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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Friday 25 August 2023

Wing Commander

 Wing Commander is a compendium or supplement to Warlord's Blood Red Skies game of air warfare. This is my go-to set of air warfare rules at present, with a nice balance of playability.

The game designer Andy Chambers has brought together some of his favourite material created by players. A chunk of this material comes from the guys who produce the Lead Pursuit podcast, which I occasionally listen to. Episode 109 covers Wing Commander. They also appear to run a series of games at conventions in the USA.

The booklet starts with a chapter on tactical tips for beginners, which I found very useful. This is followed by a solo enemy flowchart that I will have a go at as the game is not played at my club. There is a short, simple campaign for carrier battles based on the Pacific in 1942. It's not my gig, but it could be adapted.

The book arrived just as I wrote an air warfare scenario for my forthcoming wargamers guide to Turkey and the Second World War. I used the bomber escort scenario in the main rules, but the amendments here are a definite improvement. In particular, 'The bombers move last' rule helps keep bombers in historical formations. 

There are several scenarios for the Korean War, one of my current projects, so that I will give this a go. As short-range air-to-air missiles began to be introduced in this period, there are some rules and a scenario. Stretching the rules a bit further is a chapter on the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War, a conflict I have done the ground war for and fancy trying the air war. Warlord doesn't do models yet for this, but there are 1/200 manufacturers who do: Hawker Hunter, Folland Gnat and Mig-21s, amongst other aircraft types.

The largest chapter is a campaign system. I probably won't do this, but it looks well-designed and allows the player to tailor the level of depth they want to get into. The aircraft availability chart for WW2 is a standout piece of research. There are also stats for every aircraft that fought in the period covered by the rules, which allows the deployment of models not in the Warlord range. 

Finally, a helpful FAQ chapter and errata pages for the main rules. Sadly, it is a requirement for many Warlord products. 

You will want a copy of this if you are a Blood Red Skies player. They are nicely laid out with plenty of eye-candy inspiration as well.

Some of my models and the main game aids.

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