Dogfight! Rule The Skies in 20 Minutes

Image of Dogfight! Rule the Skies in 20 Minutes game box cover with components scattered around. Wooden biplanes and cards are show.

“Rolling, turning, diving, scrambling, flying…

live to fly…Aces High!”

Take a journey back to World War I, where the debut of tanks and biplanes reshaped the landscape of warfare forever.

Dogfight!: Rule The Skies in 20 Minutes! is designed by Carlo A. Rossi and presented by Floodgate Games. This thrilling two-player tactical aeronautic game is designed for ages 10 and up and offers a captivating experience in just 20 minutes. Players assume the roles of two rival Ace aviators engaging in aerial combat as they strive to outmaneuver each other and score decisive shots to bring down their opponent.

Dogfight setup


Dogfight! is played over a maximum of three rounds or until one biplane is shot down. Each round is five turns, with each turn divided into two phases: Planning and Movement, and Shooting.

Planning and Movement

Players select one Movement tile each from behind their screens and reveal them simultaneously. Navigating their biplanes across the circular spaces on the board according to the chosen Movement tile, players can strategically position themselves for the upcoming showdown.

The board has two loop sections which players can enter with a “3 loop” tile. Players use this dual-sided tile for a regular movement (right arrow) or to enter a loop. They finish their turn in a loop, then use any tile next turn to complete it and continue moving forward.

3 loop
Red player will move 3 spaces entering and exiting the loop in hopes to fire upon blue.

After moving, place the movement tile in the next available red square on your side of the board for turn tracking.


During the Shooting phase, pilots inflict damage if specific conditions are met: the player’s biplane is positioned behind their opponent’s, both biplanes occupy spaces of the same color, and the Movement tile played shows at least one blast symbol. The damage dealt corresponds to the number of blast symbols on the Movement tile. Players track damage on their player aids, and a biplane is shot down if the damage reaches the rightmost space.

Red plane behind blue with a 1 movement / 3 shot token
Red player successfully shoots, dealing 3 damage to blue

Turns, Rounds, and End Game

After both players move and shoot, they each choose a new Movement tile, starting a new turn. The round concludes when all five Movement tiles are played. Draw more tiles and start the next round.

A player wins by shooting down their opponent. Or if both planes survive, win by having the fewest hits at the end of the third round.

Blue plane behind red. Red player aid shows full damage
Blue player takes aim and shots down red!

Advanced Gameplay Modes

Dogfight! includes additional modes to expand gameplay including an alternate gameboard, additional biplanes with special abilities, scenarios, and solo play.

The alternate side of the game board offers a more tactical game, restricting shooting to only the two-colored spaces. All other rules still apply, and this side can be used in the Advanced Scenarios to ramp up the difficulty.

Nine colored biplanes, each with a unique ability
Seven additional biplanes each have a unique ability and token distribution.

Advanced Scenarios

Dogfight! includes four engaging scenarios. In each, one player undertakes a mission while the other tries to thwart them.

  • Espionage: Be a spy! Capture photos of enemy sites without getting shot down.
  • Bombing: Defend four target locations from your opponent’s bombs.
  • Rescue: Retrieve five people from different locations before facing elimination.
  • Escort: Accompany a malfunctioning Biplane, introducing an extra Biplane with its own set of tiles.

Each scenario has special setup, rules, tiles, and biplane selection restrictions.

Dogfight! in play
Players engaged in aerial battle in rescue mission scenario.

Solo Play

In Dogfight! solo play, select a scenario and draw random movement tiles from the bag to direct the bot Biplane. To win, the mission objective must be completed; the bot’s biplane cannot be shot down!


I didn’t know what to expect when I first saw Dogfight!. At first glance, I assumed it might be a complicated war-style game with lots of finicky mechanics and things to track. I wondered how they could squeeze this into 20 minutes. However, after reviewing the rules and taking flight, I pleasantly discovered that wasn’t the case; at least until you try the scenarios.

Dogfight! has rapid, action-packed turns. Your toughest decision is determining how far to move and when to fire. You’ll need to be cunning to try and predict what your opponent will do. Can you out-maneuver them and line up your shot?

Small movement tiles can bog you down, so plan carefully to avoid getting caught in the crosshairs. Looping at the right time can also be a way to stay out of their sights. Use higher movement tiles to line up shots or to make a getaway to regroup.

Dogfight! player screen hiding purple tokens
Purple player draws a tile and plots their next turn, hoping to get a shot on white.

I loved that the flight path on the board is circular and not an open grid. Minor as this may seem, it’s an ingenious way to promote cat and mouse gameplay. Rarely are turns uneventful!

Dogfight! for Families

Dogfight! is family-friendly and perfect for ages 10+, although it might skew younger for a seasoned gaming whiz. If your kids are studying WWI or love all things aeronautics, this game should be a top pick.

It’s a blast for kids who enjoy a good dose of “take-that” fun, relishing the joy of shooting down their own parents. With simple and clear rules, it’s also a breeze for kids to team up with siblings or friends for an exciting game.

From an adult gamer’s perspective, it passed with flying colors during our lunch hour sessions at work. Loads of laughter, countless ha-ha moments, and we even tried some additional biplanes to spice things up – instant fun!

Dogfight! in play with yellow plane directly behind brown.
Yellow plotting their kill shot on brown.

When you can’t wrangle an adversary, Dogfight! plays well solo. The AI bot is easy to control, and you can take them on in any of the scenarios. Solo games were just as quick and challenging as playing against another player.

Ready to take flight? Grab your aviator goggles, scarf and pick up a copy of Dogfight! Rule The Skies in 20 Minutes! on Amazon, direct from Floodgate Games, or at your friendly local game store.

Carlo A. Rossi's Dogfight! Rule the Skies in 20 Minutes!

Floodgate Games provided The Family Gamers a promotional copy of Dogfight! Rule The Skies in 20 Minutes! for this review.

This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.

Dogfight! Rule The Skies in 20 Minutes
  • 6/10
    Art - 6/10
  • 7/10
    Mechanics - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Family Fun - 8/10


Age Range: 10+
Number of Players: 1-2
Playtime: 20 minutes