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"What are the best/most playable jet-age rules out there?" Topic

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1,431 hits since 2 May 2017
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Minis is my Waterloo Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2017 5:40 p.m. PST

I have a set of jet-age rules that I do like, and have been playing, but I have to be honest…as I get older, I really would like to cut out some of the extra charts and dice rolling and just get to the meat of the game…missile locks, shooting, and moving…without getting a headache reading all the fine print and doing a lot of extra dice rolling. A good friend of mine often says that you can cut out a lot of extra charts and rolls and still get to the meat of the game…and have more fun moving more and shooting more.

So I'm just wondering…is there anything out there like Wings of War for jets? I know, it's got to be more complicated just because…well, it's jets and not biplanes. I understand that; but surely there must be some rules around that let you do Arab-Israeli War to Vietnam, at least, without dehydrating my brain with excessive calculations.

Any suggestions from the crowd?

John Armatys02 May 2017 5:51 p.m. PST

I've a fondness for FASA's "Top Gun" board game player with models on a hex cloth.

This thread from a while ago has other suggestions:
TMP link

TGerritsen02 May 2017 6:03 p.m. PST

I'm working on a set of rules called Danger Zone that seems to fit what you are describing. I've tried to keep it chart free for combat, and only have a chart so that you can keep maneuvers straight. It won't be done for some time, but PM me and I can send you my test rules to check out (though they only cover the 1950s at the moment). It's not Wings of War simple, but it's still pretty simple.

Tony S02 May 2017 6:18 p.m. PST

Well, Airwar 21 from Wessex games is pretty darned playable.


Some reviews.



Dynaman878902 May 2017 6:39 p.m. PST

I really like these sets based on the Mustangs! boardgame from Avalon Hill. Phantoms covers 1950 to present day.


Mako11 Inactive Member02 May 2017 6:43 p.m. PST

Airwar:C21 fits the bill nicely.

Onomarchos Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2017 6:48 p.m. PST

I would also suggest Airwar:C21.

Minis is my Waterloo Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2017 7:12 p.m. PST

Wow! That overwhelming support for Airwar:C21 persuaded me to buy them immediately to try. I'm also going to check out the others listed. Thanks so much for the quick feedback; I can't wait to try these out!

TGerritsen02 May 2017 7:15 p.m. PST

Also a fan of Airwar: C21.

Matsuru Sami Kaze Supporting Member of TMP03 May 2017 5:44 a.m. PST

Want some fun? Have a great time with Marty Fenelon's Luftwaffe 1946.

boggler03 May 2017 12:44 p.m. PST

Also take a look at Target Locked On! By Rory Crabb.


jgibbons Inactive Member03 May 2017 6:01 p.m. PST

Has anyone ever done any expanded rules for FASA's Top Gun that anyone is aware of?

Ghecko Inactive Member04 May 2017 4:49 p.m. PST

Jet combat rules at for a one-on-one dogfight

Windward Inactive Member05 May 2017 8:36 a.m. PST

Bandits 2 link
Wings of War link

I give Wings of War a slight edge as it deals with energy simply.

Windward Inactive Member05 May 2017 11:49 a.m. PST

FWIW I don't find Check Your 6! Jet Age too cumbersome, but your mileage may vary.

commanderroj Inactive Member06 May 2017 8:23 a.m. PST

CY6 scenario books seem to have stalled though? I was particularly looking forward to Iran-Iraq.

Minis is my Waterloo Supporting Member of TMP08 May 2017 7:53 p.m. PST

Don't get me wrong…I do like CY6. Good detail and flows pretty well, but my gaming buddies and I are dealing with the desire to play a fast paced, shoot-em-up jet game, on a weeknight with about three hours tops to play in, and we're all almost 60. Hard to remember a lot of rules, and so much fun to not have to keep asking "now what are my options again?" when trying to plot, or channel what altitude the opponent is at, etc.

FWIW, I did download and have played two games now of AW:C21 and I really like it. I'm going to try some other rules, but those are great for getting into a game quick.

So glad to see some good discussion come up on this topic!

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member09 May 2017 6:56 a.m. PST


Have you seen my two batreps here on TMP? They are definitely fast paced, shoot'em up. I'm using the new rules "Lacquered Coffins," which are WWII but I've modified for jet dogfighting.

Full disclosure: I'm not looking for a simulation, I want something akin to Top Gun and Iron Eagle, so it's fast paced, simple, and quick. I've been running 4 vs 4 in about 90 minutes, with some of that time going to picture and note-taking. They work for me.


cmdrpowers Inactive Member15 May 2017 10:24 p.m. PST

>jgibbons, there is a board game called Check Six (NOT Check Your Six) that is a vast improvement over the basic Top Gun game. There used to be a Yahoo group for it, but I'm not sure it's still there. If you want to see it, I might be willing to email you a copy.

Grumpygamer Inactive Member12 Jun 2017 7:42 a.m. PST

Phantoms has been our go to jet game for years.

Nelclaret Inactive Member24 Sep 2017 2:29 a.m. PST

I don't know about 'best' but certainly one of the most playable is trhe venerable 'Instant Thunder' set available free around the internet. A basic scenario can be over in an hour.

Still, I suppose I would say all this being the designer !


Nelclaret Inactive Member24 Sep 2017 2:30 a.m. PST

I don't know about 'best' but certainly one of the most playable is trhe venerable 'Instant Thunder' set available free around the internet. A basic scenario can be over in an hour.

Still, I suppose I would say all this being the designer !


Minis is my Waterloo Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2017 7:37 p.m. PST

Prologue after a long hiatus: I did indeed print the Airwar: C21 rules and have played probably half a dozen games with them. They are very easy to learn, provide lots of movement around the table (dogfighting!), usually pretty bloody, and just plain fun. The one gripe my group expresses is the lack of altitude; I for one don't mind, as I usually stink at flying games with altitude, and I don't stink at this one, so I'll stick with it. Anyone dealt with the altitude issue?

cmdrpowers Inactive Member26 Sep 2017 9:40 a.m. PST

jgibbons- There was going to be a BIG advanced version of Top Gun called "Wings of Steel". It was an interesting design, but it never went into print. I've got one of the playtest copies, but it's kind of cumbersome. As for expanding and 'fixing' some of the problems in Top Gun, I did do a new, updated plane list. I'm going to have to dig that out and see if its worth bringing it up to date.

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