Posted on June 4, 2013
Game exchange continues… Wings of WargloryLast night we had our first run through of Wings of Wagglery… It is a fun game and I’m glad everyone found it as easy to pick up as I did… perhaps even easier as during the first run through I accidentally took myself out of the game by flying off the board. Everyone seemed to like it and I’m gratified that Chris, who doesn’t play games much, found it easy to pick up (and do quite well at). Our second run through (special damage and tailing rules added) ended with a kill for the Red Baron Chris (me, exploding) and Overbo’s ‘Murican SPAD XIII (taking down the Red Baron). I have two each of four different planes and playing it a second time and having time to go through the move deck gave me a chance to see how the planes fare. Although a slower and lighter plane, you can’t beat the Fokker Dr. I ‘s maneuverability; whereas the SPAD XIII’s fast speed and heavy build make it comically combine harvester in comparison. Somehow it totally suited Overbo though and he not only stayed on the game mat, but did rather well bulling down his opponents. The game mechanics are easy, once you get the hang of identifying the straight, difficult and Immelman cards, spacing them accordingly isn’t difficult (Steven). Given that the mechanics are so easy I’ve been trying to figure out where the traction is, the part of the game that makes it fun and makes it keep being fun. I think it is in the turn planning – the other players and their decisions are the source of the uncertainty in the game – not dice or some random factor. So you play to anticipate their moves and take risks accordingly. The damage mechanic makes for an interesting game too, since you are never sure how close you are to victory. But I think it is the turn planning that will keep people playing it – especially since the depth of another player’s choices is much deeper than the possibilities on a dice roll. I like them in particular, because when you are wrong, you tend to be really wrong and the two planes head away from each other, only for you try to get the advantage on the next turn by anticipating how your opponent is going to try to get the advantage. Similarly, when you are right and choose a flight path that puts you out of harms way directly behind and opponent for a few turns you can be merciless… unless your guns jam, like mine did last night. Sopwith Donkey more like. The planes themselves aren’t TOO important, at least not at the level at which we play. But it is funny that some people are already slightly attached to a particular plane. Throwing in two-seaters and bombers would be interesting wrinkles, as would the introduction of Aces with particular skills, but I think the main enjoyment is still going to be the planning mechanics. Playing with a mere four kites in the air certainly puts Jonathan’s collection (above) in perspective. You could have a lot of fun trying out combinations with all those. Playing more than one plane is something we should certainly do in the future, even though it isn’t as easy as it seems it would be – keeping the move decks straight is tricky. The miniatures are very pretty, but I can see why they went to a card based game. Other than for altitude rules, cards will suffice as well. This is the kind of game that you could quickly rattle off a few duels while killing time. It isn’t exactly Cthulhu Dice, but it doesn’t take much set up once you know what you are doing. Going all Card would make that easier I suppose. Playing with cards would let you know whether you like the game too. There is, of course, something satisfying about pretty models and some of them are very pretty. I will say that of any miniatures I have that would look good on a shelf, somewhere public in my house, these are top of the list. Anyway, I’m looking forward to playing a Sunday afternoon of this sometime – see who gets their Ace card first.