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Wings of War : Dawn of War

Board Games > War
RRP: £27.99
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World War I was the age of the “knights of the air.” Aircraft were new, and their role as a weapon of war just being invented. By World War II, the machines were much more sophisticated, and more critical to the plans of an army general than ever before. World War II was a new age of aviation and a new age of warfare – and now, Wings of War goes to the beginning of this new epoch. This is the Dawn of War.

This year, Wings of War expands to include the flying machines and battles of World War II with Wings of War: Dawn of War! The WWII series of Wings of War is an easy, fun to play, fast and furious system which fans of Famous Aces and the rest of the Wings of War games will be able to start playing minutes after opening the box! Dawn of War includes fighter planes from the first years (1939-1941) of the war – pilot a Spitfire, a Messerschmitt, or a Hurricane. Outfight, outthink, and out-fly your opponents with the innovative and viscerally satisfying Wings of War manoeuvre system. Up to 6 planes can fly with the contents of this set.


 
"Wings of War : Dawn of War" takes the innovative and entertaining "Wings of War" dogfight system and applies it to the era of the Battle of Britain.
 
This is a stand-alone and not an expansion - You do not need to own the first game to play this system.
 
Game play is extremely simple, utilizing small playing cards, counters, and the largest table-top or floor space you can find.
 
Each play takes a card showing (literally) an aerial view of an early-era WW2 plane (various Spitfires, Messerschmitt and others). Each plane has a corresponding deck of manoeuvre cards' (classed A,B,C, or D), with arrows drawn on to the card showing the direction of a manoeuvre the plane can make (i.e., banking to the left, the right, a steep bank, flipping over in an 'Immelman turn', stalling (very short forward movement), going straight, etc.).
 
During play, axis and ally planes are placed on the tabletop. Each player has a manoeuvre card selected and placed face-down for their first move. Players then select their next move and place that card face down. They then flip their first move card over simultaneously, then take the card, line up the back edge of the movement arrow with the front of the plane card, pick up the plane, and place it down again with the back of the plane card lined up to the front edge of the movement arrow.
 
Combat follows logically from this. When planes have moved, if you can reach from your plane's firing cone to an opponents plane by using the small rulers provided, they're hit, and they take the damage chits corresponding to your plane's firing power.
 
And that's the game in a nutshell. There are optional rules for varying speed, altitude, fuel, pilot special skills, and more, but with the basic game you will have your planes zipping around and blowing each other out of the sky in no time.
 
Wow:DoW (which acronyms very nicely), is a fast and fun game. The art on the cards is top notch, and there is a hell of a lot in a little box, representing extremely good value for money. Up to six players can play at once, although the base set has only a limited number of each manoeuvre deck, so if you want to fly more than one spitfire, for example, you'll need to either buy an expansion set, or write down the card number for your manoeuvre and share a deck (which isn't quite so much fun). The game needs to be played on a table cloth, or ideally felt, and needs a large playing space (at least 3' by 3', preferably bigger) for your planes to have room to manoeuvre. There are model planes available as an expansion if you want to get flash, but the cards are really neat.
 
-Disclaimer : I am not a 'real' wargamer, and know very little about the 'technical manual' side of WW2. This review is from the perspective of what is probably WoW:DoW's largest (but not the only) target audience : somebody who wants to play at flying around war planes, whilst calling out "D-ga-d-ga-d-ga-d-ga-BOOM!" "Eat hot lead, Fritz!" "Die, Englischer pig-dog!", etc.
Rating: 9.0
Reviewed by: jimi fallows
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