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"How Many Aircraft Can You Handle?" Topic

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Action Log

03 Aug 2017 6:52 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Spaceship Gaming board

19 Mar 2018 7:29 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

1,680 hits since 3 Aug 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Aug 2017 6:27 a.m. PST

On the wargaming table, how many planes can you handle without becoming overloaded?

Tom Reed Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 6:30 a.m. PST

I think it must depend on the rules. Wings of War I like to run one, but could run 2-3. Check Your Six I have run two but don't think I could handle more than that very easily.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 6:41 a.m. PST

Ditto Tom Reed, though in WoW/WoG I have gone as high as four, and in X-Wing as high as eight. I don't recommend the latter attempt!

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 6:55 a.m. PST

It is dependent on the rule set used.

Hussar123 Inactive Member03 Aug 2017 7:20 a.m. PST

WOG up to six at a time I number the bases 1 to 6 or A to F. The game for me becomes a lot more interesting when there is more than 2 aircraft on the board.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 7:53 a.m. PST

+1 Joe's Shop.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 8:33 a.m. PST

Three aircraft is about what I can handle – at least in Wings of War

Phil DAmato03 Aug 2017 8:41 a.m. PST

I have run as many as 6 planes using Check Your 6! I frequently run a flight of four.


advocate03 Aug 2017 9:07 a.m. PST

1, mostly.

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 9:18 a.m. PST

Yup, rules.

With sailing ships and space ships the answer is between one and one hundred, depending on whether your playing Star Fleet Battles or Sky Full Of Ships.

With planes I'd guess the range is between four and twenty-something, though I've had fun with just two aircraft and can imagine a set of rules where you could run eighty.

Personal logo svsavory Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 9:51 a.m. PST

I play a lot of Check Your 6, and although I can handle 4 aircraft, I find 2 to be a much more playable number.

However, bomber formations don't maneuver much, so it's not terribly difficult to handle up to a dozen bombers.

emckinney03 Aug 2017 9:58 a.m. PST

Birds of Prey, 2. I don't play frequently enough to handle more. Something more like the Fighting Wings series, I've handled 4.

Space games, Squadron Strike I haven't played with the new app, but handling 4 ships should be trivial now. Attack Vector with app support, 2 is easy, I'd expect 4 to be doable, limited by keeping the tactical "bubble," not be mechanics.

MajorB03 Aug 2017 11:14 a.m. PST

how many planes can you handle without becoming overloaded?

Two. One in each hand!

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 12:00 p.m. PST

But you only have one mouth to make airplane noises, so they have to shoot independently.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 12:02 p.m. PST

1-2 for me too, whether X-Wing or Wings of Glory. I let solo rules run any others.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 12:30 p.m. PST

+1 svsavory:

I play a lot of Check Your 6, and although I can handle 4 aircraft, I find 2 to be a much more playable number.

However, bomber formations don't maneuver much, so it's not terribly difficult to handle up to a dozen bombers.

Exactly my experience. The slowest part about big bomber formations is the agony of defensive fire (my least favorite aspect of CY6), but it's pretty easy to spread that out among multiple players.

- Ix

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 4:35 p.m. PST

Rules. And scenario/role.

I can handle (that is, enjoy the challenge of) playing however many aircraft equate to 5-7 tactical decisions per turn.

That usually equates to one (casual fun) or two (challenging fun) WoW (or equivalent) "aces" or up to a dozen "grunts".

Toaster03 Aug 2017 5:29 p.m. PST

I can handle 4 in Mustangs but two is usual. The good thing about Mustangs is that additional players don't slow the game down due to the simultaneous movement so 10 planes a side is quite easy you just need enough players.


21eRegt04 Aug 2017 7:50 a.m. PST

In Red Baron I could do four if they weren't all fighters. Wings of War I seem challenged by one. So its all in the rules.

Micman Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2017 9:14 a.m. PST

Very subjective question. It is all in the rules. Check your 6 is 4. Star Fleet Battles 2, Full Thrust is a bunch. A Call to Arms:Star Fleet is 6 to 8.

platypus01au04 Aug 2017 8:32 p.m. PST

WoW/WoG, once I was above 2 planes I kept forgetting which cards were for which plane and kept selecting the wrong cards. Sometimes funny when the plane turns sharply away from the enemy, sometimes not.


