Home brew theatre and doctrine cards

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Dreadpirate 3 weeks, 6 days ago.

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    Will either of these unbalance the game?

    Theatre: Superior Training – Play during deployment. Add an extra doctrine card to your deck. Remove.

    Doctrine: Boom and Zoom – Bonus Great Dive or Great Climb. Play on a friendly advantaged plane that burns advantage to dive. The plane becomes advantaged. Pilot test.



    So far, the only cards which proved to be game breaker for point based play (scenario can be unbalanced on purpose, after all real engagements are not balanced) are ‘numbers’ and ‘home advantage’.



    With the Doctrine card ‘boom & zoom’ I’d alter the wording to go up one advantage level.

    Only if you dont you have a neutral plane diving for extra speed ending up advantaged.

    Also to how good it would be even then I’d make it a discard.



    To answer the question, probably.

    There are already at least two Doctrine cards that deal with what your “Boom & Zoom” card seems to be aiming at – Slashing Attack and Sustained Dive. Adding another, particularly one that seems very powerful, is unwise IMHO which does everything Sustained Dive does but automatically – it would make SD redundant

    Superior Training – up to you but the limit on doctrines is already there for a reason so ….., and again, Season Pilots covers that to an extent.

    Another thing to bear in mind is the “Air Strike” supplement is going to introduce “Open” card play as an option. That will mean the “hand” restrictions are lifted and all cards in your deck are available. It is optional, but it does mean you get to use your cards more reliably.

    • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by  Renko.
    • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by  Renko.


    Nat, my wording may have been unclear, but the intention is that you could not play boom and zoom on a neutral plane only on an advantaged plane. I’m open to making it a discard, but is it really that overpowered in comparison to the other doctrine cards? All the ones I have are pilot test retention.

    Renko, Slashing Attack increases FP and, although thematically similar, isn’t mechanically similar at all. I don’t have whatever supplement includes sustained dive yet. If it’s in the FW190s or F4Us, well those are on the way, but haven’t arrived yet.

    What is it about BnZ that makes it overpowered (so I know what tweaks to make to bring it in line with the other doctrines)? It seems less powerful than flying into a cloud.

    My reasoning for BnZ is that I want to represent energy fighting tactics and I don’t think any of the cards I already have at my disposal capture that feeling quite right. Low Altitude performance is the closest, but isn’t quite right as energy fighting usually doesn’t involve low altitude fighting — low altitude is more in the realm of turn and burn tactics.

    As for Superior Training and Seasoned Pilots, again they may be thematically similar, but are mechanically very different. If you ignore the card names and just look at the mechanics do you still see any redundancy?



    Looking for input on another Doctrine.

    Wingman Tactics: Bonus – Deep Pockets? Play on a friendly plane in wingman position in reaction to an enemy plane shooting. The plane may shoot at the enemy plane. Discard.

    I’m not sure how to word it simply, but the idea is that if an enemy plane is shooting at a friendly plane and you have a plane in a position that would qualify for the wingman effect relative to the shooting plane then you can take a shot at that plane.

    I can’t think of an appropriate bonus other than Deep Pockets, which isn’t a great fit. Also, would you just discard Deep Pockets to retain Wingman Tactics or would you have to remove it? I don’t think you’d be able to use Deep Pockets to prevent a Boom Chit you haven’t taken yet so I doubt it would be worth removing a deep pockets just to retain Wingman Tactics.



    Does this help make BnZ more in line with the power of the other Doctrines?

    Doctrine: Boom and Zoom – Bonus Great Climb or Great Dive. Play on a friendly advantaged plane that burns advantage to dive. After completing its Pilot Action the plane may take a bonus climb action. Pilot Test.

    This leaves the plane neutral for any shooting action but returns the plane to advantaged afterwards. It can’t be used to increase two advantage levels since it can only be played on an advantaged plane. Does it still need to be a discard?



    Sustained Dive

    On a friendly plane that Burns Advantage to dive. Make a Manoeuvre test for the aircraft. If a success is rolled the plane immediately regains the Advantage level it burned to dive. Agility Test to retain (Bonus card: Great Dive)

    As you can see, it is pretty similar to your proposed Boom and Zoom but with more restrictions, so it is unlikely that your proposal would make the cut at the moment as it would make a fairly new “official” card obsolete.

