Now don't get me wrong. I think that adding special abilities makes for a great 'feel' factor but, and for me it is a very significant but, there does not seem to be any consistency as to how they are applied. The abilities used can be described under the general headings of plane, pilot or tactical. I see these types as follows:
- Plane - as a rule these are usually attributes specific to the type being represented, for example, the Hurricane (card number 15) has a special ability of Steady Shooter which allows the plane to roll an extra attack dice if it has not carried out any difficult manouveres during the turn. Few would argue that the Hurricane was anything other than a superbly stable gun platform so this would be an ability I would expect all Hurricanes to have. The question of whether or not a poor pilot could make full use of this ability though is another matter.
- Pilot - there are various abilities that pilots can use including shooting bonuses, manouvere bonuses or special manoveres. As a rule I have no problem with these but again, consistency is an issue. I would prefer to see definitive bonuses based on pilot quality so that as they get better then the potential bonuses follow suit and not quite in such a random fashion.
- Tactical - these include such glorious things as the 'Defensive Weave', the 'Bounce', 'Boom and Zoom' and 'Fighter Sweep'. My feeling with these is that they should be used generically rather than assigned to specific types.