Hostile Aircraft

Cover picture

Recipient of the Origins Award for Best Historical Miniatures Game Of 1996
Brief Description Rules system for WWI air combat, with extensive data charts for all combatants. Custom bases allow aircraft to rotate on 3 axes. Players manipulate their aircraft through the use of various maneuvers.
Period WWI (all theatres), Russian Revolution
Scale Tactical. 15 seconds per turn. Ground scale is 1" = 44 yards. The elevation scale is roughly 9mm = 50 feet. Each figure represents an individual aircraft. Designed for use with 1/285 scale planes.
Basing Designed for use with the aircraft stands manufactured by the publisher
Contents Boxed set includes:
  • 100-page rulebook
  • 7 reference cards
  • 1 Sopwith F.1 Camel miniature (requires assembly)
  • 1 Fokker Dr.1 Triplane miniature (requires assembly)
  • 2 aircraft stands (require assembly)
  • 2 six-sided dice
  • errata sheet
Designer Brian Reddington-Wilde
Publisher First edition published 1994, second edition published 1996 by Goblintooth Enterprises

What You Think

Joel Burt (burtj@erols.com)
I think Goblintooth has done a great service to the gaming industry. This game is obviously worthy (it won an Origins award), and I think the minis are the best for the size and price I've seen of WWI aircraft.

The greatest gap Goblintooth has filled, however, is with the publication of the supplement Offensive Patrol. The WWI dogfight gaminng genre was sorely lacking for a good book of historical scenarios. Goblintooth saw that need and filled it. Bravo. Accurate and well researched. Great job.

Gar Garcia (salacious-crumb1@Juno.com)
I have to say that this is one of my favorite games in general. It is not overly complicated, but it does take a game or so to get used to. Fortunately, it plays very fast, and games can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 4-6 hours depending on the number of planes.

In my group, we play H.A. fairly regularly with about 10 - 12 planes in about 3 hours, with each player controlling 1 or 2 planes. Once you get the basic mechanics down, the game takes on a life of its own. We have great dogfights where various planes pit their abilities against each other. Turning duels, diving on your target, and just hoping your guns don't jam cause you are firing them like a madman, are all part of what make this a really great game.

The only thing that I see is wrong with the game is that the planes are too small. What we did was buy planes in 1/144th scale and double all the measurements and base sizes. We also use 18-inch dowels instead of the 9-inch plastic ones. Aside from that, a great game and worth the price.

ShatRat (shatrat@eden.com)
I've been looking into this WWI aircraft miniatures thing for a while, and even though I am a novice, I've made up my own mind and formed some opinions.

Hostile Aircraft is a much more technical game, compared to Blue Max. You have to balance your velocity with your maneuver velocity changes, where with Blue Max, you just pick an applicable maneuver. I compare Hostile Aircraft to GDW's Air Superiority and Air Strike in complexity. If you like Air Superiority, you will like Hostile Aircraft.

I still prefer Blue Max, but not because it is supposed to be a "historically accurate" game, but because it is simple, and you don't have to know a lot about gaming (let alone aircraft) to play well.

If you would like to add your opinion to this webpage, use the following form or send email to the editor.

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Online Resources

Hostile Aircraft Designer Notes
Lone Star Historical Miniatures, Inc. (a wargames club) has received permission from Brian Reddington-Wilde to publish the introductions and designer's notes from H.A. and its supplements on their web page.

If you know of resources for this game, please let us know by sending email to the editor. If you have material you would like to make available to the Net, also let us know.

Last Updates
24 April 1999comments by Joel Burt
23 April 1999comments by Gar Garcia
22 April 1999comments by ShatRat
23 July 1998added link to LSHM page
9 December 1996page first published
Comments or corrections?