Just Geoff and I turned out for a game this Thursday. Geoff had promised Aeronef, and Aeronef he delivered. Produced by Wessex Games it's a game of Victorian sci-fi aerial combat, with giant anti-gravity warships and dirigibles battling it out over the world's skies.
Geoff has a great little collection of vessels for the game, mostly made up of the models from GDW's 'Sky Galleons of Mars', as well as dirigibles made from plastic aircraft kit drop-tanks and bombs. It turns out that although he's had the models for years, and the game for nearly as long, he'd never actually played it before, so it was a bit of a learning experience for both of us. Fortunately Aeronef is an easy game to learn, and we picked it up quickly.
We used some optional damage allocation rules. In the original game damage to systems such as guns and speed is strictly proportional to hull damage. With the system we used a card is drawn for each point of hull damage, and reductions applied to systems according to what is drawn. This makes the process a little more unpredictable.
Anyway, we played two of the scenarios from the basic rules.
In the first Geoff took a British gunboat patrol attempting to stop a force of German dirigibles from travelling the length of the table.
Here are the dastardly Hun:
The British intercept, putting themselves well and truly in the way:
Lots of fighting, but the British firepower wasn't enough to take down all of the German vessels:
Actually part of the problem was that we played the optional damage rules we were using incorrectly, and the Germans probably lasted longer than they should have done.
The second scenario saw a British squadron scrambling to prevent French vessels from bombing a series of shore installations. The French were played by dirigibles (although most of their ships weren't).
Here's the peaceful shoreline of Old Blighty. The British are assembled in the bottom corner:
Here come the French! The British have scrambled to intercept them:
Two lines of gunboats fight it out. The smaller French vessels suffered badly:
A French bomber moves in on its target. This was happening all along the coast - the scenario seems unbalanced in that it doesn't seem possible for the British to take off and get into a position where they can inflict enough damage to stop the French before the French reach their targets and unload their bombs:
Despite the imbalance of the second scenario (for which we came up with a couple of solutions), we had a great couple of games. Thank you to Geoff for organising everything.
I have to say I really enjoyed Aeronef, and will probably buy it fairly soon, as assembling forces for it looks relatively straightforward.