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Thread: Am I a pedant? (Playing more than 1 plane.)

  1. #1

    Default Am I a pedant? (Playing more than 1 plane.)

    This may be a strange title to a discussion thread but it is a question that has long interested me in relation to WoW/WoG. It has re-surfaced because of a comment in the "no hope for this pilot" thread. I noted the comment that people were playing with more than one plane each.

    I've played the game since it's release. I play as historian/gamer not as a gamer. As a result of that perhaps I'm more pedantic than some. I tried playing with more than one plane per player early on and find it harms the feel of the game for me. However hard I try (or my fellow gamers try) one inevitably knows what your other plane will do. There was no radio contact. There were no walkie talkies. That is why planes on the same side sometimes crashed into each other. Both pilots making the choice of a move that clashed with their wingman. That can't happen between your own planes if you play more than one (unless you're really stupid). Telepathy replaces then telephone! Accordingly I ditched multi-plane playing at a very early stage. When I watch it with other gamers I can see the effects. It removes a layer of authenticity.

    Perhaps I know the answer to my own question. It is "yes"! Do I think I'm wrong? Well there's another question altogether.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike White View Post
    ...Perhaps I know the answer to my own question. It is "yes"! Do I think I'm wrong?
    Yes you are and no you're not Mike !
    One man one plane is the ultimate of course, unfortunately to get numbers of machines on the table sometimes necessitates multiple planes per pilot and that is largely scenario driven.
    Alternatives would be one player to pilot one plane and use one of the solo AI systems to fly his wingman but that introduces a level of complexity that may not be desired or tolerated. Another option would be for them to pilot machines in separate flights so they're not working their machines as a pair though some cross over may become unavoidable.
    No plan survives first contact with the enemy though so when playing a pair I usually find my machines end up going in different directions and dealing with their own problems rather than teaming up.

    "He is wise who watches"

  3. #3

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    I fall into this dilemma on Dave's side, I think, Mike...

    We sometimes fly two planes when not enough 'live' players are available. While flying a pair of planes might seem to allow for too much coordination, or coordination not historically available, that rarely lasts once contact is made with the enemy. My two planes fly as 'wingmen' going into the mission (as would have happened historically), but once the enemy closes, each has its own focus. Occasionally, they may be able to help one another (as would also have happened historically), but they never move in tandem once battle is joined.

    Every now and then someone will 'game' the system and take advantage of things, but luckily, in our group at least, most folks are also interested in historical accuracy.

    All the best,
    Matt

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike White View Post
    This may be a strange title to a discussion thread but it is a question that has long interested me in relation to WoW/WoG.

    That is why planes on the same side sometimes crashed into each other. Both pilots making the choice of a move that clashed with their wingman. That can't happen between your own planes if you play more than one (unless you're really stupid).
    When I saw the title of this thread, I thought, "Here's a brave man, asking that!"
    We sometimes have someone flying two planes because there are three of us who play together. That way we can have two vs. two scenarios. I agree that the person flying two planes can coordinate in a way that wouldn't have been possible historically.
    I like to think it was inexperience, and not stupidity, when I crashed into each other the two DH4s I was flying which were nearly home!

  5. #5

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    I also much prefer for every one to fly just a single plane. Not only does it keep things more historical and helps to combat someone gaming the game, but it also makes the players more vested in the game. If you only have a single plane to lose, you are more vested in that plane and the game. At least that is the way I feel.

    As other have said though, sometimes you just need more planes flying then you have players

  6. #6

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    Ideally, one plane per person is the most accurate. And if we’re trying to replicate histocal accuracy, no flight-plan-related talking between teammates either. (However, I’m not above talking my wingman through what I’m doing and helping him plan if he’s my 12 year old brother, who is trying to learn the game for instance. . )

    One thing that works for me is to have each person pilot one plane in a scenario and then fill in extra slots by using the excellent “WoG Solo System” app to plot the course for the rest of the unmanned aircraft. Of course, if an unmanned plane has a very definite course to follow (like a photo recon) I’ll just plan him manually so the app doesn’t have him flying all over the place.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Windy Jack View Post
    I like to think it was inexperience, and not stupidity, when I crashed into each other the two DH4s I was flying which were nearly home!
    Put it down to inexperience. It didn't happen when the planes were facing you did it? Despite being quite good with my left and right there are times when the plane is the other side of the table and facing me that I get muddled and pick a right turn when I want a left! I won't say it happens often but at my club this manoeuvre in error is known as "doing a Mike"!

