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Age of Dogfights: WWI by Forsage Games  From Germany we have Lothar and Manfred von Richthofen, Immelmann, Boelck...

Age of Dogfights: WWI by Forsage Games Age of Dogfights: WWI by Forsage Games

Age of Dogfights: WWI by Forsage Games

Age of Dogfights: WWI by Forsage Games

Age of Dogfights: WWI


Forsage Games

 From Germany we have Lothar and Manfred von Richthofen, Immelmann, Boelcke (whose 'Dicta' is still used in air warfare today), and Werner Voss (possibly the greatest of them all). From France we have Rene Fonck (the Allied Ace of Aces), Georges Guynemer (French children were taught, just flew up until he reached heaven), and Charles Nungesser. From England and the Empire we have William Bishop (the top Empire Ace), Edward Mannock, and the young Albert Ball. The skies of World War I were an incredibly dangerous place. Many pilots' lives were spent in a few weeks at most. Those that survived their ordeal were strapped into their planes again and again to fight until the war ended or their luck ran out. A good number of pilots kept a pistol on board to save them from a fiery death. Parachutes were well known in WWI, but they were never handed out to pilots, at least for most of the war. So Forsage Games has asked me to take a look at their Kickstarter game Age of Dogfights: WWI. Let us kick the tires and take her for a spin.

 This review is more of an unboxing and quick run through the rules etc. than I am used to doing. So the first thing you notice when holding the box is the heft of it. Once you open it, you find out that Forsage Games has handed you pretty much everything but the kitchen sink in the box. It is one of those boxes where you are not sure after looking at the contents if you are going to be able to close it up again properly. Let us look at what they put in there:

Board (3 bi-fold segments) total size 70 x 63 cm.
4 Board Extensions
54 Plastic Aircraft Pieces
100 Plastic Altitude Stands (5 Heights x 20)
18 Plane Control Panels
60 Red and Green Counters for use on the Plane Control panels
24 Photo markers
30 Bomb markers
30 Plastic Damage Markers
24 Plastic Ace/Rookie markers
3 Plastic Tilt Compensators
6 Plastic Task Zone Markers
3 Initial Position Markers
Sun and Wind Indicators
10 Plastic Cloud Markers
5 d6 Dice
Shooting Chart

 No wonder I didn't think I could get it all back in the box! Oddly enough, there is not a small bottle of castor oil included in the box. The manufacture of the pieces is really well done, you could even say excellent and not lie. The Map pieces are made of what seems like laminate on top of cardboard. They are not as thick as usual mounted maps, but they seem very sturdy. The game is played in eagle eye fashion so you are looking down on the aircraft. The map does not really show any details like houses or anything, but resembles what a pilot would see from a great height. Most of the pieces being plastic and not cardboard means that they will be here for a good long time. The plane pictures on the pieces are a bit small, but you can easily tell the difference between the planes. The Control Panels are also well done. They are easy to read, and some gamers will be familiar with them from other aerial games. The plastic Altitude Stands are also sturdy and I think they are a great innovation. The Plane Pieces have a slot built into their bottom to slide onto the clear plastic part of the Altitude Stands. All of the game components have the look and feel of parts that will last, and were well thought out in the designing process. The Rulebook is thirteen pages long, with two extra pages including a summary and a look at the expansion for the game. More on that later. 

 These are the planes that come with the standard game:

Albatross D.V
Aviatik DFW C.V
Fokker E.IV
Fokker Dr.I
Fokker D.VII

Hanriot HD.3
Letord Let.5
Morane Saulnier AI
Nieuport 24
Salmson 2

Airco DH.2
Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8
Bristol F.2 Fighter
Handley Page O/400
Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5
Sopwith Camel

 A far as the rules, it is one of those simple yet hard to master games. One of Forsage Games' blurbs says you will be playing in five minutes. If you are used to aerial warfare games that seems about right. The use of stands for the different heights of the planes has been used before in other games. In this game, at least to me, the use of them just seems easier. One interesting point the rules look at is the 'Gyroscopic Effect'. This is the effect where rotary engine planes could turn to the right much easier than turning left. This is due to the nature of the rotary engine and its spinning. I am a nut about World war I planes and aerial warfare, but I have not played many board games on the subject until recently. It is really only the last year that I have started playing aerial warfare board games; before that I was just a PC simulation player and voracious reader. I have made up a lot of lost time in the past year though. I have to say that Age of Dogfights is now my favorite World War I aerial warfare game. The game is extremely easy to set up and start playing. It is not as deep as other games, but it makes up for it in sheer ease of play and fun. 

 As was mentioned, Forsage Games had already designed an expansion that you can buy with the game itself on the Kickstarter campaign. This includes six planes each from Austria-Hungary, Russia, Serbia, Italy, Bulgaria, and the USA. Tell me how many games let you fight above Serbia and Bulgaria in the First World War? With this add on and hopefully many others to follow, we may see a very large stable of WWI aircraft to play in the game. The game itself is $48 on Kickstarter, and the game and the expansion are $76. The game has hit nine out of ten of its stretch goals. It only needs about $3000 more pledges to hit all ten of them. Forsage games has already run more than four successful Kickstarter campaigns.  If you are looking for a simple, but deep game on WWI air warfare look no further. For those of us who are into the aesthetics of games this is also for you. 

 Forsage Games has also generously sent me 'Tank Chess' and its add-on 'Fun-Set' to review. look for them in my upcoming reviews. Thank you very much Forsage games in allowing me to review your products. Now, please get to work on a ton more expansion planes.

 Sorry, I forgot to add a few things. I was sent the 'trial version' of the game, so some things will change. Here they are:

The game will actually come with 6 altitude levels.
The Cardboard Counters will be wooden blocks.

Forsage Games:

Age of Dogfights: WWI on KS:

Tank Chess:

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