‘Wings of Glory’ Flies From Tabletop to Digital

Wings of Glory WWI is a tabletop miniatures game designed by Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia. First released in 2012, it allowed players to take on the roles of aviators from the Great War and duel in the skies over the Western Front. This game is still popular today and Dire Wolf Digital has just released a digital version of the game which you can play on your PC or your iOS or Android devices. 

The game offers three different tutorials to get you started. The first goes over the basic rules of how to fly your plane by using maneuver cards. The second tutorial expands to include two-seater planes as well as the effects of special types of damage. The advanced tutorial adds rules about altitude which is only used in advanced games. There is also a digital manual of the rules which can be accessed through the settings menu. This provides more detailed explanations of the rules for those who want to go deeper than the tutorials’ coverage. 

There are three types of challenges, each with two levels. Image by Michael Knight.

Wings of Glory WWI offers both local as well as online play. Local alone has a lot to keep you playing for hours and hours. When playing local, you can choose from solo play or complete challenges. There are a total of six challenges divided into three categories. Each also provides additional training to help prepare you for solo or online play. The first type of challenge, ‘Earning Your Wings’, focuses on dogfighting and introduces Ace skills which can give your pilot specific advantages. The normal level pits you against an enemy plane while the heroic level sends two enemy planes against your single plane. The ‘Trench Buster’ challenges require you to strafe enemy positions while also preventing the enemy from strafing your positions. Finally, the ‘Bombing Run’ challenges require you to drop bombs on a fortified target while avoiding being shot down by the enemy. 

Solo play offers four different types of missions. In addition to dogfights, strafing, and bombing missions, there is also a reconnaissance mission. Here you may have to fly a plane to photograph a target and then get back behind your lines. On the other hand, you may be tasked with shooting down the enemy’s recon aircraft and prevent it from getting escaping. Each of the types of solo missions can be customized. You can choose whether there are 1 to 3 planes for each team, the difficulty level of the AI, whether you are playing with standard or advanced rules, and whether you are using explosion rules which are damage cards that immediately destroy a plane. For bombing and reconnaissance missions, you can also choose which side is the defender. 

solo mode
There are several options for playing solo. Image by Michael Knight.

Online play offers all of the mission types of solo play except that you are flying against another player and not the AI. After you create an account and login, you can see if there are any games available to join. You can also create your own game with your settings and either open it up to the public or put in a password so only players to whom you give it to can join your games. What is really impressive is that gameplay is cross platform. Therefore, you can be on a PC and playing against others who are on iOS or Android devices. I tested this out and was able to play on my Steam account on PC against my son who was playing on an iPad. It worked perfectly.

start of a battle
The start of a dogfight. Image by Michael Knight.

While I have discussed the features of Wings of Glory WWI, I also want to explain the gameplay. Wings of Glory WWI is a turn-based game. At the start of a turn each player chooses three maneuver cards for each of their planes. There are different maneuver decks, so smaller more agile planes have decks with tighter turns and more maneuvers than larger, two-person planes. These maneuver cards are arrange in order of their play. Once the players have chosen their cards, then each player reveals the first maneuver card for each of their planes and the planes are moved accordingly. Next the game lets you know if there are enemies in range of your guns. If there is only one, you automatically shoot. Otherwise, you pick which enemy plane to target. After combat, the second maneuver cards are revealed and then the third card, with combat taking place after each movement. During combat, one or two damage cards (depending on the range) are given to the target. While you can see the damage values of the cards your planes receive, you cannot see those given to the other player. You can only see how many damage cards they have. Some damage cards have extra affects such as wounded pilot, damage rudder, fire, and more. These can affect the maneuvers your plane can perform. Once the amount of damage a plane receive is equal to or greater than its health level, the plane is destroyed. The game continues until only one side has planes on the map, or in the case of reconnaissance and bombing missions, when the attacking side has exited the map along their frontline. 

The maneuver cards are played one at a time simultaneously.  Image by Michael Knight.

I am very impressed by Dire Wolf Digital’s conversion of the original tabletop miniatures game. First off, it makes the game very approachable by providing tutorials and challenges to help you learn the rules a bit at a time while playing through missions. It also does all the math for you by keeping track of damage inflicted as well as its effects. This all helps players new to the game to get in and start playing without overwhelming them. I also really like the variety of missions and the ability to customize them to your liking. The graphics and sound are also good. If you are a veteran of the physical version of Wings of Glory WWI, then the digital version is a great way to play on the go, solo, or when you don’t want to get out all of your planes and game materials. If you have never played the tabletop game, then this is a great way to try it out and start playing. Either way, I recommend Wings of Glory WWI for those who enjoy turn-based combat games. 

Wings of Glory WWI is available for PC through Steam for $14.99 as well as for iOS on the App Store or Android through Google Play for $8.99. 

Here is teaser trailer for Wings of Glory WWI


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