By now you have probably guessed, I’m a junkie for Ares Games Wings of Glory. The game utilizes cards to plan the movement of your miniature aircraft. Battle is done by drawing damage cards. The entire game system is one that can be mastered in a matter of minutes.
I’m a member of the League of WWI Aviation Historians, and a big part of our charter is educating about air combat in the Great War. This game is an excellent way to get kids interested in WWI aviation. I think even an eight year old could master the nuances of the game – it’s that simple.
What makes the game work is the miniatures. Two weeks ago Ares released a new “wave” of miniatures for the game. I picked up three out of the four as samples and thought I’d give readers of my blog a quick peek at the aircraft and offer my opinion of the miniatures. Ares seems to be finally concentrating on some of the more well-known aircraft from the war, which was a treat with this release.
First up, the SPAD VII. Look, we all know that this was one of the workhorse fighters of the war. As you can see in the image, this plane has a lot going for it. Ares does an admirable job at the detail work on these tiny miniatures. The one shown in this image is French ace Guynemer. The other two SPAD VII’s in this release include Soubiran’s, of the Lafayette Escadrille, and one generic SPAD VII from 23 Squadron. I’m sure you’re all wondering why I didn’t pick up Soubiran’s since I have written about the Lafayette Escadrille in my book on Bert Hall. I’m not a fan of Soubiran personally – I have my reasons as a historian. Let’s just say I thought it would be better to round out my aircraft collection with Guynemer’s SPAD VII.
Another classic aircraft miniature released in this wave was the Albatros D.II. This comes in three separate miniatures: Szepessy-Sokoll, Von Richthofen, and Oswald Boelcke’s machine. The one pictured is Boelcke’s aircraft. (I have too many Von Richthofen aircraft in my collection.) You have to admit that the detail around the engine is remarkable, when you realize that these planes are under two inches in length.
My final photo is of a Halberstadt CL.II. I had just spent a weekend at a Chapter meeting of the League at the Smithsonian checking out their Halberstadt so I knew I had to get one of these. This model shows Schwarze/Schumm’s CI.II. The lozenge pattern, while not perfectly to scale, really does capture the effect quite well (though I know purists would point out that it is not quite right and that different patterns were used on different parts of the aircraft – remember, this IS just a game and you can repaint the miniatures if you want to.) Other miniatures for the CL.II include one from Schlachtstaffel 23b, and Niemann/Kolodzicj’s machine.
The only miniature I didn’t pick up or review is the Bristol F.2B Fighter. This wone comes in three separate miniatures for the machines of Harvey/Waight, Arkell/Stagg, and Headlam/Beaton. Maybe I’ll cover that one at a later time.
Overall – Ares keeps scoring homeruns with these miniatures. I recommend if you’re considering playing the game or just collecting the miniatures, these are great additions.