Wings of War: WWII Deluxe Set

Those that have had the opportunity to experience any of the other Wings of War miniatures sets will know that the wonderfully detailed models act as incredible centrepieces for the simulated aerial action of the board game. Never before has reproducing the swift manoeuvring and plane-on-plane dog-fighting of World War II pilots been so incredibly entertaining or convenient to set up.

Wings of War: WWII Deluxe Set

The four wonderfully-modelled planes that come with the deluxe set will allow you and your opponent to initiate your own aerial dog-fight in a carefully-constructed game that will allow you see who will emerge the victor. All you need is the Wings of War: WWII Deluxe set to play; no additional expansions are required to immediately start enjoying the aerial entertainment.

In the Box

When un-boxing the Wings of War: WWII deluxe set for the very first time you'll be met with contents that are as follows: the basic rules (these include the updated rules from the Fire From the Sky expansion set as well as the altitude rules and rules for additional/optional scenarios), additional scenarios in order to expand on anything you may wish to implement, damage tokens, some player aids (consisting of 4 game boards, counters, and 2 rulers), and of course 4 wonderfully-detailed plane models (this isn't your standard game of Risk by any means).  

The Miniatures

One of the most fascinating aspects of the WWII Deluxe Set isn't actually to do with the gameplay but rather the spectacles of engineering that make the gameplay possible: the miniatures themselves. The set comes with four fully-decorated and highly detailed miniature planes bringing strategic air dogfights to life on a similar par to video games of a similar nature - There aircraft are the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I, the Grumman FM-1 Wildcat, Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3, and the Mitsubishi A6M2 Reisen. These models are incredibly detailed in their design to the extent that various forum-based comments online read as overwhelmingly positive testimony to the impressive nature of each of these models.

The detail is such that each of the planes comes with their own named pilot: the Spitfire has Pilot Officer Alan Wright from the UK Air Force; the Wildcat has Lieutenant (junior grade) Earl H. Steiger from the US Marine Corps; the Lufftwaffe is represented here by Feldwebel Erhardt Pankratz, flying the Messerschmitt of course; finally, the Mitsubishi A6M2 Reisen is piloted by Kokutaicho Iyozo Fujita.

As you can see, these four planes allow players to accurately represent the opposing sides of the WWII war of the skies. The stats of each of the aircraft also accurately depict the relative differences between such fighter aircraft, ensuring historically accurate advantages/disagvantages when playing the game.

The Rules

The full set of rules is included in the box as standard, but suffice it to say that the rules allow for some fairly swift implementation of the game's fun without messing around too much. The rules indicate that whilst you can play with one plane per person, the optimal quantity of planes is indeed four in total. You can find a handy expansion pack, Wings of War WWII Miniatures at Amazon, in order to make up the numbers.

The basic objectives of the Wings of War series in general (including this WWII Deluxe pack) is to take to the simulated skies in order to defeat your opponent similar to those found in strategic air combat games like Sid Meiers Ace Patrol - Specific scenarios that require more objectives than simply "destroy the enemy" are also available in the pack.

You'll need a surface of around 90cm x 90cm (fairly large in board-game terms) to play on - the setup information is provided in the rules. You'll choose your planes, which also come with cards to denote their stats and manoeuvres. Each turn consists of the three stages of planning. manoeuvring, and firing. The planning begins with picking a manoeuvre card and the manoeuvring itself takes place according to the speed attributes on the players' cards. The firing phase can be initiated if you can reach an opponent's plane with the ruler provided it is placed on the red dot in the middle of your plane and stays within its firing cone. This is a fast-paced game and can be over in around 45 minutes.

The provided scenarios include Rising Sun Patrol (two patrols attacking each other from the front), Ambush! (attacking an isolated enemy), Holes in the Sand (an air-to-ground scenario that requires attacking ground troops and therefore ground-based miniatures), and Air Support (opposing planes provide support to troops on the ground). Scenarios can also be invented by the players since all of the necessary cards, counters, and particulars are provided with the game (ground troops/maps/miniatures must be purchased separately however).