  8. #8

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    I am a big fan of one player one plane for WGF for all the reasons you have specified. If you don't have enough players you can use the solitaire movement rules in the RAP for bombers/two-seaters or the various AI methods (solo app, d8 charts) for scouts.

  9. #9

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    Undoubtedly, one player - one plane is best and flying more than one plane can be an advantage. However, there was some limited communication between pilots via hand signals and wingmen would naturally look around to see what their companions were doing. Also, if planes are flying in formation before a dogfight starts, they would make similar moves. If anyone is flying more than one plane, it really 'on their honour' not to exploit it.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naharaht View Post
    If anyone is flying more than one plane, it really 'on their honour' not to exploit it.
    Honour amongst wargamers? I've been a gamer for more than 50 years and I find that an "interesting" concept!

  11. #11


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    Andreas
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    I too prefer one player per plane. Actually, I think the only times we've done something else is when we've been an odd number of players and felt the need to have the same number of a/c on each side. An alternative is of course to balance by giving the outnumbered side better machines, but that gets sort of silly when you're three players.

  12. #12

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    Put me in the "stupid" bracket! My gaming friend and I regularly play using 3 to 5 planes each, and I cannot tell you how many times we've had friendly plane collisions during a frantic dog fight!
    The only times I tend to fly in formation during combat is with identical two seaters as they can cover each other, this seems pretty sensible to me.

  13. #13

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    I must admit that I always try to fly friendly aircraft at one level above and below each other if at all possible.

    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  14. #14

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    Occasionally I have tried setting a time limit for card planning - same time, no matter how many planes each player has.

    Those flying one plane have well-thought-out moves; those flying 3 have multiple mistakes, plus the occasional illegal manoeuvre and/or collision!

  15. #15

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    Funny this should come up in conversation. I'm a definite proponent of piloting individual planes, but reading so much lately about the RFC's practices in 1917, I've recently been toying with some "formation" flying rules...incorporating the cooperative probabilities of both Rookie and Ace (to a lesser degree...like the Richthofen brothers and Wolff) wingmen in maneuvers. I've developed a decent system for inside vs. outside turns and even follow-thru formation changes when entering an engagement, but, yes, once in a furball, I end up in full control of all planes individually. Having tried AI, I find the game seriously bogs down...particularly if I'm playing solo. Hence my tapping in on you gents for suggestions...if there any to be shared.

  16. #16


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    Somewhat relatedly, a rules question that came up last weekend: can you tail a friendly a/c? The rule seems to be written on the assumption you'll tail only enemies, but the actual conditions speak only about "the other airplane". The situation that came up was that a faster plane ended up directly behind a slower friend and wanted to avoid colliding with it.

    We eventually ruled that you could, but perhaps the assembled cognoscenti here knows better or can at least answer definitively.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artaxerxes View Post
    ... can you tail a friendly a/c? The rule seems to be written on the assumption you'll tail only enemies, but the actual conditions speak only about "the other airplane". The situation that came up was that a faster plane ended up directly behind a slower friend and wanted to avoid colliding with it...
    Well the rules do start
    Sometimes a pilot is in an advantageous position in which he can anticipate the actions of his adversary. This is called “tailing.”
    and also mention
    If a plane can tail two or more enemies, he must choose only one for the current turn.
    So they do seem to relate to following & staying targeted on enemy aircraft rather than avoiding a collision between friendlies.

    Having said that why would the advantage/anticipation not be the same for a friendly aircraft. As long as you all agree to it it's not an issue. There's no definitive answer I'm aware of unless Andrea's commented on it.

