My god, somebody stop me. I’m really bouncing around with some serious hobby ADD altely and today I bounced into Wings of Glory. Now, just in case you haven’t heard of the game and before I describe it and you think it’s a rip off keep in mind that this is a game developed from a previous game called Wings of War which was produced by Fantasy Flight Games and this is the system which inspired the rules for Star Wars X-Wing, Star Trek Attack Wing and a few other games at this point. Wings of War was first. Also, I played it once upon a time but it didn’t stick so I sold it.
Here I stand now though on the precarious cliffs again staring into World War I flying combat. What a fool. You see, from April 2nd to the 6th my family and I went to Washington D.C. for Spring Break. While there we visited a lot of museums and since my kids are both interested in space the Smithsonian Air & Space Museums were a must visit. We visited the Goddard Space Flight Center, the National Air & Space Museum and the Udvar-Hazy Center. It was this last one which we considered the most important to us since Space Shuttle Discovery found its resting place there along with the SR-71 Blackbird which is also an amazing plane. I was super interested in airplanes as a kid so I knew and recognized a lot of planes which surprised my family.
The point is that we eventually got around to the WWI area with the bi-planes and my youngest son (age 10) immediately grabbed hold of the idea “Where’s Snoopy’s plane?” See, I love Charlie Brown and my youngest does too. He knew that Snoopy flies a Sopwith Camel and indeed there was one there, and trust me was he disappointed that the Red Barons Fokker DR1 was not. Still he got quite excited looking at a lot of those old planes which made remember this game. While still technically in print I don’t know that I’ve seen it in a game store for years so I grabbed a starter set on the net and had it waiting when I got home from my trip.
So like X-Wing you pre-set your moves in this game using cards, but you set three at a time. Instead of a dial and movement templates the cards that you lay down both indicate your intention as well as act as your templates meaning fewer pieces. Damage is sorted through the random draw of a deck of cards as well and each plane comes with their own sets of maneuver and damage cards. This allows for the different capabilities of each plane making the game have a fair bit of historical accuracy. The airplane models are pre painted and very nice quality which means the game is even easier to get into for those who don’t have any desire to indulge in the hobby side of a miniatures game but just want to play.
In the simplest form you dogfight and shoot each other down. Of course there are a lot of other options and advanced rules and scenarios as well. You can drag out the Drachens (observation balloons) and try and blow them up with incendiary bullets or early rocket technology. You can get really big bi-planes which were bombers during the war and insane flying contraption and running bombing missions. There’s a whole set of upgrade pilot ace skills and different rules for altitude and dive bombing and, well, there’s a lot that you can do. I haven’t actually sat down with my son as of writing this (which I write most of my posts in advance) so I’m not sure how he’ll take to it but I am excited to find out! If nothing, I’m certain my fellow Flames of War player Jim will jump in for a sortie with me. It will be a fun distraction, so look forward to some good old dog fighting in the near future.