I am always on the lookout for a great looking air war game and recently became aware of the Kickstarter for Age of Dogfights: WWII from Forsage Games. This games takes a system used to simulate dogfighting in World War I and now modified it to encompass World War II. I reached out to the designer Predrag Lazović and he was willing to answer our questions.

If you are interested in Age of Dogfights: WWII, you can order a copy from the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1732812836/age-of-dogfights-wwii

Grant: First off Predrag please tell us a little about yourself. What are your hobbies? What’s your day job?

Predrag: I have been interested in aviation since my early childhood. I love both the technical and the historical aspect. I bought all the books and magazines related to aviation that I could find. The magazines that were not from that field, but they had an article about airplanes, I did not keep as whole, but I cut out those articles. From those cut outs, I made my own books – albums. I still keep most of those albums today. That’s how my love for graphic design developed. I deal with graphic design (I am self-taught). I did well in this business because I have a talent for drawing. My children got that as well. I have a company for graphic design and production of graphic items since 1990. The first name of the company was Mirage, and now Forsage Games.

Grant: Who is your codesigner Dragan? How does this family relationship help and hinder the design process?

Predrag: Dragan is my son born in 1996. He is an excellent graphic and 3D designer, which is what he was educated for. He has been completely dedicated to creating board games from an early age, so he chose to do that job professionally. Our cooperation is great, because we think very similarly. When we are in the “creative phase”, our conversations are very interesting, some of his ideas are followed by some of mine, then together we draw a sketch, rewrite – again the next sketch … Almost all the games we have created together were created in the conversation, sometimes it lasted only 15 minutes (Tank Chess), and sometimes two – three days. In principle, we make games (concept and rules) very quickly. Completing the graphic design for these games takes longer, depending on the number of components.

Grant: What types of games has Forsage Games published?

Predrag: Forsage Games publishes mostly board games with a war theme, but we also have games on the topic of sports, traffic, then children’s and family games …. https://fotoforsaz.wixsite.com/predrag-lazovic

Grant: What motivated you to break into game design? What have you enjoyed most about the experience thus far?

Predrag: I have never played any board game except my own! Simply – when I was a child and young person, there were no board games in Yugoslavia (except for the simplest children’s games). And when I could get other games – it just wasn’t interesting to me. I already had my own games and I didn’t want to play other games to preserve the originality of my creations.

My parents were history teachers. My father often told me about the great battles and the military leaders who commanded. Those stories interested me in tactics and strategy, so I started reading books on that topic myself. I was impressed by the skill of the great commanders (from all eras: from ancient times, through Napoleon to WWII). My games later arose out of a desire to create something in which I too would be able to prove myself as a great strategist. I was not interested in a real military call, but in theory, to consider the tactical situation on the map, to look for a solution to surround the (imaginary) opponent, to effectively come to victory. I had been making some sketches for years and I wasn’t even aware that it led to the creation of something concrete – and that was board games. At the time when I was doing that, I just didn’t even know that there were war-themed board games.

Grant: What do you find most challenging about the design process? What do you feel you do really well?

Predrag: The greatest enjoyment in the process of creating games is when I realize that my initial ideas work perfectly. Most often, the concept of the game is created “from the first try”, very rarely changes are needed. At a later stage, when additional elements are added to the game (for example, in war-themed games, these are some new types of weapons), the quality of the initial concept comes to the fore. This initial concept is the most important in the process of creating a game. And I really think I’m doing well. In recent years, Dragan and I have been doing all this together. Dragan strives for games to have more realistic elements, and I strive for games to run fluidly and be easy to play. However, our differences in thinking are very small, so we quickly come to a compromise. Sometimes we leave two solutions to the same problem, and later we easily agree to adopt his or my variant.

Grant: What is your upcoming game Age of Dogfights: WWII about? What theater and period of the war does the design cover?

Predrag: AoD WWII is a game about air combat during WWII. The main game covers the period 1942-45 in Europe. During the pledge manager (August-September 2021), gamers will be offered 8 expansions (some of them are “mini” expansions). Expansions cover all important battlefields and periods from WWII: ”Pacific Theater”, ”Blitzkrieg” (Europe 1939-1941), ”Eastern Front”, ”African Campaign” and ”Battle for Britain”. Mini expansions are: “Advanced German Aircraft”, “Special German Aerial Weapons” and “Transport Aircraft and Gliders”. In addition, there will be numerous “micro” expansions in which there will be 12 to 24 aircraft of various types and purposes.

