Sunday, November 13, 2011

2011 Museum of Flight Game Day Recap

NHMGS had its annual game day at the Museum of Flight on Saturday November 12. We were set up under the museum's Blackbird (really a M-21 variant of the A-12 designed to carry an unmanned drone for intelligence gathering) in the main gallery with four gaming tables and an information table. We had a really good turnout of NHMGS members (around 25), along with museum goers that stopped off to view the games and ask questions. We had between 6 and 10 museum visitors that took the time to play in some of the games and there was at least that many that said they wished they had the time to sit and play.
NHMGS Information Table
Tables all set up under the Blackbird
The morning session had a Wings of War game (which seemed very popular), our home-brew Golden Age Air Racing game, a WWII skirmish game, and some DBA games.
Wings of War ready to play
Skirmish game set up
Air racing in progress
Several DBA games in progress

In the afternoon it there was a Check You Six Jets game, a robot gladiator game, more DBA, a continuation of the skirmish game, and an exclusive premier of the upcoming Wizard's of the Coast/Avalon Hill Axis & Allies Air Force Miniatures game (more on this below).
Check Your Six Jets Israeli Phantoms
Robot gladiators
A pair of Axis & Allies Hurricanes

I spent the morning at the information table talking about gaming and generally making a nuisance of myself. After lunch I watched a game of the A & A Air Force Miniatures game and then took up a couple planes myself.
Some museum visitors looking in on the games

The game day is always a good opportunity to show off the hobby to the general public and play a few games. The museum is a really great forum for showing off games and the museum visitors are often interested in talking about the hobby. Everyone seemed to have a good time and our museum contact told us that they like having us there, so expect to be back again next year.

Axis & Allies Air Force Miniatures game:
The game designer, Rich Baker, and some other members of the A & A Team showed up at the game day to show off their upcoming Axis & Allies Air Force Miniatures game. Here are my impressions of the game.
A Bf-109E and Spitfire from the Starter set

First off, a little about the planes. The planes are pre-painted 1/100 scale (15mm), so they are pretty big when compared to most air games, but are still pretty light. The stands are clear hex-shaped bases, with the numbers 1 – 6 printed on them to represent altitudes, and the post has ball top that fit in the socket of the plane. The Ball/Socket combination allows you to show climbing, diving, and banking (evading in game terms). The models I saw all looked pretty good, with some nice detail (you can see panel lines on the planes), and would be easy to repaint to change squadrons and markings.
A Bf-109E and Bf-110C (the largest plane in the initial release)

You can see how the planes can bank in this photo

The game is played on a hex grid with the planes facing the hex flat. The basic rules are pretty easy to pick up. Game turns have an Initiative, Movement, and Firing phases. Initiative is determined by competitive die rolls (there are some modifiers for these rolls), the side that wins initiative moves second and fire second. Planes are moved one a time, alternating movement between sides, but the side that won the initiative always gets to move last. During movement a plane can do basic turns (one hexside) or advanced maneuvers (tight turns, Split-S, Barrel Roll, etc.) and climb or dive. The basic turns can always be done, but to successfully complete the other maneuvers the player rolls two dice, adds modifiers based on plane type (there are some other modifiers too) and has to beat the maneuver number. Combat is similar to the War At Sea miniatures, with a plane rolling a number of D6s based on plane type and range. The base hit numbers are determined by the aircraft position. The number "hits" is compared to the planes Armor and Vital values. If you get more "hits" than the Armor rating, the plane is damaged and if you get the Vital rating the planes is shot down.
A FW-190 and Bf-109 getting into action

The game was fun and played quickly. There was enough differences between plane stats that you actually felt like you weren't just playing with generic fighters.
A P-40C in Flying Tigers colors

The initial release, called Angels 20, has a release date of February 2012. The Starter Set will have 6 planes (2 Hurricanes, 1 Spitfire, 2 Bf-109E, 1 Bf-110C) and boosters will have 3 random planes. There were 31 planes listed in the set, but some are duplicate aircraft with different stats. The first set will have British, German, Russian, Italian, Japanese, and American planes.
Starter Kit box front cover
Starter Kit box back cover

1 comment:

  1. Great photos of a great day, Dave. Thanks for your hard work there. I see I missed another nice game with that Axis & Allies air game. Best, Dean