Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dogfight Rules - Proof of Concept

Now that my battle board is done, I wanted to give it a spin. I've been thinking of using an Ace of Aces style maneuver template as the basis of the rules. It struck me that instead of gridding the board into hexes, I could create a card template (sort of what Wings of War/Glory does with its maneuver cards). I decided to test the concept so I ginned up a simple template.

My quicky template
I then pulled out some of my scratch-built 1/300 scale WW1 aircraft, and chocks away!

Starting positions,
Upper left - Germans
Lower right - Allies
 Here are some shots of the dogfight:
A head-on encounter damages both sides

The Albatross lines up a shot but misses

But this time he scores a hit!

Death from the clouds.
I allowed the Camel to fire from the cloud at reduced odds.
He still hit.

The Albatross goes down

The Fokker tries to escape

But the Allies are hot on his trail

And he goes down!
Despite the very simple movement template, it was a surprisingly enjoyable game.


  • The board itself tends to slip and spin on the table. I need to add something on the bottom to give it traction so it will stay in place.
  • Likewise, the clouds don't stay in place. One nice thing about a felt battle board is that the terrain pieces tend to stick like velcro. If I were enterprising, I would cut out fields from scraps of different colored felt and glue them to the board. However, I'm not that enterprising.
  • These planes provide a good example of the benefit of flight stands. Up close, you can see that their tails drag on the ground, making it look like they are taxiing across the board.
  • Camouflage paint schemes don't make for good pictures. Fortunately, the aircraft of Aetheria will prefer garish colors.
  • I think black pipe cleaners would look better as damage markers. I just have a bunch of red pipe cleaners lying around,
  • The maneuver template worked well. I may not even need to grid the board for my dogfight games, although I think it will be best for air battle scale games.
  • I do need to add more tight turns in order to make it easier to turn around. The dogfight nearly flew off the end of the board.
  • I used dice rolls to randomize the German movement while I played the Allies. First, I chose the Allies' maneuvers. Then I rolled to determine the Germans' speed ( from 1 to 3). If there was a most logical move for them I would take it. If multiple maneuvers seemed plausible, I made another roll to select one. The system worked surprisingly well.
  • In this game, I did not make any allowances for differences among the planes. Something to do when I make my final templates.

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