March 24, 2015 by brennon
Ares Games has funded their Wings of Glory: Giants of the Sky project but we thought we’d sit down and have a chat with them about the game itself, how the Giants of the Sky work and what their plans are for the future of both their World War I and World War II dog fighting games!
BoW: Wings of Glory is quite the established dog fighting tabletop game and has been around for a while. For those who don’t know, fill us in on just exactly what the game is all about.
Roberto: In a nutshell – it’s a game system recreating aerial combat in WWI and WWII. There are a number of things the designers tried to achieve with the system, but I think the most important one is to create a game which is both realistic and highly playable. This was achieved through the simple and beautiful “maneuver deck” system, which simulates the behavior of each different airplane using a different maneuver deck individual to it.
We then created, to support the system, a collection of highly detailed, pre-painted and assembled, airplane models. Just like with the game we put a lot of effort into historical research when it comes to the models, to make the experts happy. With this and the fact that they are ready to play out of the box we have little objects that everybody can enjoy.
You’re currently on Kickstarter looking to fund your Giants of the Sky. How did you find out about the history of these immense aircraft and what do you hope to achieve with the success of the Kickstarter?
Our designers invest a lot of time researching the subject as it’s very important for us to create a game which is historically accurate, varied and interesting. When thinking of WWI aerial combat, everyone imagines the Red Baron and biplanes dueling but what is really amazing in this period is the amount of technological development that happened in just a few years. The “Giants of the Sky” are an incredible example.
Barely 20 years after flying the first heavier-than-air machines, airplanes larger than a WWII Flying Fortress were already employed in combat!
However, to build these models with the amount of detail they deserve is a very taxing in terms of pre-production and general production effort for a company of our size. Kickstarter allows us to tackle such a financial effort properly while at the same time promoting the product line and get it advertised to a larger audience. At least, that’s what we hope!
Can you tell us a bit more about how these Giants of the Sky play in our games of Wings of Glory?
In our Rules and Accessories Pack we have rules covering bombers, and they are the foundation of the use of Giants of the Sky models in the game. Different from a normal airplane, bombers have multiple crewman and gun emplacements. They use a special “management card” to handle the crew, to keep track of your combat capabilities, and to keep track of the damage to your crewmen and multiple engines.
These “giants” specifically also has the interesting feature that crewman moved between different positions on the airplane. For example, on the Handley-Page, the gunner firing the rear machine gun could also move to fire the ventral machine gun. On the Staaken the men keeping care of the engines could climb a stair up to the top wing, open a window, and fire a machine gun up there! This is all handled using the management card.
In combat these giants are bristling with guns and very resilient. They are strongly lacking in terms of maneuverability, of course, so without the protection of other planes they may still be at risk when faced with the enemy.
What made you want to develop the World War I version of Wings of Glory over World War II in this way?
We do have bombers for WWII. However, WWI models are definitely more difficult to produce because of the complexity of the models and the “weirdness” of their builds – they look like they’ve come out of a Steampunk novel! This is why we used Kickstarter for the development.
In terms of gameplay, the models we recently released for WWII, the B-17s and Lancaster, enhance the gameplay in the WWII setting in a similar way to how these “Giants of the Sky” do.
Where do you see Wings of Glory going in the future? Will we be seeing more Kickstarters and expansions coming our way for both World War I and World War II?
There are many things we want to do to enhance the game. First of all, we want to extend the game experience. Today, Wings of Glory is mostly played as a casual game, focused on dogfights. While this is definitely a fun way of playing it, it is by no means the only one.
Specific scenarios can also be very fun with bombing missions, recon, and so on. It could also be very interesting to develop a campaign, or to play in a tournament. However, these approaches to the game are not properly supported by official products, and we want to release supplements to help players create campaigns, scenarios, and run tournaments.
We also want to put a stronger emphasis on the theme, especially in the WWII line and we will start to release “Starter Sets” and Airplane Packs focused on specific settings, starting with a “Battle of Britain” Starter Set in late 2015, and “Battle of Midway” set in 2016!
We do not want to make a regular use of Kickstarter for this range though. We think that it’s important that we do a Kickstarter to face an exceptional challenge, but we also want our distributors and retailer to continue supporting us, so crowdfunding should be used only when it’s really necessary!
That’s a great outlook to have; what else should we know?
It’s worth remembering that the same team that designs and produces Wings of Glory is also responsible for the creation of another great game – Sails of Glory. The two game systems share the same design philosophy, so if you like Wings, you will probably like Sails of Glory, too!
Finally, we should say that Wings of Glory is fully compatible with Wings of War – it’s the same game, with a different name in fact! You can play with the Wings of Glory and Wings of War airplanes together on the same table, with no problem at all.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us and good luck with the rest of the campaign!
Check out the Wings of Glory: Giants of the Sky Kickstarter!
"Our designers invest a lot of time researching the subject as it's very important for us to create a game which is historically accurate, varied and interesting..."
"We also want to put a stronger emphasis on the theme, especially in the WWII line..."