Gentlemen to your planes!
In this post I want to explore some of the starting Wings of Glory tactics that I use when playing this FANTASTIC game.
Truly, if you are looking to start a first wargame or pick up another quick and easy, yet deep game Wings of Glory is an AMAZING start- both the WW 1 and WW 2 versions.
A few points which make the game:
Everything is ready to play out of the box. Planes are fully painted and modeled with stands and cards so no build and paint to play- refreshing if one is coming from other systems like Warhammer 40K or Battletech where you paint your stuff- new players to the hobby who have also never painted anything before don’t have to worry.
Rules are easy to learn- each plane has a set of cards representing how it can fly- lay out three cards (hidden) and then revel them each turn with the other players and use the card as a guide to move your plane.
In the shooting phase of the game, check range and facing with a range ruler, and if in range draw damage cards and resolve them.
For me, what really makes the game beyond its ease of play and pickup, is that it is the only wargame that I know where all the players play at the same time, so there is no I-go-you-go downtime. Plus it scales amazing if you have multiple players on each side.
Everybody programs their plane at the same time, moves at the same time, and shoots at the same time.
Damage is also very unique- when you take damage from machine gun fire you draw a number of cards and don’t show them to the other players. Each card has a value from 0-5 on it representing damage to your plane’s hull. Other players (pilots) know they hit you, but not always how much damage- unless you are on fire, smoking, or have other structural damage.
Just how much did you damage that airframe in your last pass?
But back to tactics…
The first tactic is if you are a solo-glory hound pilot and want to charge right in- which is usually always a bad idea, there is a reason why wing-men and getting behind another plane is dog fighting 101.
The time to charge in, or expose your plane in a pass of machine gun fire as you fire back is at the start of the game, when the damage deck is full of cards. With all the cards in the deck, the chances of drawing a large damage number, engine/pilot hit, or fuel tank explosion are less…
…but still there.
As the other players in the game take damage and draw from the deck, your chances of potentially drawing “bad” damage go up.
Fly safe and when the explosion or other damage cards are out of the deck, that is the time to go full aggressive.
However, jousting is fun…
Using turns and loops to get behind another player is of course KEY, but the question is how to do this when they are actively trying to shake you off. Using a second plane as your wing-man or teaming with another player is vital to tactics.
Have one plane trail the other, and use your wing-man to attack. Wait for a damaged engine hit, or a jammed wing which forces the opposing plane to move in a certain way, and that is when you attack with the second plane.
Learning to use two planes together as if they were one is key, and will take practice, especially given the dynamic movement of the game in that unlike other wargames you HAVE to move your piece every turn- no standing still and waiting like with infantry or tanks.