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Air Force Miniatures: Opening Salvo Pt. 6
Angels 20 Set
by Mons Johnson

This is the final preview for Axis & Allies Air Force Miniatures: Angels 20, which released on February 21.

The aircraft choices that we made for Angels 20 were constrained by two major factors. First, size constraints dictated planes whose wingspans were around 10 meters. The packaging for a starter can hold a plane larger than normal, so the Angels 20 starter has the rather large Bf-110, which is the large plane that best suited the Battle of Britain theme. Second, we had a set size of 31 figures. This meant that we didn't want to stray too far into the obscure planes; we wanted to show the prominent ones of WWII. In keeping with the Battle of Britain theme, the starter contains a Spitfire, two Hurricanes, two Bf-109Es, and the Bf-110. The boosters have planes from many nations and conflicts.

We made a conscious decision to ensure that all planes in the first set can fight. All the planes in Angels 20 are fighters, or in the case of the Bf-110, a heavy fighter. We wanted players to be able to take any given plane to the table with a reasonable chance at success. Of course, some planes are better than others, and that's reflected in the various planes' statistics. The core of the game is about maneuvering fighters against one another and we wanted to keep that as the central focus.

We also focused on including models from the earlier parts of the war. For example, we included a French plane, the Morane-Saulnier MS.406. The best choices for a French fighter would be the MS.406, the Dewoitine D.520, or possibly the Curtiss P-36 Hawk. We included the MS.406 because it represented the majority of the French fighters during the Battle of France, even though the D.520 was the superior plane. Another reason to include the MS.406 was that the Finns had excellent success with the plane.

I will close with a couple strategy tips:

1. Play to your planes' strengths! If an enemy Zero is on your P-40's tail, consider diving or quickly breaking toward a friendly fighter. Trying to out-turn a Zero will usually get you nowhere fast or even shot down.

2. Axis & Allies Air Force Miniatures plays best with 2 to 4 planes on a side. The rules support single-plane duels, but it is just more fun with multiple planes. Going into a dogfight without a wingman is asking for trouble . . .

As always, you can discuss this article or ask for a set list on our forums.

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