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"Axis & Allies: Angels 20 first impression" Topic

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1,617 hits since 6 Jun 2013
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Anatoli06 Jun 2013 1:35 a.m. PST

Last weekend I saw and tried out a demo of Axis & Allies: Angels 20, the "collectable" airplane game from Wizards of the Coast. Compiled a few of my first impressions of the game, most of them very positive, over at my blog along with pictures from the game.

What really got my attention and had me decide to pick this up in the near future is that the starter sets cost as much as the X-wing starter sets – but you get 6 airplanes as opposed to just 3 fighters!


SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member06 Jun 2013 4:54 a.m. PST

The planes look really good.

thosmoss06 Jun 2013 5:40 a.m. PST

It's been a while since I've played, so my opinions are already graying out in the fog.

But I found Angels 20 to be a remarkable simulation. The crux is to keep it simple, after all A&A is not a line of rivet-counting sorts of games. So given this maxim, it was surprising (pleasantly so) to find a game that had something new and interesting to offer, in a game theater that has certainly been covered before. I love the straightforwardness of the tailing rules -- something that most games can't simulate without thinking complexity might make up for it.

I'm not a fan of collectible planes, tho. I also suffer a lot of having no idea what plane I'm seeing. If you limit the table to just a few profiles, I can study up on the differences between a Spitfire and a Hurricane, and scrape by. But I've got friends who can pull these planes from a box and say "wow! I got a Buffalo!" I promptly have to go hit the books to see what that even means. I also wish the planes had transparent discs on the nose to simulate a spinning prop, but that's just me.

Personally, I really like this game quite a bit. If I need to compare the mechanics to X-Wing, I daresay I favor the pre-plotted move of X-Wing's ship maneuver dials (where you don't know what your opponent is up to), compared to Angels' notion that if you're the better pilot, then the other guy must go first.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2013 6:42 a.m. PST

Are they in a "true" scale, or "box scale"?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2013 7:11 a.m. PST

They are true scale (somewhere around 1/100 to 1/120 but I don't recall which exactly).

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2013 7:15 a.m. PST

My brother and I bought four cases of them and a couple of starter sets. I think the planes are well done and worth the money. In the states, it is fairly easy to get specific planes on ebay instead of playing the booster pack lottery. We haven't played the game yet so I can't comment on it. The rules do appear to be pretty decent from what I can tell so far. The company has also released an expansion set called "Bandits 20" or something like that.

Personal logo elsyrsyn Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2013 7:43 a.m. PST

The random packaging kills it for me (even if I did not already have a thing for 1/300 aircraft). I see, though, that you can pick up the rules dirt cheap. I might give them a look through. I've never yet found a set of WWII air rules that I REALLY like. Spitting Fire from MJ12 showed a lot of promise, but it died on the vine.


Anatoli06 Jun 2013 8:31 a.m. PST

1/100 is the correct scale for all planes according to my friend who had the game.

zippyfusenet Inactive Member06 Jun 2013 11:22 a.m. PST

The planes are 1/100. The cheap, plentiful, pre-painted models are the best part of the game, IMO. Unfortunately they're in a scale that I'm currently dumping.

The maps are too small for the speed of the planes (or the planes and hexes are too big for the size of the maps). Players have to turn constantly to keep from flying off the map edge. This makes turning ability more important than it should be.

Yes, you can play on a bigger map, but the 1/100 models need 5 inch hexes (as provided), and planes move several hexes per turn, (3 to 5 hexes per turn IIRC), so if you play on a ping-pong table, you will always fly into a map edge every turn or two.

Whoever moves last wins. Whoever moves last is determined by the planes you pick to play the game.

I wanted to like Angels 20, but I just couldn't. I'll sell off a starter set soon.

Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2013 4:59 p.m. PST

The random packaging kills it for me

Just pick them up on eBay or through a reseller.

On an unrelated point, the Hurricane looks incredible!

number4 Inactive Member08 Aug 2013 7:38 p.m. PST

How big are the maps?

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP09 Aug 2013 4:38 a.m. PST


number4 Inactive Member19 Aug 2013 4:58 p.m. PST

OK I managed to find an ebay seller in Belgium who had just the maps and rule book for $8 USD (shipping cost was a killer though). They arrived today and I'm not impressed so far – the paper maps looked like they would tear up at the fold creases any minute so they are down at the local print shop getting laminated right now. The map hexes look to be 4" but the total playing area is painfully narrow.

The pocket sized rule book is printed on a gimmicky map patterned paper which combine with the tiny font size makes it all but impossible for me to read with my 20/40 eyesight. Even with strong reading glasses. Once I get them scanned and blown up to a sensible size, I'll see how they work with my 1/144 and 1/300 scale models

number4 Inactive Member10 Sep 2013 2:49 p.m. PST

well, here they be: I tried them out last night with 1/285 aircraft using the introductory scenario. The small scale looks infinitely better IMO, especially when your planes get in close.


Gameplay definitely has a "clunky" feel about it, and does seem a little odd dicing for initiative then moving alternate airplanes. The 'cone of fire' is huge (perhaps emphasized by these smaller models), particularly for the Bf 110. Somewhat bizarrely, the Bf 110 has "limited agility" yet can make the same number of 60 degree turns as a single seater enabling it to dogfight the Spitfire and Hurricane on equal terms!



The game as a whole does flow very well, but doesn't have much of a realistic 'feel' to it. I'm going to try a few house rules and see what happens:

Random card activation instead of initiative rolls (this will enable solo play too)

Shooting after individual movement (Wing of War style)

Restricting multi-engine planes to ONE 60 degree turn each move

Making the arc of fire just one hex wide.

zippyfusenet Inactive Member01 Oct 2013 6:19 a.m. PST

Too bad you had to send all the way to Belgium for a starter set. You could have had mine for a song, or even for a good dirty limerick.

I agree, the game looks much better with 1/285 models. The 1/100 models, though pretty, are crowded and awkward on the map.

Somewhat bizarrely, the Bf 110 has "limited agility" yet can make the same number of 60 degree turns as a single seater enabling it to dogfight the Spitfire and Hurricane on equal terms!

Because of the agility ratings of the airplanes, the Bf 110 will always move before the single-seat fighters, so the Bf 110 is always screwed. Why would an enemy plane remain in the fire zone of the Bf 110 when it can just move away? Someone will always get a shot at the Bf 110, if he wants it.

Random card activation instead of initiative rolls (this will enable solo play too)

Yes, but you will completely subvert the relative agility ratings of the planes.

Yes, I too could design a better WWII airwar game, even using these outsize models and crowded map. But why bother?

number4 Inactive Member01 Oct 2013 10:10 p.m. PST

Call me subversive, but there is an ulterior motive here ;) I wanted the maps because I can't find an affordable hex mat and intend to use them with my 1/300 Battle of Britain stuff and my 1/144 B.17 raids (the latter being something you helped me with last Christmas!). The Angels 20 rules themselves were just a bonus included with the maps – if you still want to part with your maps I could use more :)

zippyfusenet Inactive Member07 Oct 2013 3:50 p.m. PST

Kinda dropped this, didn't I. number4, if you want to discuss further, my email is zippy-at-fuse-dot-net. I really want to sell the whole starter set, though, not just the maps.

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