    "He is wise who watches"

  18. #18

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    I always say playing with more than 1 plane apiece is no fun and leads to headache (to me). Unfortunately it refers to WoG only, because you have to plan in advance, the cards tend to mix and it may be really hard especially in WGS. And it is not histrorically accurate as the first poster wrote. This is the other way around and quite pleasant in a game when you plan just one move and there is no risk of mixing cards. X-Wing Miniatures is a fine example. Flying multiple ships does not afffect fun and gameplay (I am sorry not SW fans)
    <img src=http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=2554&dateline=1409073309 border=0 alt= />
    "We do not stop playing when we get old, but we get old when we stop playing."

  19. #19


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    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    Well the rules do start
    We were debating whether that line was part of the rule proper, or just background about what the rule aims to represent.

    Would be nice to have an official ruling, but considering it's the first time it's come up I guess it's not going to make a great difference either way ...

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artaxerxes View Post
    We were debating whether that line was part of the rule proper, or just background about what the rule aims to represent.

    Would be nice to have an official ruling, but considering it's the first time it's come up I guess it's not going to make a great difference either way ...
    To me the line is part of the rules - the other bit is how you do it but that's just how I read it.
    I would suggest that if you want a definitive answer that you raise this question as a thread in the WW1 Rules sub-forum then you may get a direct response from Andrea (Angiolillo) - and PM him - then we'll all benefit from the designers wise words !

    "He is wise who watches"

  21. #21

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    I am pretty sure that the question of tailing a friendly aircraft has come up before somewhere on this website and the answer was "Yes, you can tail a friendly aircraft".

    If you are flying two or more aircraft in fairly close formation, I would consider them able to see hand signals and allow you to have them all make the same moves.

  22. #22

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    To simulate "follow the leader", I fly several planes in a 'V' formation, using just a single deck; the leader plays his first card, then "passes" it to the next in line on each side, and so on.............

    Thus the leader makes a turn, the closest mirror it NEXT card, the next closest mirror it the card after that..................

    Naturally, when the shooting starts, it's everyone for himself!

  23. #23

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    There was a discussion about tailing friendly aircraft at https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sh...iling+friendly

    Many people allow hand signals at a distance of half a ruler or less.

    There is a suggested set of rules for using flare guns to signal in the Files. See https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/do...o=file&id=1908

    Flying Officer Kyte suggested using coloured pipe cleaners rather than tokens to indicate flares. They are certainly more spectacular.
    Last edited by Naharaht; 10-11-2018 at 01:00.

  24. #24

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    I personally do not have a problem with working in concert with friendly aircraft until the fighting starts.
    Patrols were worked out before hand in the Mess, in briefings and in training sessions under your Flight Lts.
    Yes problems did occur with rookies, but in general pilots knew what they were doing and hand signals, wing waggles, flares etc could convey a series of meanings.

    As far as the rules go unless in a serious points laden game I and my friends use the rules as guidelines rather than being written in stone. Our main objectives are to get a reasonably accurate game, which we all enjoy,and a realistic outcome, discussed over a few beers. We are not too concerned about counting the number of buttons on the pilots flying jackets.

    Having fun is the thing.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    I personally do not have a problem with working in concert with friendly aircraft until the fighting starts.
    Patrols were worked out before hand in the Mess, in briefings and in training sessions under your Flight Lts.
    Yes problems did occur with rookies, but in general pilots knew what they were doing and hand signals, wing waggles, flares etc could convey a series of meanings.

    As far as the rules go unless in a serious points laden game I and my friends use the rules as guidelines rather than being written in stone. Our main objectives are to get a reasonably accurate game, which we all enjoy,and a realistic outcome, discussed over a few beers. We are not too concerned about counting the number of buttons on the pilots flying jackets.

    Having fun is the thing.
    Rob.
    Agree 100% Rob!

    "Its a fine line indeed between going out in a Blaze of Glory or having Crashed & Burnt!"
    Member Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians

  26. #26

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    i hate running more than one plane. i have enough trouble mixing up turns without adding a whole other maneuver deck to the mix!!!



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