First Impressions

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    Have now played BRS a few times, both the basic and the expanded rules, haven’t yet gotten to multi-engined aeroplanes though, a few thoughts

    on the game itself
    This is an interesting set of rules, reminds me of DBA in some ways in that a lot of things are abstracted out (e.g. no flight levels or real altitude rules) but there is enough depth not to really matter as you get drawn in.

    I would like to see some specific manoeuvres adding though (e.g. Split-S etc), which would seem ideal for an expansion – pilot skill test to undertake and it moves you in a pre-determined way, costing “X” inches of movement so limiting what else you can do. This simply because it doesn’t feel like WW2 combat, its a good game but use spaceships and its a sci-fi, dragon riders and its a fantasy game etc.

    The game does play nicely though and the “boom chit” concept for victory is both interesting and effective, forcing a level of defensive play while also allowing aces to be seriously hard to shoot down – winning by driving your opponent off is good and this does fit the WW2 feel very nicely with limited ammo and fuel playing a key part.

    The rules are pretty easy to read if a bit ambiguous in a few areas (e.g. the diagrams show firing aircraft pointing directly at the target, which looks and feels right, and works well in the game, but the text seems to imply thats not actually required)

    on how the game is presented
    The plastic the models are made from is disappointing, I have two BRS boxes and of the 24 aeroplanes 2 didn’t need soaking in hot water to straighten bent wings or twisted bodyworks, some have gone part way back even now. The “Ace” singles and the squadron boxes of six are fine – the problem is the blow moulded carrier distorting things.

    Stickers in place of decals is seriously disappointing as well

    All the Aces have the RAF roundel on the base for them…

    Otherwise its pretty good, the cards are a nice quality, the tokens are nice and chunky. Jury is out on the flight stands but so far they work (can see issues with larger aeroplanes being unstable though)

    box contents is good with plenty of what you need, though shorter movement rulers would also be nice as they are a royal pain to use when up close.

    Currently the boxed starter gets a 6/10 due to the poor quality plastic, stickers and warped models, the game itself a 7/10 from me, its good enough to hold interest and for the price not a bad little game at all that I hope to see grow into something thats filling a bit of a gap between games with pre-plotted movement and a board full of cards and more simulation level games


    Pretty much agree with the stuff about content, although the wings thing does get fixed easily enough with a hot water bath. The measurement ruler is “wrong” as well. That being said there are certainly things in there that should \ could really have been caught

    I would not mark down the game because of the coloured plastic and stickers – the game is aimed at “off the shelf” play – I suspect there is a desire to see BRS on the shelves in non wargaming stores. You or I may not agree with that particular objective, but if that is the case the colours and stickers make sense

    I would however say you may be missing the point with your comments about specific manoeuvres. The whole advantage \ manoeuvre system is designed specifically to get away from that level of prescription. A Split S doesn’t always follow the same path, nor does a Chandelle or any of the others, they’re flexible and variable – that’s why they’re useful. The rules do abstract these things because the reality is that without either a real Spitfire or a high end flight sim you have to have a level of abstraction, and I think BRS gets that right.

    It’s a good game, fun, and also a better recreation of WW2 air combat than the others I’ve seen \ tried, so I hope it goes down well



    Coloured plastic is fine, not seeing a problem there, my objection is the type of soft plastic used, would prefer a hard polystyrene on a frame which would have avoided the warping totally.

    if there were stickers and decals available at launch I’d have no issues either (and would have bought the decals which I gather are coming).

    I do get the advantage/disadvantage system, and agree its a clever system, my point was its abstracted the feel of WW2 combat out of the game and made the rules a little too generic in flavour – a few additional manoeuvres (possibly as cards, possibly just as additional things you can do in place of the 180 degree turn – e.g. side slips, loops to move backwards etc) would bring it back to being an atmospheric combat game and could quite easily be introduced later as more things that cost you advantage but may get you out of a sticky situation or help line you up on an enemies tail to put them in one.

    Agree its a good game, the core rules seem to work nicely (though do wish the need to line up to shoot was in as per the diagrams not just a 90 degree arc as per the text), its easy to pick up and doesn’t need a lot of models to play and feel good, it just needs bringing slightly back to WW2 with more of the chrome of the period in place even if not used too often to give more of a 3D feel


    One question –

    How many planes are needed on each side to play a good game? How does a game with the six starter planes on each side compare with one that has a dozen on each side? Or two dozen?


    Have found four per side provides a very good game, to be honest I think six is a bit crowded and any more than that starts to get harder to manage.

    The boxed set is plenty to get started with and the Bf109E and spitfire Mk2 reasonably balanced, though the spitfires enhanced turning gives a slight edge over the 109’s bonuses, its not game breaking though.

    Have found four aircraft on a 6’x4′ table is plenty though, and you will use the space with the dogfight naturally developing a drift to one side or the other

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