My Ace of Aces Book Sets from Back in the Day...
Today Could Be "The Day" All Over Again!
Ace of Aces Rotary Edition Kickstarter
One of my favorite games of all time has been out of print for over 25 years. Ace of Aces is a game that uses pairs of books to show different locations of two dogfighting WWI aircraft. You look at where your opponent is, try to anticipate their maneuver, then pick your own maneuver. Once once you decide what you're going to do, you call off the page number under your maneuver to your opponent. They call off a number to you. You then go to the page number they called, and look up your own maneuver. They do the same. You both get a final page number, and turn to that page (they'll both be the same, so you can cross-check to avoid errors.)
There you have your new position relative to each other.
On the pages above, you can see two different positions. The page on the left has your opponent out past your left wingtip, approaching at an angle. Aha! Time to simple pitch into a stall maneuver and let him come right in line with your guns! (Unless you think they're going to stall and wing-over to put you in line with theirs.)
On the right hand page, we're being fired on! Dangit! Score one for the other guy.
Fortunately, all those little squares you see below the big pictures are your choices of manuever. There are a lot of them, so if you find yourself in the position of the page on the right you have a lot of crafty things you can do to get out of the line of fire and save the day.
This game is quick and easy to learn, and can be expanded as much as you care to expand it. It has optional rules for different models of aircraft, hit locations, etc. Plus, I and some friends turned it into a campaign-level RPG in high school. We added rules for pilot recruitment and skill levels, organizing squadrons, procuring and repairing aircraft, and so on.
But I have to say I've played it as a casual pick-up five minute game with a lot more people. It takes less than 5 minutes to learn the basic game, and you can play the games up to number of hits, first blood, or whatever you wish to make it quick and light.
Ace of Aces Kickstarter
Now there's a Kickstarter Project to reprint the first set of books from the game. It's very nearly funded as I write this (about $500 away), and you want to get in on it!
This project is for the "Handy Rotary" books, which recreate the aircraft with rotary engines and high torque and maneuverability. These were the first original books, and they're a lot of fun. I have this set and the Powerhouse set. If this Kickstarter goes well, we'll be seeing the other book sets coming in future Kickstarters.
There are also some really neat Ace of Aces T-Shirts as swag. Read the updates, you'll see.