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RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940» Forums » Reviews

Subject: RAF - Quick overview EAGLE rss

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David Brown
United Kingdom
Stockport
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When I was bought RAF for Christmas my priority was to play Lion, the game from the British perspective, that was the reason it was on my Christmas list. Unfortunately it was a bit of a disappointment

Without doubt the system is incredibly clever and the designer must be a genious to make it work. But overall I found it boring. The decisions for the Brits are fairly obvious and each turn was pretty much like the last one.

I then put the game away for nearly a year, I wanted to sell it as I’m keen only to keep games I expect too play, but as it was a present from Mrs B that made selling it a tad difficult. However being bored one day I dragged it from the cupboard and played Eagle, the game from the German perspective. Although I never finished it (I rarely get to finish wargames) I though this was far superior.

As the German player you have many more choices and decisions. At the start of each day you draw some target cards (10 IIRC), some of these have to be discarded as the targets on them are considered too low priority by the high command (although priorities can and will change throughout the campaign). From the remaining you have to decide your targets for the day.

Not only do you get the opportunity to choose targets but you have to plan when in the day they well happen and what forces will be involved. And like the battle itself, the bigger the force, the more likely it is fail to form up properly and also be intercepted, however not big enough and it won’t do sufficient damage, and if there aren’t enough covering fighters it may get slaughtered by the RAF. Also, if it’s too big, the RAF may not come up to play, which may mean they could be around in perfect order for any follow up raid in the area. And just to add to the mix, you will find you will need to do multiple raids each day just to rack up enough victory points to win. So no just sitting back and organising one perfect raid each day. You are trying to stretch the RAF and really need to think about how and when you bomb and what forces are involved.

The game system takes care of how the British will respond and this is very clever and works very well.

Each raid (you can do many during each day) can be very tense. How many bombers to you allocate, how many fighters and will these go hunting or perform close escort, will they form up properly, how will the Brits react, will they manage to intercept or will your bf109s sort them out?, and if they do get through to the bombers how many will make it? – and you haven’t even bombed the target yet!!!

So overall, I was disappointed with Lion but more than compensated by Eagle and I’ve yet to pay the two player game. The game is an incredible bargain – three games in all, Lion, Eagle, and a two player. Out of those three, you must surely find one that works for you, maybe if you’re lucky all three.
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James Fung
United States
San Diego
California
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I feel the reason why Lion may be boring to some players is that you know your German opponent is not going to be sneaky. Is he planning to hit you with a follow-up raid? This time step or next time step? Should you reserve some units in case he does, or is he just trying to fake you out? Is he really attacking a port or the more crucial radar secondary target? Will his raid deployment have any nasty surprises? Most likely not. Thus, unlike the German player who must consider how raid targets and composition interact over the entire day, the British decisions often only affect a handful of sectors for 1-3 time steps at a time. That's what makes it feel like you're making the same decision over and over.

Try the game 2-player. You may find the Lion side has a bit more depth.
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Gregory Smith
United States
Newark
California
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Quote:
The decisions for the Brits are fairly obvious and each turn was pretty much like the last one.


That is exactly how I felt. I was thinking, why is this game so highly rated, it's kind of boring. I find it very repetative, with few interesting decisions to be made. Every turn looks pretty much like the last. There is little sense of a story arc, and little long term planning is possible, you are mostly just reacting to what the German does. You look at the planes available and any advance warning you have, distribute planes accordingly while usually leaving a few planes for the next round, see what happens, rinse and repeat. Playing advanced rules with aces and delayed response helps, but it isn't enough.

On the other hand, the Eagle game is better, with more interesting and meaningful decisions to be made.

I have not played 2 player yet, and that might be fun.

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Andrzej Fiett
Poland
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JaggedTech wrote:
little long term planning is possible, you are mostly just reacting to what the German does. You look at the planes available and any advance warning you have, distribute planes accordingly while usually leaving a few planes for the next round, see what happens, rinse and repeat

...just like Hugh Dowding (nickname: Stuffy)
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mark of carnage
United Kingdom
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I've introduced the game to each of the 5 in my wargaming circle and myself and one other are totally passionate about it and think its great fun. 2 players saw it thru but hated it with a passion and describe it as extremely boring. The remaining guy appears to have been put off by the comments of the other 2 and doesn't appear keen to play.

I get the impression RAF is a marmite of a game. You either hate it or love it.

Assuming it is the game for you I agree about worth trying all 3 games because the differences in dynamics and balance mean you inevitably find you like one more than another. TBH I haven't taken to Eagle. Find it far too easy to win and over too quickly. Anyway not too bothered as a Brit I think the Lion game has more romantic appeal to me than Eagle. I love the narrative feel of Lion and feel like I'm participating in a good read rather than a wargame when I'm playing it. Maybe thats the rub. If you don't like being steered and controlled by events you are unlikely to like this game at all. Anyway, IMO the 2 player and Lion games are better balanced than Eagle although I have felt need to tinker a very slight handicap to make the Lion game more of a challenge. I've played Lion loads now but I've only played 2 player twice and impression is its easier to win with the Germans but I haven't played it enough to be sure. I do feel an urge to play 2 player again soon.

Tally ho!
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Pedro Barradas
Australia
Mackay
QLD
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I see RAF:Lion as re-enacting history. The player is on the defensive, so the operational options are more limited, along the lines of reacting more than acting. Options like Delayed response and Fend and Evade are indeed absolutely necessary to give the British player a bit more control.
If you want to see it like that, it's more like an wargaming lesson in history.

RAF:Eagle on the other had, is more like re-writing history. You are on the offensive, and while still under the restrains of the Target Priorities, you do have the choice of deciding "where" and "when".

Each one has it's own value, and it's own followers.
I kinda like both.
Two sides of the same coin I guess.
Well done John!
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Rui Serrabulho
Portugal
Lisboa
Lisboa
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You have to, at least from a distance, look as if you know what you're doing, and I can manage that.
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Can someone help me in the post inserted out of this one in the rules question..
Sorry about refering that in here.
Thanks
 
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John Sy
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I really loved the original RAF so I'm assuming I will enjoy Lion. Will try Eagle eventually
 
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