Interceptor Ace, Volume 2: Last Days of the Luftwaffe, 1944-1945, designed by Fernando Sola Ramos, is a solitaire, tactical level game which places you in command of a German day fighter during the last days of World War II. This is the sequel to the popular, action-packed Interceptor Ace 1943-44, designed by Gregory M. Smith, and picks up the action where Interceptor Ace 1943-44 left off. Each turn consists of several days, during which a combat mission will be flown from one of many bases in Europe, attempting to intercept incoming American Bombers and defend from their escorts. There is a strong narrative around the pilot, as you look to increase your prestige, earn skills, and rise in rank through promotion and receive awards.
Interceptor Ace, Volume 2: Last Days fo the Luftwaffe, 1944-45 not only is a standalone game, but fans of Interceptor Ace 1943-44 will enjoy having the capability to easily combine both games to span all the career of a German pilot from 1943 until 1945.
While the objective of the game is to conduct numerous sorties in the role of a German interceptor pilot and rack up kills, players will find it extremely challenging to survive the entire war, and will experience the brutal nature of the air war over Germany in 1944-45. Pilots may use the experience gained to improve their odds of success by purchasing skills. As their prestige increases, they may request a transfer to other fighter bases in an attempt to get “closer to the action, request a newer type of fighter or even become an elite jet fighter pilot. Awards and ace status help to narrate the player’s eventual goal – to become one of the Top Guns of the Luftwaffe and survive the war.
The system is packed with rich technical detail but without the complexity to capture the key historical facets of the day bombing campaign over Germany. In terms of fighters alone, there are 38 aircraft models available to pilot. The families of fighters include:
• Bf 109 (19 aircraft)
• Bf 110 (2 aircraft)
• Me 410 (1 aircraft)
• Ju 88 (1 aircraft)
• FW 190 (9 aircraft)
• Me 163 (1 aircraft)
• Me 262 (2 aircraft)
• Do 335 (1 aircraft)
• He 162 (1 aircraft)
• Go 229 (1 aircraft)
For each interceptor, you will be using the date of availability, speed, area of operations based on originating base, individual weapon systems, damage, and crew status.
Fighters can be assigned to one of eight possible major geographic base “groups” as follows:
• Dutch: Deelen, Volkel, Woensdrecht, Schiphol, Venlo
• Bremen: Husum, Jever, Oldenburg, Schwerin-Gorries, Stade, Salzwedel, Nordholz, Westerland, Langenhagen, Fassberg, Wunstorf, Hildesheim
• French: Beaumont-le-Roger, Poix-Nord, Vannes, Tille, St. Trond
• Ruhr: Monchen-Gladbach, Kirchhellen, Krefeld, Dusseldorf, Bonn
• Munich: Neubiberg, Lechfeld, Ingosltadt
• Munster: Rheine, Handorf
• Frankfurt: Königsberg, Wiesbaden, Frankfurt, Trier, Ansbach
• Berlin: Brandis, Brandenburg-Briest, Rechlin, Parchim, Oranienburg
Besides the focus on hardware, the soft aspects of the war are also faithfully rendered for each pilot and crew. For example, air crew is characterized by various parameters, including numerous Pilot skills, Wingman skills, Bordschuetze (Rear Gunner) skills, and Prestige Level. The emphasis on various skills and benefits to gaining experience creates a strong narrative, in the same fashion as in Interceptor Ace 1943-44, which helps weave a tense and dramatic narrative during play. One major change in Interceptor Ace, Volume 2: Last Days of the Luftwaffe, 1944-1945 over Interceptor Ace 1943-44 is that enemy fighter kills are now accounted for final victory, making dogfighting skills particularly important. As in InterceptorAce 1943-44, you have the ability to to choose your crew improvements instead of randomly rolling for them. As these greatly impact on your combat capability (and survival), it is a major decision you must make. Another major characteristic in the system is the wingman concept, who can possibly pull you out of a bad situation if he is still flying.
Game play moves quickly, following a set sequence of events that are repeated until the end of the game. Once you have your initial pilot and crew along with your fighter assignment, play proceeds by checking for base weather and incoming raid information prior to take off. Following successful take off, play proceeds by flying to the area you expect to intercept the Americans, trying to avoid marauding Allied fighters while doing so. As location boxes are entered, you will roll for possible intercept in which combat may ensue. Combat may consist of numerous rounds after which returning to base and landing operations occurs, with the weather playing a factor again as part of the landing procedure. When the mission is completed, you will ascertain any awards, Prestige points, or Experience points gained prior to you next sortie. Here you can also spend Prestige and Experience points if desired to gain skills, request a new fighter, or request a change of base. You will repeat this process by going to your next sortie until shot down and killed, or until the war ends, should you make it through unscathed.
This game is highly accessible to those familiar with The Hunters, Nightfighter Ace, or Interceptor Ace 1943-44, all designed by Gregory M. Smith. The game system lends itself very well to capturing the tense air defense over Germany. WhileInterceptor Ace, Volume 2: Last Days of the Luftwaffe, 1944-1945 is designed as a solitaire gaming experience, additional options for play are provided for both multi-player cooperative and competitive gaming sessions.
Do you have what it takes to become the Top Ace of the Luftwaffe while flying the advanced Me 262 jet fighter, the futuristic Go 229 Flying Wing or the dreaded Me 163 Komet rocket fighter?