Posts Tagged ‘world war one’


Wings of Glory has long been one of those games that I’ve seen people play at conventions or on social media, but due their – rather unfortunate – inability to keep starter kits in print consistently, it’s taken until now for me to actually play a game.  For this review, I teamed up with Brick Fury‘s Ian Harmer, who as well as being a Heroclix nut is rather fanatical about military planes, too.  As he also had a few games of Star Wars: X-Wing under his belt, I figured that he’d be a good person to try this game out with.

The game comes packaged very nicely, in a sturdy box that not only displays the figures nicely, but the vacuum-formed insert inside actually also works very well in terms of storing your components after you’ve punched a prepped them all!  If only all game boxes could be this accommodating.


The planes themselves are absolutely superb.  The detail is great, and the paintjobs are excellent.  They feel suitably sturdy, and should endure many years of play with ease.  They have a decent weight to them, and are a joy to “fly” around the tabletop.  My only criticism would be that there’s no way to tell planes of the same type apart – some sort of marker or distinguishing feature would help a lot.

The rules are super easy to get to grips with.  We were playing with the basic game after a few minutes, and after just one game of that, we feel ready to tackle the full blown ruleset – hopefully with some extra planes added in, as well.  You also get a huge scenario book, loaded with ideas and missions that’ll keep you occupied for quite a long time.


The game itself is incredibly easy to get your head around.  Players plot their moves secretly, and once everyone has placed their selected move face down, they then have to simulanaeously move their planes around the playing area, trying to out guess their opponent and get into a good firing position.

Comparisons with its much more successful cousin, X-Wing, are inevitable and – for what it’s worth – I think I prefer Wings of Glory. I enjoy both, but Wings of Glory feels much more streamlined, and simultaneous movement and shooting goes a long way towards making the game much smoother.

I’m looking forward to what else the system can offer, but so far, this Starter Set is superb! Ian shared my views, and was browsing extra planes on eBay within minutes!

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Brad Harmer-Barnes is a games journalist and comedy writer from Kent, England, and has written for (among others) Miniature Wargames magazine, Fortress: Ameritrash, Emotionally14.com and Suppressing-Fire.Com, which he also edits. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter @realbradhb.

In this documentary from the BBC, historian and aerial specialist Ben Robinson traces the first air attacks on Britain by the Zeppelin. From Norfolk to London, Robinson investigates how Germany’s aim – to intimidate the population and bring swift victory – failed. Told through aerial perspective, archive film, expert analysis, 3D graphics, and first person accounts (including that of a 102-year-old lady who still remembers the attacks!).

A nice, light documentary from BBC Four and well worth a watch!

Watch on iPlayer here

Watch on YouTube, here:

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The Great War Explained

Philip Stevens

Pen and Sword Books

Available Now

Trying to write a book that explains everything about the First World War – all of its theatres, its background and the effects it had – is a large enough task in and of itself. Trying to do it at a beginner’s level – so that it will take the reader from absolute novice to well-clued-up expert is even harder – some would say even near impossible. The Great War Explained tries to accomplish this, and it makes a very good go of it.

The book is a decent sized one, and is presented in a fun, conversational style – loaded with some interesting pieces of trivia scattered throughout in box-outs. The upbeat writing style is one of the book’s strongest assets, as it gives the impression of being on a battlefield tour with a particularly knowledgeable and affable guide. The pacing is excellent, never lingering too long, never skimming over an area too quickly.

As the book progresses a large portion is dedicated to aerial and naval combat, which is very welcome; far too many “newbie” books linger on the mud and blood of the trenches without ever passing an eye across other theatres. The Great War Explained however, is wide and encompassing.

If I had any criticisms, it would be that some parts or aspects of the conflict are not quite explained in as much detail as they really need to be. A few extra paragraphs here or there when covering some of the basics would have been most welcome. A few more maps and/or photos showing how the battles and fronts tied together in the greater scheme of things would have gone a long way towards making some parts easier to follow, too.

All in all, The Great War Explained is a great reference or starter book…but not quite the “complete beginner’s guide” they were hoping for – those expecting to have their hand held every step of the way may come away a little disappointed. It is – however – a great beginner’s book – and a fun reference for those who are a little more knowledgeable.