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Wing Leader Eagles 1943-1945 Wing leader Expansion Nr 2 by GMT Games  First things first, this is an expansi...

Wing Leader Eagles 1943-1945 by GMT Games Wing Leader Eagles 1943-1945 by GMT Games

Wing Leader Eagles 1943-1945 by GMT Games

Wing Leader Eagles 1943-1945 by GMT Games




Wing Leader Eagles 1943-1945

Wing leader Expansion Nr 2

by

GMT Games





 First things first, this is an expansion for Wing Leader Supremacy; it is not a stand alone product. I must confess that I am a late convert to airwar boardgames. I never played Luftwaffe or any other of the tried and true greats. I do remember playing a rather simple game called Dogfight when I was a kid, but that was it. I am, however, a certified airwar simulation and plane nut. I must own almost every computer game involving planes ever produced. That, along with reading every thing I can get my hands on about airwar and planes, you can see I am no neophyte to the genre. I think I had an innate belief that a 2D representation of planes in combat would not be able to convey flight in anyway close to reality. That is until I bought Wing leader Supremacy. I was incredibly surprised at how the game played and showed air combat. So, I am late to the party, but I am fully on board with the concept now. 





 This is what you get with this add on:

1 x Campaign rules and scenario book
1 x 11 x 17” campaign map
1 x countersheet
3 x sheets of Aircraft Data Cards

1 x Campaign player aid sheet




 Here are some of my favorite planes from the new mix:

Ki-100-Ia - This was KI-61-II airframe matched with a radial engine. This adhoc measure was a very good fighter.
Ki-44-IIa Shoki (Tojo) This was designed as a fast bomber interceptor. The Ki-44-IIb carried 40mm cannon.
Ki-45-KAIa Toryu (Nick) Twin engine fighter Toryu  means 'Dragon Slayer'.
P-47N Thunderbolt One of the fastest piston engine fighters.
Me 163B-1 Komet Only rocket engine aircraft to see action.
Hs 129B-2 Heavily armored attack aircraft. Had an armored 'bathtub' around the pilot like attack aircraft use presently.
He 177A-5 Greif Germany's only operational heavy bomber. It had an unusual arrangement of two engines running one propeller.
La-7 Lavockin bureau late war fighter. It was a match for most German planes at low altitude.





 So beyond the new planes, you also get twenty-two scenarios to try them out in, from protecting Japanese factories from the 'duck whales' (Japanese code for B-29s), to ground attacking in the Kuban. The expansion also comes with three Swedish planes. These were supposed to be used in an operation on May 18th 1945. Scenario E10 has German regular fighters and two different 'wunderwaffen' planes. This would be the last sortie of the Me 163 Komets, and added to the mix are some Me 262s. Among the twenty-two scenarios you will find ground pounding from several countries, to Kamikaze attacks against British Carriers. From the air above Tokyo to the plains of Russia, they are spread around the globe. You will get to fly HE 177s along with HS 129Bs for the Germans. The Kamikaze scenario has KI-48-IIa's attacking the carriers and DDs. The scenario is meant to be played solitaire by the British Player. He has Seafires, Hellcats, and Corsairs to try and stop them. One of my favorite scenarios is to go hunting as the Germans in a JU 87G-1; this was the first model I ever built.




 The next part of this add-on is the biggest. This is a full campaign called 'Fortress Rabaul'. The campaign takes place in late 1943 just before and after Bougainville was invaded. Rabaul was considered the 'Gibraltar' of the Japanese Empire. By this time there were few capitol ships in its harbor, but still tons of smaller warships and merchant ones. The rules for the Rabaul campaign take up the first thirteen pages of the rulebook.




 The Allied Player is the attacker and he decides if he will raid, and if he does, what to attack. He can choose to attack either the airfields or the harbor. This of course depends on the weather and if an actual raid can occur at this moment. The American Player starts the ball rolling by declaring a raid. He must decide if he is attacking the port or the airfields. Once he has chosen that, he must decide if he is using medium or heavy bombers. The American Player can choose to have fighter escorts or not on this raid. If the weather is listed as 'poor', then he rolls a die against the 'Poor Weather Table' to see if the raid is aborted, or the fighters abort. The Japanese Player then has to determine if he is going to sortie against the raid. The Japanese Player then sets up the sun marker and cloud cover by die rolls (this follows the sequence that is used for playing all of the separate scenarios also). The Japanese Player then sets up his FLAK (two heavy and one light) on the map. If it is a port raid after November 1st he also sets up two heavy cruiser units. The campaign has some special scenario rules that show the various usage of different aircraft by that time in the war. B-25s can either normally bomb, or skip bomb. They can also carry parafrag bombs. Some B-25s were also equipped as heavily armed strafing planes. The heavy bombers are B-24Ds. The aircraft used in the campaign are as follows:

Japanese - A6M5
American - P-38, B-25, B-24




 It would be nice, and you can make it a house rule, to be able to use other planes that were available at the time. The campaign game lasts a total of twelve turns. These each represent a single day. When the weather allows, the American Player can raid Rabaul. This is approximately a third to a half of those twelve days. The campaign is won by the ability to suppress, or not, the Japanese airfields and fleet. The campaign starts on October 24th. The campaign victory or loss is situated around the date of November 1st. This is the date of the Bougainville invasion. If the Japanese airfields are undamaged or only slightly damaged by that date, the American Player loses a CVP (Campaign Victory Point). On that date, if the Japanese cruisers are undamaged or only slightly damaged the American Player loses 1 CVP for each cruiser. The American Player must amass seven CVP to win. A total of five or six is a draw, below that it is a Japanese victory.

 To me, the campaign game add on is just the icing on the cake. The new planes and scenarios are the main course. I do have to point out one fact. 'Eagles' is listed as an add-on for Wing Leader Supremacy, however, four of the scenarios do require you to have Wing Leader Victories 1940-1942. To compensate for that I will say that there is a good sized online presence for the games, and you can download a good number of other scenarios. I will put the link to them below. All in all, a great add-on to an excellent game. Thank you GMT Games for letting me review it. This is a 'Damn Fine!' production. I am not lying, it says it on the back of the rulebook.

Wing leader Supremacy 1943-1945 link:
https://www.gmtgames.com/p-549-wing-leader-supremacy-1943-1945.aspx

Wing Leader Eagles 1943-1945 link:
https://www.gmtgames.com/p-679-wing-leader-eagles.aspx

Wing Leader Victories 1940-1942 link:
https://www.gmtgames.com/p-673-wing-leader-victories-1940-1942-2nd-ed.aspx

Wing Leader Blitz 1939-1942 link:
https://www.gmtgames.com/p-612-wing-leader-blitz.aspx

This is at the Printers, Win Leader Origins 1936-1942 link:
https://www.gmtgames.com/p-778-wing-leader-origins-1936-42.aspx

Link to tons of planes and scenarios and rules version 2.2 by the designer:
www.airbattle.co.uk/w_downloads.html

Robert






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