Wings of Glory Take to the Air Again

By Richard Martin 21 Jul 2014 0

Wings of Glory is the successor to the extremely successful line of Wings of War World War I and World War II cards and miniatures game which has been available since 2004.  While the game started as a card game where each card represented one airplane, anti-aircraft gun or balloon, it has evolved in to a non-collectable, non-randomly packaged, air war game where players could purchase a starter set and then purchase ?booster? packs with individual airplanes or even large models of observation balloon and bombers. 

Ares Games new Wings of Glory air plane packs integrated with their tactical airplane combat system makes for a wonderful gaming experience.  Their new 1:144 scale World War I airplane miniatures have hit the airfields and are ready for action and Ares has released a ton of new planes this Summer! 

The new releases include the Spad VII, the Bristol F2B, the Albatross DII and the Halberstadt CLII.  Re-releases of planes which were formly released under the Wings of War line include the Spad XIII, Sopwith Camel and Snipe, Airco DH4, Roland C.II, the Albatross D Va,  Fokker Dr I and the Fokker D VII. 

Let?s start with the new airplanes.  The Spad VII is an earlier version of the blisteringly fast Spad XIII.  While not as fast or durable as the later version, the Spad VII was an important challenge the theory at the time that a good fighter depended upon maneuverability over speed.  My favorite of the three versions of this plane released is the yellow colored plane which features the symbol of the ?Stork? Squadron, Escadrille 3 Les Cigognes.  This plane was flown by the great French Ace pilot Georges Guynemer who commanded ?The Storks?.  When flying this in Wings of Glory, don?t try and turn with the more maneuverable enemy planes, dive in and attack then zoom away and turn around from a distance.  Then dive in and attack again. 

The Bristol F2B was a two seater which was designed to be an escort fighter.  This plane was initially misused during its debut in 1917 and many were shot down.  When the pilots tried flying the plane like a fighter instead of as a reconnaissance plane, it was found to be maneuverable and sturdy and, with its forward and rear/side machine guns, very deadly to the enemy.  When flying this in Wings of Glory, be aggressive and take the fight to the enemy! It?s a great plane. 

The Albatross D II is an earlier version of this famous type of German airplane.  For the time period of its debut, it is fairly maneuverable but its double machine guns give it the edge over other French and British fighters of the time which were armed with 1 machine gun.  In Wings of Glory, this gives the Albatross D II a chance to score A damage while, if playing against most other British and French fighters of its time, the enemy can only dish out B damage.  Two of the paint jobs provided are for one of Manfred von Richthofen?s early planes while the other is painted as the plane belonging to the father of modern fighter tactics, the great Oswald Boelcke. 

The Halberstadt CLII is a German two seater which was used as both an escort fighter and as a ground attack plane.  It is one of the most famous of the German two seaters and was a very sturdy and deadly airplane.  My only complaint with the Wings of Glory version of this airplane is that the firing arc for the rear gun doesn?t seem to be accurate.  The arc should be wider with a much narrower blind spot on each side based upon the innovative gun mount used in the real airplane. 

The re-issues of former Wings of War airplanes include the Spad XIII, Sopwith Camel and Snipe, Airco DH4, Roland C.II, the Albatross D Va, Fokker Dr I and the Fokker D VII.  All feature new paint schemes which differentiate them from the older releases. 

The Spad XIII is amazingly fast ? in fact it is the fastest plane from the World War I set.  Included is a Spad flown by America?s Ace of Aces Eddie Rickenbacker! 

The Sopwith Camel and the Fokker Dr I triplane are the two most iconic airplanes of the Great War and Manfred von Richthofen?s red Dr I is included in this release as is the airplane flown by his brother Lothar. Three Sopwith Camels are included and represent planes flown by Barker, Elwood and Stackard. 

The DH4 is the most deadly two-seater of World War I.  Its mix of double machine guns firing front and back and its combination of both speed and durability made it much more than a bomber or a recon plane.  In Wings of Glory, it has made more pilots and gunners in to Aces than any plane I?ve ever seen.  I myself have a DH4 pilot/gunner team with 13 kills!  And it doesn?t hurt that the DH4 was produced in my home town of Dayton, Ohio. 

The reprint of the Albatross D V gives the player an extremely competent airplane and the most produced German airplane of World War I.  The new paintjobs include a stunning black lozenge camouflaged airplane flown by Josef Jacobs, who survived the war with 48 kills and lived until 1978 becoming the last living aviation recipient of the Pour le Merite aka The Blue Max. 

The Roland C. II was a beautiful two-seater with the most incredible gun arcs of any plane in the Great War.  When attacking a C. II, you will most likely get shot at.  There is almost no blind spot to its gun arcs. 

The Sopwith Snipe and the Fokker D VII were the two most advanced fighters of the war.  While the Snipe entered service only a few months before the end of conflict, it had the potential to be game changer both for its speed and for its durability.  The Fokker D VII was the best fighter of World War I.  Fast, maneuverable and durable and with two forward firing machine guns, the D VII was the only German plane ordered to be turned over to the Allies for research at the end of the war.  It was the only airplane type mentioned by name in the Treaty of Versailles as being banned from German ownership and production. The ?D VII? represents the pinnacle of World War I airplane technology. 

Coming out in the next few weeks, Ares has announced a re-release of their large World War I bombers including the Caproni and the Gotha! 

Kudos to Ares for bringing us all these World War I airplane releases for the 100th anniversary of the start of the ?Great War?! 

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Publisher: Ares Games

Designers: Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio

Price  $12.99 each 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Richard Martin has written film and game reviews for over 20 years and has been playing war games and role playing games 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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