I am looking at the Spad XIII and I see one for Italy, france, and United states. What is the diff in the planes? Do they have diff cards, damage, guns or just colors and name?
Same question for the Albatros, Fokker and sopwith. I have read that those 4 would be a nice first choice but not sure which ones. I would like to get a mix of plane types to help me get a feel for the game.
Most of the time, all units of a given type have the same movement cards -- that is, all SPAD XIIIs use the same maneuver deck, all Fokker Dr.Is use the same deck, etc. The notable exception so far is in the _Immelmann_ expansion -- the infamous triple-gun Eindecker uses a different maneuver deck from the single- and dual-mount Es.
Which leads to the other point: While most units of a type have the same maneuver deck, they *don't* all have the same firepower! For ex.: Some Hanriot HD.1s use the B damage deck, while other use the A deck. So when you're selecting your units, pay attention to the firepower stat!
I don't think anyone's yet put together a comprehensive list of which specific unit has which specific maneuver and firepower values, so short of digging out my copies and silly-walking through every card, I can't tell you which units have which values. I think if you go to BoardGameGeek, they have pictures of the minis taken at close-enough range to make the values legible.