Modern air combat

I have played a variety of modern air wargames over the years and have yet to find a set that I am completely happy with.

Modern air combat is especially challenging to model in a game because:
  • the range of speeds is large
  • the thrust of most aircraft makes the game truly three dimensional, rather than two dimensional with the third dimension added as a perturbation.


Flight Leader by Avalon Hill

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Relatively simple, but gives a good fun game. Our current favourite.

For more details see:

Air Superiority/Air Strike by GDW

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Although 'Air Superiority' and 'Air Strike' are enjoyable games, it would take us a long time to play a game with more than a handful of aircraft on each side (days, not hours). And neither I, nor my friends, have enough time these days for games that long.

For more details see:


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We tried these rules for a while at the Wassail Games Club. They give a quick, fun game, but didn't really catch on.
Some player aids for 'Phantoms' (such as counters) are detailed on this page.

Full details of Phantoms can be found at


I use a combination of home made, commerical metal, and commercial plastic models. See this page for some photos, and this page for details of the models I own.


I use simple plastic bases (32 mm x 51 mm) with a brass rod that accepts a wire exiting the rear of each aircraft. Heights have to be recorded on paper or by placing a counter or die on the base.

I experimented with adjustable height poles - like I use for my WWI aircraft - but the greater weights of the jets made these too unstable.

The bases have adhesive coloured circles on them to differentiate them. I currently have enough stands for six flights (white, black, blue, red, green, yellow), each of four aircraft.