Initial thoughts

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Well, I picked up my starter today, and have some good thoughts and some not so good ones.  I'm still working my way through the rulebook and haven't played yet, so these thoughts are just upon opening the box...

"The Good"

The planes are very nice.  There isn't a bent wing among them.  They seem to have gotten the scale almost perfect.  All six of the planes in the starter (keep in mind two are resculpts) are within a millimeter or two of a perfect 1/100.  They seem to mount to the stands fine.  The top of the stand is a large ball that just clips into a recess on the belly of the aircraft.  There does seem to a "clip" inside each plane to hold it on, and makes for easy removal for storage too.  The paintjobs seem to be pretty decent.  My only gripe about that is the lack of a clear canopy, and the "sanitization" of the German markings.

The cards are typical A&A cards.  Nicely done, all 31 in the box.  Not much to say about that.

The rulebook seems to be nicely done as well.  Doesn't feel flimsy and is laid out fine.  Good illustrations accompany each rule.



The "Not so Good"

The maps are two bland one-sided hex maps.  I'm not sure what they could have done to spice it up, but it feels kinda blah.

The planes aren't marked with a rarity.  I don't know how that bodes for the collectability of the set.  

The set list is a bit odd.  Four BF-109's and only one Spitfire?  I realize there are two Hurricanes and a Typhoon, but only one Spitfire?

The price.  I feel like I got my $40 worth with the starter, since all the cards are in there, as well as counters, dice and a rulebook (and the BF-110).  I think $25 for a booster with three planes (of no distinct rarity) is way too much though.  I also heard rumor that the boosters do not have cards in them.  That would make it very hard to take a flight of three Spitfires (or even two) since there is only one in the set.  If there are no cards in the boosters you'd need to produce your own cards, or buy more starters.  $50 for 6 planes does not come close to equaling $40 for 6 starter planes (including the maps, rulebook, cards, dice and counters and massive BF-110).   

I'm torn on whether I should pick up some boosters or not.  On one hand, I do love my plastic crack, but on the other hand, I don't know how much I want the sheer randomness of the boosters.  The game could easily be played with aircraft from any of the other lines ($4 Maisto ones fit pretty close, and Wings of War and Microarmor work for smaller scales.  You can generally get 2 microarmor fighters for $10, and get exactly what you're looking for). 

All in all, it seems like a decent set.  Hopefully I'll get to finish off the rulebook tonight and get a game in soon.   
     
Thanks for the fast post. 

I feel you pain about the lack of spitfires but given that there were a lot more hurricanes than spitfires in the Battle of Britain I can understand this to a degree. If however every spitfire has to be an ace pilot that's not ideal from a scenario design point of view. I suppose if we have all the cards to start with then we can scan and alter to provide the variation that we need for scenarios but the lack of spitfire models could make this dificult. Looks like you might need two starter sets to do a basic Battle of Britain scenario? I'm a little concerned that this is just a ploy to sells more starter sets given the popularity of the spitfire....

Shame about the map. I had seen what looked like quite a nice one with a cityscape below in a photo but presumably someone had made that for a demo. If you're going to pay a lot for nice toys it's always better to have a nice surface to play on.

I still haven't got my head around the booster mix. Are none of the starter aircraft available in the boosters? I am tempted to agree however that as usual the starter set seems good value but the boosters don't. The way they are selling this almost makes it tempting to get the starter then buy the rest in lead at a scale of your choosing. (If you don't mid having to paint them it would be a lot cheaper!)

I run a small online shop in the UK and am looking to see how cheap I can carry this as it does seem expensive and the marketing has been low key. I try to support games that I'm into myself so if anyone in Europe is looking to get into this but is put off by the price let me know and I'll try to get something together. Think I'll order some stuff for myself and friends tomorrow just can't decide how much to commit to at his stage.

Be really interested to hear your thoughts once you have had a chance to push a few models around the table.

Thanks for the post, though I don't see having to use one card between several planes as a problem. I agree that $25 a booster is pretty pricey, if/when I buy boosters it'll be through online vendors, because they are generally ~10% off.
There is just the one skill level Spitfire. I think the only plane unique to the starter is the BF-110, all of the others should be in the boosters.

