Notes on Game Decisions

Tony Costa

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A question was asked on BGG about meaningful decisions in A Wing and a Prayer.
That's a great question. I know meaningful decision making is important to solitaire players, it's important to me and I know designer Erik von Rossing was always looking for ways to insert decision points, no matter how subtle, into the game. Hopefully we did a good job providing that.

Selection of Bomber-Crew combinations for a Mission is an obvious one, as is assigning the bombers a position within the formation. Some decisions are important because of a rules function, like the Formation Lead Bomber Crew's ratings are used as modifiers for certain checks and especially during The Bombing Run. So assigning a good crew to that position is an important decision.
But other decisions, such as other positions within the Bomber Formation aren't as obvious and will only come to light as you gain experience with the game and go through different situations. (no spoilers)

Selecting a route to and from the Target is also obvious, but here with the added worry about maintaining Escort fighter cover.

During air combat the game engine generates Enemy Interceptors and the initial number of Aggressive Escort fighters that move to engage the enemy, but after that you decide which actual Escort counters to move. Do you send an Ace (if available) with the Aggressive Escorts or do you hold him back? Do you send additional Escorts to try to knock the Interceptors out in Air Combat or do you hold some in reserve to harass (negative DRM) any enemy Interceptors that make it to the Bomber Formation? Yeah, technically maneuvering the Escort cover aren't decisions a Bomber Squadron CO makes but in this case they add a fun tense element to the game.

There's a few more I'll probably remember later.

About a dozen Optional rules that give you a bunch more decisions made it into the rulebook (note: optional rules were not playtested):
-use an Ace counter to represent the Squadron Commander, decide when to send him(you?) on missions. The CO's (Ace counter) ratings add to the appropriate game modifiers so that can be a big boost for you, but also a big loss...
-decide if you want to send damaged Bombers on the mission. There is a VP penalty for not meeting the mission card bomber requirements so if short ready bombers you may elect to send damaged bombers to meet the required number (and suffer any ill effects that come their way)
-if target cloud cover is not favorable you may decide to "go around again", first conduct all the necessary flak steps during The Bombing Run then when back over the target roll for cloud cover (but this roll sticks, no re-rolls)
 
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