Check Your 6! A Review

Ever since JADE got into Canvas Eagles I had my eye on another hex and counter air combat rule set. It was called Check Your 6! and Check Your 6! Jet Age. Rather than the WW1 setting of Canvas Eagles, CY6! was set in World War II and CY6!JA  was set during the Cold War. This meant faster planes, and more recognized aircraft on the table. I only had one problem: I had no idea where to buy the rules.

Well a few years back I finally found where the rules are available. You can get them from Raiden Miniatures which is where I get most of my 6mm aircraft. However, after getting the books, I was met with yet another road block. The game required that I use at least a 6ft x 4ft playing area with a similarly sized 2" hex grid, and far more stands and aircraft then I had at the time.

So I shelved it and slowly started collecting what I needed.

Based of the scenario set up descriptions and this chart, a 6ft x 4ft 2 inch hex mat is the smallest feasible playing area.
It took me another three years to get together enough pieces to get a game going and generate some interest in playing. Since we had basically abandoned our air combat games for dungeons and dragons. But finally I have had a chance to play it and I honestly love the rule system.

Now,  the rule book is a little difficult to navigate, and could certainly benefit from the inclusion of an index to look up those specific terms that are hard to remember. So while going through, I recommend taking your own notes and make sure you make a separate copy of the Quick Reference Pages in the back, as you will be looking at them constantly.
This is the sheet for a Messerschmitt Me 262 a WW2 fighter jet!
Check Your 6! is very similar to Canvas Eagles in how it functions. Each plane has a list of possible maneuvers and turns, and when combined with weapons, and abilities, you can make dozens of aircraft.

To pilot these planes in game players simultaneously select a combination of a turn and a maneuver for each plane they are controlling. This will determine how the aircraft will move horizontally on the hex grid and vertically on its stand. Setting it's heading, position and altitude.

Unlike Canvas Eagles, in CY6! you don't have declare whether or not you are shooting. You simply declare targets in range during the shooting phase, and you have a much wider front firing arc. This makes it much easier to score hits, but due to CY6!'s damage system, it is actually quiet difficult to destroy aircraft making for a game with far more gun fire than its World War I counterpart.

Where Canvas Eagles is really about two knights dueling in the air, Check Your 6! reflects the more modern era of air combat that it simulates. While you can have a simple dogfight, CY6! really excels  in the pre-made scenarios included in each rule book. This is a game about completing your objective and getting out of there, not honorably battling in the skies until you can no longer fight. The way Elijah and I like to think about it, is that in CY6! we are not gentleman seeking glory, but officers flying government property. That idea helped change our view of disengagement from cowardly to tactical.

If you are interested in any specific battles in either World War Two or the Cold War then on top of the different scenarios presented in the rulebooks (of which there are around 10-20), there are entire campaign books both officially and unofficially published for this game: all of which you can find at Raiden Miniatures.

Elijah and I are currently playing through the Crisis in Kashmir Campaign, which I will do a review of when we have finished! So far it has been a lot of fun, though quite weighted towards an Indian victory. I know that they won the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War. However, it is a game after all, and it looks like I might take the win as India having only played 3/19 games and Elijah as Pakistan having a shut out victory in one of our previous matches... So we shall see.

As you can imagine, as aviation technology increased, so did the complexity of the aircraft being produced. And this is also reflected in Check Your 6! For those not accustomed to how hex and counter air combat games function, it can be very overwhelming. Check Your 6! requires you to make speed calculations based on the turn and maneuver you did before, and command in the upwards of 15 aircraft at a time depending on the scenario. Becasue of this if you are new to air combat games I recommend first trying out Canvas Eagles. It is free and has a simpler movement system, intended for you to command a single aircraft at a time. If you like that game then you will love CY6! whether it is in the Jet Age or World War II.

I can honestly say that our years of Canvas Eagles experience help us quickly understand how the game worked and honestly identify the mistakes we were making, and how to effectively utilize many of the tactics involved.

For those who have already played air combat games, there is practically no system better than Check Your 6! I can recommend it more!

Written by: Andrew Gregory

Check Your 6! A Review Check Your 6! A Review Reviewed by JADE Gaming on 4/20/2018 02:15:00 pm Rating: 5

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