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‘Wings over France’ is a campaign game of aerial warfare on the Western Front during the first three weeks of April as the Allies launched the Arras Offensive, a time later to become known as ‘Bloody April’.


The solo player controls the fortune of No. 23 Squadron, or part of it, a Fighter Squadron

based at Amiens, just thirty-two miles from the double line of trenches marking the static front.


The game is intended to be played over the full three-week period April 1 to April 21, and if all three Flights of the squadron are controlled this will involve many hours of gaming. However, the game can be played well by controlling just one of the Flights, and to make it more interesting we have supplied each Flight with a different type of Fighter, Sopwith Pups, Spad VII’s, and Nieuport 11’s. In the earlier years of the war it was usual for squadrons to be made up of a mixture of aircraft types, both Fighters and two-seater Scouts. But by 1917 Specialization had reached the Royal Flying Corps and squadrons mainly consisted of aircraft suitable for a particular task, and of the same type. We have stretched the facts just a little by providing a mixed-make squadron. Part of a Fighter squadron’s duties involved the escorting of two-seater Scouts from other squadrons on reconnaissance, bombing and artillery spotting missions. We have provided each Flight with a pair of two-seaters (of various types) and included many two-seater missions in the Squadron’s Daily Roster. We believe that by doing this we broadened the scope of the game considerably, without moving too far from reality.


In these notes, and the detailed Rules that follow, we will assume that the player has elected to control just one of the Flights over the full three-week campaign. If you decide to too do otherwise any alteration in procedure will be readily apparent.


As Flight Commander of one of the Flights your day will start early. Particularly early if your Flight is due to fly the Dawn Patrol, which it has to do every third day, in addition to the two or three routine missions allocated to it. First job is to find out what missions are scheduled, and to check the day’s weather forecast. You may find missions that have to be flown either in the morning or the afternoon, usually spotting for the artillery above the trenches, and they will have to be flown whatever the Met. Boys say. But most of the other missions can be flown at any time during the day, so give a bit of thought to timing and, of course, to available personnel. No missions are easy, but the Defensive Line Patrol at least takes place entirely over friendly territory so any inexperienced newcomers to the Flight should be ‘blooded’ on those missions, if possible.


There are eight types of Routine Missions. Take-off and movement is identical for all types, the differences only beginning to matter when you get to the ‘sharp end’. In ‘WOF’ time is measured in AFT (‘Air Flying Time’). Every action consumes AFT, take-off  3 AFT, climbing (2 AFT  per 1000ft.), staying in a hex (patrolling it) 2 AFT, moving into an adjacent hex 3 AFT, Dog-Fighting 2 AFT per phase, ect, ect. The three Fighter types have different Durations (maximum AFT’s), the Sopwith Pup 180, the Spad VII 135 and the Nieuport 11 150. The two-seater scouts also differ, with the Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter having a duration of 270, so there may be occasions when the escorting Fighters may have to leave the two-seaters to their own devices – much will depend on the mission involved and the ‘activity’ that has taken place and used up precious AFT’s. The starting AFT is recorded on the Mission Log and reduced as ‘activity’ occurs.


The main Board contains the all-important Initiative Track, used when a combat situation occurs, and the Altitude Track which records the current height of the entire Flight. (The Flight normally stays together, but ‘Straggler’ and the situation outlined in the previous paragraph can change that.)


The Mission Map shows the current position of the Flight, each hex containing an Encounter Number. Each Turn a Weather Change roll is made and the current weather is monitored on the Weather Effects Chart. This chart shows the current Visibility (Up and Down) and the modification to the Encounter Number in the hex, amongst other things. In bright sunshine an Encounter (with Hostile Aircraft) is more likely than in heavy cloud, and the Encounter Roll determines when such an encounter occurs.    


Each turn the Flight must decide whether  to climb, reduce height, stay in the same hex  or move to an adjacent hex, recording the expenditure of AFT on the Mission Log as it does so.


When an encounter does occur the Flight may, in certain circumstances, decline to attack. However, if that option is not available, or if the Flight is itself attacked, the action switches to the Initiative Track which is the basis of the game system.


Most aerial war games employ such devices as Turn Modes,  Speed of Climb, Speed of Climb, and require constant monitoring of aircraft’s altitude. This of necessity restricts the number of aircraft that can be ‘handled’ in a dog-fight to two or three per side, and even that requires the constant peering over your opponent’s shoulder to ensure that the plane you are diving to attack is not in fact 5,000 feet higher than you! The combat system is, therefore, slow and cumbersome. In ‘WOF’ it is quite possible to have dog-fights involving six or more machines per side (more if you take the game outside the context of a single Flight’s mission- try running a dog-fight with twelve or fifteen aircraft per side, the system still works) in a short space of time by using a dice roll linked to the Aircraft Card of the type of machine involved and adjusting the dice roll to take account of the skill of the pilot. This then produces an Initiative Number and controls the position of that machine on the Initiative Track, which in turn controls which aircraft are in a position to attack enemy aircraft, the angle of attack, and the length of burst possible.


To achieve this we have factored into the Aircraft Cards all the details of that machine’s handling characteristics, turning ability, speed of climb and dive, overall top speed at different altitudes, ect., ect. And we have assumed that if aircraft are dog-fighting they are going to be at roughly the same altitude, and what really matters is how good the aircraft itself and the pilot are at getting themselves into a ‘shooting’ rather than ‘being shot at’ position


World War One dog-fights were confused affairs, with machines wheeling round in the sky trying for an advantageous position first in relation to one enemy machine, next moment another one. In ‘WOF’ a dog-fight is just like this.

But at times a pair of machines would break away from the main melee and become locked in a turning duel, a ‘Death Spiral’ in which each pilot attempted to turn his machine into an ever-increasing tight spiral to try to get onto the tail of his opponent. We provide for this by the ‘Personal Duel’ system which happens automatically when aircraft are ‘paired’ on the Initiative Track.


