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AirWar: C21 a first impressions review

My AirWar: C21 rules arrived this week after a bit of a delay from the U.K. end.

I ordered 2 x F-15s and 2 x Su-27s and magnets with the rules so that I could use them in a game ASAP.

 And have your anginine handy -  I have already painted the minis!

 The planes are Tumbling dice 1/600 scale miniatures and they are great. I didn't paint up any fancy or complicated paint schemes for them as I want to use them for many different nations as my scenarios require. Thus I won't be painting any markings on the planes.

F-15s and Su-27s - not very imaginative paint jobs I know.

Anyway, a quick review of the rules, bearing in mind that I have yet to play a game and that I have only read them a few times.

 I ordered the book, but you can easily pay for and download a PDF and print them out yourself.

 The rules are 44 pages long, including contents and quick reference sheets.

 Most of the book is taken up with plane and weapon data, with the actual rules taking up 14 pages, with an extra 10 pages dedicated to air to ground rules.

 At first glance the rules can be a bit daunting as there are a few stats to take in, but once you read the rules and check what the rules discuss against the plane and missile data it all makes sense and isn't really that complicated at all.

 Playing a game requires d6 and d10 dice and your playing surface. A hex sheet is not needed in any way at all, but if you can't cope without one you could easily adapt the rules to allow for hex movement.

 Also there is no altitude system with the game so you don't have to record what altitude your planes are flying at which helps speed things up a bit.

 Each turn is broken down into two phases which are almost identical in what you do in them.

 Players select their speed, their manoeuvres, roll for initiative and spotting. Based on the initiative the planes are then moved, combat is conducted and then final speed calculated based on damage or manoeuvres made.

Pros and Cons

  •  Pros 

    you can play a game from anytime 1960 on wards, which gives a lot of scope for different historical wars as well as some non-historical ones.
 While designed for two or more players I honestly think it would be easy to play solo by the use of manoeuvre cards.

  • Cons 

   the game doesn't come with manoeuvre cards, roster sheets or any markers the game requires you to have to play the game. Fortunately I was able to find some roster sheets and manoeuvre cards in a yahoo group.

 The rules mention campaign games, but doesn't have any campaign rules. As I love campaigns this was a bit of a bummer for me, but I will probably adapt an old board game I have called "Hornet Leader" for use with the game, or even make my own system.

 The rules have Pilot skill ratings from Green to Ace (5 skill levels in all) but doesn't tell you how to generate pilots for your games. Again I will come up with something for this.

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Overall the rules seem quite good, but I will reserve my full judgement until I have played a game. I will post my thoughts on how the game played once I have done so.


cmnash said...

Thanks for the review Shelldrake. I've been thinking about getting these and shall follow your posts with interest

Shelldrake said...

No problem - I ended up making my own pilot roster and manoeuvre cards espite downloading some.

I hope to try the rules this weekend, is not it might be late November at the earliest before I play the game.

Jim Casey said...

My 2cents

a. The ability to handle alot of planes without being overwhelmed.

b. Handle the flying vice the technology around it.

c. Ability to game air-air,

d. Player ability to change or amend rules for personal tastes.

a. Agree, no campaign, but the Yahoo Group has ALOT of files.

b. Rules lack of scenarios.

c. Added Naval unit stats.(The old
Falklands supplement did have applicable stats).

d. More examples of play.

Shelldrake said...

Very good points Jim - your 2 cents are most welcome ;-)