Saturday, June 20, 2020

Air Strike: Modern Air Combat for the Whole Family! A Brief Review

What a wholesome title for some rules! I previously mentioned these rules. I finally, after much pleading with my 8-year-old son, I played ONE game. I think my hopes for a son who will game with me is shrinking. He's too hung up on Fortnite :(  Red in the Morning blog as a much more detailed review than this.

Basically, you use playing cards to move, turn, fire missiles and guns. Cards are also used to outmanuever enemy missiles. You are dealt four cards and its a matter of card management because number cards allow you to move and turn, but face cards have the additional bonus to fire missiles and how "accurate" the missile is (how strong your radar lock is?). They also act to defeat the missiles. So, if you have a launched missile that is a Jack and you opponent has a Ace, Queen, or King in his hand, he can use it to defeat the missile. You always play two cards per turn. Once the cards are used, they are discarded and you get to draw two new cards.

There are some quirky aspects of of the game. The main quirk is missile damage. If you get hit by a missile, the card used becomes the damage. The odd thing is that in order to get shot down, you have to be hit with the same face card. In other words, if I got hit by a Jack, I'd have to be hit by another Jack to get shot down. So, it would seem that it is possible to survive at least four times by missiles if your opponent is unable to attack you with the same face card. Another funny thing is the turns. Not a big deal, but you can turn up to 90⁰. What is a bigger deal, and maybe I'm not reading it right, but you can rotate a full 180⁰ without moving. Finally, guns are in the optional rules. Guns have a longer range than the missiles, though missiles can move multiple times and turn to track its target. Unlike missiles, guns will knock out a plane with two hits, the suit of the card doesn't matter.

I wanted to photograph the game with my son, but unfortunately, between his gaming and my my needing the phone for talking and texting work colleagues (I'm taking this pointless online course on how to teach online), my battery was down. The game lasted all of about 15 minutes. There was no limit on the number of missiles we had. There was a lot of maneuvering including some fly-bys. We managed to take several missile hits before he hit me again with the same face card that was in my damage pool. I tried to get him to play again, but he wanted me to have a LEGOs with him.

I would say this is a very good game if you want to play something fast, or if you've got some campaign going and want to quickly resolve any air battles. There are no differences in stats. A jet is a jet. The optional rules contain ones for ground attack aircraft, ECM aircraft, and SAMs. My plan was to play a second battle with the boy using the SA-2 missile site I had finished, but that was a no-go. *SIGH*

I have bunch of ideas for tweaking the rules for a little more granularity. But as Queen Catherine of the Red In The Morning blog said, it may not be a simulation of the hardware, but is a good simulation of the decisions airmen make during combat. You can get this at Wargames Vault for $4.50. Quite the deal!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

1/600ish Block Apartments

I got these plastic models done. As I think I mentioned previously, they are from AliExpress. They are not specifically 1/600, but they are close enough

I painted them in a color scheme that I saw on several visits to China. They tend to paint the bottom-third of many buildings a different color from the rest of the building. I did three colors that didn't look overly flashy. I thought about giving them a wash, but decided they looked ok without. There was nothing behind the windows, so I took some black construction paper and glued it to the inside walls. Their bases are cut from styrene For Sale signs, painted and flocked. In China, you would see rows and rows of these buildings. I think for my purposes, three are enough.