There are no Damage Boxes to cross off in ‘WOF’. The machines we are dealing with were made almost entirely of canvas and wire, engines, oil lines and pilots obviously excepted. The only hits scored in ‘WOF’ are Critical Hits. It can be assumed that many of the bursts that fail to achieve a Critical Hit do in fact rip through the canvas wings or fuselage, but we are only concerned with hits that do real damage, puncture an oil line, sever a control wire, pass through the pilot’s head, that sort of thing.


But dog-fights don’t last forever, we use a DFD (Dog-Fight Duration) system which automatically  ‘breaks up’ the scrap after a while , on a random basis. (A Dog-Fight

 Would gradually become more dispersed, machines would get ‘lost’ in clouds, or would begin to run out of ammunition, others would decide they had  had enough, and suddenly it was over.)


In ‘WOF’ each Dog-Fight is made up of a number of Phases, an Initiative Roll being made for each machine each  Phase. At the conclusion of each Phase the Altitude Marker is lowered by 1000 feet, and the expenditure of 2 AFT is noted.


All German aircraft are numbered from 1 to 41. When an Encounter occurs a roll on the Encounter Table at the back of the particular Mission Briefing Manual will indicate the numbers of the Hostile Aircraft encountered. A further roll will establish their altitude which decides who has the option to attack ( the Germans, of course, ‘decide’ in accordance with a set of simple rules) . In the Dog-Fight itself, the player controls the Allied aircraft and must decide which of the possible targets to fire at, the German machines again being controlled by a set of rules.


There are three Combat Displays. The Air-toAir  is used for dog-fighting aircraft, the Air Ground Display for attacking ground targets (or balloons), and the ‘Archie’ and Machine Gun Display for resolving anti-aircraft fire from the ground.


The Initiative Track is used for setting up attacks against ground targets. The ground target’s position on the Track is determined not by a dice roll but by the size and elusiveness of the target, a column of marching troops obviously being an easier target to hit than a single lorry load. The attacking aircraft making a roll on their Aircraft Cards, just as in a Dog-Fight, again being adjusted for Pilot Skill, so once again all the aircraft’s handling qualities,  plus the pilot’s flying skill, go to determine the length of burst allowed against the ground target, and at that point the pilot’s Firing Skill becomes an important factor.


‘Archie’ and / or machinegun fire from the ground is encountered as you cross the trenches unless, of course, the cloud cover hides you from the ground. Generally speaking ‘Archie’ is inaccurate but the longer you hang around within range of the same guns the more chances of a hot hit increase. The ‘Archie’ Display provides not only a way of resolving anti-aircraft fire, but a feeling of relief at the near misses!


Eventually the target area is reached (hopefully) and the particular purpose of the mission, trench-strafing, balloon busting, a bombing raid, or whatever, must be tackled. Successful or not there is then the return journey, all the time conscious of the expiring AFT, and the fear than an unavoidable dog-fight on the way back will use up valuable flying time. There are options to land at one of the Emergency Landing Fields if necessary, but often results in the machines being unavailable for the rest of the day.


Home at last, there to receive news, good or bad, about the machine that encountered engine trouble on the outward leg and was left to make his own way home as a ‘Straggler’. While the machines are patched up and the pilots grab a hurried meal you must busy yourself with preparations for the afternoon’s mission or missions, with resources already stretched to the limit and another machine missing from the morning’s activity.


At the end of the day you must cope with the ‘book-keeping’. In game terms this means establishing if the Ratings of your Flight members have changed, Pilot Skill, Firing, and Bravery. Young Rawlings was looking very strained this morning, has today’s encounter with the red-painted Jasta 11 machines pushed him ‘over the edge’? And you must apply for that replacement pilot and machine for the one that didn’t come back. What chances of getting either immediately with Allied losses mounting daily?


Success and failure is measured in Victory Points. Just staying  ‘in the black’ will be difficult over the period of the campaign. Forget about the Victory Points, perhaps the real success is just survining.


Good Luck!


 List of Contents


Your copy of  ‘Wings Over France’ should include the following:

1 folding board incorporating Initiative and Altitude Tracks.

1 set of Allied Aircraft Counters.

1 Set of German Aircraft Counters and other markers.

1 Squadron Notes.

10 Mission Briefing Manuals.

1 Weather Effects Card.

1 Air-to-Air / Air-to-Ground Combat Display.

1 ‘Archie’ / Machine Gun Display.

1 Mission Map.

1 set of Allied Aircraft Cards.

1 set of German Aircraft Cards.

1 set of Hit Cards.

6 Mission Logs.

3 Flight Personnel Record Sheets.

2 dice (1 red, 1 white).

1 Turn Procedure/Damage Tables/Victory Points Card.

1 Daily Mission Roster/’Archie’ Rules/Ratings Card.

1 Enemy Aircraft Response/Air-to-Air Combat Card.

1 Rule Book.




Where the Rules relating to a particular aspect will require to be referred to frequently during play we have produced these separately on card for your convenience. When reading these Rules for the first time it is not essential to refer to these special Rule Cards, and is probably better to get an overall impression of the game sytem before doing so.




(1) Read the Squadron Notes and decide which Flight you wish to control. Complete a Flight Personnel Record Sheet making all entries except the aircrew names in pencil as these will require frequent amendment during the game. The Ratings and Number of Missions and ‘Kills’ are given in the Squadron Notes.


(2) Select the aircraft counters relating to this Flight and place them close to hand. Arrange the German aircraft in number order. The solid red aircraft  (as opposed to the red outlines) are the Jasta 11 machines stationed at Douai, and are subject to special combat rules during Dog-Fights.


(3) The main board containing the Initiative (Combat) Track should be placed in front of you with the Mission Map and Weather Effects Chart to one side.



