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"Absolute Newbie to air war" Topic

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Sir Sidney Ruff Diamond08 Aug 2018 8:46 a.m. PST

OK as the title says I've not played any air wargames at all (in fact my knowledge of air warfare in general is very limited) so I'd appreciate any input as to what rules I should look at. I'm really thinking of the Battle of Britain as a start point. This will start as a solo project but eventually I'll want to take it along to the club for games too.

So far I've seen mentioned:
1. Bag the Hun
2. Blood Red Skies
3. Wings of War

Are there others I should consider? What are the merits of each of the games systems?

So far I leaning towards Bag The Hun as it seems to have quite a fan base and has a lot of additional booklets to extend it.

Oh if I go along the BTH or similar rules only approach I was going to look at Tumbling Dice 1/600th models at Partizan in a week or so or should I look at 1/200th or 1/300th?

Phil DAmato08 Aug 2018 8:51 a.m. PST

Check Your 6! is a good set of rules. It is quick to learn. Once you go thru a few turns you will have it down.


Buckeye AKA Darryl08 Aug 2018 8:51 a.m. PST

I enjoy Check Your 6! using 1/285th scale planes played on a 6' by 4' mat with 1.5" hexes. It has a movement plotting system and uses different dice for weapons (ranging from a D4 for a light machine gun to a D20 for a cannon). The rules are supported by numerous scenario books, including one just for the Battle of Britain.

One can order Raiden planes and all the Check Your 6! goodies from here:


Sir Sidney Ruff Diamond08 Aug 2018 10:10 a.m. PST

Thanks for the quick response.

Should have said I'm in the UK but a quick search has found a copy of CY6 available so I'll look into that.

Texas Jack08 Aug 2018 10:46 a.m. PST

I use BtH for mostly solo gaming with 1/300 models.

BtH is a great choice for someone whos new to air gaming, plus its just loads of fun!

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2018 11:15 a.m. PST

If you really wish to start with BoB (a good place),
then the original 'Squadrons' game is for you.

It is designed to allow masses of German bombers escorted
by a few fighters to be challenged by 'The Few' in Hurries
and Spits.

The original rules grew into supplements covering the
Med, Russia, Pacific, the bombing campaign against
the Reich and Early War. The game is designed for 1/285
or 1/300 aircraft models.

I've run the game with as many as 72 bombers escorted
by 8 to 12 fighters and intercepted by a similar number of

The later supplements incorporate jets, rocket-armed
fighters, etc.

There are any number of scenarios for the different
theaters. Air to ground/air to surface (naval) is
accommodated as well as air to air.

Published by Blue Sky Enterprises

foxweasel08 Aug 2018 12:25 p.m. PST

I've really enjoyed playing Blood Red Skies, haven't played any of the others.

Timmo uk08 Aug 2018 2:38 p.m. PST

BTH with 1/285 Raiden planes for me. However, I like the sounds of the Squadrons game that Ed mentions above.

Allen5708 Aug 2018 4:59 p.m. PST

The Wings AT War series of rules available from Tumbling Dice has a BoB set. link Great simple rules. I play them with TDs 1/600 aircraft.

Dave Schmid08 Aug 2018 6:19 p.m. PST

Wings of War/Glory and Blood Red Skies use 1/200 scale aircraft models. Many people use 1/200 scale for CY6 also. 1/200 is a great scale for aircraft models, not too small and not too large. Armaments In Miniature makes a large line of 1/200 scale aircraft models and Miscellaneous Miniatures LLC makes a beautiful line of decal sets for them.

Fish08 Aug 2018 11:13 p.m. PST

Sturmovik Commander is a gret a game.
And it is hard to beat its bang for buck as it is FREE!


IIRC, Check your Six is pretty similar a game.


I dare also to suggest that you check the most excellent and also free WWI game, Canvas Eagles. It is even better and my definite favorite of all aerial miniature rules.

At one point we tried a similar Italian game for WWII, called Fatto! IIRC, but that just didn't work. All the planes had too many different turning choices and this made the battles uninteresting.

Vigilant09 Aug 2018 3:12 a.m. PST

Another recommendation for Check Your 6. Either 1:300 scale from Heroics & Ross, or 1:600 from Tumbling Dice. Rules and supplements are available from the likes of Calvert or North Star. They are also usually available at shows around the UK.

Bonnaught09 Aug 2018 5:57 a.m. PST

I have not played the others yet but have really enjoyed Blood Red Skies. Realistic outcomes i feel, with simple but subtle rules. Battle of Britain in a box.

Sir Sidney Ruff Diamond09 Aug 2018 6:03 a.m. PST

Thank you so much to everyone who has replied.

You've opened up a lot of choices (WW1 was another possibility too) that I'll look into. Can't wait till Partizan now, I'll visit Tumbling Dice for one.

Thanks again.

khanscom09 Aug 2018 8:57 a.m. PST

Second "Sturmovik Commander"… the mini- campaign system is great fun.

Thresher0109 Aug 2018 6:14 p.m. PST

First, figure out what kind of games you want, and with how many aircraft on the table this can be variable.

Larger minis and models are better for dogfighting.

Smaller ones with squadron+ sized raids, of fighters and bombers.

Your available table size(s) also need to be taken into consideration.

We run larger games at the local club, where you can make the tables as large as you wish, and can reach across.

1/144th – 1/72nd scale, and now, 1/200th scale are good for dogfights.

1/300th and smaller scale minis for larger aerial engagements with lots of aircraft.

Sir Sidney Ruff Diamond10 Aug 2018 4:41 a.m. PST

Thanks Thresher. That's a good point about the type of games.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2018 7:36 a.m. PST

Thresher's point is well made. If you want 1 on 1
dogfights, CY6 is perhaps best.

However, for LARGE formations (Midway re-do's with
dozens of dive bombers/torpedo planes and fighters;
8th AF bombing Germany; Luftwaffe bombing London)
the Blue Sky rules are excellent.

Thresher0110 Aug 2018 10:24 p.m. PST

I agree with Ed.

Timmo uk05 May 2019 1:14 p.m. PST

For anybody who is interested in the Squadrons game Ed recommended a PDF download can be bought very cheaply here:


TW200abc17 Jul 2019 10:28 a.m. PST

Although I've read of BTH, I haven't played it so can't really comment. I have played Wings of War quite a bit and thoguht it was not bad.

Lately I've played a lot of Blood Red Skies, and I think it's great. I think the Advantage/Disadvantage system works great, and the rules are simple enough that a player can easily field a half-dozen aircraft. The play is light and quick-moving, but yet the game has enough flavour for me that it feels reasonably historical.

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