Game Review – Blood Red Skies

Type:World War 2/Aviation
Scale:1/200th
Players:2+
Age:12+
Game Length:30-60 Minutes
Starter Box Cost:£45
Designer(s):Andy Chambers
Publisher:Warlord Games
Complexity:2.6/5.0
Board Game Geek Rating:7.4 (166 Ratings)

Blood Red Skies is the new World War II mass air combat game from Warlord Games, written by renowned game developer Andy Chambers.

Packed with everything you need to play this fast paced air combat game, the Blood Red Skies starter set does what it says on the tin. Plus once started you’ll have the extra rules to introduce the play cards that really bring your fighter aircraft to life, allowing you to fly them just as they would have been by the Aces of WW2!

Description from Warlord Games

First of all, right off the bat, this isn’t a simulation game. If simulation of World War 2 dogfights is what you’re looking for then this isn’t the game for you.

Blood Red Skies: Battle of Britain

However that being said, there has been a lot of work that has gone into the rules to give them an authentic ‘feel’ of the period.

The Blood Red Skies: Battle of Britain starter set contains everything you will need to carry out air battles over the British Isles in World War 2. With six Spitfires, six Messerschmitt BF-109s and a number of scenarios through which the players can jump straight in.

The minis unpainted

The games core mechanic revolves around aircraft being Advantaged, Neutral and Disadvantaged. Disadvantaged aircraft cannot shoot aircraft that are Advantaged or Neutral and Neutral aircraft cannot shoot Advantaged aircraft. However, you can choose to make your aircraft disadvantaged to gain manoeuvrability and enabling you to try and get on the tale of enemy aircraft.

Scoring is done by using boom chits, where any shots that hit the enemy cause a chit regardless of whether it causes damage. Once a player has more chits against them than they have aircraft then their squadron are forced to break contact with the enemy and head for home. This can mean that games are over without a single aircraft being shot down, which is true to the real life dogfights that would be carried our in the skies during World War 2.

Painted Luftwaffe Aircraft

Gameplay is quick with a loop of Shoot-Move-Action that is enhanced by the use of the action deck, with extra abilities and events. These cards can be selected based on the planes in use and the period of the war the combat is taking place.

Downsides of the game are that the pilot discs are easy to damage when inserting or removing them from the plane bases. Measuring can also be tricky with arcs being difficult to set on the circular bases.

That said, this game is fantastic and is ideal for a quick pick up and play game during a lunch break or a spare 30 minutes with friends in between other games.

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