Full House: Messerschmitts over Focke-Wulfes

Full House: Messerschmitts over Focke-Wulfes
In my lifetime, I’ve seen perhaps four solar eclipses and three games Bruce Geryk didn’t hate. I’m not sure when the next solar eclipse will be held. But I do know that later this summer, we’ll be seeing another game that Bruce Geryk doesn’t hate.

Read about it here. Personally, I’m on board for this thing. As a former flight simmer who can’t really be bothered anymore, and a reformed collectible card gamer who knows better than to get involved, and an erstwhile war gamer who’s gotten lazy and stupid playing RTSs and console games, I’m almost as excited about Battlefront.com’s Down in Flames as Bruce Geryk. Almost.

Finally, something in the vein of the old Flight Commander games. :D

BTW, it’s worth noting that Charles Moylan, the guy who did the Flight Commander games and their follow-ups, is one of the founders of Battlefront.com, where they’re publishing Down in Flames.


Missing the word “no” on the last sentence of the 4th paragraph: “so your opponent has alternative but to eat lead.”

Sounds a bit like a, much, more involved version of Hornet Leader to me. I loved that old solitare card-wargame. Nice heads up and they should really (no kidding) listen to Bruce’s suggestions about nameable pilots and character advancement in the campaign game. That kind of thing will be crucial to making it worthwhile for everyone. And like most gamers, by “everyone” I mean me.

Yes the team doing Down in Flames are the same that did the Horne Leader card/board game, which I also remmber fondly. Evidently they did a second board game, which I didn’t play, that refined the system and is the basis of Down in Flames.

It’s true that Charles Moylan designed the FC2, Achtung Spitfire and Over the Reich games for AH (and BFC still hold the copyright), but in this case BFC are only acting as publishers for an independant team.

The follow-on to Hornet Leader was Thunderbolt/Apache Leader. Battlefront.com is also publishing a computer version of Verssen’s Modern Naval Battles game, although that’s slated for release after Down in Flames. I understand he has designed several collectible card games as well.

Achtung Spitfire was a nice boardgame design that didn’t really gain much from the computer port except for the ability to play solo. Down in Flames is a great design that is a great game on the computer. Getting hooked on this thing is easy. The campaigns never get old because they’re competitive, not narrative. DiF has become my wargame nerd’s version of Bejeweled: something you always have on your laptop that you fire up compulsively for 30 minutes at a time.

There will also be an online leader board which will list the top online pilots. I’m not so much into that kind of thing, but I know some people are.


We talked to Dan at E3 for about 15 minutes, and it’s interesting to see where his plans for this online component of Down in Flames are taking the game’s development. Those plans are actually what’s been holding up the game from release (otherwise it’s gold), but I liked some of the ideas he shared with us. (I’m being vague because I’m not sure Dan wants to announce his exact plans yet. Sorry.)

Anyways, we published a two-part AAR several months ago.

Part 1: http://www.wargamer.com/articles/down_in_flames_aar_part1/

Part 2: http://www.wargamer.com/articles/down_in_flames_aar_part2/

Edit: Down in Flames, not World in Flames.

Thanks, Chris! I missed those AARs somehow (shame on me for not scouring Wargamer like a good, little, wargaming doobie… :lol:)

Battlefront is a great match for Dan’s games, and I’m sure they are going to make “beautiful music” together… I’ve been reading an early draft of the manual and there is tremendous depth and strategy to the core gameplay… Looking forward to this one. :)

This game (or at least the original card game version) reminds me of ‘Ace of Aces’, a fun little WW1 air combat game from the '80s. You had thes two little books with a view from your fighter and a list of maneuvers along the bottom. You’d choose a maneuver, your opponent would do the same, and then you’d cross-reference the moves to figure out where the planes end up. Quick-playing and extremely portable–everything you needed to play was contained in the two books–which made it the perfect game for long car and bus trips.

http://maverick.brainiac.com/aoa/aoa1.html has a good overview of the series…including the WW2 edition that I’d heard about but never played, and even a jet-combat version!

Anyway…Down in Flames looks like a lot of similar fun. I’ll be picking up a copy once it goes gold (or whatever you call it with digital distribution).


Wow. This looks incredible. I’ve been waiting for a game like this for a long time, and I didn’t even know it until I read about this one. You say it is coming out later this summer? Anyone have a more precise date?

The beta demo is supposed to be out in July. Battlefront has not committed to a specific release date for the full game.

Thanks for this report. I appreciate the removal of the grognarstiness from war games, and especially love card game forms, so I’ll be picking this up.

Just a heads-up: I think the beta demo is due for release pretty soon. They’re really close.

Website is open at http://www.downinflamesonline.com

You can register, but the demo won’t be out for a few days yet.


Down in Flames is officially out, in that people have been receiving their retail copies over the past couple of days. The only disappointment is that this one doesn’t come with a paper manual. I have an old pdf “quick start guide” that I used to give to people before playing the boardgame – I’ll probably post that somewhere if it helps new players.

If anyone wants to fly a few dogfights or try a campaign game (full version only - demo is not compatible with retail) just drop me a chat when I’m in the game lobby - I’m Brooski there as well.

And I didn’t see Mike’s post from a few months ago: Galland was one of my German pilots, who got up to something like 700xp before dying. This game has perma-death for your pilots, which really kicks up the tension level. I have another German pilot (“Rudel”) up to over 800xp and he has unlocked all the German aircraft, but he just lost his “Escape Death” card in a dogfight against the AI.

The game also has squadron support on the webpage - I’m waiting for someone to start up a Polish 303rd Squadron.

Thanks for the update. My order’s in. This should be fun!

I downloaded the new demo, but haven’t had time to play it yet. I’m ordering the game tonight.