Septembers Eagles AAR

After years of research and playtesting, High Flying Dice Games is pleased to announce that September’s Eagles is being made available through a Kickstarter campaign. You can find details about the campaign on this page HERE

Paul Rohrbaugh and I have worked for a few years on several DTP projects and produced a couple of boxed games over the past year. Recently we’ve published a game for college students. This game, marks something new for us. This is an interactive game as players can make plays during their turn and the turns of other players throughout the game!

September’s Eagles is an air racing game but, unlike many games which seem pretty generic at times, this game also teaches a little history. Remember back when you were young? I remember of dreaming to be an astronaut on the Mercury or Gemini but in the 20’s and 30’s, boys (and many girls) had dreams of flying. Today, though they aren’t as well known, pilots like Roscoe Turner, Pancho Barnes, Wiley Post and Jimmy Doolittle were airplane pioneers in the world’s most dangerous sport…air racing!


Each pilot in the game, of which their are 33, has its own card. The card shows a pilots skill level and fatigue level.

Each plane in the game, of which there are 36, is rated for its ability to turn, climb or dive, endurance and has a number of action points available.

The game is suitable for 2-4 players in about an hour (more or less) and consists of players drawing a hand of five cards. Players, on their turn, play their cards to gain action points that are used to move their planes around the race course. Of course, players whose turn it is not, can play cards such as the Incident Card shown to interfere. This could slow a plane down or make it lose airspeed and crash!

Instead of trying to remember your altitude or airspeed or cluttering up the game board with tokens and/or markers, players each receive an airspeed gauge to keep track of such things.

So all in all, there are 36 plane cards, 33 pilot cards, 54 action cards, plane tokens, four airspeed gauges, plyons to mark the course, and a mounted game board. This comes with a full color rule book with plenty of examples as well as a full color racing program which allows you to complete any of the Thompson Trophy races from 1929 to 1939 or create your own race!

We do have some interesting rewards, besides this great game, and have at least one stretch goal in place with several others planned throughout the campaign.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1642562782/septembers-eagles-the-golden-age-of-air-racing-gam

THE GAME PLAY:

This is a sample game of what is on Kickstarter.

Bob, Steve, Sally and Eric are playing the 1931 race. They all help in placing the three pylons for the race (blue and white squares) and the scatter pylon (the black and white squares) where the planes and the Pack all start.

All the players roll the die and Bob gets the highest roll so he chooses his pilot, plane and the color of the Action Cards he will use as trump.Bob chooses Lowell Bayles and he gets the Gee Bee Z as his plane. He also chooses red as his color which will also be his trump suit and takes the red airspeed gauge.

Steve is to his left so Steve chooses Robert Hall as the pilot and gets the Gee Bee Y. He chooses Blue as his color which will be his trump suit and takes the blue airspeed gauge.

Sally is next and chooses Jimmie Wedell and gets the Wedell-Williams No. 44. She chooses yellow as her color and takes the yellow airspeed gauge.

Eric takes what is left and gets Dale Jackson as the pilot along with his plane, the Laird Solution. His trump suit has to be green as it is the only color left and no one can choose black. He picks up the green airspeed gauge.

Bob now deals the cards one at a time to each player. This will be their opening hand with Steve getting his first. The hands are dealt as follows:

Each Player now rolls 1d10 with the highest number placing their plane first and then moving around the table to their left. Sally rolls the highest and will go first. She rolls the die again and gets a 2, and places here plane. Steve is next and rolls a 4 and places his. Eric rolls an 8 and places his while Bob goes last and rolls a 5 and places his.

Play is ready to begin…
Bob’s Turn:
Bob is the first player since he chose his pilot and plane first. He can play three of his five cards and since he has red as his trump, he plays His green Skill 2 card to activate the pilot, his green Endurance 2 card and his red Maneuver 2 card, which is a trump card. Players move their planes based on the number of Action Points collected. Bob has a total so far of 6. Since he activated the pilot, with his green Skill 2 card, he gets to add in his pilot’s Skill Rating to the total (Lowell Bayles has a 2) so he now has eight Action Points.

Other players could play a card to trump one of Bob’s but choose not to. Bob doubles the number of Action Points collected and is doubled to give him 16 points of airspeed. Bob moves his plane along the game board.

A plane may become ‘stressed’ if the number of Action Points collected is equal to or greater then the plane’s Endurance Factor shown on the Plane Card. Bob collected 8 Action Points and his plane, the Gee Bee Z, has an Endurance Factor of 6 so Bob must make an Endurance Check on his plane. He must roll a 6 or less (his plane’s Endurance Factor) and rolls a 9. His plane is ‘stressed’ and flipped over to its ‘stressed’ side to remind him. This side may reduce some or all of the plane’s characteristics.

Steve’s Turn:
Steve plays his blue Maneuver 1 card activating his plane, his yellow Maneuver 2 card and his red Endurance 1 card. This gives him a total of 4 Action Points.

Other players could try to trump one of Steve’s cards but choose not to. Steve doubles his 4 Action Points and gets an airspeed of 8 and moves his plane along the game board. Since Steve’s plane, the Gee Bee Y has a stall speed starting at 4, he can’t turn his plane more than once as he moves it.

Sally’s Turn:
Sally doesn’t have any trump cards (yellow-and the other players don’t know this!) so she plays her blue Skill 2 card activating the pilot, the red Maneuver 2 card and her green Maneuver 1 card for a total of 7 Action Points (5 for the cards and 2 for activating the pilot, Jimmie Wedell). Of course, other players could trump if they wanted but none decide to. This gives Sally an airspeed of 14.

She moves her plane. Her plane collected 7 Action Points which equals her plane’s Endurance Factor so she doesn’t have to make an Endurance Check. And she finishes her turn.

Eric’s Turn:
Eric moves last and he can’t play Incident Cards to collect Action Points so he plays his red Skill 2 card activating the pilot, a yellow Maneuver 2 card and a red Maneuver 1 card, collecting a total of 7 Action Points (5 for the cards and 2 for activating the pilot). No one plays any cards to trump any of his so he can move his plane along the board. By collecting 7 Action Points he exceeded his plane’s Endurance Factor by 2 (the Laird Solution has a 5) and must make an Endurance Check. He now has an airspeed of 14 (7 Action Points doubled) and moves his plane.

Making the Endurance Check, Eric rolls a 3, which is less than the Laird Solution’s Endurance Factor and his plane does not become stressed. His turn is over.

Everyone has finished their turn but now the Pack needs to be moved. Bob draws tow cards, a yellow Endurance 2 and a blue Skill 2. The Action Points from each card are added together for a total of 4 points giving it 8 points of airspeed. He must also roll the die with a 0-4 adding 1 point of airspeed, a 4-7 adding 2 and an 8-9 adding 3. He rolls an 8 and the Pack now has an airspeed of 11. Bob moves the Pack in the shortest route around the pylons. This round of Player Turns is now over.

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