Aerial combat comprised a serious and often under-represented part of warfare in the 20th century, and by WWII the arms race led to some of the greatest flying machines ever to grace the air during periods of war. There is no better mark of reverence or respect therefore, than to recreate some of history’s most pivotal battles in table-top miniatures form. The following four Miniature Aerial Warfare Games have what is felt to be the greatest appeal to experienced and beginner players alike.
Wings of War: WW2 Miniatures
Also known with the suffix of WW2 Aeroplane Packs, Wings of War: WW2 Miniatures is a pack that consists solely of WWII-era aircraft miniatures. The lack of ruleset of course means you’re going to be using the core Wings of War: WWII rules, but the expansion packs carrying this label each consist of a single miniature as well as the base on which it sits, as well as four altitude pegs required for compatibility with the Wings of War rules. In addition to the model and its peripherals, you’ll also find corresponding stats and manoeuvrability cards in order to specify your model’s particular attributes on the game board.
Expect a wide range of different aircraft representing the technological masterpieces of each major nation of WWII. From the Spitfire to the Mitsubishi A6M2 Reisen, it’s difficult not to enjoy the detail of each model as well as their historically accurate stats cards, each of which facilitating the highest possible fidelity in each of your aerial scenarios.
Axis and Allies: Air Miniatures: Angels 20
Axis and Allies needs very little introduction, but suffice it to say that its creators are prolific in the conception and creation of their miniatures sets. Unlike the Wings of War: WW2 miniatures, Angels 20 is a fully-fledged starter pack containing all you need to play. This includes the rulebook, two battle maps, a counter sheet, 4 dice (6-sided), and a full 31 stats cards.
The main talking point of Angels 20 however are the 6 miniatures that come with the set. You’ll find that the pain detailing is superb on each of these models, of which you will not likely receive the same exact set each time you purchase this starter pack. All major nations are represented here, from the American Tomahawk MkII and the British Hawker Hurricane to the German Messerschmitt 109 Freidrich. The models are perfect for avid collectors, experienced board-based wargaming fanatics, though Angels 20 is best suited for beginner players looking to start off their collection.
Wings of War: Fire from the Sky
The selling point of the whole Wings of War series is that it offers fast-paced, action-packed, strategy-rich aerial warfare on the game board. Fire from the Sky is the second offering in the series, and it facilitates the reproduction of a rich variety of dogfighting, reconnaissance, bombing, and escort scenarios. The pre-provided combat situations are great for beginners who want to get a feel for the action, though the rules permit the creation of your own scenarios, and this is where the game is able to come into its own.
A big selling point for many however are the additional aircraft models that are introduced to the game. These include the Curtis P-40 Tomahawk and the Yak-1. Gameplay is fast-paced and turns last a matter of seconds rather than minutes as they can do in traditional miniatures games.
Wings of War: WW2 Deluxe Set
This is most definitely the set to purchase if you’re after a complete, ready-to-play package. There’s no danger of being short of content here: the complete Wings of War Rules, full player-board set, manoeuvre decks, and tokens are all included. There are also two airplanes included with the set, each painted in wonderful detail to rival that of even the Axis and Allies miniatures.
The problem for many here may be the quantity of miniatures you get – or more accurately don’t get – with the set. Axis and Allies sets are notorious for being heavy on the miniatures, while you may find yourself browsing Ebay or other miniatures sites to find extra planes or plane cards for Wings of War. Still, the models are painted nicely and the gameplay is both tactical and accessible, so it’s worth a go if you’re not much of a fan of Axis and Allies’ aerial efforts.