(4) Ascertain which missions must be flown today - see DAILY MISSION ROSTER CARD. Check to see if it is your day to provide the Dawn Patrol  -  see DAILY MISSIONROSTER CARD.


(5) Obtain the day’s Weather Forecast. This involves a two-dice roll on the Weather Forecast Table at the top left corner of the WEATHER EFFECTS CARD. The roll will provide a brief description plus two Starting Weather Numbers, one for the morning, the other for the afternoon. These numbers correspond to the Weather Boxes on the main chart, thus ‘2’ is ‘Overcast’ ,  ‘11’ is ‘Light Rain’ etc. A marker should be placed in the appropriate box corresponding to the ‘AM’ weather. The ‘+’ or ‘-‘ symbol after the number is the Weather Trend. Thus, if the Starting Weather Number is ‘10+’ a subsequent roll of 5 on the Weather Change Chart (‘Forecast Trend’) will increase (+) the Weather Number by 1 (to ‘Light Rain’). Had the Starting Number been followed by ‘-‘ the same roll (‘Weather Trend’) would result in a reduction in the Weather Number. Other results from the Weather Change Chart increase the number by 1 or 2, reduce it by 1 or 2, or leave it unchanged. A ‘plus’ result which would move the marker beyond box 16 requires the marker to be repositioned at the top of the track (1 or 2, as appropriate) , similarly a ‘minus’ result from boxes 1 or 2 may cause the marker to be placed at the bottom of the Track, at 16 or even 15.


(6) Decide on how best to cover the missions you are required to undertake, both in terms of timing and in personnel. The MISSION BRIEFING MANUALS provide detailed descriptions of each type of mission, and any special rules that apply. Failure to undertake any of the scheduled missions results in the maximum loss of Victory Points as mentioned in the Briefing Manuals but you may have to weigh this potential loss of VP’s against the risk of using ‘weak’ patrols of inexperienced pilots. Remember each Fighter pilot must fly at least one mission each day, and not more than two, the Dawn and Twilight Patrols not counting towards these figures. There are no such restrictions or requirements for two-seater aircrew. However, a mission will occupy a full morning or afternoon so pilots (and machines) can only fly one mission in each half of the day. Again the Dawn and Twilight Patrols do not count, the Dawn Patrol being ‘back before breakfast’ and the Twilight Patrol taking place in the evening, after the afternoon’s missions have been completed. It is possible for a pilot to fly as many as four missions in a single day, two Routine Missions, the Dawn Patrol and the Twilight Patrol.




(7) Complete a Mission Log with details of the Mission and Personnel. The Ratings should be taken from the up-dated Flight Personnel Records, not from the Squadron Notes. The Bravery Rating should be converted from a number to a letter -  see PILOT SKILL, FIRING AND BRAVERY RATINGS CARD.



(8) Read the MISSION BRIEFING MANUAL carefully.


(9) Select the Aircraft Counters for the machines involved, and the Aircraft Cards for the Allied aircraft involved and all the German aircraft. Place the other Allied Aircraft Counters and Cards aside.


(10) Record the Allied Duration figures (from the aircraft Cards) as ‘AFT’ on the Mission Log. Although separate spaces are provided for Fighters and two-seaters it is probably best to use only the lowest duration (usually the Fighter’s) as the entire Flight will normally stay together and expend AFT equally. If the Fighters do have to break away from the two-seaters then is the time to treat the Flight as separate parts at which stage you can add the balance of the two-seater’s  Duration onto the remaining AFT, and keep track of the two different AFT’s separately.




(11) Missions are flown in a series of Turns. Altitude of the Flight is monitored by moving the Altitude Marker on Altitude section of the Initiative Track, and the position of the Flight in relation to the ground it is over flying by a marker on the Mission Map. All Turn Activities must be conducted in the strict order detailed on the TURN PROCEDURE CARD. Many of the activities consume AFT. Reduce the AFT figure on the Mission Log as this occurs. If AFT runs out a Forced Landing must be made immediately in the hex currently occupied. See DAMAGE TABLES CARD.


(12) The first Activity each Turn is the Weather Change Check. This entails a two-dice roll on the Weather Change Table ( see WEATHER EFFECTS  CHART) and the re-positioning of the Weather Marker if necessary. A word here about the Starting Weather Number mentioned in (5) above. For the morning and afternoon Missions the Starting Number is as mentioned under ‘AM’ and ‘PM’ respectively on the Weather Forecast Table. For the Dawn patrol it is the ‘AM’ figure, and that same figure is used for the morning Mission regardless of any Weather Changes that occur on the Dawn Patrol. For the Twilight Patrol, however,  the Starting Number is the final Weather Number used in the afternoon ‘s Mission, i.e. the number in force when the Flight lands. If no afternoon mission was flown, however, use the ‘PM’ Starting Number for the Twilight Patrol.


(13) The WEATHER EFFECTS CARD should now be examined. The left-hand column headed ‘Encounter’ shows the modifier to the Encounter Number shown in the current hex due to weather conditions. An encounter (with enemy aircraft) is more likely in ‘Bright Sunshine’ (hence the ’+2’ Modifier) than in  ‘Heavy Cloud’ (‘-3’). This will be explained in more detail under ‘Encounter Rolls’. The ‘Archie’ Visibility column is only used in ‘Archie’ hexes and shows the amount of visibility from the ground in feet (any aircraft at a higher altitude cannot be fired at) and the number of ‘shots’ allowed on the ‘Archie’/Machine Gun Display (a measure of the ease of accurate shooting because of weather conditions). The ‘Photo.’ column shows the dice roll modifier for the Photo Quality roll (see PHOTO RECONNAISSANCE BRIEFING MANUAL) , again due to weather conditions. THE DFD column indicates the Dog-Fight Duration in the prevailing conditions. This procedure is described in detail later in these Rules. The Vertical Visibility column indicates the vertical distance that the Allied aircraft can see Up and Down regardless of their current altitude. This is a deliberate abstraction for ease of play. Obviously if a cloud layer is at, say, 5000 feet aircraft at 6000 feet would have a down visibility of only 1000 feet and unlimited Up visibility (assuming no other cloud layers). Vertical Visibility Up and Down is important in the game to determine whether enemy aircraft and ground targets can be see. But to use the Cloud Layer method adds all sorts of complications, and slows play dramatically, and we feel justified in using the simpler method chosen. All that you need concern yourself with is whether the potential target is above or below you, and whether the appropriate Up or Down visibility is adequate for you to ‘see’ the target. (Note – the ‘Archie’ Visibility and the Down Visibility are, naturally, the same. If you can see them, they can see (and fire at) you!)


