TITLE: Watch Your Six! , Aerial Combat in the Great War – Version 4.0.20
AUTHOR: Michael J. Clinton
PUBLISHER: Clinton Law Office
PUBLICATION DATE: May, 2009
WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM: wy6.us / http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/watch_your_six/
PRICE (with date): $25.00 (in 2009)
REVIEWED BY: Michael J. Clinton (Author)
PERIOD COVERED: 1917-1918
THE BOOK: Watch Your Six! Is a comb bound 8.5” x 11” book. 135 pages. Includes play sheets, two sample aircraft and a sample scenario. You really need to purchase one or more Wargamer’s Guides to play the game. Yanks! (262 pages) covers the American Air Service and their foes. Yanks! will be available in June 2009.
SCOPE: Flight or Squadron Level Air Combat.
ARMY SIZE: Minimum of 2 aircraft per player. 3-7 aircraft are commonly played. Generally players will select a certain number of aircraft based on how long they have to play. Watch Your Six! Games generally last 15 minutes for each aircraft on the table (12 aircraft will take about 3 hours).
BASE UNIT: A single aircraft.
GAME SCALES: Each altitude level is about 2000 feet. The size of an individual hex is not defined. Each game represents roughly 15 to 20 minutes of aerial combat.
BASING SIZES: Unimportant. Player preferences and the size of the aircraft models will determine player basing.
- Reset dice
- Gunnery / Defensive Flying / Bombing / Observing
- Un-jam Guns
- Fabric Tear / Engine Status Checks
- Stall Checks / Move gliding aircraft
- Spinning Aircraft
- Unengaged Aircraft Move
- Engaged Aircraft Movement and Maneuver
- Determine Bonus Dice for next turn.
- Remove aircraft wishing to break off from combat
- Air Bombardment Resolution Phase
GAME MECHANICS: Aircraft Ratings and Pilot Ratings combine to determine options that may be exercised by an individual aircraft. The turn sequence is integrated. Aircraft move and shoot based on relative advantage / disadvantage.
The Watch Your Six Rules book contains one scenario and two aircraft. A Aerial Encounters section is included in the rule book which allows the players to create starting positions for ‘generic’ encounters. The Wargamer Guides, such as Yanks!, contain many Aircraft sheets, and background information. Historical scenario books (yet to be released) contain historical scenarios (the first of these will contain 60 scenarios).
As mentioned above, players generally tailor their games to the amount of time they have available. Two players controlling three aircraft each will need about 90 minutes to play their game. Four players controlling six aircraft each (24 total aircraft) will need roughly six hours to play their game.
REVIEWER’S COMMENTS: Hey, I wrote the rules! Here’s what one of my play testers said about them:
"Watch Your Six is a remarkable, extremely playable World War I air combat game. Using readily available commercial models of combat aircraft of that era, it presents an enjoyable visual representation of combat, while challenging the players with the problems faced by the aircrew when dealing with the imperfect technology of the day. Additionally, each player deals not only with the difficulties confronting each aircrew, but is also confronting the problems of a flight leader trying to manage his formation efficiently to accomplish an assigned mission."
Most people will comment on the format of the rules and the ease of reading the rules when they pick them up. We took more than a little time to optimize the font, kerning and line length. This formatting is especially helpful to those with less than perfect vision.
HOW THE RULES ARE ORGANIZED:
The steps in the play sequence are numbered. Each step in the play sequence corresponds to a section in the rules. For example, step #3 in the play sequence is Spotting. All the rules associated with Spotting can be found in section 3.0 of the rules. Related matters are referenced by internal indexing. Words appearing in italicized text are not rules. References, examples, illustrations, and historical quotes are presented in italicized text. The Special Terms and References section contains a number of terms or words listed in alphabetical order. These words or terms are referenced to rules associated with that word or term.
There is a table of contents and a number of internal references.
There are two diagrams and twenty written examples of play.
Thus far only my play testers and a few convention attendees have played these rules. No complaints so far.