Hello all, As I've stated in a few other threads, I've been working on a set of full campaign rules for use with Wings of War. I think I have most of it ironed out enough that it is releasable to the public, so here it is!
Complete rules and game aides can be downloaded as a zip file here.
Knights of the Air is a combination league and campaign system for use with Wings of War. These rules assume the use of all Famous Aces and Watch Your Back Wings of War rules are being used. The system is designed to allow multiple players to participate when they have time, without their coming and going affecting the course of Knights of the Air. Players we be required to start the campaign with only aircrafts from 1916(see page 8 for more details). There are two types of games played, league games and campaign games.
League games can be played any time and any place between two or more Knights of the Air players. The players can play recon missions, bombing missions, or a straight up dog fight. Players can also agree to play any scenarios that they may have written up.
Campaign games are played every Wednesday night at Gamers Haven, starting at 6:00pm. These games are scripted and are actually several games played of the same type. The Mission Tree shows the progress of the campaign games. Mission 1 is a dog fight over the trenches to determine who will be the Attackers and who will be the Defenders. You will note that Mission 1 is actually 5 sorties, or games. If you have a large player base, you can split them up into smaller groups and have each group play one or two sorties until a total of five have been played between all of the groups. The winning side for Mission 1 is now the Attacker and may pick either of the Mission 2 scenarios to play as the next campaign game. As long as the same side continues to win the Missions, the campaign games progress to the next higher Mission number. If the other side wins one of the Missions, the next campaign game will “fall back” to the next lowest number. Some Missions have special fall back rules. If the Defenders manage to push the Attackers all the way back to Mission 1 and they win the re-fight of Mission 1, they then become the Attackers and start progressing up the Mission numbers.
You will note that a perfect campaign run by one side would take just over 2 months to finish. That is very unlikely and just like in a real war, the sides will most likely fight back and forth. This will make the campaign some what open ended.
For the purpose of Knights of the Air, there are a few special rules that you will have to use in each game you play. They are:
1. Limited Ammo
2. Tail Gunner Blind Spot
3. Illegal Maneuvers
4. Resolving Damage
7. Being Shot Down
8. Pilot/Observer Health
9. Behind Enemy Lines
10. Daring Rescue
11. Overlapping Bases
13. Ground Objectives
14. Pilot Points
15. Medals and Awards
16. Leading Aces
17. Ace Special Abilities
You will also be required to fill out a Pilot Log for each sortie you fly.
1. Limited Ammo
At the start of each game, after random Balloon and Ground Targets have been determined, each player will randomly pull 10 damage cards from his damage deck and place them face down next to his flight board. These represent the amount of ammo he has for that sortie. When a player fires at a target at long range, the target player takes a damage card from the stack of ammo cards from the pilot that shot at him. If a player is shot at close range, the second card is drawn from the community damage deck that was made up of all the cards that were not drawn as ammo. Make sure to keep the different damage types separated if you are using more then one type. Once a plane runs out of ammo, it can no longer fire its guns for the rest of the sortie.
2. Tail Gunner Blind Spot
a tail gunner may not shoot at a plane if the range ruler passes thru the back edge of it's own base and touches any part of the target's base in short range.
3. Illegal Maneuvers
If a player plays an illegal maneuver, the maneuver is replaced with a straight maneuver, the pilot is disorientated so he may not fire that the end of that movement (his guns are not jammed) and the plane suffers structural damage in the form of one A type damage card (ignore any special damages on this card).
4. Resolving Damage
All shooting in WoW is done simultaneously unless one or more Aces have the Quick Shot special Ability. In that case they shoot first (their shots being simultaneous) and then all other guns.
When deciding how damage is dealt and who receives credit for shooting a plane down, use these guidelines...
Planes one on one: Damage is dealt at the same time.
Multiple Planes: Draw damage cards for the target aircraft starting with the closest shooting plane. Then work you way out applying all damage from one shooting plane before moving to the next.
Balloon and Ground targets: Balloons and all ground targets deal damage cards before any planes. Having them deal their damage first increases the chance that another plane will deal the last damage and claim the kill.
In order to observe a ground target, two-seater planes must fly within long gun range of the target card during any maneuver. Single seat fighters have their hands full with trying to fly the plane and observe the ground target, so they must perform a stall maneuver within short gun range. In order to be credited the points for observing a ground target, the observing pilot/gunner must survive the battle or make it off the table on a friendly table edge.
