I always cast an eye over the games in the kids section just in case there is a classic to be had. Recently, I picked up a 'new in the box' copy of that classic Australian game of sheep stations - Squatter - for all of $5.
However, last Saturday I hit the jackpot. Sitting in a dark corner of the window display was a copy of Avalon Hill's Flight Leader: Game of Air to Air Jet Combat Tactics, 1950 to the Present (which in this case was 1986!).
The price tag? $10! There was also a copy of the old 1976 Jedko Games classic - Field Marshall. $50 (a bit pricy for me). While I am firmly a miniatures gamer these days, every school holidays of my early teens (in the 1970s) would include a pilgrimage through the industrial parks south of Moorabbin Airport (Melbourne, Australia) to Jedko Games (in Fonceca St).
So ... I walked by this 'blast from the past', not initially drawn to the subject matter of the game. A few hours later I was kicking myself. What was I thinking - $10! I could easily make more than that on-selling it. Especially if it is unpunched and in good conditions (the box looked good).
Then I started to think of all those classic Cold War scenarios of my youth: MiGs vs Mirages over Gaza, Argentinian A-4 Skyhawk's and Sea Harriers over Bomb Alley off the Falklands etc. ... OK, I was hooked!
It was a very wet weekend so I hoped that there would not be too much passing traffic and late on Sunday afternoon (as they were packing up) I managed to get back and left $10 lighter but with a good-as-new copy of Flight Leader (30 years old!) wedged under my arm.
I've not had time since to delve into the rules, but thought it would be fun to do an 'unboxing' of sorts. Some pictures follow ... enjoy the nostalgia!
|Flight Leader (IMHO) ranks among the best cover art of the Avalon Hill Bookcase Games|
|The blurb on the box hints at an interesting game - 30 second per turn, playtime 30 mins to 3 hours, game design by a USAF fighter pilot, high solitaire playability!|
|A d10 in a board game was pretty unusual in those days from my experience! The first glimpse suggested|
the game was in good order.
|Huzzah! Unpunched counters, all the components in good order. This has sat on a shelf and never been played.|
|The introductory rules hint at an easy way into the game. You can add detail from the advanced rules |
at your own pace, it seems.
|Aircraft status cards - looks like plenty of room to add colour to the game here.|
|I quite like the old sillohuette images - has that plane spotter feel to it! Homing in on the Harriers in this shot!|
|Some of the the Eastern Bloc et al!|
|Loads of status counters!|
|... and then there was the map. Looks really nice for Europe and maybe Vietnam ... perhaps looses a little of the feel for encounters in the Middle east and Falklands. Still, a nice board by any standards.|
|Of course, the obligatory 'affix a stamp and return' card to get on the mailing list! Not an email address or URL in sight - love it. Also, who can forget General magazine!|
Thanks for dropping by.