Saturday, 30 April 2016

Airfix Battles: Inside the box!

As I had a spare hour or two today, I decided to open my newly-arrive copy of AIRFIX BATTLES: THE INTRODUCTORY WARGAME.

The whole thing comes in a sturdy cardboard box, and the box lid looks like this:


The bottom of the box has a description of the contents as well as a number of illustrations of the various components.


When the box lid is taken off, the contents of the box look like this:


The game comes with 54 Force cards (top left), 54 Command cards (top right), and a bag of ten D6 dice,


The rule book is 24 pages long ...


... and the scenario (or 'Mission') book covers 10 scenarios/missions within its 12 pages.


There are two A2-sized double-sided maps/battlefields depicting a 'Crossroad', ...


... a 'Checkpoint', ...


... a 'Long Road' ...


... and a 'Forest'.


Each is divided up into a 7 x 5 grid of 8.5cm squares.

The three sets of double-sided cardboard counters are quite substantial, and give an interesting mix of figures, vehicles, equipment, and terrain.

Set One (Front)


Set One (Back)


Set Two (Front)


Set Two (Back)


Set Three (Front)


Set Three (Back)


Inside this game is everything that you need to fight a battle, and I can foresee wargamers having this to hand as a great 'stand by' for those occasions when they do not have the time, the space, or the inclination to set up figure game. It is also a great way to introduce people (both young and old) to wargaming, and the fact that it is designed so that the counters can easily be replaced by figures and model vehicles makes it even more flexible.

The team at Modiphius (Nick Fallon, Alan Paull, and Chris Birch) and Airfix (i.e. Hornby Hobbies Ltd.) have come up with what I think is a winning combination ... and I look forward to future expansion sets being developed and becoming available.

26 comments:

  1. Excellent review...I'm quite tempted by this!

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    Replies
    1. Lee Hadley,

      It might be worth trying to get a look at the game at a show before you buy, but you can get some idea about its game mechanisms from the rules, which I understand are available online.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Great review Bob. Mine is still in its cellophane. but I may well open it up now and have a read through the rules.

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    Replies
    1. Blaxkleric,

      I think that the rules are available online as a PDF if you want to leave your box unopened for the moment.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. I paid for mine last night to be sure of getting the free expansion set for buying before May 1st.
    I realise that the American market is very important but I wanted British Infantry which, I am told, the expansion set gives. My relatives in WW2 were all English and the first died in December '39; long before the US put troops in. Hopefully, it will be here on Tuesday :0)

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    Replies
    1. Nobby,

      Your introductory game (as shown above) may well arrive by next week, but my understanding is that the pre-order bonus expansion set will not be posted out until later this year.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. "Hopefully, it will be here on Tuesday :0)"

    Um, no... the pre-order before May 1st is for delivery in the first week of June.

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    Replies
    1. Mike,

      That was my understanding of the situation regarding the pre-order bonus expansion set as well.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. They didn't mention that when I phoned and asked about the British infantry and tanks! Ntw, plenty to play between now and then.

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    3. Nobby,

      I must admit that it was not at all clear on the website when the bonus expansion set would be published.

      I am sure that it will be worth the wait.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Got mine - looks very promising , thinking of taking in on holiday - just the thing for a wet afternoon in Wales , Tony

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    Replies
    1. A.W. Kitchen (Tony),

      I think that this game would be ideal for taking on holiday. It is certainly something that I am thinking about doing.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. I'm looking forward to your play-test - particularly the potential for solo play.

    Thanks for the review so far.

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    Replies
    1. Edwin King,

      It is the solo play aspect of the rules that I am particularly interested in ... and I hope to mount a play-test in the near future.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  7. I wish Airfix had done something like this forty years ago. But then again I still developed rules for my combined Assault sets.

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    Replies
    1. Stephen Briddon,

      True. If Airfix had produced these rules forty or fifty years ago my early wargaming might have been somewhat different as well. Mind you, if they had, then Donald Featherstone's book might not have become as important a starting point for so many wargamers of my generation.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  8. "THIS IS A PRE-ORDER SHIPPING FIRST WEEK OF JUNE"
    https://www.modiphius.net/collections/airfix-battles/products/airfix-battles

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    Replies
    1. Mike,

      Interesting; that screen did not display when I pre-ordered my copy some time ago. Obviously they have added it since then.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  9. Well my preorder arrives a few weeks ago and I saw the game and discussed some others at Salute. From testing it with the pupils at my school club it seems to have gone down very well. Easy to play and many nuances to enjoy. It will certainly encourage the building of models etc and I cannot see a major issue with replacing the maps with a more conventional tabletop.

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    Replies
    1. Michael,

      What you have written in your comment reinforces my own thoughts about this game, and I have already begun to think about making a few minor changes to the rules so that I can use them with my Hexon II terrain.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  10. I was able to pick-up the expansion set at "Salute" - you get British infantry, commandos, Cromwell and Firefy. The Germans get Michael Wittman and a King Tiger! I'm very impressed with the game. I hope it does well - perhaps even get into some high street outlets such as W.H. Smith's or Waterstones which would give a good boost to the hobby. Glad to see you are looking at a "Hexon" varient.

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    1. David Bradley,

      You lucky man! The expansion set sounds very interesting, and I look forward to receiving mine in due course.

      If a High Street retailer stocked this game I am sure that it would sell. It's just a pity that neither WHSmith or Waterstones have done so ... yet!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  11. "If a High Street retailer stocked this game I am sure that it would sell. It's just a pity that neither WHSmith or Waterstones have done so ... yet!"

    Thay haven't done so for the simple reason that it is not on general release yet.

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    Replies
    1. Mike,

      I am hoping that one or both of these two retailers will stock the game once the general release date is reached. (I suspect that Waterstones are more likely to as they seem to stock quite a few games aimed at the adult and teenage age groups.)

      All the best,

      Bob

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  12. Not having heard of this before I was surprised to not see Airfix figures included. They seem to have taken insptration from various other board games over the years to produce a very attractive game which looks like it might be engaging to play (based on guessing about how the game works based on pictures of the componants.) Interesting to see the 2 stage grid.

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    Replies
    1. Ross Mac,

      I understand that the game came about as a result of a chance comment made by one of the designers to the boss of Airfix. It is not an Airfix product as such, but is licenced to use the name etc. I suspect that this is why no figures or model tanks were included in the introductory edition of the game.

      I must admit that if I were anything to do with the marketing/sales department of Airfix I might well be looking to bundle together the models and figures necessary to play the game to sell either as a special Christmas package or individually with a special sticker on them that says something like 'Airfix Battles Series'.

      I hope to mount a play-test in the near future, and will certainly write a blog entry about how well the rules work.

      All the best,

      Bob

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