At the start of the scenario, decide the load of the bomber. Two seaters are able to carry a total of 9 bombs, fighters can carry only 3. These can be grouped in threes or single bombs (so, three groups of 3, nine single bombs, or any combination of the two). Each bomb does 2 points of damage (for a total damage potential of 18).
Before revealing any maneuver (at any point in the game), the bomber can decide to drop one or more groups of bombs, or even all of them. If he/she does so, take a bomb card that represents all the bombs dropped in that turn.
Execute the maneuver and, before weapon fire is resolved, put the bombs in play. If the last maneuver of the bomber was a stall, place a stall in front of the airplane, then place the bomb card so that the arrow on its rear matches the one on the stall card. If the last maneuver was not a stall, place a straight in front of the plane.
As soon as they are placed on the table, the bombs hit the ground. If the red dot on a target card is totally covered by the bomb card, the target takes full damage. If the red dot is not totally covered but even a little part of the target card is, the damage is halved (rounded down). If no part of any target is covered, the bombs missed. Once the bombs hit the ground, remove the cards. You may not measure at any time to see if your bombs will hit. Bombs can not be dropped just after an Immelmann.
7. Being Shot Down
Being shot down is a bad thing, a very bad thing! There are several things that can happen to a pilot that has been shot down. Not only can he die in the crash, but he can also be badly hurt or even taken prisoner. When a pilot is shot down but not killed, follow the Pilot Health rules below. If he was shot down in No-man’s Land or behind enemy lines, you will also have to follow those rules in addition to the Pilot Health rules.
8. Pilot/Observer Health
Each pilot starts his career with 25 health points. Each time a pilot is shot down (not by the Explosion card), he draws a damage card from the type used to shoot him down to see how many Health Points he loses. If an explosion card is drawn, draw another card and multiply it by 2 for the amount of health lost.
If the explosion card was drawn as the card that shot him down, immediately draw another random damage card from the same damage deck. If the second card is a 0, the pilot is killed instantly. If it is any other number, the pilot loses health points equal to the number drawn. In addition, he must draw another card and he loses an additional amount of health equal to this card as well. If the explosion card is drawn as the second card, multiply the first card by two for the total health lost for being shot down.
When an observer/rear gunner becomes incapacitated, he suffers lose of Health Points in the same way that a pilot does when shot down. If a plane with an incapacitated rear gunner is shot down, the rear gunner suffers the Health loss from being incapacitated as well as the Health loss for the plane being shot down.
Once a pilot or observer is reduced to 0 health points, he is no longer fit to fly and is retired or moved to a non flying desk job.
There are two ways to regain Health Points for your pilot in Knights of the Air. They are...
1. Year's End
At the end of each campaign year, each pilot draws two Type A damage cards. The numbers drawn are added to your current Health Points. If a card is drawn with a special damage icon, and +1 to the number of that card. If the explosion card is drawn as the first card, the pilot does not gain any health and no further cards are drawn. If the explosion card is drawn last, you receive no Health Points for that card. Year end health increases can not raise your total health above 25 points.
Whenever your pilot is awarded a medal, your may draw one Type A damage card and add the number to your current Health Points. If a card is drawn with a special damage icon, add +1 to the number of that card. If the explosion card is drawn as the first card, the pilot does not gain any health and no further cards are drawn. If the explosion card is drawn last, you receive no Health Points for that card. Year end health increases can not raise your total health above 25 points.
9. Behind Enemy Lines and No-man’s Land
Aerial combat behind enemy lines is both dangerous and scary for a pilot. The prospect of being shot down while behind enemy lines or in No-man’s land and surviving the crash landing, only to be taken prisoner or worse, shot by ground forces makes most pilots a little more cautious when engaging far from their own lines. To represent this in Knights of the Air, if a pilot is shot down while behind enemy lines or in No-man’s Land during a Campaign Mission, the downed pilot most draw 3 type A damage cards. If the sum of the numbers shown on the cards is equal to or greater then the mission number he was flying when shot down, he manages to evade capture and returns to his squadron to continue the fight. If the sum of the cards drawn is less then the mission number flown, the pilot is captured by ground forces and spends the rest of the war as a guest of the other side and takes no further part in Knights of the Air. If the explosion card is drawn, the pilot is captured as well.
