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User Rating Comment Status
Paul Shabatowski
Canada
Stittsville
Ontario
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7.5
Oct 2010
I like playing this game on a regular basis and marvel at the fact that it is not in print any longer. OMFG! Secret Santa delivered my Grail game!
2014-12-01
Owned
stephen stover
United States
lake dallas
Texas
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7.3
Oct 2014
This is a war game hidden in an economic game. The random elements ..... die rolling for gate take overs and the pull of profits from the cup will put off some players. The possibility of a player being eliminated does show the age of the game design but a multi player war game always has that result as a possibility. In all is was an enjoyable time spent with lots of the suspense built up in surprise elements. This one is a game I would play again
2014-10-12
Owned
Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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7.3
Jun 2014
Before the invasion of European games, we used to play a fair bit of this. I finally played this again since being introduced to Eurogaming and still really enjoyed it.

I've decided to add this to my library - May 2012. (You can't rush into every purchase!)
2012-05-28
Owned
7.25
Dec 2011
I liked it ok, but my friends didn't so much.
Probably should have kept it in the shrink.
2011-12-11
Owned
Matt Riley
United States
Portland
Oregon
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7.2
Jan 2010*
The airline industry before deregulation. The mechanics mix settlers with risk and a lot of luck.
2007-05-08*
Owned
For Trade
Nate Merchant
United States
New York
New York
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7.2
Sep 2007*
A good deal better than Rail Baron, though less accessible and wargamey. I quite like it, but I haven't "grokked" it fully yet. Needs a reprint and I think it would garner a batch of new fans.
2007-09-03*
Owned
Jeff Buckey
United States
Concord Twp
OH
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7
May 2001*
I like the selection of the turn order in this game. It's luck driven but it gives the game a nice twist. I like financial games and this one is pretty good.
2001-05-31*
Owned
Mick Hubbard
United Kingdom
Burntwood
Staffordshire
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7
Jan 2002*
Good game. Extended rules add to it. Difficult to bounce back if you fall behind.
2002-01-27*
Owned
Frank Hamrick
United States
Rocky Mount
North Carolina
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7
May 2002*
A good game. Lots of fun. I downgraded it because I'm not into financial games. But I do love the cut-throat competition.
2002-05-04*
Owned
KC Humphrey
United States
Gresham
Oregon
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7
Jun 2002*
played at Sunriver
2002-06-21*
Owned
For Trade
Andy Goldberg
United States
Los Angeles
California
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7
Jul 2002*
The random nature of payment keeps this from being a higher score. However, it is a lot of fun, and easy to learn. There is a nice amount of strategy employed, and enough luck to keep it even.
2002-07-08*
Daryl Wilks
United States
Peshastin
Washington
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"Love one another."
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7
Jul 2002*
This old Avalon Hill Game is a lot of fun. There is a fair bit of dice rolling and chit drawing, so those afraid of a little luck will want to steer clear. For those looking for a good time of building an airline empire and easy-going conflict with other players, this could be a winner!
2002-07-26*
Owned
Brad Bender
United States
Lakeville
Minnesota
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7
Aug 2002*
Fuel hike!?! NOOOOoo!!!!
2002-08-22*
Owned
John Garrett
United Kingdom
Wokingham
Unspecified
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7
Nov 2002*
A good game that gets some replay.
2002-11-23*
Owned
Steven Brooks
United States
Ft. Lauderdale
Florida
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7
Feb 2003*
Fun, simple.
2003-02-10*
Jason Funnell
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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7
Feb 2003*
Big luck factor and hugely varying playing times. Easy to learn and play however and dice rolling can be quite exciting.
2003-02-13*
Owned
John Tamplin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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7
Jul 2003*
Nice expansion game, reminds me of Medieval Merchant.
2003-07-02*
Owned
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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7
Jan 2015
A risk taking, "push your luck" game.
2015-05-24
Owned
Frank Hamrick
United States
Rocky Mount
North Carolina
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7
Aug 2003*
This is a good one, but a bit long. We went through a period when this was ALL we played. Still good, don't know why we don't play it any more.
2003-08-12*
Owned
Marc Guenette
Canada
Laval
Quebec
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7
Jul 2012
Fun game. there is luck involved, still fun to play with my kids.
2003-11-14*
Owned
Gregory Smith
United States
Nashville
Tennessee
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7
Sep 2006*
Beautiful game. I have an extra copy, or this would not be going anywhere.
2006-09-06*
Owned
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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7
Mar 2004*
I think this one still holds up. Too bad AH didn't get a few more such projects out the door before they folded.
2004-03-11*
Owned
Ray Swan
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
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7
Sep 2013
A Wargame in disguise. One you can usually get the ladies to play.
2004-04-28*
Owned
Snooze Fest
United States
Hillsborough
North Carolina
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We love our pups!! Misu, RIP 28 Nov 2010. Tikka, RIP 11 Aug 2011.
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7
May 2009*
1 play, long ago. I think it was a pretty fun economic/network-building/area control game. But Mary didn't like it much at all -- too wargamey -- so it sat on the shelf for years before finally being sold off.
2009-05-18
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Brent Boyd
United States
Chico
California
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7
Jul 2004*
fun noncombat buisness sim that plays like a war game
2004-07-28*
Owned
Neil Warrell
United Kingdom
Brighton
East Sussex
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7
Dec 2004*
played a friend's copy several times - feels like a wargame in disguise
2004-12-28*
Owned
Kevin Lees
United Kingdom
Channel Islands
Unspecified
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7
Jan 2005*
Another game that really needs 5 or the full 6 to make it really work
2005-01-10*
Owned
Michael Ward
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
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7
Jan 2005*
10/27/97 Received. Obvious it was targeted towards AH's core audience; wargamers. The rules use wargame terms (e.g. attack, defend) when explaining how to increase your airline's share of a hub. Not that the wording of the rules keeps it from being a good game though. I just found it very odd in what is supposed to be a business/economic game.
2009-03-02
Owned
Jeff Finkeldey
United States
Lebanon
Ohio
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7
Feb 2005*
Enjoyable economic game of airline operations.
2005-02-15*
Owned
Robert Jones
United States
Germantown
Maryland
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7
Sep 2007*
Power Grid with airports. The play and feel of Air Baron is very similar to Power Grid except for the unfortunate random selection of income and turn order. This randomness can completely destroy your chances, despite superior play.
2007-09-04*
Owned
darksurtur
United States
Arlington
Virginia
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7
Aug 2009*
It's amazing how well Air Baron reinterprets wargaming mechanics to simulate the ebb and flow of the airline business; its appeal is in large part its emergent narrative.