(14) After the Weather Change Roll the Flight must decide whether to climb (at a cost of 2AFT per 1000 feet climbed, max. climb 5000 per Turn), reduce Altitude (no cost in AFT, max. reduction 10,000 feet per Turn, but not to Tree-Top level), stay in the same hex (‘Patrol’ the hex – 2 AFT cost) or move to an adjacent hex (3 AFT). Move the Altitude Marker and the marker on the Mission log accordingly’ and reduce the AFT on the Mission Log.


‘Archie and Machine Gun Fire


(15) This procedure only applies if ‘Archie’ batteries and/or machine guns exist in the hex – see ‘Archie’ AND MACHINE GUN FIRE CARD. If the Flight does undergo ‘Archie’ fire the brown puffs of explosions around them may attract enemy aircraft in the vicinity. Place an ‘Archie’ +1 marker on the Flight and this acts as a modifier to the Encounter Value of the hex.




(16) Now make the Encounter Roll, adding the scores of two dice. A double 6 means Engine Trouble (see below) , other rolls are compared to the Encounter Value of the hex

As modified by the Weather Effects ‘Encounter’ factor and the ’Archie’ +1 mentioned in (15), if appropriate. If the Encounter Roll is equal to or less than the modified Encounter Value enemy aircraft have been encountered. Establish the altitude of the enemy aircraft – see ENEMY AIRCRAFT RESPONSE CARD. If Vertical Visibility is adequate for the opposing aircraft to ‘see’ each other refer to the back of the MISSION BRIEFING MANUAL in use and roll two dice, adding the scores. Under the unmodified Encounter Value of the current locate the dice roll. The numbers shown against this total are the identity numbers of the German aircraft now encountered. Select these counters from the German counter mix. Refer again to the ENEMY AIRCRAFT RESPONSE CARD to establish who has the Attack Option.





(17) If combat is joined you must now make an Initiative Roll for each aircraft, starting with the aircraft at the lower Altitude, or , if at the same Altitude with the Allied first. (If the Allied  aircraft are at the higher Altitude and dive to attack remember to reduce the Altitude Marker accordingly.) See AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT CARD>


(18) A Dive Bonus is given to aircraft diving to attack from a higher Altitude for the first Dog-Fight Phase only. This is in the form of an addition to the Initiative Number, not to the dice roll that produces the Initiative Number as with the Pilot’s Skill factor. The Dive Bonus is 2 when the dive is from an altitude that is within the Vertical Visibility, (UP or Down as appropriate and always measured from the Allied aircraft) and 4when the dive is made from cloud cover. This happens  when altitude of the German aircraft ( see ENEMY AIRCRAFT RESPONSE CARD) is such that the two opposing Flights are beyond Vertical Visibility. Strictly speaking they cannot ‘see’ each other and the Encounter would not take place, but in these circumstances we assume the higher Flight is hidden just inside a cloud layer at the extent of Vertical Visibility and have the element of surprise as well as a dive advantage in the first Dog-Fight Phase. (‘Starred’ Enemy Aircraft Altitude results only.)




(19) When a Dog-Fight commences make a note of DFD (Dog-Fight Duration) as shown on the WEATHER EFFECTS CARD on the Mission Log. After each Dog-Fight Phase deduct 2AFT (Dog-Fighting consumes fuel fast!), reduce Altitude by 1000 feet  (but not below Tree-Top Level) and make a DFD roll. Roll two dice. If a double 6 is rolled there is no DFD reduction and additional German aircraft join the fight (with Dive/Surprise Bonus of 4). You will need to roll on the Table provided on the ENEMY AIRCRAFT  RESPONSE CARD. If any other double is rolled re-roll and add to the first roll’s total. Continue re-rolling and adding doubles until a non-double is rolled. This is the total reduction of the DFD this Phase. Adjust the DFD figure on the Mission Log. When this figure reaches zero or below the Dog-Fight automatically breaks up. (Note – the double 6 for additional enemy aircraft only applies to the initial DFD roll. If it occurs when re-rolling doubles count it as zero and end sequence there.)


(20) The DFD starting figure and reduction process applies to the main Dog-Fight and to all Personal Duels (see AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT CARD.)




(21) A double 6 rolled  on an Encounter roll means that one machine in the Flight has some form of  engine trouble. That is why you must always make an Encounter Roll even though the modified Encounter Value of the hex is to low to be achieved. Randomize which machine is effected and roll on the following Table (2 dice) : -


   2 to 5   =  Engine coughs and re-starts. No further action needed.

   6 to  9  =  Serious engine trouble – return to home or Emergency Landing Field immediately – cannot climb – Lame Duck* No. 3

10 to 12  =  Engine cuts out – immediate Forced Landing in this hex – see DAMAGE TABLES CARD.


* -  The Lame Duck and Straggler procedure is explained later.


(22) If the Flight decides to accompany the stricken machine home (under results 2 to 5) it must accept the restriction on climbing. At any time during the journey home you may decide to leave the machine in trouble and proceed normally, at which point the machine becomes a Straggler and subject to the Straggler procedures (see below).




(23) Any Special Activity takes place after the Encounter Roll and ensuing Dog-Fight, if any. This Special Action can be diving to strafe trenches or ground targets, attacking balloons, undergoing machine-gun fire as the result of these actions, ‘scanning’ a hex for ground targets, taking photographs, carrying out spotting duties for the artillery, dropping bombs, ect. All these are described in the MISSION BRIEFING MANUALS as appropriate. At the end of any Activity if a Flight is at Tree-Top Level it must climb to 1000 feet (only) (2 AFT) before the Turn ends. No other climbing is allowed until next Turn.




(24) During Dog-Fighting, and when attacking ground targets or balloons, damage is only caused by achieving Critical Hits on the target. In Air-to-Air combat the relative positions of firing and target aircraft on the Initiative Track, when transferred to the Air-to-Air Combat Display, determine the angle of attack. ( In attacks against two-seaters this in turn indicates whether Return Fire is allowed if so whether before or after receiving fire, or both, and the length of the burst(s) allowed.) The angle of attack is cross-referenced with the firing Pilot’s Skill Rating on the AIR-TO-AIR DISPLAY to indicate the length of burst allowed, German aircraft always fire the longest possible burst (they have no Ammo Depletion to worry about), Allied pilots can choose. Having decided the length of burst reduce the Ammo figure on the Mission Log ( in the case of Allied aircraft) and select the correct Angle of Attack Hit Card (also referred to as Firing Cards. Roll two dice, adding the scores. Cross reference the correct length of burst with the firer’s Firing RATING (FOR Allied personnel this is shown on the Mission Log, for Germans it is shown on the Aircraft Counter itself, to the right of the oblique stroke below the right wing, with the rear gunner’s (Observer’s) Rating shown separately) and if the number rolled appears a Critical Hit has been scored. If on the other hand, the ‘JAMS’ number is rolled no hit is scored, the ammo is used and you will need to read the ‘Jamming’ rules below.


(25) The effects of the Critical Hit must now be assessed on the Critical Hit Table on the DAMAGE TABLES CARD. If the firing aircraft is using Twin Guns ( noted on the Aircraft Card) add one to the dice roll.


(26) A ‘Driven Off’ result means that the target aircraft has been effectively chased away and takes no further part in the Dog-Fight, but is otherwise unharmed. Allied aircraft ‘Driven Off’ join up with the rest of the Flight after the Dog-Fight breaks up. German aircraft are merely removed from the action but no VP’s are gained.


(27) A ‘Damaged – Abort’ result requires a further roll on the appropriate Table on the DAMAGE TABLES CARD and the damaged aircraft becomes a  Lame Duck, and, possibly a Straggler (see below).


(28) ‘Shot Down’ or ‘Forced Down’ require rolls on the appropriate Tables on the DAMAGE TABLES CARD.


(29) Only the Fate of Allied aircrew need be followed through, for (loss of) VP purposes, but German losses can be detailed in the same way if that interests you.




(30) When Allied aircraft attack ground targets (but not  trenches – see (31)  below) or balloons they make an Initiative Roll in the usual way, adding the Pilot Skill Rating to the dice roll but with no dive bonus. The Ground Target or Balloon Marker is placed on the Initiative Track on the number mentioned in the OFFENSIVE LINE PATROL and BALLLOON BURSTING MISSION BRIEFING MANUALS and all aircraft with a higher Initiative number can make an attack. By transferring the aircraft to the Air-to-Ground  Display the maximum length of burst allowed can be determined although a shorter burst can be fired if desired. Roll for a Critical Hit as described for Air-to-Air Combat, using the Diving Attack Hit Card. The effect of any Critical Hit, and the ability to make further attacks against the same target, is detailed in the appropriate MISSION BRIEFING MANUAL.




(31) The Critical Hit system is not used for Trench-Strafing, Instead, the length of burst fired is used for VP purposes although you still must roll (on the Diving Attack Hit Card) to see if the gun jams.




(32) Allied aircraft have a supply of ammunition limited to 30 units each for front and rear guns, if fitted. The same limit applies to Buckingham incendiary ammunition if loaded instead of conventional bullets for balloon bursting missions. If Le Prieur Rocket are used the capacity is eight rockets. The type of ammo and the amount should be noted on the Mission Log before take-off, and the figure reduced as used.




(33) A Lame Duck is a machine that has suffered potentially serious engine trouble (as the result of a double 6 Encounter Roll) or a ‘Damaged-abort’ combat result. The machine is crippled in some way and must immediately head for the nearest Allied airfield. In all cases a Lame Duck Number is allocated (see DAMAGE TABLES CARD) and as the final step of each Turn until the Lame Duck lands safely a two-dice roll (the Lame Duck Check) is made. If the exact Lame Duck Number is rolled the event described against that Lame Duck Number in the appropriate Table on the DAMAGE TABLES CARD takes place.


(34) When a Lame Duck situation occurs you must decide whether to allow it to make its own way home or escort it with one, some or all of the remaining machines in the Flight. If the entire Flight escorts it (as may well happen if the situation arises on the homeward bound leg of the mission) no special action is need except  the Lame Duck Check at the end of each Turn. If an Encounter occurs the Lame Duck does not make an Initiative Roll, his Initiative Number is automatically the number resulting from a roll of 2  (plus Pilot Skill Rating). If the Lame Duck suffers another Damaged-abort result it does not roll on that Table but reacts as though the Lame Duck number had been rolled in the end of Turn Lame Duck Check. A Lame Duck will always ‘escape’ from combat if it has the opportunity.