For League games, being shot down behind enemy lines or in no man’s land has no effect.
Fleeing the battle while still flying is treated the same as being shot down for the purpose of determining if the pilot is captured..
10. Daring Rescues
When a pilot is shot down but not killed, his squadron mates might attempt a daring rescue to save him from the possibility of be captured by the enemy. If a pilot wishes to attempt a rescue, follow these rules.
Place a landing strip near the downed aircraft (replace the miniature with the card air plane when it crashes). The landing strip needs to be 4 inches by 10 inches. While on the ground, planes cannot fire, but they can be fired at.
To land, a plane must execute the following three maneuvers in order: First, perform a dive (the red straight maneuver), then a straight, and finally a stall. After the stall the plane’s movement for that turn ends, even if there are rounds left in the turn. Any remaining maneuvers on the plane’s board are not executed, and are just for bluffing.
The plane is grounded and must remain completely still for the remainder of this turn and all of the next turn.
If a plane finishes its stall maneuver and its red dot/center post is out of the landing field (due to bad planning), it crashes. It takes 4 A damage cards (or 8 B cards if you do not have an A deck). Take into account damage points, explosions, and fire, but ignore other special damages.
To take off, the plane must start with its red dot/center post inside the landing field. Then it must execute the following three maneuvers in order: First a stall, then a straight (it is still on the ground at this point), then a climb (the red stall maneuver). If a player wants to start taking off in the second or third round, just play one or two non-stall maneuvers before the stall, but do not execute the pre-stall maneuvers since the plane is grounded. The plane will complete the takeoff sequence next turn. If a player has a plane with its red dot/center post inside the airfield and wants to pretend to take off without doing so, just plan three non-stall maneuvers: Such a plane can’t be moved or turned that turn.
If a grounded plane ends a maneuver with its central red dot/center post outside the landing field while it is taking off (after the stall or the straight), it crashes. It takes 2 A damage cards (or 4 Bs) if it happens after the stall, or 3 A cards (or 6 Bs) if it happens after the straight. Take into account damage points, explosions, and fire, but ignore other special damages. The plane is grounded and must remain completely still for the remainder of this turn and all of the next turn.
If it is not destroyed, it can then be moved or turned, and may start a new takeoff if it can get back inside the airfield.
Maneuvering planes on the ground
At the start of the second round of a turn, before any maneuver card is revealed, the owner of a grounded plane can move and turn the plane card freely, but the plane’s red dot/center post must stay within the area covered by that same plane card at the start of the turn.
Fire on the ground
A plane cannot take off if it has fire counters. At the start of each turn, before resolving fire damage, take an A damage card (a B if an A is not available) to see if the ground personnel or the pilot manage to extinguish part of the fire: If the card is a 0, take away a flame counter; otherwise, ignore this card. If one or more fire counters are left, draw another A damage card and take damage as normal. At the end of the turn, if a burning, grounded plane overlaps one or more grounded planes that are not on fire, those planes catch on fire and each take two flame counters.
Downed pilots must make it to the landing strip in order to be rescued. To this they move in the same manor as an aircraft on the ground.
A plane can pick up and carry a total of two people. Once a plane is airborne carrying one person, it has to perform a stall maneuver every turn and may not perform any steep maneuvers. If a plane is carrying two people, it has to perform two stall maneuvers every turn and may not perform any steep maneuvers. If the plane carrying passengers is shoot down, the passengers suffer damage just if they were shot down, but multiply the damage cards by 3.
11. Overlapping Bases
All, just to keep it simple (Keep It Simple Stupid) and consistent, when ever two or more planes from opposite sides have bases overlapping, there is no shooting into or out of the mess. This makes it much easier to "fly planes out of the way" by letting some of them do more then one maneuver card to make room for the other planes.
At the start of each game you play, you need to determine if there are any balloons in the area you are flying in. To determine if there are balloons in the area, each side will draw one card from the A damage deck. If this card has a Special Damage symbol on it, there is a balloon on your side. If the Explosion card is drawn, there are two balloons. Each side will place their balloon(s) within 12 inches of their trenches and at least one ruler length from any table edge. Balloons are never moved and if there are more than one on a side, place them at least one ruler away from each other.