I hadn't thought about sharing cards for multiple planes, probably because we didn't have to do that in WaS (which all of my A&A experience comes from). It works, but seems to devalue the boosters even more. I love painting, but don't have the time anymore, so the prepaints are really nice. I do need to get some mustangs and P-40's. That "boom and zoom" rule for the mustangs seems excellent once you factor in the altitude rules.
-I calculate not the MSRP, but the Online price n that is usually less (e.g. MM 16 the booster and 28 the starter) plus they sell a set of cards for 7$ ...

concerning rarity -the planes are quite similar in size, so I don't mind a one rarity approach. consider it three rares a pack or even 24 rares a case - thats coparably better than AAM (20 rares a set - 12 in a case) or WAS (16 in a set and 12 in a case).

No clear canopy - a minor issue - I own planes from other manufacturers - and those pesky clear canopies tend to fall off after some use ;)

Planes distribution - from a fist short glance at the set list it seems most nations get ther usual mix of early war stuff - but the US seems to get "advanced stuff" (not the really modern stuff, but ...)

OK I have to wait until I get my cards ;) and rules

What really bugs me is that you get some of the planes in multiple multiple incarnations... Must look hard on teh models to see if we really get different sculpts for different planes.

And the only 1 Spitfire in the set thing - as singles you get it for 4 bucks at MM... not a bad deal here :D

BTW only plane already sold out is the Finnish MS.

one more thing to add - I trade in your unwanted planes (from your boosters ;)) for WAS ships... and I have the following offer: for one plane you can pick 2 WAS rares from my trade list (at forummini - pm me here and I send you a list with available ships) and I add at random 3 uncommons and 4 commons. but I want only bigger trades - more than one or 2 planes. Currently I want all planes (maybe NOT the ones in the starter) - the list might get shorter soon :D
...,... and Rock'n Roll - but Minis are fun too...
I think our group will go with multiple starters and create a card for a Spitfire wingman. If the list elsewhere is correct I think that there's only one 109g and one 109f as well. Given that they are giving you all the cards in the starter would it not have made sense to give you variations on the cards to use with each model? You could then have had a rookie and average and an ace pilot for each aircraft and built scenarios as you saw fit?

I haven't seen the altitude rules yet so I'm interested to see how the P-51's special ability works. (I think there's a post here that I'll check out.)

I agree with AH_Richter that the US planes included don't seem to fit with the time scale of the rest of the set. Presumably they felt that the early US aircraft would not be as attractive ....? 

 
There is just the one skill level Spitfire. I think the only plane unique to the starter is the BF-110, all of the others should be in the boosters.


That's correct. Miniaturemarket has confirmed it: aaminis.myfastforum.org/about31840.html

Axis & Allies forumini With over 750,000 posts, the most popular forum specialised in the Axis & Allies Miniatures, War At Sea and Angels 20 games. - Download hundreds of custom cards, as well as scenarios for all nations - Super-fast clarification of rules - Play A&A online and take part in online tournaments with great prizes - Compute die roll probabilities for AAM and WAS - Trade miniatures with our 2,400 members
Thanks for the update tie!!!  I liked the pros and can easily deal with the cons.  Probably suffering from confirmation bias again and a new attack of the plasticrack.
There are four BF-109's in the cards (two "E"s, an "F" and a "G").  It's impossible to tell from the starter whether or not the sculpts are different in the variations, as the two duplicate planes are the same model (two Hurricane MKI's and two BF-109E's)  You get the BF109E Ace and the BF-109E Wingman, and the Hurricane MKI and the Kosciuszko Hurricane MKI.  Different paint and cards, but same sculpt.  Another thing to note is is that I can't find any marking at all on the actual plane as to what it is.  No name, symbol or collector's number is evident anywhere.

I also commented on the P-51's Boom and Zoom in the other thread, but it seems useless upon second reading.  It states you can power dive and climb in the same movement phase.  I can't see where that gives you an advantage, as it would leave you at the same altitude (or one below) when you're done moving, instead of just doing a regular power dive losing one altitude.  It only makes sense if you can fire between the dive and climb (which doesn't seem legal). 
There are four BF-109's in the cards (two "E"s, an "F" and a "G").  It's impossible to tell from the starter whether or not the sculpts are different in the variations


They are (again sorry for the external links, but I can't find this info here): aaminis.myfastforum.org/sutra744549.php#...

Axis & Allies forumini With over 750,000 posts, the most popular forum specialised in the Axis & Allies Miniatures, War At Sea and Angels 20 games. - Download hundreds of custom cards, as well as scenarios for all nations - Super-fast clarification of rules - Play A&A online and take part in online tournaments with great prizes - Compute die roll probabilities for AAM and WAS - Trade miniatures with our 2,400 members
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