Tag Archives: Cards

Wings Of War – 6 Inch Move’s First Look


My recent fun with Death Angel has lead me to try out so more card based games, and so I recently purchased Wings Of War. The thing that appeals with card games is the sheer lack of any preparation, building or painting required to get started, which is a sure time saver. The portability of a card game is a bonus, and I get extra wife points for having a game that doesn’t require its own room for storage.

Rene Fonck heroically flies off the table
Wings Of War is based around first world war aerial combat. The real heroes of the air war and their aeroplanes are represented by a card. Each card has different stats showing their manoeuverability, gunnery strength and damage statistic. You place your aeroplane card on the play surface and choose three cards from your appropriate movement card deck and then play out each move simultaneously with other players. After everyone plays a movement card everyone gets to shoot at each other. Gunnery is worked out simply, if you are shot at close range you draw two damage cards, if long range you draw one but always from the deck representing the strength of the firer’s guns. Each damage card has a damage number, and when your collection of damage cards is equal to your damage statistic your plane goes down in a blazing heap. The cards are varied and interesting, you may catch fire, sustain engine damage, your opponents guns may jam or you might not take damage at all. Once everyone has played their three movement cards and fired three times, the next turn begins and people choose three more cards from their movement deck. The movement decks are very different from each other, for example a triplane moves much more slowly but turns much tighter than a biplane. Planes such as the Sopwith Camel also turn much better to the right than the left, which is historically accurate.

There are other good touches to the rules to make the game more flavourful, for example ‘tailing’ an enemy has big advantages, as does keeping an enemy in your sights for several moves. Also possible is the use of missions as well as dogfights, strafing ground targets protected by anti-aircraft batteries, taking recon photos of artillery emplacements, destroying observation balloons, the possibilities for a game like this are massive.

Overall then this game is very quick and fun to play, with what appears to be a decent attempt at historical accuracy. I think it would suit multiplayer groups very well with everyone getting a plane for a chance to gang up on the group’s own version of Gribblin. I look forward to playing a few more games in future with my friends. For the more hardcore gamer the cards can be replaced with model aircraft, and tabletops can become sculpted, modelled battlefields as required. To begin with though the cards do just fine!

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6InchMove Reviews – Space Hulk Death Angel


As mentioned in Servitob’s post recently, after availing ourself of some gaming at everyone’s new favourite venue, we tried out a new offering from Fantasy Flight Games. These are the same guys responsible for making the “need a bank loan to afford it” Horus Heresy board game. Death Angel comes a little more wallet friendly and a little more space friendly too as it’s a card game that fits into quite a tidy hand-sized box.

The basic premise of this game is that it is Space Hulk with cards. Trying to imagine how you get the razor edged tension of a Genestealer infested derelict with its cramped and confined spaces may be a little difficult but rest assured that FFG have managed to pull this off. Every player is on the side of the Space Marines and you control at least one Combat Team of Space Marine Terminators, the game can be played with anywhere from 1 to 6 players and the number of players defines how many combat teams there are. Each combat team is composed of two terminators, a normal Storm Bolter and Power fist chap and another special weapon one.

Each game starts with a location and this will define the starting locations (a deck of cards are provided that bring various locations, some of these have active components that you can use) as well as telling you how many Genestealers are likely to be coming to eat your face at any particular moment. You assemble a mission from a small selection of cards, picking them in accordance with instructions given on the starting location for your size of game. You will not know what you have to do to complete the mission until you move to the final location, from the games that we have played so far, the chances are you will not reach that final location.

The game turn is split into a number of phases, every turn starts off with the Space Marines deciding which one of their 3 different actions they are going to take. Each Combat Team has a set of 3 cards, there is a “Move & Activate” action, an “Attack” action and a “Support” action. Each combat team gets to play one, you can discuss with the team what you want to do but cannot specify which card you are going to play, also, you cannot play the same action two turns in a row. This means you need to think ahead as well as thinking of what the rest of the team are really going to do with their actions. Each action card has a number on it and when they are revealed you resolve them in order. This then plays out as to whether the Terminators swap places, activate terrain items, attack any Genestealers that are around or lie in wait for something.

After this the Genestealers attack if there are any on the board engaged with a Terminator, this is probably around 95% of the time, the more Genestealers fighting a Marine the greater the chance he will be chopped into kibble. After this the player who use the lowest number action pulls an event card and plays it. This spawns more Genestealers and generally screws at least one of the Terminators in some way, this event also gives directions as to where any existing Genestealers move to as they may try to get behind the Marines.

Each spawning of Genestealers comes from a blip pile on either side of the formation of Terminators, once a blip pile is emptied the players move to a new location which shifts the terrain cards around and spawns a new set of blips, some of the terrain also has an “Upon Entering” effect which comes into play. There are 4 locations per mission and as they are randomly pulled from decks you are not always guaranteed to get the same terrain or the same final mission. Once you get to the final location victory conditions are presented to the team, complete those and you win. Out of the three games the 6 Inch Move team have played so far we have completed the mission only once, when my Assault Cannon Terminator used his attack card to unleash three shots into a swarm of Genestealers, shredding the two regular guys and then popping a Broodlord. Servitob then clubbed the final Broodlord and we won, another turn and we probably would have been red paste on the decking.

