As I played Air Force (Avalon Hill Battleline Edition, 1977) for my Game of the Week I noticed that – unlike many wargames – the scale of the game is hidden away. Nowhere on the box exterior does the scale appear (for that matter, there is nothing on the box bottom at all). Nor is the scale easily found in the rulebook. To figure it out, one has to search through the rules to find:
- Each counter represents a single aircraft (I. INTRODUCTION).
- Altitude is specified in thousands-hundreds of feet (BASIC GAME, III. INTERPRETING THE AIRPLANE DATA CARD, B. KEY PARTS OF THE AIRPLANE DATA CARD, 3.)
- Each turn represents approximately 10 seconds of time (BASIC GAME, V. SEQUENCE OF PLAY)
What does not appear is hex scale (distance) nor a conversion factor for speed. Not hard to figure out, but not a given.
Makes me wonder how we gamers ever made purchasing decisions with so little info on the boxes. Word of mouth? Avalon Hill’s The General magazine?
Oh yeah, since when did half-inch counters get so small? Did we really play with these tiny pieces of cardboard?