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Monday, February 29, 2016

Ace of Aces: Balloon Buster (1985)

Ace of Aces: Balloon Buster (1985)

Ratings

6.18687 out of 10 with 160 ratings
Board Game Rank: 6153
War Game Rank: 1545

Description

Part of the Ace of Aces series this game simulates a WWI fighter attempting to shooting down a reconnaissance balloon that is protected by an anti-aircraft gun. The fighter maneuvers to shoot at the balloon while the anti-aircraft player attempts to shoot him down.

  • Designer: Alfred Leonardi, Hal McKinney
  • Artist: J.B. Deneen
  • Publisher: Nova Game Designs
  • Year Published: 1985
  • Number of Players: 2 - 2
  • Suggested Number of Players: 1
  • Manufacturer Suggested Ages: 10
  • Playing Time: 20
  • Suggested Ages: 10
  • Language Dependence: Some necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
  • Subdomain: Wargames
  • Category: Aviation / Flight, Wargame, World War I
  • Mechanic: Simulation, Simultaneous Action Selection
  • Family: Ace of Aces, Ace of Aces WWI Family, Picture Book Games
  • Alternate Names: Ace of Aces: Balloon Buster

Reviews

3 out of 10
By
Play the regular game instead. This took a nice, simple game & over-complicated it.

7 out of 10
By
Players: 2

4 out of 10
By
Not anywhere near as good as Flying Machines, Handy Rotary (original) or Powerhouse. Moderately boring for Archie, and quite regularly deadly for the pilot. Not bad, though, if you're incorporating it into an Ace of Aces campaign game.

10 out of 10
By
Perfection.

6 out of 10
By
Fun game using the booklet system to simulate 3D combat. You can see how you end up after both of you call out your move via the page associated with the maneuver.

By
I will trade this game or sell to a good home.

6 out of 10
By
With Balloon Buster, the Ace of Aces developers failed to see that virtually no one wants to be stuck on the ground firing an anti-aircraft gun when they could be airborne, dodging shells and swooping down on an observation balloon. This should have been a solitaire game. Fortunately, for those who can find a copy, there is a magazine article (in The Grenadier Wargaming Quarterly #35) that contains solitaire rules for this game.

6 out of 10
By
The paper cover edition is derided by Ace of Aces fans, and deservedly so: the components are cheap and easily damaged or lost. Gameplay is still the same though.

6 out of 10
By
Old school WW1 head to head flight sim game

8 out of 10
By
Haven't played Ace of Aces in far too long.

8 out of 10
By
Combate aéreo na primeira guerra mundial. Usa um sistema de combate/movimento por livros, sem tabuleiro. Ataque a balões. Muito bom.

6 out of 10
By
With the "Drachen Slayer" solitaire rules, the game may actually get played (let's face it - who in his right mind would want to "fly" as the anti-artillary gunner?). I think, however, that a more "fun" scenario would involve scout planes trying to destroy a balloon that's protected by anti-air-craft guns AND a scout. However, using the book system, that may get a bit cumbersome...

5 out of 10
By
Fun and unique, but eclipsed by computer flight combat simulations.

7 out of 10
By
Good series of games. Lead to the development of Wings fo War.

6 out of 10
By
Clever little flip book game, that can even be play solitare. Once you get the hang of it though, the solo version loses it's charm.

2 out of 10
By
dull!

3 out of 10
By
You look at pictures. You select a move. You look up the next pictures. You re-consult the rules to see if you have the right pictures because... well, because the pictures you and your opponent are looking at make no sense. You get to the point where you just show your opponent your picture and try to figure out what manoeuver they made last turn. You consult the rules again. You decide a game of "Go Fish" is a better use of your time.

6 out of 10
By
Clever WWI dogfight game. Each player owns a book of illustrations of a pilot's view from the cockpit, spotting an enemy fighter. Players fly their plane and their choice of direction dictates what page of the book players go off to. It could result in one fighter getting a shot opportunity at their enemy.

6 out of 10
By
Although I love all the other Ace of Aces games, I was never able to get into Balloon Buster much.

By
Own yellow and green versions

7 out of 10
By
Not as much fun as playing plane vs plane but a very interesting alternative / change-up to the base game.

6 out of 10
By
Always fun. Easily portable, short playing time, easy to store mid game: perfect for play at school between classes or during your lunch break at work.

By
One of these days, I will sit down and once again try to figure out how this game works. It's not the one where you dogfight another plane. One guy is an AA gunner near a spotting balloon, and the other guy plays the plane trying to shoot the balloon. I hear the dogfighting version is great, though.

By
For sale

By
Ace of Aces but with a Balloon busting fighter vs. an AA ground crew.

6 out of 10
By
Ace of aces gone a bit boring...

5 out of 10
By
Great for the pre-PC era.