    I appreciate the enthusiasm, and of course between yourselves if you want to make changes or introduce new doctrines then go ahead – and tell us about it because Andy is open to suggestions, but please be aware there are still quite a few releases to go in 2019 and some of what you are trying to do may well be covered “officially” so I would perhaps suggest you may wish hold on rewriting a lot of cards and see what is coming out officially?

    I also understand that many players won’t have a full idea of what is coming or what card is in which set – to be honest mostly nor do I. BRS has developed organically so sometimes heads off in strange directions, and new Doctrines and Theatre cards are being added to complement aircraft or where gaps become apparent or players feedback a need – Interlocking Fire is a good example that if we had thought about it a little more would have been included as a common card in all the expansion sets. Looking ahead there may be a chance of a “full” set of Doctrines\Theatre\Equipment cards made available in the future – no-one is interested in setting up the “chase card” situation here where you have to buy an otherwise useless model to get a super duper card. On the other hand the playtest access I have is under a fairly strict Gentleman’s Agreement that I don’t give too much away. There is some major stuff in the pipeline but I have to keep my mouth firmly shut.

    Re your Wingman Tactics – I think it is practically redundant as the attacker would not be able to shoot the lead plane unless it was already at a lesser advantage level, and as you say, there are no real Traits that would actually reflect what is basically a universal tactic anyway – so no actual need for a card if you see my reasoning?

    Where we are really looking hard is on Doctrines that apply to the minor nations – France, Italy, Finland, Poland etc. They cant really be new unless they are unique to that nation – we cant retcon too much, but suggestions supported by evidence would be welcomed.

    Never fly straight in a combat zone



    Renko, thanks for the feedback. Sustained Dive does fit the niche I was trying to fill with BnZ, so I agree that BnZ would be redundant. Although, I like my card name better. 😁

    What is interlocking fire? An effect similar to what I was trying for with Wingman Tactics?

    I don’t understand the feedback you gave on Wingman Tactics. How does the lead plane’s advantage level affect the card?

    I’m basically trying to create a card that punishes a player for flying directly into the line of fire of enemy plane A to take a shot at enemy plane B by giving plane A a snap shot at the attacking plane. I’m not aware of anything currently in the game that does that. Of course, I don’t have any of the Aces or Russian forces and only the zeros for Japan, so there’s a lot I don’t know about.

    I’m certainly excited to hear about new expansions coming out, but I can’t resist the urge to tinker with house rules for my games.

    I’m not looking to propose anything official. It’s just nice to get feedback from experienced players on house rules to help avoid any major game breaking blunders because you overlooked some weird interaction your house rule might have with the official rules.



    Interlocking fire allows bombers to support one another. I was using it as an example rather than as a direct response to your suggestion.

    The problem as I see it is that your “Wingman Tactics” isn’t really needed. Firstly none of the air forces of WW2 failed to understand the need for wingmen, so it cant be something specific to one side in a game, and secondly, the current wingman rules produce the effect you seem to be wanting to create.

    When a plane drops in behind another to take a shot it can only do so if the target is of a lower advantage level – without a wingman this is no problem as “tailing” drops the target to disadvantaged. If the wingman is in place this tailing effect does not happen and the attacker cant shoot unless he is already of a higher advantage level. At this point your proposed card would take effect. The attacker has however placed himself in the sights of the wingman, who will no doubt shoot him when he next activates – possibly twice – the play sequence is there for a reason – and partly this is it. If the attacker has higher advantage than the wingman, and is faster, and the wingman has already activated then the attacker has managed through luck, skill or judgement to have pulled off the perfect attack, and should be rewarded by having the opportunity to get clear – assuming he is wise enough to do that.

    I can’t help but think that like your suggestion last week about Advantage that these suggestions are mostly the result of not yet fully understanding the dynamics of the game and play sequence. That’s not a criticism – BRS has some very different concepts and the implications of them take some time to sink in.

    I am also a bit wary of being seen to be “that guy” – you know , the know it all keyboard warrior who haunts forums waiting to pounce, again this is (I hope) not the case.



    @renko, don’t worry, your entries here are more than welcome.
    You make the effort to share infos that would get stuck on FB otherwise and you give quite a good support to Andy as he may not be around as much as we’d love.



    Renko, no worries about coming across negatively.  I appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback based on your experience.  That’s what I’m asking for.

