I've been wanting to try out Blood Red Skies for some time. My rules of choice for air games have been Bag The Hun but I'd heard lots of good reports about BRS. Luckily there was a multiplayer game arranged at the local club this week so I managed to blag a space in this and have a go.
The rules are deceptively simple. They have dispensed with altitude levels and instead planes are either Advantaged, Neutral or Disadvantaged...depicted by using their moveable flight stands although a marker works just as well. Planes have to be in a better Advantage state to shoot at an opponent but you can also use up this status and do other things (manoeuvre, increase movement etc).
Planes can also attempt to outmanoeuvre opponents, forcing their Advantage status to degrade and making them an eligible target for next turn or for your wing man. It does encourage some tactical thinking and the use of formations which is always a good thing. I think there are more complicated rules and tactic cards etc in the boxed set but we didn't use these as it was confusing enough with 8 players.
The game set up had targets on either side of the Channel (ships, radar bases etc) which our bombers were aiming for while both sides had flights of fighters whose mission was to protect the bombers and see off the enemies fighters. I had a flight of 3 Spitfires who fended off some Me109s and kept a flight of Blenheim's intact. At the other end of the table there were an assortment of planes including some rather nice Gloster Gladiators slugging it out. As we all had different victory point criteria it was hard to tell who was winning but in the end it was a narrow victory for the Luftwaffe.
I was impressed enough to go off and order the starter set. Annoyingly the models produced by Warlord Games are 1/200 while the models I already have are 1/300 but I'm hoping the difference in scale won't stand out too much.
|The view from the English coast|
|Spitfires and Me109s fight it out|
|A dogfight over the Channel|