Home Forums General Blogs Richthofen's War: Board Game Archaeology

This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by General Slade General Slade 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #108305
    Abwehrschlacht
    Abwehrschlacht
    Participant

    I have started a Youtube channel with an emphasis on wargaming and boardgaming, but with some military history in the future. One the offshoots I started yesterday was Board Game Archaeology, where I take a brief look at some old games in my collection and the first is Richthofen’s War by Avalon Hill, released nearly fifty years ago! Have a watch here and please let me know what you think (and subscribe, if you like it!):

    http://www.stormofsteelwargaming.com

    #108318
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Fascinating, I used to see this on sale at shows like Northern Militaire in the 70s and in a Cardiff hobby shop whose name escapes me – might have been Bud Morgan’s but I’m not sure.

    I never did get around to buying it – I was concentrating on building a 25mm French Napoleonic army at the time with forays into 1/300 WWII and being seduced by Peter Laing Ancients. (I was young and naive). Board wargaming felt quite esoteric at the time and I didn’t want to be distracted (whatever happened to that resolve?). And the experience of attempting Drang Nach Osten with a friend during university vacations nearly scarred me for life.

    Looks like I missed a good game.

    Thanks for posting.

    I shall be looking out for more trips (almost) down memory lane.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Guy Farrish Guy Farrish.
    #108323
    General Slade
    General Slade
    Participant

    Nice review.  Like Guy I often thought about buying this but never did get round to it.  When I finally decided to giving air gaming a try I went for Avalon Hill’s ‘Air Force’ and boy was that complicated.  It put me off being a fighter pilot for a long time.

    @ Guy – I don’t think Bud Morgan ever sold games.  I think it was just model kits, railways and Scalextric.  Are you maybe thinking of the stamp shop in one of the arcades off The Hayes that branched out into selling games and D&D books?

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by General Slade General Slade.
    #108327
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Nice review. Like Guy I often thought about buying this but never did get round to it. When I finally decided to giving air gaming a try I went for Avalon Hill’s ‘Air Force’ and boy was that complicated. It put me off being a fighter pilot for a long time. @ Guy – I don’t think Bud Morgan ever sold games. I think it was just model kits, railways and Scalextric. Are you maybe thinking of the stamp shop in one of the arcades off The Hayes that branched out into selling games and D&D books?

     

    Air Force is a good game, but a bit slow. It’s not really that complicated after you’ve played it a few times IMO.

    If you want complicated, try SPI’s Air War. 🙂

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #108329
    Guy Farrish
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    @ Guy – I don’t think Bud Morgan ever sold games. I think it was just model kits, railways and Scalextric. Are you maybe thinking of the stamp shop in one of the arcades off The Hayes that branched out into selling games and D&D books?

    You’re probably right, it was the only name I could remember -wasn’t Bud Morgan in an arcade c1974? Castle perhaps? Before it moved onto St Mary Street near the music shop?

    This is really bugging me now – the games may have been in the stamp shop but I could have sworn the shop I was thinking of  was somewhere round the back or side of one of the big stores on Queen Street – possibly down Frederick Street and off down the back – the problem is its all been rebuilt and buried under Queen’s Arcade. It looked as if it were about to be bulldozed in 1975!

    There was a really chatty guy in there who spent hours talking about the Old Testament and how it would be great to play Biblical wargames, with Philistines etc being smashed – although he sold no wargames figures!

    (too much time in the Mont Merence the Taff Vale and Chip Alley to remember much!)

    Sorry to hijack a worthwhile thread

    #108343
    Abwehrschlacht
    Abwehrschlacht
    Participant

    Thanks guys, don;t worry about hijacking the thread, Guy, this is a trip down memory lane, after all…

    The game you see in the video is the one I bought in Scarborough in mid-eighties, from a games shop that was at the top of the cliffs near the little trolly tram. I have no idea what it was called or whatever happened to it.

    The game is good, but a bit bookkeeping heavy, I prefer Wings of Glory as it has a sleeker design and plays faster, but RW was a massive part of my formative gaming experiences.

    http://www.stormofsteelwargaming.com

    #108362
    John D Salt
    John D Salt
    Participant

    I still have my copy of “Richtofen’s War”, and fondly recall the protracted campaign played by members of my school’s wargaming club in, oooh, I suppose in must have been 1978, featuring flyers very often named after characters in Roger Bacon’s “Straight and Level” column in “Flight International” — Monty Orangeballs I seem to recall flew a Brisfit, and Alphonse Aurevoir a SPAD of some kind. We gave people an “ace” bonus on shooting afer five kills, and a few pilots lived long enough to claim it. One of the great virtues of the game was that it was possible to get a game in over a lunch hour. Biggles fans — of whom there were many — were delighted that the game distinguished right- and left-handed turn rates for rotary-engined aircraft, such as the Camel.

    Mr. Picky always prefers written reviews to video reviews, because video is intrinsically linear, whereas text I can read in any order I like. In this case, while there’s nothing wrong with the review, the first two and a half minutes are a bit pointless for someone like me who already owns the game. I would be much more interested in your thoughts on the game, which were rather brief.

    Avalon Hill issued a set of “maneuver cards” with some additional rules, but in my opinion these added little to the game. A very much better idea, which I would recommend for any air wargame that doesn’t already do it, is to scrap the existing sequence of play, and replace it with that from SPI’s “Air War”. Briefly, this means counting, for each aircraft, how many enemy aircraft are in its frontal arc, and how many enemy aircraft it is in the frontal arc of. This determines whether it is “advantaged”, “disadvantaged”, or “neutral”. Disadvantaged aircraft move first, then neutral, then advantaged. It’s a brilliant idea, and one of the many things that makes “Air War” vastly superior to “Air Force” (originally a Battleline game) that inspired it. And if you think “Air War” is complicated — well, you’re right, it is, but have you seen “Birds of Prey”?

    All the best,

    John.

    #108367
    Abwehrschlacht
    Abwehrschlacht
    Participant

    Thanks John, the game stirs up memories of hours are dogfighting with my school chums as well!

    I’m sorry you’re not too keen on videos, and I understand your point, but this was more of an exploration of the game itself, than a critique of it, but I’ll take your comments on board for future!

    http://www.stormofsteelwargaming.com

    #108371
    General Slade
    General Slade
    Participant

    @ Guy – You are right, Bud Morgan was in Castle Arcade.  I didn’t realise that it moved to St Mary’s Street.  I don’t remember a game shop off Queen Street – but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there!

    @ NCS – Thinking back Air Force can’t have been as complicated as I made out because I certainly enjoyed playing it when I was young. However, I had a fit of nostalgia a few years back and bought a copy on eBay. I took one look at the rules, thought boy that looks harder than I remember, and the box disappeared into the back of the wardrobe, never to see the light of day again.  I guess I’ve got lazy in my old age . . .

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