|Wings of War: Immelmann Booster Pack
by Andrea Angiolino
|Wings of War | Published 28 October 2008|
Since the very first boxes of Wings of War appeared, fans have asked for more maneuver decks. We decided to provide the fans with preexisting sets as brand new sets in reasonably priced booster packs. Each pack contains a selection of maneuver decks as well as several airplane cards which represent the largest possible variety of styles and nationalities.
After the incredible success of the first two titles, Recon Patrol and Top Fighters, two more boosters are now hitting the shelves in the next few weeks: Immelmann and Dogfight. Immelmann concentrates on airplanes of the early part of the war, from Spring 1915 onward, while Dogfight features some very popular machines used in the later years.
The Immelmann booster pack is dedicated to Max Immelmann, the originator of the maneuver which still bears his name. The Fokker E.III monoplane and a less agile but heavily armed E.IV with three machine guns were both flown by Immelmann. The E.IV was unusual machine marked with the registration number 189/16. Though the plane was an unsatisfactory experiment, Wings of War players now have the opportunity to test it in combat themselves, using an A and a B card each time they fire. Additionally, players may draw two As and two Bs when they manage to have a target at short range. This gives a greater firepower to the machine, but also a double chance of jamming. This is a reflection of a real problem of the historical plane!
Another interesting airplane in the Immelman booster pack featuring a non-standard weapon arrangement is a twin-MG Halberstadt D.III which belongs to Leutnant Otto Bernert of Jasta 'Boelke'. This kind of aircraft was already provided in the Wings of War: Watch Your Back set, but only in the standard, single machine gun version.
In the same set there are also other Fokker E.III and E.IV, a few Morane Saulnier N and some Airco D.H. 2. The pack includes three French Morane Saulnier N, among which "Le Vengeur" that was the very first plane to reach the front in April of 1915. A British and Russian plane have also been included, the latter fitted with skis instead of wheels so that it could be used on snow.
For the D.H. 2, we considered the idea of an enlarged arc of fire on the front since the pilot had a somewhat flexible machine gun. However, a deeper historical search revealed that even when there was the technical possibility to turn the weapon from the axis of the plane, pilots preferred to fix it and use it their guns in a much more traditional manner. (Keep in mind that pilots had to aim and fire while they were flying the plane!)
Besides Immelmann, famous pilots featured in this booster pack are Boelke, Udet, Navarre and Hawker. Hawker is the first pilot of the Commonwealth to become an ace. On board of an Airco D.H.2, he also became the Red Baron's eleventh victory after one of the longest duels of World War I.
As often happens with Wings of War products, the Western front is not the only area to be featured in this booster. Immelmann also includes E.IIIs that saw active service in Austrian, Turkish and Bulgarian air services. The Bulgarian plane is one of the three E.IIIs used for the air defense of Sofia. The card features Poruchik (Lieutenant) Marko Parvanov, who was the first Bulgarian pilot to ever score a victory on September 30, 1916. Taking off from Bojurishte airfield as the wingman of a German pilot, he forced a Farman F.40 to land after damaging the plane. The Austrian E.III, better known as the A.III, was used by Ludwig Hautzmayer on the Italian front in early 1916. He was piloting when he scored the first of seven victories; shooting down a Caproni Ca.1 three-engines bomber over Merna, near Gorizia, the 18th of February 1916.