Michael Eckenfels, 21 April 2022 ~ #UnboxingDay
Most Battle of Britain games to me are quite intriguing. This comes from a lot of years playing RAF (the solitaire game) as well as several others, such as London’s Burning. When I saw 303 Squadron was out, I went ahead and pulled the trigger to grab it. The components looked spectacular and the gameplay looked fun as well. I mean, lots of aircraft minis on a beautiful board? What could go wrong, right?
click images to enlarge
The box is big and the artwork, amazing.
The back is pretty sparse info-wise, but that wasn’t a factor in me acquiring this game. Though, the English is somewhat…well, it’s not awful, but better word choices could be made, here. I had some trepidation there since this is a Polish company and they sometimes have issues with the language (not a big deal, but it can be depending on the game).
A close-up of the art. I mean, you can see the rivets on the aircraft as well as the ribs of their structure. A lot of attention to detail went into how this game looks.
There is a Rule Book and a Compendium, as well as a lot of components, and a large mounted board. Not to mention, all the aircraft minis!
The inside of the Rule Book looks good. But looks can be deceiving; when I posted my acquisition to Facebook’s Solitaire Wargames section, a lot of people said the same thing – beautiful components, terrible rules. Jury’s out for me, still, but a cursory glance doesn’t look so bad. Some of this aligns with my worry of rules clarity, but we shall see.
Another close-up of the rules.
Another close-up of the rules, this time showing the aircraft in the game. Notice the lack of Spitfires? Yeah, that’s in an expansion. Fortunately, I acquired that as well.
This is the aforementioned expansion that utilizes Spitfires. It also includes Luftwaffe Aces and has some additional content to add to the base game.
And now a look at the Compendium.
Besides the artwork and lovely components, it’s very cool that this game simulates actions fought by 303 Squadron, which was a Polish squadron in the RAF. Their pilots escaped Poland’s collapse in 1939 and fought on throughout the war.
Information on aircraft in the game. Interesting that this mentions the Spitfire without having the Spitfire in the base game.
There are several Scenarios included in the game.
“JERRY’S ON MY TAIL! HOW’S YOUR FATHER! BREAK RIGHT!”
The components are simple. Here’s hoping they make sense once I get the game to the table, but simplicity in design is often a strong point.
The back of the component sheet.
The game’s board comes in two mounted pieces.
And, it’s BIG. I had to stand up to take this picture. As you can see, it shows northern France and southeastern England, as well as a large portion of the English Channel.
The insert holds a lot of different components.
The Pilot Boards, where pilots and their information is displayed and tracked during the game.
It’s always a good sign when the backs of components, like these Pilot Boards, has attention to detail as well.
There are also pieces for assembling dials, lots of dice, and wooden cube markers in many different colors.
And of course, the aircraft minis!
Some RAF aircraft.
A close up of the RAF Hurricane miniatures.
The Heinkel-111 German bomber looks pretty sturdy. The minis look good and they’re fairly large, too.
A close-up of a Heinkel-111.
More RAF Hurricane miniatures!
And a whole mess of Messerschmidts. Me-109s, to be precise.
A close-up of the Me-109 mini.
There’s even some Messerchmidt 110s in the base game.
A close-up of the Me-110.
Lots of different-colored bases and stands for the fighters to be mounted upon.
Lots of cards, too!
The Mission and Target cards look fantastic.
The other card art and layouts are pleasing to look at.
Even the Luftwaffe cards look outstanding.
Yet more cards!
And even a nice felt bag with the game’s title embroidered upon it. A very nice touch.
Now, here are some images from the Brothers in Arms expansion.
The game box is smaller and much lighter than the core box, of course. But the art is just as nice.
The back belies some of that English trouble I mentioned earlier (“While the event calls for the Spitfires to work like a robot…” – pretty sure ‘robot’ should be AI, but this isn’t too big a deal, just unwieldy).
There’s a lot of empty space and a tray for components that might not be fully needed.
Four Spitfires come with this game.
A close-up of a Spitfire mini.
And the other components.
There’s a lot under the hood here. I look forward to diving in to see what people are meaning by the rules being bad. There’s a lot of YouTube videos on this game that they say are helpful, so we shall see.
Thanks for joining this month’s #UnboxingDay with the Armchair Dragoons and we hope you enjoyed our recon of our recent acquisitions. You can always leave us your feedback in our #UnboxingDay thread, or in the comment area on this article, below.
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