After the delivery of all games and expansions from this Kickstarter campaign, we will launch a new campaign in which additional expansions will be offered (working titles): “Spanish Civil War”, “Winter War” (Finland – USSR), “Aircrafts 1930s” ”Aircrafts of the late 1940s, ”Fantastic German Projects”, ”Prototypes” (from various countries), and perhaps some more.

Grant: What is your overall design goal with the game?

Predrag: My first game was created with the idea to simulate the Battle of Britain. My inspiration was the room in the RAF Fighter Command where markers with the insignia of German and British squadrons were moved on a large table. I wanted these games to mimic that concept.

During the development, that first game turned into an air-naval battle of modern planes and ships (the name of the game was changed to “Saratoga”).




I was looking for someone who would be the publisher of “Saratoga” for almost two years. As I said, board games were not popular in Serbia. At that time (1992 – 1994), some pirated copies of foreign popular games appeared: Risk, Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, etc. “Saratoga” was published by a company that trades in school supplies, because similar games were sold only in bookstores.

Grant: What is the Triangle System used in the design? What advantages does it give this type of aerial dogfighting simulation?

Predrag: Working on that first game, I created the “Triangle System”. Geometrically, it is very similar to the classic “hex” geometric system (like a honeycomb). However, there are also differences in geometry. In the Triangle system, the hexes are rotated so that they touch each other with the vertices. Then these hexes are reduced to the size of a dot and connected by lines. In that way, it is clear where the token is positioned, and there is a clearly visible path between the points. The main feature of the Triangle system is the rapid exchange of blows and clearly defined geometry of movement.


The Triangle system is 100% applicable to other units – ships, tanks, helicopters, etc. It is important to say that since its creation in 1992, that system has not been changed, it has only been supplemented. Sometimes I jokingly say that the first game of “Saratoga” was like the American Constitution – it was never changed, it was only supplemented (laws and amendments). In the game “Saratoga”, all planes fly at the same altitude, they all have the same speed and weapons, there is only one position for shooting. “Saratoga” had its successors in which the Triangle system was improved. The culmination of the development of the Triangle system is the game AoD WWII. An even more perfect variant of that system will be the games from the “Tactical Battlezone” series.

Grant: How did you go about designing the game to depict air battles during WWII in a very realistic way?

Predrag: I’m not sure if this is important, but I will say: after finishing high school, I enrolled at the University of Belgrade – Aeronautical Engineering. I was a good student and I passed all the exams from the first attempt with high grades. After passing 35 exams (I only have 5 left), my state of Yugoslavia suddenly fell apart. International economic and military sanctions were imposed on Serbia, and all commercial flights to and from Serbia were banned. Suddenly there was no perspective for aeronautical engineers in either the military or civilian sectors. Then I left college and started working professionally in graphic design (my “artistic” side of personality prevailed ). However, the knowledge I gained while studying aerodynamics, flight mechanics, aircraft structure, etc., may have influenced me to make good simulations of aircraft movements.

Grant: What are the major differences in the system from Age of Dogfights: WWI?

Predrag: The main differences between AoD WWI and AoD WWII are the introduction of some new features: durability, endurance, some new maneuvers (diving), some new restrictions in movement.

Each aircraft has its own token. The most important data about that aircraft are written on the token: speed, agility, flight ceiling, climbing speed, diving speed, value of weapons, directions in which defensive machine guns fire and markings for maneuvers they can perform. Several aircraft of the same type have a common control panel. The same information is written on the control panel as on the token, but with a little more detail. There are also sliders on the control panels that show how many bursts that aircraft can fire and how many times it can use “full throttle”. There are also places for bombs, photos and mission markers. The speed number is the number of steps an airplane can take in a single move. This number of steps is affected by the number obtained on the dice (the player can choose one of 5 different ones). The number of steps in one move is also affected by the direction of movement (whether the plane turns or not), then whether the plane climbs or sinks, and optionally, the direction of the wind.

