Thursday, June 14, 2012

WWI Aces at Dawn at timmys

Played Dave's mods for a WWI ruleset entitled Aces at Dawn by MJ12Games.

Took all of us awhile to get used to how to fly. Not that the rules are hard, just getting used to the mechanics. For example I flew my second plane way too fast, in fact almost off the board.

Again, Dave did some great work on the models. I would comment on his mods but I've never played them so I don't know what he changed. Perhaps he can comment here and let us know.

Here's a quick video of the game.

Dave such a good job of helping expose us to a variety of games. Good gaming role model. Also, I've been enjoying this group of gamers because they're passionate yet flexible. Some of us are pretty confident what we think a game should do and be. However, we're open to playing a different set even if they do things out of our paradigm. We roll with it, call each names, and then laugh about the bad moves and bad rolls.


  1. Todd, it's a pleasure to put on games, or play with a group of guys who covet comradery above competition, not that we don't compete, just that we all try to keep it in perspective. On the Aces At Dawn rules, I was immediately taken with the way that different aerobatic maneuvers were ranked by an initiative rating, as well as a damage rating, which put the emphasis on what a player was doing with his plane in a turn as the means of determining how "aggressive" he was flying (and affecting when he moved in a turn in relation to other players), and how difficult his executed maneuver would make him to be hit by other players. From these core mechanics, I eliminated the game's fuel expenditure tracking (tedious), added ammo tracking instead (it's all about combat), reduced the card track from 3 to 2 (making player "flight" reactions more immediate), added a chit-pull damage system, and changed most of the aircraft stats to "correct" them more into line with what I know about the era's planes. As an example, the Sopwith Camel's "rotary turn" caused by gyroscopic precession allowed the plane's right turn to be tighter, rather that what's listed in the rules as a tighter turn radius to the left. I also simplified some of the basic flight maneuvers, but all aircraft moves now require the model plane to assume a specific flight attitude. Therefore, if a plane is climbing it must be pitch nose-up on the model stand's gimbal mount, and if it is turning it must be rolled in the direction of the turn, or if diving it must point nose down. This adjustment of flight attitude by the model I added to require players to "transition" their aircraft, when for example, wanting to roll from a right bank, by having to fly a "neutral" maneuver first (straight & level), before being able to roll left for turning in that direction. The same is required for the pitch axis (no flying a climb and then a dive in succession w/o having to transition to the level attitude in between). These modifications I think makes the game now even more of a flying exercise, and requires players to think more like pilots, rather than just pushers (of miniatures around on a flat board). I also did lots of graphics work for the game, with new card images, and custom player panels for the individual aircraft types that would catch the eye, and make gamers want to give it a try (1st impressions even in playtests are important). So far our local gaming group is liking what's being presented here with Aces At Dawn I think.

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  3. The rule book is just horrible. 6 pages of rules, crucial information missing, mistakes in examples, mistakes in rules .... if i purchased that, i'd be really upset.