Blood Red Skies

Discussion around the Second World War.
cartfc
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Blood Red Skies

Post by cartfc » Tue May 07, 2019 10:42 pm

My regular opponent and myself tried out Warlord Games Blood Red Skies aerial game recently. He bought the starter set which includes 12 1/200 plastic planes, 6 Spitfires and 6 Me109’s, flight stands, rules, cards and scenarios. It also includes some sheets for a playing surface, but we were fortunate to be able to use the local gaming stores aerial mat from Deep Cut Studios, which is lovely. At first read through it appears a beer and pretzels type game, and the games do play quickly, but as we tried some different scenarios and expanded rules there is a lot more subtlety and depth to the game. We both liked it and intended to add it to our regular list of games to play. Worth a look if you are into air warfare.

Cheers Fred.

Phil_Gray_260
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Re: Blood Red Skies

Post by Phil_Gray_260 » Wed May 08, 2019 6:35 am

Thanks Fred

Would there be any issues posed by dropping a scale to 1/300?

Does it use some sort of bespoke flight stand that is cleverly woven into the rules?

Do you think a player could happily handle more than six planes?

Cheers

Phil

cartfc
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Re: Blood Red Skies

Post by cartfc » Wed May 08, 2019 4:47 pm

I don’t see any problem dropping it to 1/300. The flight stands are hinged so the planes can be tilted forward into a dive or back into a climb. This is used to denote advantage. A nose down plane is disadvantaged, level neutral, nose up advantaged. This is reflected in the movement sequence advantaged > neutral > disadvantaged. It has other effects like you can only be shot down if disadvantaged, but you can take damage in any state. The maximum we played was 4 a side, but once familiar with the rules I think you could push that up without problems. Some scenarios have set victory conditions, like the introductory one where a couple of 109’s try to stop a PR Spitfire exiting the board.
Probably should mention there is no height representation in the game unlike Wings of Glory, which might put some purists off, but I didn’t feel it detracted too much from the game play. One could easily incorporate an initial height advantage by starting one side advantaged and the other as neutral or disadvantaged which would take the player with the “lower altitude” 1 or 2 turns of “climbing” to get on even terms. In a WW2 game concerned with shooting down planes both sides have to be at roughly the same height in order for that to happen anyway. You can also sacrifice advantage to give you a burst of speed or perform some manoeuvres so there is an element of energy management in the game.
I am sure there are a lot more subtleties to discover, we only played 4 games and didn’t try the bombers yet, but I can see the potential.

Fred.

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hammurabi70
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Re: Blood Red Skies

Post by hammurabi70 » Wed May 08, 2019 11:07 pm

We have played it a couple of times at the club with about eight players. As always, the more aircraft an individual has the slower the game goes. Giving a player three or four fighters is fine and they could probably handle a flight of bombers as well, given that the bombers will be mainly aiming to get in, bomb and exit. I think that would be about the maximum I would suggest one player should try and handle.
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Phil_Gray_260
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Re: Blood Red Skies

Post by Phil_Gray_260 » Wed May 08, 2019 11:25 pm

Hi Fred/ Hamm

Sounds v interesting... will be sure to give it a look.

Think i saw a Johnny Red style Lend-Lease Hurricanes release for it recently.

Regards

Phil

Phil_Gray_260
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Re: Blood Red Skies

Post by Phil_Gray_260 » Tue May 21, 2019 3:07 am

Finally got to try it out the other night at the club.

I like simplicity of the advantaged/ neutral/ disadvantaged mechanism, reminds me of something from Tac WW2 and a set of air rules derived rom it, using d20s.

The lack of relative height is mirrored in other systems, and it does simplify everything greatly.

The only reservation i have is the scope of the aircraft covered - which is a tad weird given my liking for the Blue Skies modular series, but perhaps understandable as I also had Scramble, with its comprehensive aircraft lists and open source real world to stats conversions.

One to watch though.

cartfc
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Re: Blood Red Skies

Post by cartfc » Wed May 22, 2019 6:50 pm

I presume they will add more aircraft as they go along. There is already quite a selection. I picked up some Zeros and Wildcats for some Pacific war action and there are already Corsairs, Hellcats and the George is due shortly. The Wildcats were metal and I am not sure if they are produced in house or being bought in from another source. Some of the planes are clearly reboxed Zvezda models.

Cheers Fred.

cartfc
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Re: Blood Red Skies

Post by cartfc » Mon May 27, 2019 12:20 am

We had another couple of games, this time with the Wildcats and Zeros. Very different to the BoB games with the Spitfires and 109’s, which are well matched. The Zeros are faster and more manoeuvrable than the Wildcats, but fragile. I took the Zeros and won both games, although the second one was much closer. The Agility of the Zero can be used to get on the tails of the Wildcats and once there you can normally keep the advantage, but in the second game after shooting one down I got hit by the wingman having burned my advantage to get on the tail of the other one. The Zero is fragile and the Wildcat gets Wall of Lead which increases their damage, so promptly got shot down. Left with 1 on 1, I managed to outmanoeuvre the last Wildcat and get a hit on it to win the game. None of this I have a problem with, the Zero was a major shock to the allies and 1 on 1 a Wildcat pilot is likely to have a bad day. Next time going to try 4 vs 4 and see how the Thach weave works.

Cheers Fred.

Phil_Gray_260
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Re: Blood Red Skies

Post by Phil_Gray_260 » Mon May 27, 2019 5:18 pm

First thing I thought when I saw the post was the Weave...

I'd be very interested to hear how that works as the US have their work cut out in the opening phase of the war...

Japanese pilots with combat experience over China, but flying planes built for a WW1 fighting style - manoeuvre over weight of fire, range over durability, and neither radios nor oxygen...

US pilots with little to no experience, planes that are built for durability and not expected to fight first class opposition. Although the US were aware of the Zero I get the impression they were expecting the Ki10 Perry on IJN carriers prior to Pearl.

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hammurabi70
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Re: Blood Red Skies

Post by hammurabi70 » Mon May 27, 2019 11:43 pm

How many aircraft do players feel comfortable with handling in one go?
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