(35) If one or more machines (but not all) are detached from the Flight to escort the Lame Duck the main mission is temporarily halted and the Lame Duck situation is resolved as in (34) above until both the Lame Duck and the escorts have landed safely (not necessarily at the same field – the escorts may decide to return to home field), or all are shot down. The main mission is resumed. You must make a note on the Mission Log of the Weather Number in the hex where the detachment occurs as the mission will pick up from there after the Lame Duck situation has been resolved. You will also need to keep a separate note of the AFT for the detached aircraft.


(36) If the Lame Duck ‘goes it alone’ he becomes a Straggler. Place an ‘ST’ Marker in the hex, make a note in the Mission Log, and proceed with main mission, minus, of course, the Lame Duck. Its fate is not resolved until after the mission is completed. The Lame Duck must attempt to get back to an Allied airfield. It follows normal Turn procedure and in addition makes a lame Duck Check as the final step each Turn.

However, if an Encounter is rolled do not follow the usual procedure, merely make a two-dice roll on the following Straggler’s Encounter Table :  -




(roll two dice, adding the scores.)


2 to   5  =  Escaped, Proceed with journey home.

6 to   8  =  Forced Landing this hex.

9 to 12  = Shot Down – use Fate Table for all crew.


(37) Lame Duck Number Discs are provided as a reminder to make the Lame Duck Check each Turn.




(38) Every time guns are fired there is a chance that the gun will jam, the longer the burst the greater the chance of a jam. When this happens the ammo is expended but no Critical Hit can be scored (or VP’s gained in Trench-Strafing). Place a ‘JAM’ marker on the aircraft counter in question. For German machines with Twin Guns a Jam result only jams one gun, the machine can still fire as a single-gun machine.


(39) Attempts to un-jam a gun can be made (by Allied machines) at leisure after a Dog-Fight breaks up. Roll two dice, a total of 11 or 12 means a permanent jam ( until the end of the mission), any other roll means that the blockage is cleared. During a Dog-Fight an attempt can be made instead offering or electing to ‘escape’. That is, any time when the machine is the highest placed on the Initiative Track. Again, roll two dice, a 2 to 6 clears the blockage, 7 to 10 leaves the gun still jammed, 11 to 12 it is a permanent jam. German pilots will always fire their remaining unblocked gun, rather than attempt to clear the jam, in these situations, Allied pilots can, of course, choose. Any machine that is itself attacked during a Dog-Fight phase, and thus never the highest machine on the Track, cannot attempt to un-jam – the pilot is too occupied  with other matters!




(40) Allied pilots may (subject to Bravery Rating considerations – see PILOT SKILL, FIRING AND BRAVERY CARD) ‘escape’ from combat when they find themselves the highest placed aircraft on the Initiative Track. Being ‘the highest  placed on the Track’ may be the result of a high Initiative Number, or because higher-placed enemy aircraft have chosen to attack other machines, or merely by being left on the Track, un-attacked and with no remaining enemy aircraft. For example, a two-seater Allied machine may have the lowest Initiative Number on the Track but if higher-placed enemy aircraft choose other targets, or are themselves attacked, the two-seater may eventually find itself

 the ‘highest placed’ and then has the option to ‘escape’. See Rules (5)  of the AIT-TO-AIR COMBAT CARD for a more detailed description.




(41) The Allied Aircraft Cards include a Ceiling figure. This is the maximum altitude at which they can operate, and players should ensure that this is not exceeded.




(42) All Trench Hexes and adjacent hexes behind enemy lines contain ‘Archie’ and machine guns capable of being used against Allied aircraft. In addition any hex entered

Through a heavy hex-side is protected by anti-aircraft batteries from that direction.

All other hexes behind enemy lines may contain ‘Archie’ etc. and a check must be made. The full ‘Archie’ procedure is described on the ‘ARCHIE’ AND MACHINE GUN CARD.




(43) Victory Points may be positive or negative. VP’s are gained for damaging and destroying enemy aircraft, and for achieving the objectives set by the MISSIONBRIEFING MANUAL. VP’s are lost when Allied machines are damaged or destroyed, aircrew are wounded or killed, and missions are not undertaken or the objectives are not achieved.



(44) When a mission is completed and all Stragglers have been dealt with calculate Victory Points for the Mission and up-date the Flight Personnel Records Sheet with any ‘kills’ achieved or balloons destroyed. 




(45) At the end of each day the Victory Points won or lost should totaled and entered on the Flight Personnel Records Sheet. Positive VP’s should be noted in black, negative in red. For each pilot and observer who has flown a mission that day a check must be made to see if his ratings, Plot (if appropriate) , Firing and Bravery have altered. Follow the procedure explained in (7)  on the PILOT SKILL, FIRING AND BRAVERY CARD. Up-date the Personnel Records Sheet.


(46) It may be possible to apply for replacement machines and / or aircrew. The procedure is explained on the the back of the SQUADRON NOTES.


(47) If the Flight Commander is lost you must appoint an Acting-Replacement (of Lieutenant rank) . If a replacement pilot is received within seven days and the replacement is of Lieutenant rank he is promoted to Captain and becomes the Flight Commander. If the replacement is not of Lieutenant rank the Lieutenant Acting-Flight Commander is confirmed as Flight Commander on the seventh day, and promoted to Captain. Other promotions are at your discretion.



(48) The Allies were seeking ‘control of the skies’ to support the ground offensive. At this time this was not realistically possible. A positive Victory Points figure of 5 per day (105 over the three-week campaign period) would enable the Royal Flying Corps to claim air superiority if not control. Just staying ‘in the black’ will provide succor for the P.B.I., POOR BLOODY INFANTRY,  anything less than that must be judged failure. We suggest, therefore, the following yardstick by which to measure your performance : -




Minus 100 or worse         A disaster!

Minus 50 to Minus 99      Decisive defeat for the The Royal Flying Corps.

0 to Minus  49                  Marginal defeat.

1 to 25                               Honorable draw.

26 to 75                             A narrow R.F.C. victory.

