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Subject: Eam's Review #11, from when the game was new, Chocks Away rss

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Eamon Bloomfield
Germany
23569 Lübeck
Schleswig Holstein
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Wings, Yaquinto’s new release, is a WWI aerial game of exceptional quality. It has all levels of play, for the novice to the expert. There is a very basic and simple game for mass air battles, a basic version of the full game, an advanced game, a large selection of optional rules, and an ultra-complex game for one-to-one duels.

Although the game is expensive (nearly 22 pounds), you get a nice full box with charts, tables, counters and map, all pleasantly produced in full colour. The loving care taken in preparing these goodies is shown by the way the German counters show aircraft in 8 different colours, so, like the German aces, you can have your own personal aircraft. The map covers a part of the front over no-man’s land and is made up of three sections. There are also 50 cards with all the information needed for play, for each of 50 aircraft types. The aircraft included in the game are most of the usual types, such as Camels, SE5s, PUPs, Newports, Albatrosses, etc., and also many unusual planes such as Austrian and Italian machines.

The system itself is based heavily on Air Force/Dauntless, a famous WWII air game by Avalon Hill, which is not surprising as the same team designed both games. Wings requires aircraft to spend a certain number of movement points to enter a maneouvre and a certain number to perform it. Maneouvres may also slow aircraft down or cause a change of altitude.

The real key though is the system for showing different pilot quality. This is done by rating all pilots on a scale of A to I. An A pilot (worst) can only perform turns and side-slips. A level E pilot (average) can perform all maneouvres and can also perform turns in a shorter time but at the cost of speed. A level I pilot (best) can perform all maneouvres as well as carrying them out in a shorter time at the same cost in speed. Hence, a better pilot can out-maneouvre an inferior one without any tailing or ‘Ace’ movement rules.

The combat system also works well, being similar to the one in Air Force/Dauntless, but is much better in operation because, with all the optional rules, aircraft tend to be slowly damaged, but an occasional hit will destroy the aircraft in one go.

I love solitaire scenarios and Wings allows one to strafe trenches, bust balloons, sink ships, bomb buildings and zap Zeppelins. You can even land or take-off from your home airfield.

If you have the remotest interest in the subject, I suggest that Wings is well worth saving up for.

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Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
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Yaquinto? They became a card printing company, and haven't even published their own card game in 25 years. They were acquired by Cartamundi several years back.
 
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Kurt Weihs
United States
Tacoma
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Barticus88 wrote:
Yaquinto? They became a card printing company, and haven't even published their own card game in 25 years. They were acquired by Cartamundi several years back.


You can still find this game fairly inexpensively through EBay, or resellers like Noble Knight. Yaquinto did some great games in their day if you like pre-plotted movement and Craig Taylor designs (and who wouldn't? )

Excalibur made a hash of the reprint though so I recommend holding out for the original Yaquinto version if you can find it.
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