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Subject: Review after Flight Training School rss

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Kenneth Lury
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Blowing rock
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Whistling Death is the third game in the Fighting Wings series of WWII aerial combat games. My one major bias in gaming is that I do not like artificial constructs in the rules. I find it hard to remember rules that do not make intrinsic sense and unsatisfying to play such games.

I have just finished a one on one PBEM 15 turn training tutorial with the designer of Whistling Death, J.D. Webster and feel I can give an informed review at this point.

Components: counters and paper map are fine for their intended use. The important components are the rule book (70 pages),aircraft data cards, player aids and scenario book.

The rule book is voluminous , but is well organized and readable. Because the game models a complex subject, the rules are de facto complex. There is a Quick Start set of rules that runs only a few pages. I personally do not recommend using them as they impeded my progress learning the full rule set. The Player aids are exceedingly well organized and various charts reference relevant rules and vis versa. Scenario Book contains more scenarios than one could hope for.

Scale: W.D. is multiple games in one package. Operational, Tactical and combat rules and scenarios are included. Air to air, air to ground, air to sea battles. It's all here.

Play: Towards the end of my tutorial, I took about 15 minutes for a turn with one aircraft. Not bad at all, considering I had to fly in 3 dimensions, dive,bank,turn,skid, while trying to get in a good shooting position or in my case, trying to avoid being a sitting duck.
Some have opined that it is tedious spending hours playing out a dogfight that may have lasted only minutes in real time. On the surface, it would seem that should make sense, but in reality, at least for me, this was not an issue at all.

The rules model real flying and there is no gaminess whatsoever. Gameplay is very very tense and the feel goes way beyond role playing.

I find the game plays solo very well, although play against another is preferable.

Support: The designer support for the game is fantastic ! He is a constant presence on BGG as well as the Yahoo Group for the Fighting Wings game system of which Whistling Death is a part.
There are PBEM games going on all the time, although, I expect much of my play will be solo. New players are welcomed, encouraged and helped.

Summary: Whistling Death is a triumph ! Although I consider myself a casual gamer, I really like complex challenges. As such, W.D. is a huge hunk of meat into which I can sink my teeth. The taste is rich and satisfying.
In terms of value or fun/cost ratio, Whistling Death delivers above and beyond. If you have any interest in aerial combat, enjoy realism in spades,and are willing to make the time investment, Whistling Death is a must.


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Terry Simo
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Nice review on the best tactical air combat system for WW2! You'll find with experience that you can plot a single plane move in 1-2 mins once you get a better feel for the game. Enjoy - been playing the fighting wings system since 1994 and Over the Reich.

T-Mo
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J.D. Webster
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Ken and I will be putting together a turn by turn replay of his tutorial game in the near future.

PBEM games are usually slow going but I think we managed an average of 1.5 turns per day. A couple of Ken's moves had to be corrected as we played so those turns required a few extra posts.

From my observations, Ken had a rudimentary feel for the rules when we started - but by the latter half of the game he had gotten the light bulb and the number of move errors dropped dramatically.

This is a game in which you can play the same scenario again and again and it will turn out wildly different each time depending on what permutations of moves the players do.

As such there is great play value for the money. 100+ scenarios, plus design your own fights, plus many scenarios have variations that can be explored.

J.D.
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Gabriel Mann
United Kingdom
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Interesting review I just bought achtung spitfire. Is their a PBEM for achtung spitfire
 
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J.D. Webster
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gabrielward wrote:
Interesting review I just bought achtung spitfire. Is their a PBEM for achtung spitfire



Yes - go to the link for the Yahoo groups Fighting wings forum below and you will find where most of the on line gamers are playing.

BTW - while the ADCs and scenarios for ASP are still viable, the game flight mechanics went through a major revision between ASP and WD so most players are either using the WD quick start rules or the Whistling death rules for all the games in the series.

J.D.
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