.A.C (Table Air Combat) that uses similar methodology though only in 2d and using counters instead of minis, with each counter representing and “element” which can basically take 2 hits before being removed so may no portray true tactics for each belligerent.  There is a little video that shows to how to play HERE.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #142336
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    I’m a big fan of Table Air Combat and have thought about converting it for miniatures. I don’t think it would be that tricky.

    There’s loads of game reports on the other blog:

    http://teaandawad.blogspot.com/search/label/Table%20Air%20Combat

    It’s a brilliant little game and very inexpensive, now with loads of different aircraft for virtually all of the theatres.

    #142341
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    I didn’t initially bring  up Luftwaffe 1946 because it fails your spec “a non-hex based system”. Since you’re interested after all, I’ll add a few thoughts.

    Luftwaffe 1946 is a descendant of John Stanoch’s Blue Skies series of miniatures rules, that started with the Squadrons Battle of Britain rules in 1994.

    https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/14144/squadrons-air-combat-rules-1300th-scale-planes

    The game engine supports play by a few players with a large number of 1/285 airplane models: squadrons and sometimes groups. The biggest game I’ve played is the Midway ‘Death of Kido Butai’ scenario from Red Sun/Blue Sky, with 60 aircraft models in the game, besides half a dozen ship models. Most scenarios are smaller than that. No rules enforce formation flying, but it’s usually smart to keep your planes together for mutual support.

    Each book in the Blue Skies series and its cousins covers a year or two in a specific theater. Luftwaffe 1946 features mostly German, British and US aircraft from 1944-46, including some German types that were never built, and some Allied prototype and post-war designs. Kamikaze 1946 similarly covers 1944-46 in the Pacific. If you’re looking for Blitzkrieg Era, or Barbarossa or other campaigns, those planes and their statistics are in other books of the series. There are also some spreadsheets floating around that consolidate and reconcile airplane stats from different books, but beware that the stats are not entirely consistent across the books. The planes are rated for each book in relation to one another, so the stats for a Spitfire V, for example, can be different from one theater to another. Marty Fenelon has tried to reconcile all the statistics for his 1946 series rules. Post if you’re interested in a particular campaign, and I’ll try to identify the book you want.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #142371
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    Thanks for the really thorough run through

    I have a couple of the Blue Skies rulebooks / supplements already but never got round to giving them a try out.

    I really should as they are not far off what I’m looking for albeit with hexes.

    I think the one I haven’t got is the Battle of Britain one but I could extract the aircraft stats from the other books then use the CY6 scenario books for games.

    Cool!

     

     

    #142373
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    I’ve also got a copy of Chris Peters old HLBS published rules that doesn’t use hexes. I think it’s called Day of Eagles? Anyone used them?

    #142382
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    I think the one I haven’t got is the Battle of Britain one but I could extract the aircraft stats from the other books then use the CY6 scenario books for games.

    I happen to have a spreadsheet of Blue Skies BoB aircraft stats. It came from Marty Fenelon’s MSD Games website. Here’s a link. Or if you don’t want to bother setting up an MSD Games account to get the free downloads, email me and I’ll send you a copy.  zippy-at-fuse-dot-net is my email.

    http://msdgames.com/epages/bccb46a7-1a07-48ac-8a77-e8e6cce9e958.sf/en_US/?ObjectPath=/Shops/bccb46a7-1a07-48ac-8a77-e8e6cce9e958/Products/D-0023

     

    I just found this different spreadsheet on the MSD Games site that may be more complete. I haven’t downloaded this one yet, so I’m guessing:

    http://msdgames.com/epages/bccb46a7-1a07-48ac-8a77-e8e6cce9e958.sf/en_US/?ObjectPath=/Shops/bccb46a7-1a07-48ac-8a77-e8e6cce9e958/Products/D-0026

     

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #142405
    Jim Jackaman
    Participant

    Cool. Thanks for the link.

