I just finished playing a test game of AirWar: C21, and it was very enjoyable.
I randomly rolled for all pilot skill levels that gave me three average pilots and one green pilot.
I pitted my F-15s against the Su-27s, with the only green pilot being in an Su-27.
As I was playing the game solo, I used the manoeuvre cards I created as hidden movement - a card was chosen at random and placed next to the enemy plane, with only certain manoeuvres beings allowed if fired upon. This was done to reflect a pilot taking an evasive move when targeted.
Each turn I wrote down the orders for my F-15 pilots before placing enemy movement cards.
I then rolled for initiative for all the planes and played out the phase in order.
Initially the game was slowed by having to re-read rule sections and to make sure I was doing the correct things, but after a few game turns I was using the QRS more than the book, with the exception of expanding on information that was on the QFS.
My pilot reference sheets proved to be essential as this had all the data I needed at hand, which means the game flowed a lot faster.
During the game I realised I needed missile counters, so I borrowed an idea I found on the web and cut sections of pipe cleaners and up them on flight stands. This worked very well indeed, and I used the idea for missiles and chaff/flares.
Due to the small playing area I had, I used centimetres instead of inches, and this worked perfectly.
In the first game turn my #2 F-15 failed his manoeuvre, but it was lucky for him that he was out of range of any enemy fire. All other planes moved without hassle.
In the second turn F-15 #1 increased its speed in order to get into missile range, and his intended target failed its manoeuvre - presenting a nice target for the AIM-7s. One of the fired missiles missed, but the second one did enough damage that the Su-27 blew apart.
In the third turn the remaining Su-27 fired two missiles at the victorious F-15, and in turn both F-15s fired missiles at the Su-27.
Bad dice rolls saved the targeted F-15, but I am putting the misses down to the chaff used.
The Targeted Su-27 evaded two of the four missiles. The third missile struck the plane causing a lot of damage, but not destroying it. That job was left to the fourth missile, which destroyed the Su-27 in a massive fire ball.
The game didn't take long to play at all - with only four planes in total the game moved very fast. I except with more planes the game would slow down, but once the rules are understood and I know what is what, that time would be cut down.
I enjoyed the game, and will definitely be playing more games in the future.
When I next go shopping I will buy some different pipe cleaners and make some better missile and chaff counters with them.
Having played the game I am happy that I can play it solo, and with this in mind I will be purchasing more aircraft for each side with the intention of playing a campaign.