Balloons were both very valuable and very vulnerable, so they were pulled to the ground when attacked by enemy aircraft. At the end of the 12th turn, they are on the ground and they cannot be attacked any more. Balloons ignore all types of special damage except for smoke, fire and explosions. Smoke is treated as fire against balloons in Knights of the Air. Keep the damage points taken by balloons secret, placing damage cards directly on the balloon. When a balloon catches fire, put a flame counter on it. The balloon takes an A damage card at the start of each turn, just as airplanes do. Only damage points and explosions are considered; all other types of special damage are ignored. Do not discard the fire counter. For balloons, fires do not end after the third turn as they do for planes. Instead, a balloon that is on fire takes a damage card every turn until the balloon is destroyed or reaches the ground. If a balloon takes more than one fire damage, in the same or subsequent turns, put a flame counter on it for each fire damage taken. Draw an A damage card for each counter every turn. A balloon explodes if it takes an “explosion” special damage result or reaches its maximum damage while on fire. In either case, it is removed from the game and all airplanes within short rang of the balloon with any part of their base take one C damage card immediately. For the planes, take into account only damage points, explosions, and fire, and ignore other types of special damage. If a balloon reaches its maximum damage while it is not on fire, it is eliminated but does not explode.
Each Balloon has a single A Damage Anti Aircraft gun with a 360 degree arch of fire. Measure range from the center of the balloon. Balloons are always considered at short range for the number of damage cards they inflict.
13. Ground Targets
At the start of each game you play, you need to determine if there are any ground targets in the area you are flying in. To determine if there are ground targets in the area, each side will draw one card from the A damage deck. If this card has a Special Damage symbol on it, there is a ground target on your side. If the Explosion card is drawn, there are two targets. Each side will place their target(s) within 12 inches of their trenches and at least one ruler length from any table edge. Balloons are never moved and if there are more than one on a side, place them at least one ruler away from each other.
Randomly draw the correct number of ground target cards and place them face down in your deployment zone. Neither side is allowed to look at the ground targets when they are placed. When an enemy plane flies within long shooting range of a ground target, flip it over for all to see. If it is a machine gun or AA gun, it immediately fires in the normal manner at the plane that revealed it. From this point on it is an active ground target and may fire and be fired upon. If it is destroyed, the pilot that destroyed it and his side receive points for destroying it. Machine gun cards may be rotated when they are flipped over by the owning player. After this, they must remain stationary. Ground targets always fire at the closest enemy airplane.
14. Pilot Points
Through out your games in Knights of the Air, your pilot will earn Pilot Points. These points are earned for various achievements during a sortie and are used to award medals. Table 1 shows a list of achievements, the points earned for them and any special restrictions they may have.
In order to receive Pilot Points for chasing a plane off the table, you must have shot at it in the last two turns. If a plane is downed due to damage not caused by enemy shooting (fire damage or structural damage of example) in the last full turn, no one receives credit for the kill.
15. Medals and Awards
The Pilot Points that you acquire during games of Knights of the Air are used to earn various medals and awards. Table 2 shows the medals and awards that you can earn and the required amount of points or special requirements to achieve them.
16. Leading Ace
The leading Aces on both sides have the option of upgrading to the year’s planes one mission early. In mission 3, both Aces can fly planes from the 1917 list. In mission 6, they can fly planes from 1918.
17. Ace Special Abilities
When a pilot or rear gunner becomes an Ace, they get to select one of the following special abilities. If they reach double Ace, they select another one and so on.
The list of abilities is divided in to two sets. The first list can be chosen only by pilots, the second one by both pilots and observers. A plane may have an ace pilot with a non-ace observer or vice-versa. "When the ace fires" means that the ability is applied only if that specific airman (pilot or observer) is firing. If the observer is incapacitated, his individual abilities cannot be applied for the rest of that game.
Pilot Only Abilities
Player can do two steep maneuvers in a row. Player may use this ability every two turns. Use a blank counter to remember that you used the ability and discard it after a turn.
Player can do an Immelmann turn without having to do a straight after it. The straight before it still has to be done. Player may use this ability every two turns. Use a blank counter to remember that you used the ability and discard it after a turn.
Player can ignore a single damage card once per game, after drawing and looking at it. The player must show the card to all other players. The ignored card is put back in to the damage deck and shuffled. The Explosion card may not be ignored in this manner.
This pilot can not be tailed, unless the tailing opponent is also an Ace.
