Wings of the Motherland - 4th release of the Fighting Wings series

Sand Bar Bill

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The air war over the Soviet Union is the fourth "module" of the Fighting Wings series just released, at a hefty $135. The Fighting Wings series is definitely the "ASL" of WWII air combat and is a direct descent of the popular Air Superiority/Air Strike games from GDW in the 1980's. In terms of detail and complexity it may be even more ASL than ASL. The physical components include two double sided maps, featuring cityscapes (including a pseudo-Stalingrad,) countryside, wooded and blue sky. There are aircraft data cards for about 50 planes (though some of the ADC's are variations of a general type such as six types of Messerschmitt BF-109's not unlike the variety in ASL of different Pz III or PzIV variations). The maps, though paper, are heavy and have a "linen" quality. The counters are well-aligned and separate easily.


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(A close-up photo of the pseudo-Stalingrad - as the Soviets chase a Stuka, the 4-6-7's and 4-4-7's look like ants from here!)
There is a large amount of non-aerial combat as well. With some of the more significant tanks and AAA/artillery getting their own counters. As well as various naval craft getting their own counters and data cards.

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Definitely a steep learning curve. At least for awhile, Wings of the Motherland would be a "lifestyle" game just to learn. But, as with ASL, it covers about every air interaction you could have. Including torpedo bombing, naval AAA, air to ground, night operations, ground fire, tank busting...

Somewhat different than ASL, Wings Of the Motherland also has an "operational level" to the game (if you wish). Essentially, think of ASL with area movement until forces meet - the idea is to give context, especially to air-to-air combat. That being said there is well over a 100 scenarios of pure air-to-air, and many specifically solitaire.


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Stalingrad - a whole different ballgame 10,000 feet in the air.​

Conclusion: While I wasn't thinking I would get too excited about Soviet/Nazi air combat, this is quite a game if (a big if) you like (very) detailed air combat games.
 

Paul_RS

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I actually have all the games in the series. I’ve played a couple of scenarios but, as you note, the learning curve is very steep. A background in computer flight Sims is a definite advantage when visualising a 3D world in a 2D game. The most recent package is quite hefty but it ain't cheap.
retirement is quickly approaching so I anticipate having the time to delve into the deeper complexities of the system.
CoA do produce some of the most visually attractive games in the business, their Napoleonic La Batt and Battles in the Age of Reason have yet to be surpassed for visual beauty in my opinion.
 
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