To be fair, the game does have fair share of random (and retro) elements, which will not be to everyone's liking. These elements can all be controlled to some extent; for example, a key decision is when to switch from spreading out to maximize income to consolidating to facilitate takeovers. But there is no doubt that luck in income draws can keep a player from getting out of the gate, that turn order draws can make an otherwise well-timed Fare Wars extra painful, or that dice go a long way toward your ultimate success. Perhaps the most annoying luck-based element is the frustratingly blunt oil chit for reining in the leader, which sometimes leads to an uninteresting turtling strategy.

The game is also longer than suits its nature, often running 30 minutes to an hour past when decisions are tense and interesting (and even longer if the oil chit shows up too often), and after some players have been effectively eliminated. But in general, it offers significant simulative and thematic value.
2009-08-25
Jay Little
United States
Eden Prairie
Minnesota
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7
Jun 2005*
a fantastic game of building airline networks. There is plenty of player interaction and conflict, and little downtime between turns. At one point, it was the most requested game I own. Does show its age compared to more balanced and streamlined Euros, but among my favorite Avalon Hill titles for 4+ players.
2005-06-23*
Owned
Anthony Simons
United Kingdom
Royal Wootton Bassett
Wiltshire
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7
Aug 2008*
Duration:- Plays a touch too long for a game of this type; but doesn't really outstay its welcome.
Engagement:- Downtime can be an issue when continual aggressive takeovers take place during "fare wars"; however, other players are usually involved.
Experience:- Opening turns are often fruitless, resulting in a slow development for most players.
Presentation:- Colourful print, well-indexed, well-written rules and eye-candy in the form of jets. Marred by the use of flimsy chits for hub and spoke control which cover all the relevant information on the board!

I like this game more with every play, but there is always something we miss or forget due to the classic AH ruleset. They're not as bad as the norm, so I am partially to blame for this; but some are open to interpretation.

