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"WW I Aviation Combat Games for Classroom Use" Topic

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World War One

829 hits since 24 Feb 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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lordsith24 Feb 2018 8:33 a.m. PST

I am the aerospace education officer for the local Civil Air Patrol squadron of 30 cadets. As a retired high school teacher and lifelong gamer I often make use of games in teaching various lessons. For instance this past summer I modified AH's London's Burning to handle 28 players to teach about the Battle of Britain, and this week we will be using Golden Age Air Racing when studying the importance of air racing in the development of aircraft. Later this year I will be teaching the history of U.S. air combat in WW1.

I am looking for air combat games that are currently available, either as PDF or hard copies. I have Canvas Eagles, Blue Max, and Dawn Patrol. I also created Crimson Eagle, the Crimson Skies version of Canvas Eagle which I have run over the years at Origins. So I have flight stands and a large hex map.

Besides being in production, the game needs to handle 24 players, have some altitude elements (these are CAP cadets after all), and be fairly quick and easy to teach. While the kids are certainly intelligent and well behaved as is typical of a CAP squadron versus a high school setting, they are still teenagers (12 to 18 year olds) which makes for an interesting teaching experience. Canvas Eagles has a lot of the elements, but the learning curve can be high and it can slow down with large numbers.
Any suggestions.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Feb 2018 8:52 a.m. PST

EDIT: Never mind, looks like all the links are defunct.

Watch Your 6 might be a possibility.

Here is a summary of them I wrote:


Major Mike24 Feb 2018 9:13 a.m. PST

The Junior General website has this game, and it is free


DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP24 Feb 2018 9:15 a.m. PST

Would Wings of Glory (War) be too simple?

link – look under Wings of Glory – WWI – Duel Pack for the basic rule book

Note – it does require their Damage and Maneuver Decks

Personal logo T Callahan Supporting Member of TMP24 Feb 2018 9:16 a.m. PST

Try this one.

lordsith24 Feb 2018 9:59 a.m. PST

Thanks for the quick responses. Wings of Glory is too simple, but great minis – unfortunately they provide educational discounts; I've talked to them a number of times about that. The Max Eagles site I have for Canvas Eagles. The Junior General site is great; I always point teachers to that and Max Fritz's aerial combat game looks good. I've have never been able to find any working links for Watch Your 6; the Yahoo group seems down too.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Feb 2018 10:28 a.m. PST

Yeah I think WY6 is dead.

As I recall it was probably too "fiddly" for your situation anyway. Each player had to keep a pool of dice.

Blood Red Skies is the new WW2 air game from Warlord Games. It is designed for mass combat i.e. 20 planes a side, or more. The starter rule book is free, so it might be worth a look? Use their mechanics and just write your own stats? (I have no idea what the rules cover but free is free).

wrgmr124 Feb 2018 10:38 a.m. PST

I would go with Canvas Eagles, but use one aircraft type per side. Eliminate the stability factor everyone can turn left or right as they see fit.
Eric Hotz has a new damage sheet you just roll dice for rather than chits, it's faster and more deadly.
These young people are want to be pilots, they will pick up the game pretty fast this way.

emckinney24 Feb 2018 10:45 a.m. PST

It certainly doesn't play 24, bit Wings for the Baron is far more educational than anything else mentioned.

Vigilant24 Feb 2018 1:08 p.m. PST

You're a braver man than me trying something like this with 28 players. I used to run games with my air cadets (Air Training Corps in the UK) but never with more than 12 or so. 28 players seems a bit too big to work in any game. I'd recommend splitting them into smaller groups of no more than 6 to eight otherwise it will either be chaos or your cadets will get bored waiting for their turn.

daveshoe24 Feb 2018 2:03 p.m. PST

There is a World War I variant for the old Avalon Hill Mustangs rules at:
PDF link

They are pretty easy to get into and can handle a lot of people, although I would agree that probably 6 to 10 players around a table is a good number.

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP24 Feb 2018 3:47 p.m. PST

"Wings of Glory is too simple"

Really? I've played a number of WW1 air rules over the years, including several mentioned here. I'd tend to go for Wings of Glory over most of them.

lordsith24 Feb 2018 4:22 p.m. PST

Thanks again. I had missed the damage sheet for Canvas Eagles, that would speed up play. Wings For the Baron is a great game – I have used it for teaching. I am comfortable with large groups; from running large miniature games a conventions and using games in the classroom for over 30 years (including inner city Cleveland); CAP cadets are easy. They are usually assigned different roles. For instance in the Battle of Britain only about half of them were pilots, the rest served as navigator to plan the flight paths, mission planners, and defense coordinators.I will probably make use of something similar in this game.

wrgmr124 Feb 2018 5:11 p.m. PST

In WW1 artillery spotting was a big factor, that and recon photos.
You could have an artillery group trying to hit a target with an air observer calling it in. Wireless systems had evolved so that it could be done.
Also photo recon missions with fighters protecting the two seaters.

elsyrsyn Inactive Member24 Feb 2018 5:45 p.m. PST

Do you really have to have all of the participants in a single game at a single table? How much time do you have? If you could break them down into groups and have say three tables through which they could rotate, it might work better. For instance, one table could be a balloon busting scenario, one artillery spotting/recon, and the third a straight up dogfight.


Sundance24 Feb 2018 8:33 p.m. PST

There's a WWI version of the Blue Sky series floating around the internet. It's pretty much like the WWII version only the planes are slower. It will easily handle a large number like that.

GGouveia09 Mar 2018 1:50 p.m. PST

I've used my ww1 Wings of Glory stuff with a military history class of 18 and the kids loved it.

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