Grant: What are you most pleased about with the outcome of the design?

Predrag: We, the designers, are satisfied with the AoD WWI and WWII games. We managed to get what we wanted: the game to be easy and fluid, and to be realistic. We have fully complied with our MC MD (Minimum Complexity – Maximum Diversity) principle. All the comments that have appeared in various places on the internet about the game AoD WWI are extremely favorable. There has been some controversy on the BGG forums about whether the game should have any additional optional “initiative” rules for players who want it. However, what everyone agrees on is the following:

1) that the rules are clear and logical and easy to learn;

2) that only AoD allows battles with many planes;

3) that the choice of aircraft is by far the largest in relation to the competition;

4) that the way to change the height in this game is solved in the best way (and at the same time cheap, without the use of miniatures and expensive telescopic stands)

I would like to single out two comments that appeared on the Kickstarter page:

Bill Koff: ”… With this game, Forsage’s ‘MCMD’ principle – Minimum Complexity, Maximum Diversity – is really the star of the show. The WWII version seems to be just as accessible as its outstanding predecessor, Age of Dogfights: WW1. Not only can gamers jump right in and play, but AoD2 brings an even more robust mix of historically relevant factors, taking into account those elements that distinguish WWII air combat from that of WWI.

The new components are pretty cool. I especially like the fuel counters and turn marker, which look like instruments from a WWII plane’s cockpit. That theme is carried over to the new expanded speed dice. And seeing the planes banked over on those altitude stands with the bent tips is pretty impressive. With each of these, the designers have injected modifications to the game system to bring it into WWII, while simultaneously increasing players’ immersion into the history.

One of the game’s biggest strengths is that it allows players to fight out much bigger battles than a number of other WWII air titles. The WWII version of Wings of Glory, for instance, only allows a few planes on a side, and frankly, that game system just doesn’t really work for WWII. Blood Red Skies is a more successful abstraction, but again the number of planes that can be handled in a scenario is limited (and that game’s available minis vary in quality, don’t look so good unpainted, and can be pretty costly).

And of course, the staggering variety of planes available in Age of Dogfights: WWII is unmatched. Every nationality is represented. The workhorse planes are there, as are the successful and unsuccessful designs, the purpose-built specials, the rarities, and even the experimental aircraft. if you remember that great LucasArts’ computer game Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, you’ll feel right at home here.

So I think Forsage has achieved something kind of extraordinary with this series. The games are innovative, elegant, and they work. And above all, they’re really fun! These games inspire enthusiasm for playing them, and for delving into the history. And for me, that’s a pretty good definition of successful game design”.

Marcelo Figueroa: I’m a wingnut, plain & simple. I love airplanes, especially military aircraft & I love air combat games. I’ve owned &/or played too many to count, and while some are good, I had yet to find a “great one.” And, then I backed & played Age Of Dogfights: World War One. The Age Of Dogfights system (WWI & WWII) manages & abstracts air combat in three dimensions perfectly, never getting “lost in the math” & presenting the challenges of actual dogfighting in a manner that is simply best categorized as un-complex. This is a game of maneuver & forethought, about putting your planes in the best position to fire on the enemy & avoid being fired upon, playing to the technical strengths of your planes & acting against the weaknesses of the opposing side. And, it’s thought provoking. The static initiative system gives you pause to consider perhaps not just chasing after a shot fired from a bad position round after round but taking a moment to maneuver your aircraft into a better position. Not a lot of air combat games do that, let alone encourage it. Most of the air combat games that I have played before either feel like a high school physics class lesson, are just plain boring or take too long to resolve a battle that would have been over in just a few seconds of real time.

Combat itself is quite simple. Even with the added step in the WWII edition, the math is elementary school level & reflects that WWII arms & armaments became more sophisticated, but, again, the game does not get bogged down in math.

The “feel” of Age of Dogfights is what gives this system the re-playability that others lack. Age of Dogfights is simple, elegant & brilliant….

If you are interested in Age of Dogfights: WWII, you can order a copy from the Kickstarter page at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1732812836/age-of-dogfights-wwii