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TRIPODS & TRIPLANES - A WINGS of GLORY WWI game.
£36.30 (Zatu) £46.49 (eBay) / $39.99 (down from $49.99) on Miniature Markets Web Page

 

Designed by Andrea Angiolino, Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello with art and illustrations by David Szilagyi  
Featuring the superb design and sculpting of Bob Naismith (Citadel, Rogue Trader, Hasbro, Parker Games, Waddingstons, Bluebird Toys, Games Workshop etc)

 
TRIPODS & TRIPLANES is a stand-alone miniatures game of combat, battles and missions. It is also a sister game to, and compatible with, the famed WINGS of GLORY WWI series of games though whether it is also compatible with WINGS of GLORY WW2  I am not sure.

The Starter Set for Tripods & Triplanes includes two miniatures - the MK1 Locust Tripod and the Nieuport 16 Airplane - with typical Wings of Glory bases. This means you have enough miniatures to play a short skirmish game while learning the rules and it is also a taster of what you can achieve with more miniatures that are bought separately in single model boxes.

 

If you have played WINGS of GLORY WWI then you might think you know how the basic system works, but be prepared for some respective differences especially for the Tripods. Each vehicle (Plane or Tripod) has its own descriptive card plus a set of game cards (ID'd by a small letter) that include Manoeuvre, Damage and Action cards specific to the named model. 

Airplanes have a spread of fire as shown via an arc at the front of the face up card; the distance of their fire relates to where the Plane is in accordance with its target, determined by the use of a special ruler. Tripods may fire straight ahead using their Martian Heat Rays (this isn't their only combat action but it's great fun and just like the War of the Worlds™) that can fire up to the length of its own measuring stick, but over a less spread arc of fire than the plane's spread. Unlike Planes which have to keep moving Tripods can select a stand still action and also turn on the spot.

 

Apart from the obvious, the War of the Worlds™ similarities, what I really like about TRIPODS & TRIPLANES is that although it is compatible to the rules and gameplay of WINGS of GLORY WWI it isn't just a new set of models designed to fit into the old game rules. The figures are magnificent and come painted and ready to use. I understand that some folk like to paint their own figures but just about every gamer I have grown up with has a large box, shelf, suitcase, chest of drawers etc etc etc absolutely filled with unpainted miniatures. I finally sold off the majority of mine for about a third of their value just because the people that bought them were games players and more likely to paint them and bring them to life than myself. Having sold off the majority I still have several games with miniatures that need painting and I haven't got the money or inclination to pay someone to paint them and I doubt I'll ever get round to it though deep inside I desperately want to.

So what I am saying is that whether you buy and play TRIPODS & TRIPLANES or WINGS of GLORY WWI or both of them you will receive amazing miniatures that are completely painted to a very decent quality. Plus they are not just markers in the game, they are actual playing pieces that can be moved, manoeuvred, sent into combat and are essential parts of the game play.

 

The Martian Invaders are more than just long legged heat ray firing metal monstrosities, they are much more than that and they have more than just the Heat Ray to destroy the human race. Unlike the WWI airplanes that have movement cards to fly straight, conduct Immelmann turns, dive, rise and turn - they cannot stop still - the Tripods have Action cards that can be played before movement and these are the bane of the ever-flying pilot Aces. Tripds can Change Facing without moving, Destroy Objectives (anything overlapped by the Martian mini's base is destroyed, ouch!), Heat Ray (we've all seen/read, heard War of the Worlds ™ so you know what to expect), Recharge (Planes require fuel which they get from landing strips and airports) Tripods need energy, generally gained by draining objectives, and the (optional rule) Black Smoke which involves the use of a really nasty toxic noxious acid in  vapour format; as I said, it's really nasty. Black Smoke is capable of corroding almost any material known to Earth so thankfully, even though it is an optional addition to the war, there isn't a lot of it available.

  

Within the box there are circular Terrain tiles, Craters, Marsh, Pond, Trenches and Woods, and similarly shaped Objective tiles; Church, Factory, Hangar and House, that, if agreed by all players at the start of play or if required by the current scenario, can be positioned in the battle zone. Terrain can upset the movement of Tripods but can also be destroyed by them, in which case the tile/s are flipped over to their damaged (Red Weed) side - the designers have ensured the War of the Worlds ™ background remains a critical part of the players knowledge even though it isn't the true overall theme it seems as if TRIPODS & TRIPLANES has been designed to have the War of the Worlds™ story in the backs of player's minds

 

The Humans may be able to take a leaf out of the Star Wars™ book and fly cables around the legs of the At-At Walkers, err I mean Tripods, and indeed it is a dangerous but possible tactic which can bring Tripods crashing to the ground. Unfortunately, unless the plane/s can then destroy the Tripod within a very short amount of (game) time, the Tripod, unlike the At-At Walker, can right itself and get back into the battle. Don't you just love it when great stories meld together and give birth to hybrids that follow some, but not all, of their parent's directions, whilst bending the rules and regulations they grew up with.

Anyone who allowed their first impressions to be that TRIPODS & TRIPLANES was just another basic dice rolling combat game should seriously think again. This is a skirmish combat game that is higher in strategy and tactics than RISK™ or AXIS & ALLIES™ but not as complex or complicated as some of the popular Avalon Hill/GMT historical war games.

 

Contents:

Rulebook
Scenario Booklet
1 Mk.I "Locust" Tripod model with base
1 Nieuport 16 Airplane model with base
1 Tripod Maneuver Deck
1 Airplane Maneuver Deck
4 Airplane Damage Decks
3 Tripods Damage Decks
1 Airplane Combat Ruler
2 Heat-ray Rulers (medium and heavy projectors)
1 Black Smoke Ruler
4 Sets of Tripod Action Tokens
4 Objective Counters
2 Black Smoke Markers
100+ Assorted Tokens

Great value for an exceptionally good game. Superb to play at home, better to play multi-player at Game's Clubs and even greater to play at Game Conventions. This really is a 'more you have the better it gets' situation game; however the add-on Planes and Tripods are not inexpensive:  WINGS of GLORY – TRIPODS & TRIPLANES: MK. IV “Cuttle Fish” Tripod Pack NOW £22.71 or £20.45 for the MKII Scarab Tripod and that's for just one Tripod but they are well worth it. 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015