Come Fly With Me – More Wings of Glory World War 1 Aircrafts Take Flight! Game Review
Wings of Glory World War 1 Aircraft Booster Packs Game Review. Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia Price: Booster: $14.90
Passed Inspection: Beautiful miniatures, reissues of out of print planes, added value through additional content
Failed Basic: Nothing at all.
2017 has been a great year for Wings of Glory both in its World War I and World War II incarnations. The year keeps getting better with reissues of these long out of print World War I aircrafts, but Ares didn’t just reissue them! They added new content for each aircraft!
The four types of aircrafts which have been re-releases include the Albatros D.III, the Nieuport 17, the R.E.8 and the UFAG C.1.
Let’s start with the two-seaters.
The UFAG C.1 was released in April of 1918 and it quickly made a name for itself as the fastest two-seater of the Cental Powers. It clocked in at around 118 mph/190 kph mainly due to its revolutionary wing design which did away with many of the traditional wires and struts which, while making the wings of aircrafts sturdier, ending up creating extra drag. It was armed with one or two forward and rear firing machine guns and was by all accounts, a very sturdy aircraft. It was used by the Austrian air force but had an operational life of only a few months as it was distributed to units in October and November of 1918. The UFAGs were used as observation planes, bombers and for ground attack. They did have a useful life in the air forces of post World War 1 Europe.
The UFAG’s come in three different paint schemes to represent planes from different squadrons. Per Ares Games’ website :
UFAG C.I (161–37)
In an attempt to improve the UFAG’s firepower against enemy fighters, a second forward–firing machine gun was experimentally added to this airplane. This model has special cards to reflect the upgrade
UFAG C.I (Flik 62/S)
Flik 62 was originally a divisional observation unit, formed in Trentino, Italy. It was turned into a ground attack unit, and renamed Flik 62/S, when it was equipped with the UFAG C.I.
UFAG C.I (161–138)
As a high–performing 2–seater, available in limited numbers, the UFAG C.I was often reserved for the best available crews. This model has special cards to reflect that.
As stated, each plane has special ability cards to reflect either modifications to the aircrafts or crew abilities. UFAG cards include Fire Expert, Perfect Bombardier, Photo Expert, etc.
Two of the UFAGs are painted in camouflage patterns of either greens, browns, blue or grays while one is painted in a stunning lozenge pattern. All are beautiful!
The planes are relatively fast for two-seaters and handle well in combat. They use the H Maneuver Deck which is pretty good for a two-seater!
The R.E. 8 stands for “Reconnaissance Experimental 8” and was an important aircraft of the British Royal Flying Corp with over 4000 being produced from 1917 onward. The aircraft has a unique look with its upward tilting front fuselage and its exhaust stacks rising up over the top wing. It was a replacement for the B.E.2 and moved the observer from in front of the pilot to a position behind the pilot. The R.E.8 was designed with limited piloting controls for the observer so that he could take over in the event of the pilot being wounded or killed. If needed the observer could use the controls to attempt to land the plane but the controls were not sophisticated enough to give the observer total control over the airplane. The plane was a workhorse but it wasn’t terribly fast nor maneuverable. It also had the bad tendency to get in to a dangerous spin and could stall relatively easily. Its max speed was around 103 mph or 166 kph. They had 1 machine gun front mounted and one for the observer. They were most often used for artillery observation, air photography, light bombing and other general reconnaissance work.
The three different R.E.8 aircrafts in the Wings of Glory set are all painted in variations of the standard RFC green but with different unit insignias. A plane is offered for 30 Squadron, 52nd Squadron and 59th Squadron. All three have rear controls for the observer as a special card as well as various pilot skill cards which can be used for other planes as well.
While not a spectacular plane for speed and maneuverability (they use the K Maneuver Deck) or weapons, the R.E.8 is a very important airplane for Wings of Glory air battles. The ubiquitous R.E.8 two-seater had to get its very important job done and your scout pilots will either be tasked with protecting them or shooting them down. As for me, I have an R.E.8 crew which completed their photo recon mission and shot down an Albatros! All in all, not a bad accomplishment.
Now, let’s look at the scouts.
The workhorse of the German Air Corp was the Albatros D.III which comes in three stunning paint jobs as flown by three different pilots. There is an all red washed D.III as was flown by Manfred Von Richthofen, the famed Red Baron, Hermann Frommherz’s all blue “Blaue Maus”(Blue Mouse) and Kurt Gruber, whose green Albatros is decorated with a Star of David.
From December, 1916 to November, 1917, the Albatros ruled the skies for the Central Powers. During a time period where obsolescence could set in for an aircraft after 3 months, this was no mean feat! It is most well known for being aggressively flown by the Germans during “Bloody April” in 1917. Its two forward firing machine guns and sturdy construction gave it the edge over the structurally weaker, single machine gun armed planes of France and England. The Albatros D.III stayed in service until the end of the war and put up a good showing even while facing more advanced aircrafts such as the S.E.5a.
All three Albatros minis have pilot cards complete with different ace ability cards. The Red Baron is stacked with ace abilities and will be a real beast when used in combat.
The Albatros D.III is a sturdy, solid aircraft with two forward firing machine guns, giving it a nice edge over the Nieuports of the time. It uses a J Maneuver Deck which is solid and medium-fast (109 mph /175 kph) but not spectacular. None-the-less, for 1917 era games, I love the Albatros. It’s structurally sound and deadly.
The last aircraft in the new set is the Nieuport 17. This beautifully designed airplane is represented in versions flown by Francesco Baracca who was Italy’s top ace of World War I, with 34 kills, Charles Nungesser, France’s 3rd highest ace with 43 confirmed victories, and a silver plane which can be either Raoul Lufbery’s or Bill Thaw’s Lafayette Escadrille aircraft.
The Nieuport 17s use the I Maneuver Deck and have decent, but not spectacular, hull strength. While not fast, they are not slow either. In real life, they had a maximum speed of around 110 mph or 177 kph so they are a tad faster than the Albatros D.III aircrafts. They also have a very tight side-slip which the Albatros D.III can’t match but be careful – these planes are not as robust as the Albatros. Use those side-slips to your best advantage!
Each plane also includes ace cards for the pilots named above as well as ace ability cards.
This is a great release of some much needed airplane reprints. I’ve personally shopped for Lufbery’s Nieuport 17 on EBay after losing my original in a fire and was never able to afford the crazy money that sellers wanted for the plane which was well over $200! Now we can get them for reasonable prices and, once again, add these important airplanes to our Wings of Glory collection. Thanks Ares – once again a job well done!
Armchair General Rating: 100 %
Solitaire Rating: 5 (for some missions or with the solitaire app for Android)
About the Author
A college film instructor and small business owner, Richard Martin has also worked in the legal and real estate professions, is involved in video production, film criticism, sports shooting and is an avid World War I and II gamer who can remember war games which came in plastic bags and cost $2.99 (he’s really that old)!