Harold Buchanan: 16:10
Dogfighting then and now: 38:22
Links to items mentioned
Liberty or Death (GMT) – Harold’s game
Napoleon’s Quagmire (OSG)
War of Liberation I (OSG)
Nine Years: War of the Grand Alliance 1688-1697
Hollandspiele LLC (Teutons, Grunwald Swords, An Infamous Traffic, The Scheldt Campaign)
Mark H. Walker’s Flying Pig Games (Old School Tactical)
War in the Pacific 1941-1945 (White Dog Games)
Even Our Honor (about Caporetto, by White Dog Games)
Lightning and Steel (High Flying Dice)
Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917-1947 (GMT)
Mars Wars Kickstarter (Worthington)
Anaconda Kickstarter by Alex Bagosy
Tupamaro by Brian Train (One Small Step)
Arc of the Kaiser’s Last Raider (One Small Step)
Streets of Stalingrad 4th edition (Lombardy Studios/626 Designs)
Excellent discussion. I am not familiar with the COIN, but being who I am, I have thought about such situations a lot (from the insurgency point of view, natch). I once had the structure of an Angola liberation with multiple factions and political effects and actions in-country effecting the situation in Portugal, etc. Never went ahead with it, but it was interesting.
The point that is missed by everyone from wargamers to strategic planners, is that in the end the outside power trying to impose its rule on a country loses. The local population will still be there, and the outsiders will eventually leave. And any government and army set up by the outsiders will be dependent on them, in it for the money primarily, and to the extent the outside (imperial) power props them up, to that same extent they will be illegitimate in the eyes of the population.
Which is to say the lesson to be learned is, “Don’t do this.”
Looking forward to the game report for Hands in the Sea! I hope you like it.
My friend and I both pretty much gave up on tactical air combat boardgames years ago, for much the same reason that you mentioned. Too much work for too little reward, unless you want to get very light with stuff like Wings of Glory.
I definitely lean more towards the operational side of air combat now, with stuff like Burning Blue or RAF. We tried Downtown, but found things can get a bit too grueling if you run into a SAM nest.
BTW, I think Flight Leader was by Gary Morgan not JD Webster, though JD has designed a ton of air combat stuff, obviously. Perhaps JD was the developer?
Anyway, thanks for the podcast!
Nope, you’re totally right – Gary Morgan was the designer of Flight Leader. My mistake. Sorry, Gary!
I agree Downtown can bog down a bit at times but I love the subject so much that I’m willing to give it a huge break.
We had to put the game off for one weekend (schedule got too crowded) but planning to finally get it to the table Sunday. Love the rules from my read!
For tactical jet wargaming, Check Your 6! Jet Age (CY6!JA) fills the space left by Flight Leader. The original Check Your 6! was for World War II fighter combat, but I think it works much better in its jet (1950s-1980s) incarnation. You just get the rule book and charts, but the nice thing about tactical air gaming is that the components are just about interchangeable. You could use the counters from Air Superiority, The Speed of Heat or Flight Leader for CY6!JA. Worth checking out. Also comes with good / off the beaten path scenarios like MiGs vs Mirages in Africa, and scenarios where helicopters & jets are in the same game, etc. Worth checking out.
For World War II tactical I actually like Bag The Hun, which is an acquired taste but I put up a defense for it on Mark Johnson’s “Wargames To Go” podcast in September. I used to do the real air-to-air thing in the Navy, so the game does definitely have some real word things going for it, even though it plays with time and space to a degree that very literal minded people have a hard time with.
Give me a call – happy to discuss the history and state of tactical wargaming anytime.
Thanks for the comment, James – is there any reason to play Check Your Six! if you still play Flight Leader? You mention “the hole left by Flight Leader” but I actually have two copies
Have you looked into Birds of Prey – Air Combat in the Jet Age? It’s a dogfighting game with a nitty gritty focus on physics and 3D movement. It shares DNA with the space game Attack Vector: Tactical.
It’s fairly current, and I don’t think you mentioned it.
I’ve always wanted to play it, but it’s a little (actually a lot) intimidating.
I’ve actually played this against Tony and Phil, the game designers, as well as JD Webster. They had a convention in Colorado Springs a few years back and my friend wanted to go.
As with so much of the other heavy flight combat sims, it’s a perfectly fine game but far too grueling to be enjoyable, with turns in the 30-60 minute range even for experts.
My friend, who was originally a fan of air combat and this game in particular, turned on it hard after an experience with that group in AZ.
I have not played Birds of Prey, but is does sound daunting. My feeling is that computer flight sims have really obsoleted the modern dogfighting boardgame in the sense of attaining realism: there just isn’t any reason to make a super-hardcore dogfighting game like Air War anymore because I can play Falcon 4.0 or Flanker 2.0 or DCS Warthog or whatever.
That said, I do think there is a place for lighter games, either because they allow for a lot of aircraft without all the overhead (Flight Leader, to some extent) or they are so light that they depend on a personal interactivity that does not exist on the computer (Down in Flames series).
The raid-level stuff, though, doesn’t really exist on the computer, or if it does, there is a boardgame that’s better. HPS Sims’ War Over Vietnam may be “realistic” but I think it leaves something to be desired. I know people may have other ideas, but I prefer Downtown.
Great to hear new episodes, really enjoying your podcast! If you are interested I made my own DBP The Final Gamble video series. It’s on YouTube and you can find it under my channel “Games with Bjorn”
Thanks! Wow, you have done quite a job there. I will watch it, and here is the link for readers/listeners who might also be interested:
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