Monday, 15 August 2011

Aeronef by Wessex Games - A Review

Well last time, I put up some pics of my Brigade Models' Aeronefs and was asked for a review of the rules, so here goes. Note that, although I do have a paper copy of the rules, all comments in this review are based on the pdf version that can be downloaded from Wargames Vault.

Aeronef is 18 pages long (including the cover), in colour with plenty of colour photos throughout. Of the 18 pages 4 are background/rationale and 2 - without photos - are the basic rules of the game itself, 3 introduce 'Advanced' rules, such as aeroplanes, poison gas, etc.. 4 scenarios, designers' notes and bibliography make up the balance of the page count.

Aeronef defines ships as being in 5 'classes' (1 the biggest and 5 the smallest) and has hull points, gun dice, bomb dice and speed dependent upon that class. Turning and fire arcs use a hexagon shape - the rules stating that models should be based on hexagonal flying stands to enable this.

Movement is handled by writing orders and then each ship, from slowest to fastest does a half move each and then all complete the second half. A ship can fire once per turn at any point in the move using the common 'roll-a-six-to-hit' handful of dice mechanic. The rationale used by Aeronef that 'all vessels are assumed to be armed with a combination of machine guns and quick firing light artillery'. results in all vessels having the same range, same arcs-of-fire and same modification to dice through those arcs.

The advanced rules introduce airships, bombing, aeroplanes, poison gas, how to modify the standard size designs and taking-off and landing of aeronefs.

Personal Opinion
Aeronef is exactly what it claims to be - a set of simple, fast-play rules, although therein lies the problem for me. They are too simple - the lack of an altitude system, IMHO, reduces the game to a naval wargame with strange ships - and is quite poor for that given the lack of armour and gun variations. That said I like the background material and timeline in the rules.

So I guess to sum up, I will not play them again and am not sure if I'm glad I got them!

Another review can be found here (more positive than mine) on Boardgamegeek and a description of the supplement Aeronef Captain's Handbook is there as well


  1. Thank you for the review.

    It sounds like it would be possible to make house rules to change the game to the way you would like it - altitude: drop or rise one level per turn, with anything from 4 to 10 altitude bands. Add modifiers to hit for targets at different altitudes.

    Weapons and armour (having not read the rules): Weapons - class 1 to 5 (to match the system for the ships), with class 1 having longer range and more damage. Maybe a ship can have one class 1 weapon or five class 5 per size (class) of the ship: Class 1 ships = five class 1 weapons and so on.

    Same kind of thing for armour?

    Make the rules work for you :-) I change the rules I have a to something I like in order to make the game what I think it should be.

    It might be worth a play test - especially as you have the rules and some ships to go with it.

    I would be happy to come up with something for you if you like.

  2. Thanks for all of that Shelldrake. I managed to stumble across a merging of Aeronef and Full Thrust (dubbed Full 'Nef) which pretty much achieves what you've described.

    They can be found here:

    I intend to do a post on them at some point