Great War Ace Inactive Member05 Aug 2017 7:43 a.m. PST

In "Triplane", only one fighter at a time. You can add on a "mission" plane, e.g. an artillery spotting plane that is just going around in big circles. Or, paper top views pushed across the floor, of up to nine two-seaters in a "vic", don't require intensive "flying": I can operate both my own plane and the formation when called upon.

NKL AeroTom06 Aug 2017 9:00 p.m. PST

With both Dogfight! and Lacquered Coffins, up to 30 aircraft per side is manageable (so ~60 in total…).
Both systems are nice and simple, no pre-plotting, no charts, simple damage and pilot wounding mechanics.

Playing at 1/600 scale also helps fit a lot of aircraft on a 6' x 4' or 6' x 6' table.

A larger Lacquered Coffins Game:

This game had about 20 aircraft per side, this was later in the game once a few had been shot down, also quite a few out of shot. Even with around 20 aircraft per side the game took less than 2 hours and we could have done more without too much trouble.

A larger Dogfight! game:

Around 20 aircraft per side, with a zeppelin on the German side. Once again easily manageable and done in less than 2 hours. Could have gone up to 30 or 40 aircraft per side without too much trouble.

CoolHistoryGamer Inactive Member08 Aug 2017 12:51 p.m. PST

Above the Clouds is designed for each player to control a flight of four aircraft, but with one game of experience a player can easily handle twice that number. The limit usually is the number of aircraft you can fit on your game table (based on the size of your game table and the scale of your models), then simply divide that by the number of players who show up.

BlackWidowPilot Fezian Inactive Member08 Aug 2017 11:38 p.m. PST

Wings of War – 6 fighters plus three two-seater bombers as long as the bombers stay in vee formation and don't get frisky trying to dogfight anybody…

Leland R. Erickson
Metal Express

Timmo uk09 Aug 2017 4:00 a.m. PST

I've not heard of Dogfight! and Lacquered Coffins but they sound interesting to check out.

Using the TFL rules I can easily cope with a WW1 flight so 5/6 the system will cope with far more and with practice and familiarity I think a squadron would be entirely possible.

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP17 Aug 2017 12:48 p.m. PST

But you only have one mouth to make airplane noises, so they have to shoot independently.

Of course, you SHOULD make engine noise as well, but if they're Soviet WWII, they cut out enough for room for three, maybe, four planes. ;->=

Sorry, last workday before retiring. Just a bit giddy.


Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 9:19 a.m. PST

Yellow Admiral: "But you only have one mouth to make airplane noises, so they have to shoot independently."
Some ordinary folk may be limited by that, but, after long years of practice, I can accomplish making "putt-putt" and "boom-boom" sounds in stereo. The bean-and-cheese burrito grande special helps this along quite nicely.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2017 8:02 p.m. PST

Depends on the rules. Canvass Eagles only one. Wings of War just three.

deephorse27 Aug 2017 10:48 a.m. PST

Canvas Eagles – up to four. Don't play any other aircraft games.

ge2002bill Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2017 9:22 a.m. PST

Currently many aircraft combat games are loaded with a lot of interesting detail, characteristics and in some cases writing orders. What are the four best (vital) ways to fly more aircraft per person?
1) Use Quick Reference Charts. Make them yourself if unavailable. Flipping back and forth in a rule book especially if wordy steals time to play more turns.

2) Lots of rules means a big learning curve. Your pilots need to play often to fly well.

3) Abandon rules that are not useful or helpful to a smoother or faster game for you.

4) Have your greenest pilots fly bombers at first. This way they will more easily learn. Bombers are easiest. Fighters are more nuanced.
Bill P.

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2017 11:12 a.m. PST

Yes, it depends upon the rule set…..

Hostile Aircraft… 1… 2 at most.

Wings of Glory…. easily 5 or more even…. as long as you can keep their cards separate

Canvas Eagles… 3-5 with 3 being the optimal (being that most will run squads of 2 -3 or 2 and one other type…. 2 fighters and a 2 seater, etc….

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