By
Still sealed.

6 out of 10
By
Thanks to BGG. I had long ago lost my firing copies for the AA gun and somebody had a scanned copy. Thanks again BGG

6.5 out of 10
By
Probably my least favorite in the series.

By
The Ace of Aces series is a unique product of its time and Balloon Buster may be the "uniquest" of the series. Otherwise, see my comment for Ace of Aces: Handy Rotary Series.

7 out of 10
By
Easy to learn in solo mode. Best with 2 players. Not much action for the "Flak" player

By
JAR2239

By
JAR2424

6 out of 10
By
WAsn't big on this one. The others were first rate!

5 out of 10
By
An add on to the Ace of Aces system which I never got around to buying or trying. Thumbed through the books at a hobby store, but since I already owned the handy Rotary series I felt this didn't add much to the system.

6 out of 10
By
Not as much fun as the original Ace of Aces dogfight books, but it does add a complete set of new problems (and strategies). The balloon player has to just outguess the other player to score well... not the best way to plan in advance. Still a solid 6.

By
Played

5.5 out of 10
By
Ace of Aces - Balloon Buster is my least liked game from the Aces/Lost World series. However it is also the most innovative one featuring a combat plane (player1), a flak (player2) and a stationary baloon (NPC). Good game, but has a bit too much bookkeeping.

6 out of 10
By
Unique, simple, and patented.

6 out of 10
By
This is different from the others in this series in that one is fighting from the ground and the other from the air. Suffers somewhat from having an easy move for the fighter pilot to shoot the balloon down right from the get go... (Left as an exercise for the reader)

By
e3

By
Unplayed.

6 out of 10
By
Sort of a departure from the others in the series.

10 out of 10
By
Very good varient of the "Ace of aces" game system. As the German you will be wondering "when will this plane go down"? As the Allied pilot your wondering "when will this damned balloon blow up before my plane is shot to pieces"? The game captures this rather well.

6 out of 10
By
Aces of Aces is a blast, but Ballon Buster is nothing like it - the illustrations of the soldiers on the ground are fun, but somehow this game not work and does not nearly have the same fun factor as a proper dogfight

By
Found it in shrink in a store in Dusseldorf and decided to bring it home. Looks like it plays very differently to my other Ace of Aces game.

6 out of 10
By
I feel that this is the weakest of the WWI Ace of Aces series. It is kind of clunky, and the gun player gets very few options per turn.

7 out of 10
By
Like this game, but the interaction can be fiddly at first to get used to, with the swapping between pages, and if it goes wrong, can be frustrating

6 out of 10
By
Pretty much my least favorite of the Ace of Aces WW1 series. I don't play it as often as the others, but it is still fun.

7 out of 10
By
SEQUEL TO WWI AVIATION CLASSIC I purchased this one "back in the day" as I was a huge fan of the series. I recall it being a little less engaging than the plane to plane combat but a fun variation on the system. A must have for the Ace of Aces enthusiast, avoidable otherwise. I haven't run this one past the kids yet. [CS circa 1985]

3 out of 10
By
Too much to keep track of. It loses the simple elegance of its predecessor.

4 out of 10
By
Shoehorns the elegant Ace of Aces system which works great when two players dogfight into a unbalanced confusing mess. Just not as much fun as the original.

6 out of 10
By
--May2007-- Cool stuff; while it looks fun, it's probably not quite as compelling as the plane-vs-plane sets. Might be fun to try a multi-plane campaign with the Allied team trying to take out balloons at some point.

By
xx

5 out of 10
By
Not the best sequel, but adds an interesting twist on the exisiting game. Wargame Book WWI Air Parts I like They did not divide up the game into books for each type of plane. (cheaper to buy that way) Parts I don't like You have to reference the cards while you play (should of had different books hah)

6 out of 10
By
This game had a clear advantage to the pilot of the plane (not the balloon gunner).

4 out of 10
By
I never quite got into this particular version of Ace of Aces. Would much rather be up against another plane.

By
WWI air game.

5 out of 10
By
Definately one of those games that had great aspirations, but never made it to the heights hoped for it.

6 out of 10
By
asymmetrical situation

6 out of 10
By
Another addition to the series that sounded like a great idea but turned out to not have the same fun factor for me as the plane to plane books. Definitely unique!

6 out of 10
By
8/18 Garage Sale $5

By
World War I > Air Combat > Zeppelins Air Warfare

By
Interesting effort but I only played a few times. Kind of clunky compared to the dogfighting titles in the series.

7 out of 10
By
Picture Book

6 out of 10
By
eBayed Jan 2016 for C$20 (undelivered, so lost $37)

5 out of 10
By
Seem to remember playing 'Flying Machines' a lot more. This was ok, but not great.

6 out of 10
By
The mechanics of this version make game play rather ridgid.
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