Air Flix which is currently live on KickStarter, is a tabletop World War II wargame that includes a dexterity element. Dice Sports kindly sent us a preview copy to try out. We'll discuss our experience in our preview games and what we thought about the game, but we will save our full review with score for the full retail release.
In Air Flix, two or more players take control of a squadron of aircraft, which are a series of aircraft miniatures on clear acrylic disc bases. Movement is controlled by physically flicking the discs in order to get your aircraft into range of the enemy. The stats for the aircraft are listed on pilot cards and they detail how many dice you roll when attacking.
The prototype set we received has five Supermarine Spitfires, five Messerschmitts and two Heinkel He111 bombers
Players take turns to play, moving and shooting alternate aircraft. To move, you can rotate and flick, or flick and rotate. You have to move completely out of the hex that your aircraft is currently in, to simulate aircraft movement and to avoid only nudging the aircraft a tiny distance. If you don't clear the hex, you take damage and can't shoot that round. If you collide with another aircraft the flicked aircraft takes damage and can't shoot this turn, but you can get your opponent to physically lift one aircraft within a short distance of yours and replace it after your flick. To shoot, you need to be within range of the included range rulers, you roll the amount of dice detailed on your pilots card and add one bonus dice if you are either in short range or in the rear arc of the aircraft, or two bonus dice if you meet both of those conditions.
They were the only instructions I gave my opponent, and we started playing, only pausing occasionally for me to explain some other rules whilst we played. There are some additional rules and an alternative game mode, but that in essence is all you need to start playing Air Flix.
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The dice for shooting all have targets on them, 3 out of 6 sides on the basic dice are hits, the first bonus dice has 4 out of 6 sides as hits and the second bonus dices has 5 out of 6 sides. The fighter aircraft have 6 hit points each, which means with the high hit chance on dice, it doesn't take many dice attempts to take an aircraft out. Because of that, positioning is key, which makes the dexterity part of Air Flix probably the most important.
The components in the prototype set we received are of a solid quality, the mat is thick, the printed side is very detailed and if kept rolled up, requires no preparation to begin playing straight away. The aircraft included in the set look fantastic and all that is required is to clean the bottom of the discs so that there isn't any friction to them sliding. The cards and the squadron board that show if your aircraft have been activated, lists their hit points and is used to monitor collisions and other air incidents, is incredibly thematic and really adds to the game.
We played several games of head to head battles, Supremacy Mode, but there is also a Blitz mode that uses a combination of bombers and fighters on the German side and their aim is to hit targets on the map before the Allied player takes them out. There is also cloud cover and flak markers on the map to further affect your aircraft in game.
Air Flix is an incredible amount of fun. The flicking is very much a technical skill that you can improve the more you practice and I love that element of this. Positioning well, so that you get access to the bonus dice and making sure your opponent can't return fire is what wins in Air Flix and we had some incredible experiences trying to thread the needle between opposing aircraft to get into great positions. Mocking or complimenting your opponent for dice rolls, as is the case in most games is replaced by the mocking and complimenting of the physical flicking. My opponent pulled off some incredible flicks into prime positioning and I returned in kind by being able to consistently move the minimum distance required to not take damage, but to restrict his ability to position to return fire.
The rules are extremely straight forward and the rulebook is well presented in a logical fashion. The aircraft are great and the game is fun. The mat when rolled is still three foot, which makes transport more difficult than a normal board game if you are trying to keep it flat, but if you are playing at your house, or keeping the product in a store/club then that won't be a concern. It didn't take away from how much we enjoyed playing Air Flix, but it's worth noting.
We're really looking forward to the full retail release, as well as expansions in diversity for special pilots, additional aircraft and other game mats. It's already been fully funded and if this sounds like your thing, then help Dice Sports push this very interesting and great release further by backing on KickStarter.
If you're looking for a full tutorial, Dice Sports have a full video on Supremacy Mode.
Do you like the look of Air Flix? Have you backed it already? Let us know in the comments below.