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Night Fighter Ace Air Defense Over Germany 1943-44 by Compass Games    This is an unboxing and review of Nigh...

Nightfighter Ace: Air Defense Over Germany 1943-44 by Compass Games Nightfighter Ace: Air Defense Over Germany 1943-44 by Compass Games

Nightfighter Ace: Air Defense Over Germany 1943-44 by Compass Games

Nightfighter Ace: Air Defense Over Germany 1943-44 by Compass Games

Night Fighter Ace

Air Defense Over Germany 1943-44


Compass Games

 This is an unboxing and review of Nightfighter Ace from Compass games.  From the moment you open the box you will be astounded by both the amount and quality of the components that come with the game. BGG has a rating of 8.38 for the game right now, and I believe that is right on the money. This is a solitaire game with you playing the German aviator side.This is the product information:

  • Complexity: 6 out of 10
  • Solitaire Suitability: 10 out of 10
  • Time Scale: 3-4 days per Turn
  • Map Scale: Abstract
  • Unit Scale: individual aircraft, individual weapon systems, individual electronic systems, specific crew members, and ammo rounds
  • Players: one (with option for two or more)
  • Playing Time: two to three hours

This is what you get with the game:

  • One Countersheet of 9/16" unit-counters
  • Sixteen Aircraft Display Mats 8.5" x 11" (double-sided, 32 total)
  • Four Player Aid Cards 8.5" x 11"
  • One Combat Display Mat 8.5" x 11"
  • One Bomber Target Mat 8.5" x 11"
  • One Pilot Awards Display Mat 8.5" x 11"
  • One Air Operations Display Mat 11” x 17”
  • Forty Ace Pilot Cards
  • Sixty Combat Cards
  • Rules Booklet featuring extensive Historical Background
  • One Logsheet 8.5” x 11”
  • Two 6-sided and one 10-sided die

  The addition of a real logbook instead of just one page to copy is a great one.

 One of the game's greatest assets is the amount of different airplanes and variants of them that the player can use.
This is a list of them done by their availability:

Bf 110 F-4 - Start of Game
Bf 110 F-4a
Bf 110 F-4/U1
Bf 110 G-4/U1
Bf 110 G-4/U5
Bf 110 G-4/U6
Do-215 B-5
Do-217 J-2
Do-217 N-1/U1
Do-217 N-2/R22
He 219 A-0
Ju-88 C-6b
Ju-88 R-1
He 219 A-2
Bf 110 G-4a/R3
Bf 110 G-4b/R3
Bf 110 G-4c/R3
Bf 110 G-4d/R3
Ju-88 C-6c
He 219 A-5/R1
He 219 A-5/R2
He 219 A-5/R3
He 219 A-5/R4
He 219 A-7/R1
He 219 A-7/R2
He 219 A-7/R3
He 219 A-7/R4
Ta 154A-1
Ju-88 G-1
Ju-88 G-6b
Do 335B-2 - July 1944

  That is one long list.

 The game is really a very good simulation of this part of World War II, or at least it feels it. To me that is one of the biggest challenges to a game designer, to try and make the player feel that he is in that moment of time. The game is one of those that really draws the player in. You develop a interest in your made up or cardboard aviator. It helps that you can actually win medals etc. The component sheet below actually comes with a uniform where you can put the various medals your ace accumulates. This is a very nice touch. 

  The rulebook is up to the high standards of the other components. It is full color and is easy to read with many examples of how to play. Strangely for such an immersive game, the rules themselves are only sixteen pages long with another page for optional rules. A nice touch is that the back of the rulebook has an index of all the rules for finding them quickly if needed. The last part of the rulebook is an entire eight pages of:
Designer Notes
Historical Notes
The Top Five German Nightfighter Aces

 The optional rules allow you to play the game cooperatively or in competition. You can also play with 'Ace Pilot Cards' albeit starting earlier in their careers. One optional rule adds pilot fatigue to the game. There is also an 'Extremely Optional Rule'. I think this is the first game I have ever seen this in. You get the chance to kill Adolf Hitler when receiving one of the higher Knights Cross medals. 

 Theses are some of the skills your pilot and crew can increase during the game:

Radar Operation
Situational Awareness
Schräge Musik Gunnery
Situational Awareness

 Your pilot can win medals all the way through to the Knights Cross with Diamonds. 

Schräge Musik installed in a Bf110

 This next part I call: what the **** is Schräge Musik? Well, it's literal translation is 'Slanted Music'. This was the German phrase for Jazz Music. What does this have to do with the game? Well, Schräge Musik was the name of the cannons that we're usually slanted 70 degrees out of the top of the cockpit behind the pilot. You would fly below and slightly behind a bomber above you and aim for the wigs of the the Allied bomber. You did not aim at the fuselage due to the chance of setting off the bomb load.  Most if not all of the planes have at least one other crew member. He is especially useful once radar becomes a large part of the game. 

 Are you interested in the night fighting over Germany in World War II? If so, then buy the game. If you are interested in the aerial war, pick it up. If you just want to have an enjoyable solitaire experience, then the game is also for you. Compass games has become a powerhouse gaming company that has begun turning out excellent games at a fast rate. They also sponsor a gaming convention in Ct. in the fall. I went to it last year and was able to get some great deals on their games. Here is the link:

Compass Games Link:

Nightfighter Aces Link: 

I also did an unboxing of another excellent game from the Compass Games Red Poppies Campaigns: The Battle For Ypres:


1 comment :

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