First, thanks for the great comments!
Next, I'm not trying to make a detailed simulation here, if you want more detail, get a computer game.
Finally, (and the meat of the post)
What I'm going for is a fairly quick playing game that attempts to "feel" like man-to-man combat in biplanes. It's a bit of a simulation, and a bit of a Beer and Pretzel game. But believe me, I am taking this very seriously. I'd love to see Aces at Dawn Tournaments start up at the conventions. I think the fast-play nature of the game lends itself well to tourney play.
I used for my inspiration, the descriptions of battles in the first person. What I got from those stories was this: WWI air combat was about maneuver, oftimes, the enemy was "Driven off" rather than killed and it was damn hard to hit your opponent. Balloons were protected fiercely and were even harder to hit.
Maneuver is king. I think I've nailed with the cards and the interaction between the cards and the board. I really like the combination of planning and on-the-spot decisions that the cards require and allow. You've got tons of options, even if you play nothing but forward movement and a slow turn card. The difficulty to hit is a result of the distances between the planes and the maneuvers of the planes.
In other words, there’s a fun tension between what you want to have happen in the long run and what you need to get done “right now”. And it's fun, if I do say so myself
Aerial combat during the Great War
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