It doesn’t have to be new to be good

In a world where many gamers seem to constantly gravitate to the ‘new and shiny’ latest thing, I just want to point out that a game doesn’t have to be new to be good.

800x600_ww1-wings-of-glory_WGF002AA prime example of this was a couple of weekends ago when I had my first ever game of WWI Wings of Glory, from Ares Games

I’ve been aware of this game back since the days when it was Wings of War and supported by Fantasy Flight Games, and I’ve played other World War I flying games – namely Blue Max (which has a really good online implementation at Youplay.it) and Canvas Eagles, I have not played this particular spin on the genre – despite the fact that the game been in existence since at least 2012.

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I have to say that I was very impressed by the game – with the caveat that we only played the ‘standard’ game, so didn’t include the advanced rules for altitude or tailing.

Game play is simple and intuitive, and can be learned in only a few minutes (see video below). Within that, a number of concepts are handled very elegantly:

  • Using a card deck themed to the plane with illustrated moves automatically caters for differences in performance between aircraft – speed, rate of turn, etc
    • As an extra example, the fact that you can only sharp turn in one direction due to the physics of a propeller driven aircraft is quite a complex concept, but is handled beautifully by the fact that that sharp turn only appears in the card deck illustrated in one direction – no other explanation necessary!
  • Fog of war about how much damage an attack has caused is handled by the fact that combat is dice less – players always take a damage card (or perhaps two) if engaged within range, but many of the damage cards have zero values on them. Any visible damage that would have been obvious, such as fire and smoke, have to be indicated – otherwise players are non-the-wiser has to the actual status of the opponents plane.
  • Planning manoeuvres three moves ahead adds an certain amount of uncertainty, and sometimes hilarity, to proceedings!

The aircraft miniatures are of very good quality, and whilst some components (such as the move planning template) could do with being a little better quality  – in that particular case, being produced on thicker cardstock would have resolved any issues – these don’t detract from the playability or enjoyment of the game.

In short, Wings of Glory is simple to learn, elegantly implemented and a huge amount of fun to play – highly recommended, despite being 5 or more years old!

5 Comments on It doesn’t have to be new to be good

  1. Couldn’t agree more! It has such a lot going for it: any number of players, drop in-drop out, as much or as little time as you want to spend, simple and fun rules that are easy to teach, and then there’s those really cool collectable planes. I might have a few dozen of those…

    Thanks for the reminder about how good Wings of War/Glory is and how older games are as good as they ever were, even if some play has knocked the shine off them.

  2. I love this game and glad you got a try at it! We had quite the group of us playing it for a year in Kabul at Camp Phoenix. There we had one of the map makers print off some local maps, which added some ‘color!’ Keep playing, the game just keeps getting better the more you play it.

  3. Sadly a game doesn’t have to be good to be new. more and more games are being pushed thru without solid play-testing and revision before release, resulting in correction releasing, and for me loss of interest. I look at you Flames of War V4 as an example.

  4. I like the game too. By the way I think you’ll find the inability to turn in both directions quickly is a result of the very large lump of metal (the engine) whizzing around on a rotary powered type. When I first saw a rotary engine running it was a revelation to see the whole thing spinning around because it looks so much like a radial engine that doesn’t. Aircraft powered by other engines should be comparatively unaffected

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