29 - Buffalo Wings
While air aficionados and gamers may have friendly disagreements about, "What was the best Allied fighter of WWII?", when asked, "Which was the worst?” the stubby Brewster "Buffalo" always comes near the top of any list. Though reportedly a pleasure to fly originally, by the time it was weighted down with armor, guns, self-sealing gas tanks, radio, and the other bits of modern equipment, it lost both speed and maneuverability. A dismal failure all over the Pacific, the Finns flew the “unmodified” versions and loved it. In the early months of "The Continuation War," the Finnish Brewsters scored heavily against everything in the Soviet air arsenal, and the planes were still in use through the middle of 1944.
Back in 2012, we released our “Buffalo Wings” game as an intro to J.D. Webster's "Fighting Wings" system of air combat. Buffalo Wings centers on the Finnish-Soviet air actions of 1939-41 (both "The Winter War" and "The Continuation War"), with a faster playing set of rules that makes for easy entry into the "Fighting Wings" game system. While this is a complete, stand-alone game, it's also a useful expansion to the FW line and fully compatible with the system. Buffalo Wings is fast moving, with both solitaire, 2 player, and multi-player scenarios, ranging from 1 on 1 dogfights to "1 versus many" episodes against bombers (which have "auto fly" rules or can be handled by a live player) and escorts. All this combined to make it one of our fastest “sell-out” games.
So we revived Buffalo Wings with our first-ever Kickstarter, with upgraded graphics and “stretch goals” that added more planes, more scenarios, and lots of extra goodies.
We upgraded the original map, and added a “blue sky” map to the back side (compatible with the Clash of Arms' Wings of the Motherland release that covered the entire Eastern Front air war.)
Upgraded counters, plus additional plane charts that give you interesting variants of the planes and means lots more playability. You will pit Brewsters, Hawks, Me 109s, and other Finnish planes against a diverse sample the Soviet air force, from I-16s and LaGGs to MiGs, Yaks, Pe2s, and more. Full-color rules and cover stock charts are both real upgrades to play.
"Are those tiny blue swastikas?"
While the Finns were "co-belligerents" of the Nazis in "The Continuation War," the symbol on their planes (and elsewhere) predates the Third Reich and has nothing to do with National Socialism. Some of the earliest planes used in Finland's struggle for independence and self-determination (1919!) were donated by Swedish Count Eric von Rosen, another pilot who used the symbol as a personal good luck charm. The "hakaristi" was an already well recognized symbol in Finland, so it was used officially until the end of WWII.
Buffalo Wings and issue #29 of ATO:
Map - One double-sided full color 22"x34" hex mapsheet
Counters - 280 full color 1/2" die-cut pieces
Rules length - 20 pages
Airplane Data Cards - 12 pages
Charts and tables - 4 pages
Complexity - Medium
Playing time - Up to 2 hours
How challenging is it solitaire? - Good
Design - John D. Webster
Development - Lembit Tohver and Steve Rawling
Graphic Design - Dave Friedrichs and Ian Wedge
NOTE that the Kickstarter stretch goals and additions went way beyond what we can include in a single issue. If you want LOTS more goodies for your game (including a second double-sided map!) check out our Buffalo Wings Expansion Kit below.
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Buffalo Wings Expansion Kit
See more Buffalo Wings game graphics.
Click here to view the contents spread below (in PDF format) for this issue of Against the Odds Magazine!
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Free download here.
Download and print off blank aircraft log sheets for Buffalo Wings (in PDF format).
Read more about this game on Consimworld.
Read more about this game on BGG.