Monday, May 1, 2017

Ace of Aces Lite

Before I settled on Spandau and Lewis for my 6 by 6 Challenge, I ran an game using a maneuver template. The game was based on some air combat rules I experimented with a while back.

I had some concerns about using the template on an 8 x 8 portable wargame board. I worried that the move distances would allow the planes to fly off the board too easily. It recently dawned on me that I could adopt the A&A approach whereby a slow maneuver moves 0 spaces, a cruise moves 1, and a fast moves 2 (instead of 1, 2, and 3). While it seems weird that a plane can move 0 spaces, I explain it on the grounds that the plane models are actually oversized with respect to the ground scale. Therefore, when a plane moves 0 it is actually flying very slowly through the space and did not exit during the turn.

This experiment was run on an 8 by 8 board gridded with offset squares. The template was greatly simplified:

The simpler template made automating the enemy a lot simpler. I also added a feature where the planes can make a pilot check to add an extra space on a fast move or turn an extra side.

Combat was similar to my WISER rules - roll a certain number of D6s (depending on the situation) with hits on a 4+. The target gets to make saving rolls. Three hits will destroy a plane.

Game Report
An SE-5a spots a Fokker in the distance.

The Fokker is unaware of its impending doom.

It sees the enemy and turns. Too late! The SE-5a riddles the Fokker and damages it.

Yet the Fokker manages to outmaneuver the Brit and get in a shot. It misses.

The SE-5a flies into a cloud as the Fokker zooms past.

The SE-5a pursues.

The Fokker turns upon its pursuer.

And gets the better of the confrontation.

The Fokker now tries to line up a shot.

But the Brit pulls away.

And turns back into the fray.

 The SE-5a gets on the Fokker's tail.

But the Fokker manages to escape.

I felt that the rules generally worked well for my purposes. Maneuvering was simple and quick. The pilot rolls added a great deal of flexibility to movement. They also added uncertainty, which is great for solo gaming! I think I still need to fiddle with the combat rules, especially how many dice the planes get.

Despite being pleased with this experiment, these rules will go on hold for now. I really enjoyed Spandau and Lewis and plan to give those rules a thorough trial.


  1. Part of the fun of air warfare is the difference between the aircraft; how does this set of rules cover that? It seems that they all have the same manuever ability, firing capability and resilience.

  2. I don't have everything completely set yet, but I'm planning some ways to distinguish between aircraft:
    1. Pilot check rolls for speed and maneuvers will be modified by the aircraft. For example, maneuverable aircraft like the Camel and Fokker might get a +1 bonus to the roll.
    2. The base number of combat dice will depend on the plane (or more specifically the number of machine guns on the plane)
    3. I will vary the number of hits depending on resilience.

    I thought the S&L combat rules worked quite well so I'm tempted to use them!