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Positives: An innovative wraparound board simulating a looping aerial dogfight. Easily learned and executed rules. Painless ability for house rules. Quick, action-packed gameplay.
Negatives: Round sequence becomes confusing between the four planes if players are not attentive. Possibility of extended-yet-mundane looping of planes if neither side takes a risk and/or missiles become exhausted. My board has a flaw in the punchout schematics, leading to confusion when trying to record activity.
Verdict: Worth your money if you find a good used copy. Makes for a refreshing interim game when between rounds of Settlers of Catan.
This game is a fun, quick game. You and your opponent engage in a dogfight, each controlling two planes. At the start of the game, all the planes are lined up on one side of the board. You must always move towards the opposite side of the board, but you may go straight, diagonal left, or diagonal right. At the beginning of each round, you place a movement card face down. They are left, right, or straight, with 1, 2, or 4 movement dice. Once all planes are programmed, the first plane reveals its movement and you roll the movement dice to see how far you move. When you get to an edge of the board, you continue your movement, reappearing at a corresponding space at the beginning of the board.
You must position your planes behind your opponent's to shoot at them. There are three types of weapons, which vary in range, but not damage. When you fire, you roll firing dice to determine if you hit your target. If the value of the dice is equal to or greater than the number of spaces your opponent is away from you, you hit. The dice have zeros on them, so no shot is guaranteed. Deciding the type of weapon fired then becomes very important, especially since you have a limited number of shots for each weapon.
The three types of weapons you have access to are long-range missiles, short-range missiles, and your gun. The gun gets the fewest dice: two. In addition, itcan only be fired when a person is straight in front of you or on a direct diagonal. The short-range missiles get three dice and can be fired if your opponent is anywhere between your two diagonals. The long-range missiles get four dice and can be fired under the same conditions as the short-range missiles. Each plane is also equipped with two flares, which, when fired, allow the person who is being fired at with a missile to take away one of the firing dice after the roll takes place.
When you hit with a shot, you roll the movement dice, total the value on the dice and look on the damage chart to see what is damaged. Each section of the plane can take a different amount of damage. When a section is completely damaged, the plane crashes.
The game has four planes, which look all right, and four cardboard pegboards to keep track of the amount of damage and ammunition. The game usually takes 20-30 minutes, but can take as long as an hour, especially if all anyone has left is their gun. This game is a really simple and fast game for two players. It really is quite enjoyable.
Screaming Eagles is a game of air combat. You have to maneuver your plane to control the skies. Watch out for your 6, however, as the 3 other players all have the same goal. This is a very basic game for 2-4 players. The rules are straightforward and clear. Play is usually quick, but can drag out for an hour, sometimes. The game is the most fun when you play with some friends you want to have bragging rights over.
The game comes with plastic planes, oddly-numbered 6-sided dice, direction cards, and a pegboard to mark ammo stores and plane damage. The board is a large diamond grid that you move your plane over. The components are sturdy and will most likely not break.
To move your plane, you first 'program' your turn buy using a straight, turn left, or turn right card. All of the cards have an associated dice amount with them. (E.g. roll 3 dice turn right, roll 2 dice go straight). As you move, you fly on a grid-like board that wraps around. As you move off the board at one end, your plane is considered to loop overhead and come back onto the board at the corresponding spot on the other side.
Your weapons are of three types. They all do the same amount of damage, but they have different ranges.
The game is over when you successfully shoot down all of the other planes or you get shot down yourself.
This game is one that could be open to many variations, rules changes/updates. My circle plays with a few house rules to make it more interesting. Some ideas are ramming damage, landing for repairs, and veteran status. You could also chart a campaign, by awarding money to upgrade planes' weapons. This game gets an A+ for adaptability of new rules.
This game is not the most involved game in the world, but its quick, uncomplicated play makes it fun for when you dont have a lot of time.
Suggestion: Throw in a few house rules to make the game even better.