Wings of Glory World War I and World War II Expansion Review

By Richard Martin 15 Aug 2013 0

Ares Games of Italy has re-launched the much vaunted Wings of War lines of World War I and World War II miniature airplanes which are now known as Wings of Glory.  To supplement their World War I and World II starter sets, Ares has released a whole flotilla of airplanes to expand the players? air forces. As ever, the pictures are thumbnails, click for a larger view.

Unlike some games were the purchaser buys a booster box and then finds out what?s in it after the fact, each expansion airplane is clearly visible in its own box and, even better, all the new airplanes are fully backwards compatible with earlier Wings of War airplanes.

The Wings of Glory World War I airplanes are an impressive 1:144 scale.  Aside for the planes featured in the duel starter sets, Ares has provided two types of bombers and 4 types of early war scout planes.

The scouts include the Fokker Eindecker EIIIs and Morane-Salnier monoplanes, Airco DH2 pusher biplanes and Halberstadt D.III biplanes. Each plane comes complete with a clear base, stand and status and movement cards. There are several paint schemes of each plane available each representing a plane flown by a different ace pilot of the First World War.

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As may be expected, these planes don?t offer great speed nor do most of them feature extremely hard hitting machine guns, but these are the planes which started it all ? the first true combat aircraft!

The most visually stunning of these early scouts is the DH2 with its strange to our modern eyes ?bathtub with a propeller mounted behind it? look.

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The World War I bombers are huge and stunning!  The bomber packs offer two different paint schemes of the Italian designed three engine Caproni CA and the German two engine Gotha G.V.  The interesting thing about World War I was that many times the bombers were actually faster than the scouts tasked with shooting them down.

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The Caproni is a three engine Italian bomber which was used by many of the Allied powers.  The plane is sturdy and fast with a good bomb load, two machine gunners and even a co-pilot!  Take that you evil ?pilot killed? damage card!  The model is beautiful with one being painted in an all white Italian marked scheme, and the other in a green camouflaged version.

The Gotha is a two engine German bomber with three machine gun positions.  One gun runs under the fuselage of the plane to give a nice surprise to a scout plane attempting to shoot from the blind spot under the Gotha?s tale.  Unfortunately, the Gotha only has two gunners so only two guns can fire each turn.  This plane is a joy to fly and while the Caproni has the edge in terms of a co-pilot, the Gotha can take more damage and survive.  The model is presented in a gorgeous night time camouflage and a very pretty light blue paint scheme.

As with the scouts, each bomber comes complete with an adjustable stand and statistics cards.

Up and coming airplanes releases include the much requested Sopwith Triplane, Aviatik D.I, the Hanriot HD.1 and the Siemens-Schuckert D.III .  Each is available in three different paint schemes.

The World War II releases are 1:200 scale and include two of the most famous medium bombers of the war ? the German Heinkel 111 and the American B 25 Mitchell.

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The Heinkel gained its reputation as the primary German bomber and was used extensively from the campaign in France to the Battle of Britain.  It was later superseded by the much more adaptable Junkers 88, but Heinkels flew right to the end of World War II.  In fact, the Spanish air force kept Heinkels in active service until 1973! During the war years over 7000 Heinkels were produced.

The B25 gained fame when, in April, 1942, 16 modified B25s took off from the carrier USS Hornet and became the first planes to bomb mainland Japan after the Pearl Harbor attack.  The Doolittle Raiders became heroes and the B25 Mitchell bomber became a legendary plane.  During World War 2, over 10,000 B25s would engage the enemy in all fronts of the war.  The B25 proved adaptable as both a ground attack role/close support role, shipping strikes and in the medium bomber role which was its intended use. 

Each box in this new expansion to the Wings of Glory set includes 1 of these legendary bombers plus a rule packet, two data cards, stands and bases and counters for damage and crew members.  There are two models of each bomber with two different paint schemes. One of the B25 models is the Doolittle variant which had some of its machine guns removed in order to increase its range.

In addition, variants of the fighters released in the starter set have been released and include the P-40 Warhawk, the Russian Yak-1, the Japanese Kawasaki Ki-61 and the Italian Re. 2001 Falco.  The Flying Tiger variant of the P40 and the bomber buster variant of the Ki-61 are the show stoppers of these releases.

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Recent releases also include the two engine Me110 and the deadly Bristol Beaufighter as well as two of the few biplanes to fly during World War II, the British Gloster Gladiator and the Italian Fiat Falco (in both Italian and German paint schemes).

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A new set of fighters is due to be released this year and includes the P51 Mustang, the Ki-84 Hayate, the Dora version of the Focke Wulf (both the D9 and D13 variants) and Spitfire Mark IX.  Since these new planes are so much faster than the other planes released to date, they will feature larger maneuver cards!  In addition, one of the P51 designs will be a Tuskegee Airman version of the plane!

All the planes to date have been beautifully sculpted, fully painted models worthy of any museum.  The only downside to these are the costs associated with forming a large squadron of airplanes but that won?t keep the serious gamer from taking to the air with the Wings of Glory game!

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Wings of Glory World War I and World War II Expansion Air Plane Miniatures - Publisher: Ares Games Price  $12.00 to $30.00

http://www.aresgames.eu/games/ww2-wings-of-glory-line

 

About the Author

Richard Martin has written film and game reviews for over 20 years and has been playing war games and RPGs since the days of Ogre and Basic Dungeons and Dragons. Additionally, he writes screenplays, games and works in the legal profession.  (Don?t tell anyone but Richard prefers writing games and movies to law work any day.)

 

 

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