76 to 125                           Air superiority for the R.F.C.

126 or more                      Full ‘Control of the Skies’






(49) They were little more than (fairly) flat fields, cleared of obstacles and with tented accommodation, close to the Front Line and acting as collecting points for damaged Allied aircraft unable or unwilling to reach home airfield. Minor repairs (only) could be carried out and damaged aircraft usually had to be transported by road back to the squadron’s own airfield. Because of this any aircraft landing at an Emergency Field is unavailable for the rest of that day, and the same considerations apply to unwounded aircrew. The usual loss of Victory Points (see Victory Points Card) is involved for damaged aircraft and wounded personnel. There is an additional loss of VP’s for undamaged  aircraft landing at an Emergency Field, other than a two-seater landing to ensure the safety of photographic plates (see PHOTO RECONNAISSANCE MISSION BRIEFING MANUAL), for the ‘inconvenience’.




(50) The fact that a particular numbered German machine is destroyed or subject to a ‘Damaged-abort’ result does not prevent that same numbered machine being ‘encountered’ later in the same mission or day. The Aircraft Counters represent no single machine, only a type with certain Pilot and Firing skills. The one exception, of course, is THE RED BARON, MANFRED von RICHTOFEN, his Aircraft Counter is personalized and therefore if he suffers a ‘Damaged-abort’ result he cannot be encountered again on that mission although it is assumed that he returns safely to his airfield and takes over another machine, and he can therefore be encountered on a later mission that day. If he is killed or seriously wounded he is out of the game completely, and his number is ignored in any subsequent Encounter. Life will be a little easier without him!




(51) The Maximum Ratings for Allied aircrew (see PILOT SKILL, FIRING AND BRAVERY RATINGS CARD) are 7 for Pilot Skill, A for Firing. Bravery is unlimited. (It needs to be!)



Before embarking on a full campaign game you may like to play through a Turn involving both ‘Archie’ fire and Dog-Fighting. B Flight are involved on a Photo Reconnaissance Mission, their task being to obtain photographs of the Marshalling Yards in Zone B. As they approach the trenches their Mission Log looks like this : -


INITIAL WEATHER  5+ (Good Visibility)


B1 -  Captain Whitworth                   4/C/N      Ammo 30

B3  - Lieutenant Appleton                2/B/DD    Ammo 30

B6 – Second Lieutenant Grimshaw  1/E/N       Ammo 30

B7 – Sergeant Camberwell               4/D/B       Ammo 30

         Second Lieutenant Kyle           -/E/-         Ammo 30


AFT 135 – Now reduced to 91.


The Flight has flown due east and is about to cross the front line at 10,000 feet. The mission has been uneventful to date. The Flight Marker is currently in hex to the north of Mercatel and to the south of Arras. The current Weather Number is 6 (Bright Sunlight). The intention is to move into the Trench Hex to the east of the current position so you will need to go through the steps on the TURN PROCEDURE CARD under the heading ‘Moving into, or staying in Trench Hex’.

(1)Weather Change Check. The dice roll is 5 – ‘Forecast Trend’ , the ‘trend’ is + (see Initial Weather) so the Weather Number is increased from 6 to 7. That gives ‘Good Visibility’ with unlimited Up and Down Visibility – perfect conditions for the ‘Archie’ gunners.

(2) Captain Whitworth decides to stay at 10,000 feet as he knows they are close to Douai airfield, the home of Jasta 11, and he fears more from them than the ‘Archie’.

(3) Move the Flight Marker into the hex to the east -  a Trench Hex -  and reduce the AFT by 3 to 88.

(4) As this is a Trench Hex there is certainly ‘Archie’ present (and Machine Guns, but you’re to high to worry about them). Place the four Aircraft Counters on the ‘ARCHIE’ AND MACHINE GUN DISPLAY. Let’s say you locate them as follows: -


B1 on 23

B3 on 56

B6 on 41

B7 on 11


On checking the Weather Effects Chart you find that “Archie’ Visibility is ‘Unlimited’ (they can se you) and the sky is clear enough to give them the maximum four shots at you. The four dice rolls (red die first ) are :- 33 (a near miss for B1), 16 (no danger). 45 (a near miss for B3) and, finally, 56 (a direct hit on B3).


Lieutenant Appleton now has to roll on the “Effect of ‘Archie’  Hits’ Table at the top-left of the ‘ARCHIE’ AND MACHINE GUN DISPLAY. He rolls a 3,6 = 9 a Driven Off result. Lieutenant Appleton has run into severe ‘Archie’ fire, enough to drive off any normal pilot. However Lieutenant Appleton is ranked  ‘DAREDEVIL’ (see Mission Log) and he must ignore the Driven Off result and roll again until he gets a different result. He rolls 5,1 = 6. ‘Fuselage holed, no effect. Lieutenant Appleton maintains station, a strong breeze now blowing round his knees.


(5) Encounter Roll.. The Encounter Value of the hex is 6 but the Good Visibility (+1) and the ‘Archie’ fire (+1) raises it to 8. The roll is 3,5 = 8, and you have an Encounter. Establish EA (Enemy Aircraft) altitude on the ENEMY AIRCRAFT RESPONSE CARD,

a roll of  4,5 =9 means they arrive at 12,000 feet. Now roll on the back of the MISSION BRIEFING MANUAL under ‘Encounters Values 5 & 6, a roll of 1,3 = 4 means that you have six Jasta 11 machines diving to attack you! They have the Attack Option and as they are Jasta 11 they will always attack. They have Dive Bonus of 2 (added to the Initiative Number, not their dice roll) for the first phase. The Dog-Fight Duration (DFD) is 47 (from the WEATHER EFFECTS CARD). Reduce it each Phase. You take over from here. Remember to reduce altitude by 1000 feet and AFT by 2 after each Dog-Fight Phase. Don’t forget that two-seaters may be able to Return fire when attacked, and the ‘escape’ options may be useful too! 




