06 June 2013

Axis & Allies: Angels 20 first impression

Last weekend I saw and tried out a demo of Axis & Allies: Angels 20, the "collectable" airplane game from Wizards of the Coast.

A few things stood out to me during this whole thing:

The planes are really big, come prepainted and actually look pretty nice. They are supplied with bases/flight stands that allow you to tilt the airplane to all sides. The base also contains altitude information when using the advanced rules.

The rules are about as complicated/lightweight as X-wing but have similarities with and feels like a very streamlined version of "Check Your Six". The game includes modifiers for various ranges, different "to hit" requirements depending on the angle of your target. You also get pilot skill, differences between airplane models in terms of maneuverability, attack and armor values.

It has very few components, all you have to worry about are the planes, a few damage markers, and you stat cards. There are no measuring stick or anything like that - instead players declare their speed and special maneuver intentions before they begin moving their aircraft and then move along a hex based map (a map which you get in the starter set).

It was a fun demo game, we didn't go into the advanced rules but it sure picked my interest. But having just invested quite heavily into X-wing from Fantasy Flight Games I asked Peter who ran the demo about the cost of the airplanes and starter sets - and it's really here I had a very rare "GTFO" moment!

You get 6 planes (which are always always the same) in the starter set, stat cards for ALL the airplanes in the entire line, a map and some other tokens and stuff that you punch out yourself. All that for the same cost as a X-wing starter set... I just could not believe it. The starter set is a battle of Britain deal with 1 bomber and 2 escort fighters for the Germans and 3 fighters for the Allies. You get enough to actually play a proper game out of the box as opposed to the X-wing starter which is more of a teaser.

The only downside of this game is that the booster packs, while thematically locked to a specific theater (Europe or Pacific) contain unknown airplanes so you don't know exactly what you will get. I don't know who came up with this retarded marketing idea or if anyone thinks it is good in any way, it's basically the same deal that the Axis & Allies collectable miniatures game suffers from. However, you get 3 airplanes per booster for the price of 2 X-wing fighters.

There is no way I'm going to pass on this game, as soon as I get some cash I will buy a starter set and do a proper review. For those not interested in the battle of Britain or the European theater - there is a much more recent starter set and line of miniatures for the Pacific but I will try to get hold of the European theater stuff.

Just like X-wing the rulebook features a couple of getting started scenarios and you also just like in X-wing play 100 points per side when you are just playing regular dogfights.

So yeah, you will see more on this in the near future. The pictures in this post show the contents of two starter boxes (2 maps, 2 bombers etc).


  1. Hey Anatoli,
    This looks like a really interesting game, especially considering its very reasonable cost. I'm glad to hear they have a PTO version as it would allow me to use the planes my grandfather flew. Very cool stuff!

    1. Yes I hope to give a more detailed and in depth review of the game once I get hold of a starter set. I'm more into the Battle for Britain campaign since I then get to play the Polish squadrons - I could be interested in the Pacific as well but those two are completely different in terms of planes so it would be too much of an investment for me to buy into both theaters.

      But from what I have seen the Pacific themed starter set is similar to the European one, in that you get 6 planes (the big plane in that box is the P-38 Lightning) 3 allies and 3 Japanese.

  2. Agreed - really fun game at a good price point. My brother picked it up and we've had some fab games of it.

    You uses to be able to get single planes on eBay at an ok price too. Think there's an expansion set out soon.


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