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Air Force Miniatures: Opening Salvo Pt. 4
Angels 20 Set
by Mons Johnson

This is the fourth preview for Axis & Allies Air Force Miniatures: Angels 20. This article looks at how we chose to implement altitude in the game, as well as showing a few more aircraft.

Here again is the turn sequence (first discussed in article 3). During a turn, you complete each of the following phases, in order:

  • Initiative (high roller moves and fires second)
  • Movement (players alternate moving aircraft)
  • Attack
  • End turn

Let's take another look at an aircraft's base:

Printed on the base are the numbers 1 through 6, representing altitude bands. You must choose an altitude band for each aircraft, which you indicate by turning the model to face that number on its base. In this example, the Zero is facing the number 2 on its base, so it is at altitude 2.

Aircraft can change altitude only when they use the Power Dive or Climb maneuver. When an aircraft succeeds on a Power Dive maneuver check, it can lower its altitude by 1 or 2 (as well as move straight 1 hex); otherwise, it lowers its altitude by just 1. Climbing takes more effort, so an aircraft that succeeds on a Climb maneuver check increases its altitude by 1 (as well as move straight 1 hex). If it fails the check, it doesn't change altitude.

Both Power Dive and Climb are difficult maneuvers, so an aircraft that attempts either during its movement cannot attempt another difficult maneuver that turn. Better pilots and/or aircraft can exceed this limitation, however, such as the blisteringly fast P-51C Escort with its Boom and Zoom ability:

Aircraft can usually attack only aircraft at their altitude. However, the advanced movement rules (see article 3) allow more flexibility. An aircraft that ends its movement in Diving status can attack aircraft at its altitude or at 1 altitude below it. An aircraft that ends its movement in Climbing status can attack aircraft at its altitude or at 1 altitude above it.

Altitude can affect aircraft in other ways as well. For example, P-40C Flying Tiger didn't have the best high-altitude performance, and this is reflected on its stat card (shown in article 3).

Finally, here's a gratuitous picture of a classic duel between a Fw 190A Wurger and a P-51:

By request, in the next article we'll take a close look at the C.200 Saetta!

That's it for now. As always, you can discuss this article or other aspects of the Axis & Allies line of games on our message boards.

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