The game does play quite quickly, you are trying to cut through the Genestealers as fast as possible in order to get to the next location, all the while every event card is spawning more gribblies that can tear you limb from limb. What takes the time is the individual players deciding which actions they need to take, but as you win and lose as a team you want to try to co-ordinate what you are doing. That doesn’t stop someone who is surrounded by Genestealers from playing his “Move & Activate” and then swapping places with a “mate” who is all of a sudden plucked from a position of safety into the clutches of almost certain death. In any given game you can guarantee that a lot of the Marines are going to die, the one game we won we were reduced to only three Terminator when we started with 6, the majority being eaten by massive swarms, but on occasion even a lone ‘Stealer can be a lethal adversary.

I picked up this game after reading a review from a forum I frequent, it recommended picking it up on sight as it was very good. I was lucky enough to get the last copy from our local game store and I’m glad I did. The box is small and transport friendly so if you don’t fancy carting models and terrain about this gives a great game that can be played in around an hour, depending on how many players you have. There is only one criticism I would make and that is that the rules aren’t always clear and we made a large number of mistakes in our first game, a few more illustrations of the layout wouldn’t go amiss, but overall I think this is a really great release.

It may be hard to get hold of now as I understand that it sold really well and there is no certainty that there will be another run, but if you can find a copy it is well worth the price of admission and in the few games that we have played so far it has been a lot of fun.

ZombiePirate gives it a solid 4.5 Alien Gribblies out of 5.

Conventions in Gaming – Dice


From my history page it’s clear that I have grown up with Games Workshop, therefore this post will present a pretty clear bias to that fact, historical gaming isn’t my forte and I’m sure old man Servitob can chime in with some extra points once I’m done.

Classic board games and pretty much every tabletop war game I’ve seen all use dice. Varying quantities of dice to be exact. You can get by with a mere 6d6 if you’re playing Privateer Press games whereas in 40k you can easily end up rolling over a hundred. I remember reading a copy of White Dwarf where the author of an article describing the new War of the Ring game was using the fact that you got to roll an ill-fated Southampton built cast iron behemoth load of dice to decide combats. One of the things that can help you pick out closet gamers is the fact that, more than likely, there are various boxes of dice scattered around their house and the odd errant wanderer lodged under a TV cabinet of sofa.

So, why are dice used? Normally this is to add in an element of chance that exists in the real world, just because you line up a perfect head shot doesn’t take into account that at the last minute a random gust may take the bullet off target, or the mark may find some extra cover to protect themselves. Dice naturally represent the vagaries and random elements that can and do take place in normal real life activities (not really just talking about actual combat here, I have much more experience with the virtual kind and am thankful to not have had to experience it in real life). Yet some games let you roll way more than others, some people also seem to be unlucky at certain kinds of rolls. Personally I struggle with Instability tests with my Chaos Daemons and Power Klaw attacks from my Ork Nobs. Servitob has a reputation for unerring accuracy with a blast template too. While obviously the dice do not favour one person over another, we see patterns in the fate we receive. But surely, there can be other mechanics that we can use other than dice? I like dice and sometimes there is something sadistically satisfying as getting a full mob of Orks into combat and then rolling enough dice to reconstruct the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in 3d, however, is this the best way to do things or just an accepted part of our hobby?

We’ve already talked about how different games require different numbers of dice, I’m pretty certain that if there was a game where you just compared the stats of one thing to anotherĀ  Top Trumps style, it’d be a pretty crummy and boring game (just like Top Trumps). This is why I’m so interested currently with Malifaux, it forgoes the use of dice and instead uses a pack of 54 cards, being a money making venture of course you can buy official faction themed Malifaux decks, but there are rules in the main book that cover using a normal deck of cards, you just need to have two Jokers in there as well. With cards you need a slightly different mechanic than with dice, but just as dice can be re-rolled due to certain rules, in Malifaux you get rules that allow you to add additional cards to a total as well as having a hand of cards that allow you to “Cheat Fate” by swapping the card you drew with one you possess in your Hand. With dice you’re completely at the whim of chance as to whether your re-roll is higher than the previous, but with the mechanic in Malifaux if you really need to cast that spell or win that combat, if you have the cards in your hand then you’re in a much better place to predict the outcome of the action.

I don’t know whether you can call it lazy game design that leads a lot of our games to rely on dice, after all, dice have been in use as games in their own right for millenia and now we use them to add that randomness to our games. Is being able to control things using cards better than the pure random chance of a dice roll? Well, that’ll be down to personal preference and I’m not leaning either way, it’s just nice that someone has come up with another way to play and I believe it to be a nice change of pace from the staple that I’ve seen over the past almost 20 years of war gaming.

As long as whatever system is developed is non-intrusive and doesn’t detract from the ebb and flow of a game I’m all for trying out something new. I’ve played dice games and I’d played card games. I’ve even played card games that have used dice, but I do think that while it’s easy to fall back on using dice as Malifaux demonstrates, using something a little “out of the box” can add an extra dimension to a game that makes it stand out against the ever increasing crowd.