    However, you do seem to put too much emphasis on the name I assign to these cards.  To me, the mechanics are important and names just add flavor.  The whole discussion about wingman tactics being universal is kind of missing the point.  Let’s just call it Test House Rule #3 instead of wingman tactics.

    I always consider other people’s feedback and try to see things from their point of view before making up my mind.  I may not agree with that point of view in the end, but I do try to understand it.  That’s still how I feel about the auto outmaneuver rule in the other discussion topic.  It’s not a lack of understanding the game dynamics, rather I’m generally not a fan of automatic outcomes and believe they are bad for gameplay, but there’s no need to rehash that here.

    It’s sort of the same with test house rule 3. You see a feature of the game that rewards a player for expertly using the sequence of play to their advantage allowing them to drop in front an enemy plane’s wingman and take a shot then fly clear with little risk in certain circumstances.

    I see a player gaming the system or exploiting a loophole in the sequence of play to get away with doing something that would otherwise be quite foolish. I don’t want want to eliminate that choice from the game as I recognize that some players really enjoy cleverly manipulating the game mechanics that way, but I would also like to add some risk to that choice such as wondering if their opponent has test house rule 3 in hand to make them pay for dropping into a position that should otherwise be avoided except for their clever gaming of the sequence of play.

    Do you have any ideas about how to do that in an easy to understand way that doesn’t cause gameplay to break down? I know you don’t agree with necessity of it or like the idea of adding it to the game, but if you were going to how would you do it? I promise I won’t make you use my house rule even if you help me make it.

    • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  Dreadpirate.


    I think you miss my point – I’m not fixating on the name, it is exactly the function that I think is unnecessary. I’m also expressly NOT suggesting the game mechanic is a loophole to be exploited, rather a representation of the fact that sometimes the attacker can get it right and should be rewarded for doing so – or conversely the defender gets it wrong and gets punished.

    I’m not going to get too involved in making suggestions because I think the rules actually work well,so to use a cliche, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    Sorry but I really don’t have anything more constructive to add.



    Renko, I’m not suggesting you said the rule was a loophole. I understand you see it as a well designed feature. However, I’m explaining that I have a different point of view in that regard.

    My point of view is that this is a game about air to air combat. A widely accepted axiom of air to air combat is that it is generally a bad idea to fly into the space between a wingman and the lead plane he is covering. Since the game is about air to air combat it generally shouldn’t reward doing things in game that are considered bad in air to air combat. The game currently does reward in some instances flying into the space between a wingman and the plane he is protecting. I want to create a house rule to make doing that a potentially riskier decision than it already is under the official rules.

    I created this topic to get feedback on the best way to accomplish my desired goal of making a house rule to change the game in a minor way that I think is interesting and fun. Coming into such a discussion and essentially saying the game is perfect as written so you shouldn’t be trying to change it and if you do then you don’t understand the game doesn’t add anything to the sort of conversation I’m trying to have. I welcome any feedback you want to offer, but “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” isn’t really constructive feedback in a topic about house rules. It’s just noise.

    I get the impression that you are somehow involved in the play testing or development of this game in an official or semi-official capacity and may have some insight into the intent and philosophy of the game’s creator that I don’t have. Maybe you feel you are preserving the purity of that intent.

    As a mere consumer of the product I guess I don’t hold the original intent of the designer in such high regard and feel free to deviate from it in ways I think might be interesting or fun. My desire to do so shouldn’t be seen as an attack on the game design or a criticism of the game designer.

    As I have repeatedly said, the game is brilliantly designed and fun to play. Just because I think it would be more fun to do some things a little differently doesn’t make it any less so.



    “I’m not suggesting you said the rule was a loophole.”

    “I see a player gaming the system or exploiting a loophole in the sequence of play to get away with doing something that would otherwise be quite foolish. ”

    I have said from the outset you are more than welcome to make whatever changes you see fit. You bought it. I just don’t agree with your assessment. I’m not saying the game is perfect, nor holding some torch on the designers infallibility – far from it, but please don’t expect me to agree with your suggestions when I think they’re poorly thought out and based on false assumptions. I’ve explained why, in some depth, I think this is an unnecessary complication, and I really don’t want or feel the need to enter into a further debate, particularly as you appear to be taking up a rather passive \ aggressive stance when someone disagrees with your latest idea.

    I’ll leave this topic now as it is clear there is little more I can add, and this being the internet and all that entails

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