Player can use the same maneuver twice in the same turn. Take two blank maneuver cards and write a "1" on one and a "2" on the other. Add them to your Maneuver deck. When you plan your move, you can use the "1" as the second or third maneuver, and the "2" as the third. When you show the "1" use the first maneuver of the turn again, when you show the "2", use the second maneuver again.
Example: a SPAD XIII plans an Immelmann, a straight and a "1". The plane executes an Immelmann in the first phase, a straight in the second and another Immelmann in the third one.
The restrictions of the "1" and "2" are the same of the card they replace. So if you use a "1" and the first maneuver of the turn was a Immelmann, you have to do a straight maneuver before it and another after it.
Pilots or observer individual abilities
Once per turn the player can look at the damage cards of any airplane. The plane has to be in firing distance from the ace's plane, in any direction (from the central dot to any point of the examined plane). Player may use this ability every two turns. Use a blank counter to remember that you used the ability and discard it after a turn.
Once per turn, the pilot can decide to use the +1 Aim bonus even if he did not shoot at the same plane in the previous phase. Once this ability is used, it can not be re-used for the rest of the turn.
When the ace fires to an enemy plane, he can try to make a bull’s eye shot. This means that when his opponent has to draw a damage card, the firing ace draws two damage cards instead. The Ace looks at them, and picks which one his opponent will keep. The unused card is shuffled back in to the deck. If the enemy has to draw two damage cards, the ace takes three cards and chooses two of them. Player may use this ability every two turns. Use a blank counter to remember that you used the ability and discard it after a turn.
Each time that firing is resolved, all the aces with this special ability fire first. Remove any eliminated planes, only the surviving planes can fire.
During the First World War, bullets were often produced by improvised workers aiming more for quantity than for quality. This caused machineguns to jam frequently, but some pilots - as the Italian ace Silvio Scaroni - checked every single bullet before taking off and discarded up to half of them. A plane with this ability ignores the green jammed special damage.
Toughness Ace Special Ability
When an Ace chooses the Toughness Special Ability, they draw three Type A damage cards and add the numbers drawn to their base Health Points (meaning, they can go over the 25 point total). Ignore all special damage icons. If the explosion card is drawn at any time, do not draw any more cards and the pilot receives only the points already drawn. If the explosion card is drawn as the first card, draw one final card and apply the points as usual.
To represent the war progressing through the years and the advance of aircraft technology, Knights of the Air starts off with all players using only aircraft from 1916. Once either of the sides completes any of the Mission 3 games, both sides can advance to planes from 1917. To advance to 1918 criteria planes, one side has to complete any of the Mission 6 games. Once these year marks have been reached, it does not matter if the Campaign falls back below them as for as the availability of planes is concerned. Table 3 shows what planes are available in each year.
Mission 1: Battle over the trenches.
This first mission will determine which side has the initiative in the air battle and will be the Attacker. At the end of all the sorties, add up each pilot’s Pilot Points and then add the total of each pilot’s together to come up with the total number of points each side has. The side with the most points wins and will go on the offensive.
Victory Conditions: Pilot Points
Setup: Missions should be played length wise on a 4’x6’ table. Each side has a 24 inch deployment zone. 24 inches in from both ends of the table is where the trenches begin. Trenches should be 3 inches wide. This will leave 18 inches of No-man’s land in the center of the table.
• Both sides must start the game with their planes inside their deployments zones.
• Each side has the chance of random ground targets, determined by the special Ground Targets rules for Knights of the Air.
• Each side has the chance of random balloons, determined by the special Balloon rules for Knights of the Air.
Mission 3: Balloon Busting (note as mission numbers increase, the attacking side moves further and further into enemy territory).
Mission 6a: Out Numbered
Mission 7b: Daring Rescue
Mission 8: Air Superiority
These rules contain copyrighted information and artwork. There use is intended for personal use only. All artwork is copyright Mark Miller and is used with permission. Special rules are the work of Andrea Angiolino and Keith Upton. Scenario designs are the work of Keith Upton. Permission is given to use, alter and modify campaign rules and scenarios. Artwork should not be modified .
Below you will find some shots of the game aides.
Used to keep track of all pilots playing in the campaign
Used by players to keep track of their pilot's stats
A list showing all planes that have miniatures produced for them and method for tracking which ones you own.
Aerodrome card (one of two)
Train Card (there are boxcar cards as well)
I hope you find these rules both useful and fun. If you have any questions, please let me know.