    #143352
    Marcus Wheeler
    Participant

    Hi Jim,

     

    i have only only played Spitting Fire once, and I can’t remember a lot about it, but it was a BIG Battle of Britain game with about six players and possibly 100 aircraft on a 6 x 8 table (ish). A lot of fun was had. It relies on moving by formations, but I cannot recall if formations made a difference in other ways. That would probably be in the full rules anyway, not the quick start, which I am pretty sure Majestic 12 also had on their site.

    <u>https://www.wargamevault.com/m/product/23625</u&gt;

     

    Im quite interested in the Red Star/ Blue Sky rules. Does anyone know if these can be purchased in the UK?

     

    Marcus

     

     

     

    #143378
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    MSD Games carries the whole Blue Skies and Luft 46 series, except for Squadrons and Black Cross/Blue Sky, which are both OOP. I’m sure MSD will happily ship to the UK. No, I’m not a shareholder, just a fanboy:

    http://msdgames.com/epages/bccb46a7-1a07-48ac-8a77-e8e6cce9e958.sf/en_US/?ObjectPath=/Shops/bccb46a7-1a07-48ac-8a77-e8e6cce9e958/Categories/%22LUFTWAFFE%201946%22/%22LUFTWAFFE%201946%7CRules%20and%20Supplements%22

    In the UK, Caliver Books has Black Cross/Blue Sky (only 2 copies left!) and Lost Squadrons. I couldn’t find any other Blue Skies or Luft 46 rules in the Caliver catalog, but they’ve carried them in the past, so you might want to email and check:

    https://www.caliverbooks.com/searchcat.php?words=blue+sky&price=&period=

    You will note that the prices on BC/BS and LS are mighty stiff. That’s because these are boxed sets, and there’s a lot in the box besides rule books. If you want to know more, ask and I’ll drone on about it.

    One thing to beware is that the base rules for Blue Skies are not in every volume of the series. You can find base rules in Squadrons (a prototype rule set, but they work, if you can find a copy), Red Sun/Blue Sky (a more developed set, note that there are additional rules, but not the base rules, in other Blue Skies volumes), Black Cross/Blue Sky (a consolidated rule book, including the base rules from RS/BS and all additions), Luftwaffe 1946 (complete rules, slightly re-engineered), and Kamikaze 1946 (same rules as L46). Any of the rule versions work with any set of airplane statistics, though some players prefer a particular version. But you need to have at least one in order to play.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #143386
    Marcus Wheeler
    Participant

    Thanks. I actually have Luft ‘46, but not tried it. Hmmm. I’ll have to ask Caliver about RS/BS. I have someUSN and IJN 1:600 aircraft all painted up. They really do need an outing!

    #143401
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    Red Sun/Blue Sky covers Pacific and East Asia 1941-42. Besides the base rules and the aircraft data, I’d say that the best part is the scenario section, that includes all the main carrier battles.

    If you have trouble finding the RS/BS book, email me: zippy-at-fuse-dot-net. I have a spreadsheet that consolidates aircraft data from the first four published Blue Skies books, including RS/BS, along with some fan-developed stats from the old Blue Skies Yahoo group. I’d be happy to share it. You could use the spreadsheet data along with the Luftwaffe 1946 rule book to stage games.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #143552
    Steve Burt
    Participant

    I’m surprised no-one has mentioned Blood Red Skies which has completely replaced Bag the Hun for us. Fast play, no plotting, rewards use of formations, and the advantage system is brilliant; much more elegant than tracking altitude

    #143573
    Marcus Wheeler
    Participant

    I looked at Blood Red Skiies, and watched some videos, but then I remembered that I have loads of 1:600 aircraft already. And I can’t really adapt to 1:600 because I don’t have the special cards and flight stands. If I didn’t have anything, it might be the way to go, although I am not entirely convinced, but I do so no argument for my money.

    Thanks Zippy, I will get back to you on that. Found my Luft ‘46 rulebook to start with…

     

    #143601
    Steve Burt
    Participant

    I played Blood Red Skies with my existing 1:600 planes and it works fine. Just use high medium and low altitude to show advantage levels. The Air Strike supplement contains the full rules as well as the new rules for ground targets. You can print the cards yourself; pretty sure all the details for them are online

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