Wings of War uses maneuver cards to plot the flight path of the plane, with the particular flight paths slugged to aircraft performance. You pick three cards and place them face down. Each card shows a starting line, which matches up to the front of the plane base, and an ending arrowhead, which matches up to the back of the plane base. You place the card down at the front of the plane, lift up the plane, and put the back of the plane base down where the arrowhead matches up. Movement is simultaneous.
Other than knowing when it took place and what the overall outcome was, I must admit I had very little previous knowledge of the Russo-Polish War of 1920. Reading through a few introductory texts did, however, confirm one thing that I had suspected was very much the case with this conflict – that it was an incredibly complex, one might even say wild, mix of military and political events flashing into focus, then to some extent disappearing, only to be replaced by further variations of the same.
CSL’s new treatment of the battle certainly does have a philosophy, and it is a philosophy that is worth becoming acquainted with if you have any sort of interest in the battle. Part of that philosophy has to do with the designer’s (Ray Weiss) intention to create a series of games (called 2140) whereby players can enjoy the sort of unfussy simulation models that belonged to the vintage era of SPI as well as GDW’s Series 120 titles.
Some military ventures are simply wrong from the start. Everything about them is inauspicious and ill starred, with calamity and disaster simply awaiting their cue to show themselves to full effect.
Colenso, the subject of Legion Wargames Redvers’ Reverse, is about as good an example of this as you can get.
So what makes 1914 GaW, as a diceless block game, different from its predecessor? The ambience of 1914 is certainly present through a series of game features, but if we want to talk about similarities, the best answer I can offer is that this system, running across two very different eras, emphasizes matter that is common to all military experience – armies that move and fight are armies that are wearing out, be that in a day of intense action or through the course of weeks of campaigning; and furthermore, as one historian put it, the knack of seeing what is on “the other side of the hill,” is here portrayed through the conundrum of what is on the other side of the opponent’s block
Unlike traditional wargames, combat in Marne 1914 is by attacker hex, NOT by defender hex. That means you tally the attack factors in one hex, subtract the defender’s modified total (woods, towns, etc add to the Defense Factors), and roll on a CRT that has a nice mix of ruthless destruction and frustrating no effect.