James T.B. McCudden ‘Flying Fury’

Alan Morris ‘Bloody April’

William E. Burrows ‘Richthofen’

Norman S. Hall ‘The Balloon Buster’

Major Charles J. Biddle ‘Fighting Airman: The Way of the Eagle’

Quentin Reynolds ‘They Fought for the Sky’

Alan Morris ‘The Balloonatics’

Bill Lambert, DFC ‘Combat Report’

Bert Hall ‘One Man’s War’

V.M. Yeates ‘Winged Victory’

Sholto Douglas ‘Years of Combat’

Hilary St. George Saunders  ‘Per Ardua – The Rise of British Air Power 1911-1939’

Lieutenant Colonel William A. Bishop ‘Winged Warfare’




Game Design and Development – Terry Goodchild

Play-Testers – Charles Lamb,  ‘The Burton Class of 1990’.

Box-Lid Art – Mark P. Utting

‘Wings Over France’ is produced by Lambourne Games, 8 Waters Avenue, Carlton Colville, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 8BJ. (Telephone0502-5622748).

Copyright: Lambourne Games (1991).





Activities 11

Additional aircraft joining Dog-Fight 19

AFT (‘Air Flying Time’) 10, 11, 14, 19 23, 35

Aircraft Cards 9, 25

Aircraft Counters 2, 9, 24, 38, 40

Air-to-Air Combat Display 24

Air to Ground Combat Display 30

Altitude 11, 19

Altitude Marker 11, 14, 17

Altitude restrictions 41

Ammo depletion 24

Ammunition 24, 32

Angle of Attack 24

‘Archie’ and Machine Gun Card 42

‘Archie’ and Machine Gun Display 13

‘Archie’ and Machine Gun fire 15

‘Archie’ Hexes 13, 42

‘Archie’ +1 Marker 15

‘Archie’ Visibility 13

Attacking balloons 30

Attacking ground targets 30

Attack Option 16

Balloon Bursting 30

Balloon Marker 30

Bravery Ratings 7, 40, 45

Buckingham Incendiary Ammunition 32

Ceiling 41

Cloud cover 18

Critical Hit 24, 25, 30, 38

Critical Hit Table 25

Daily Mission Roster Card 4

Daily Procedures 4

‘Damaged – abort’ 27, 33, 34

Damage Tables Card – 11, 21, 25, 27, 28, 33

Dawn Patrol 4, 6, 12

Detachment 35

DFD (‘Dog-Fighting Duration) 13, 19, 20

DFD Roll 19

Dive Bonus 18, 30

Dive/Surprise Bonus 19

Diving Attack Hit Card 30, 31

Dog-Fighting 17, 24

Dog-Fight Phase 18, 19

‘Driven Off’ 26

Duration 10

Emergency Landing Field 21, 49

Encounter Number 13

Encounter Roll 13, 16, 21, 23, 36

Encounters 13, 34

Encounter Value 15, 16, 21

End of Day Procedures 45

End of Mission Procedures 44

Enemy Aircraft Response Card 16, 18, 19

Engine Trouble 16, 21, 33

‘Escaping’ from combat 34, 40

Fate 29

Firing 24

Firing Rating 7, 24, 40, 45, 50

Flight Personnel Record Sheet 1, 7, 44, 45

Flying a Mission 7

Forced Landing 11, 21

Forecast Trend (Weather) 5

German aircraft damaged or destroyed 50

Ground Targets 30

Guns jamming 24, 38

Heavy hex sides 42

Hit Cards 24

Home Field (Amiens) 21, 49

Initiative (Combat) Track 3, 11, 24, 30, 39, 40

Initiative Number 18, 30, 34

Initiative Roll 17, 30

Jam Markers 38

Jams 24, 38, 39

Jams (permanent) 39

Jasta 11 machines 2

‘Kills’ 44

Lame Duck Check 33, 34, 36, 37

Lame Duck – Encounters 34

Lame Duck Numbers 21, 33

Lame Duck Number Discs 37

Lame Ducks 21, 27, 33, 34, 35, 36

Length of Burst 24, 30

Le Prieur Rockets 32

Mission Briefing Manuals  6, 8, 16, 23, 30, 43

Mission Log 7, 10, 11, 14, 19, 24, 32, 35, 36

Mission Map 3, 11, 14

Mission Turn Procedure 11

Offensive Line Patrol 30

Personal Duels 20

Photo Quality Roll 13

Photo Reconnaissance Mission Manual 13, 49

Pilot Skill, Firing, and Bravery Card 45, 51

Pilot Skill Rating 7, 18, 24, 30, 34, 40, 45, 50

Potential ‘Archie’ Hexes 42

Promotions 47

Ratings 7, 51

‘Red Baron’ 50

Repairing damaged aircraft 49

Replacement aircraft 46

Replacement personnel 46, 47

Return Fire 24

Routine Missions 6

Setting up the game 1

‘Shot Down’ 28

‘S’ Marker 36

Special Activity 23

Squadron Notes 7, 46

Starting Weather Numbers 5, 12

Stragglers 21, 22, 27, 33, 36, 44

Stragglers’ Encounter Table 36

Tree-Top Level 19, 23

Trench-Strafing 31, 38

Turn Procedure Card 11

Twilight Patrol 6, 12

Twin Guns 25, 38

Un-jamming guns 39

Vertical Visibility 13, 16, 18

Victory Points 6, 26, 29, 31, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49

Victory Points Card 43

Weather Boxes 5

Weather Change Chart 5, 12

Weather Change Check 12

Weather Change Roll 14

Weather Effects Card 3, 5, 11, 13, 16

Weather Forecast 5

Weather Marker 12

Weather Number 12, 35

Weather Trend 5

Winning the game 48