UPDATE 14AUG08: After a couple more plays I find more and more people feel disgruntled by the chance aspect; not so much because there is one, more because it makes this the kind of game you need to find your way around before you can ascertain the risk of each investment. I have lowered the rating to a 7, but only because after some thought an 8 does not belong.
2012-05-05
Owned
Ed Holzman
United States
Seffner
Florida
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As grey traces of dawn tinge the eastern sky, the three travellers, men of Willowdale, emerge from the forest's shadow. Fording the river, they turn south, journeying into the dark and forbidding lands of The Necromancer...
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7
Sep 2005*
Fighting the Fare Wars as an Airline Tycoon! I love the subject matter so this one particularly grabs me. One of the better games put out by AH just before the death throes.
2005-09-17*
Owned
Jim Pulles
Canada
Regina
Saskatchewan
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7
Jan 2008*
Best played with the maximum number of players. Lots of luck makes every game different, so even poorer players have a chance.

Although I prefer the basic game, the optional disaster rules add just a little bit more for the die-hard fan.

The only thing that keeps this game from getting a higher rating is its length, which can clock in at three hours or more with a full compliment of players.
2008-01-29*
Owned
Mark Christopher
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
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In the wonderful game, Bonaparte at Marengo, this is how to get nasty Frenchies out of a village.
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7
Oct 2005*
A wargame disguised as an airline-management game. A bit luck heavy, but we've always had a lot of fun with it. We've never tried the advanced rules, finding the basic rules fine.
2005-10-12*
Owned
Flannel Golem
United States
Bemidji
MN
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7
Feb 2010
Fun multiplayer; can be more luck-based than many are comfortable with... and those who are eliminated early or even midway through might as well find something else to do: the game allows for their return, but they have no realistically effective courses of action for the remainder of the game
2007-12-16*
Prev. Owned
Pony Casts Fire
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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7
Dec 2007*
The luck of the draw is very high in this game. You can be in alot of trouble depending on how the turn order is pulled. Also, if you extend yourself too far, the oil price hike event can destroy you. The way you battle seems a bit unfair, if you win you can continue battling, but if you lose you can't try again. Lucky die rolls can strongly alter the board, despite a player's strategy.
2007-12-05*
Jeff Watts
United States
Mount Juliet
Tennessee
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7
May 2006*
This is a war game disguised as a a building game. I like it!
2006-05-22*
Jay Volk
United States
Richfield
Ohio
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7
Nov 2006*
Gets better with age
2006-11-30*
Owned
John Kerr
United States
arlington
Virginia
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7
Dec 2006*
I like the speed of this and the ebb and flow of the different air-lines over the course of the game. Has some luck issues and can sometimes go on too long, but most plays are a lot of fun. I wish I could replay the map changes in quick-time at the end, just to see the flow of the map again.
2006-12-08*
Owned
Amy Wiles
United States
Macon
Georgia
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7
Dec 2006*
Seems promising; need to play more.
2006-12-31*
david karasick
United States
Gladwyne
Pennsylvania
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7
Apr 2007*
They should remake this with updates as it plays nicely.
2007-04-04*
Owned
Francois Petitclerc
Canada
Verdun
Quebec
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7
May 2007*
Spread out over the continent to establish presence in airports. Try to make a buck doing so. Nice game.
2009-10-30
Owned
For Trade
Christine Biancheria
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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7
Jun 2007*
Full of luck, but really fun anyway.
2007-06-11*
Owned
Want To Play
Jim C
United States
New York
New York
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7
Jun 2007*
I like it. Sometimes it feels like you're just playing along and all of a sudden...someone wins. But it does have a certain charm that brings it to the table once in a while.
2007-06-22*
Owned
B Orr
United States
Southlake
Texas
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I hunger!!!
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Galactus wants to know if you have been Naughty or Nice
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7
Apr 2013
Very good business-themed (war?) game.
2007-12-07*
Owned
Mario T. Lanza
United States
Camp Hill
Pennsylvania
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7
Nov 2008*
Would like to see this reprinted.
2010-12-30
Want To Play
David Whitcher
United States
Manchester
Michigan
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7
Dec 2007*
Good old school fun
2007-12-07*
United States
Nebraska
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Logging plays since 2004
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Da red wunz go fasta!
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7
Jul 2008*
Lots of luck-laden fun. Need to try the advanced rules to see if they improve the game.
2008-01-09*
Prev. Owned
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