A friend of mine did an un-boxing of a favourite old game of his dating back to 1977 to see if "still had legs". The infamous Richthofen's War with preceded my own WWI air combat gaming by approximately 20 years and is now some 41 years old. I have to step back and think about that! The longevity of board games certainly surpasses computer equivalents and I would think a fair few miniatures collections would do well to survive intact for that long. It has the classic Avalon Hill look and the sturdy hard-backed board (see below):
Flying as escort to a Be2c on photo reconnaissance of the trench line was hard work. My three early war RFC fighters (2xFe2 and a Nieuport) were pitched against the Imperial German Air Service (in three Albatross II's). The Be2c made it home, shot to pieces; manly hurt by Archie and a couple of strafing passes by unfriendly Albatrosses. I lost a Fee but downed an Albatross in the process. All the fighters were rather well "holed" by the end of the game. On balance a slight RFC Entente win (see below, counters rather than miniatures felt a little bit clumsy at times and we had to do our best not to inadvertently 'nudge' them by accident):
I had a fantastic time and we immediately set a date for alter war (1917) re-match (SE5a and Sopwith Camels versus Fokker DVII and Fokker Tri-planes). Sadly no photos, it was a balloon busting run with the RFC (me) on defence. They got through and burned the balloon but the RFC downed two Germans (well Archie mainly) to one British SE5a that "exploded". The German Imperial Air Service coming away winners in this one.
I promised a return match with my 1/144 models and Canvas Eagles rules, passing on the Blue Max rule-set to show how the air war rules developed post Richthofen's War (1977) in the eighties and nineties!
PS: Just started watching Flyboys on Netflix. I followed up with a nice internet picture find: