torsdag 12 april 2018

Blood Red Skies unboxing

Oh... Time flies like an arrow apparently, it's been a while. I've been busy... hobbying... working... generally just doing things but not finding the time to write about them. But enough about that, what about Blood Red Skies?

The box in all it's shinyness
I got intrigued by a couple of articles and a gameplay video that Warlord released in the autumn; one particular thing that drew me in was that the rules were written by Andy Chambers, of GW fame. He has written some of my favourite games and devised a lot of clever mechanics. Unfortunately a lot of the games he has written has not been big hits, through no fault of the rules. I'm thinking of Dust Warfare for instance. The basic rules were available as a download and they had some innovative ideas that further piqued my interest, so I preordered the game. Unfortunately the production was delayed (it was originally supposed to be released by christmas) but finally I have it in my grubby hands.

Opening the box reveals a lot of pretty planes and a couple of rules pamphlets.
I will not go into the details of the rules before I have played them, but they utilise a nice mechanic of tracking planes' statuses relating to eachother instead of height. Wether a plane is at 3 angels or 500 feet is of no consequence, what is important is if that plane has an advantage over another plane or not. This status represents both altitude and other factors and is shown by tilting the plane models on their special flight stands.

Getting the rules out of the way reveals dice, decals, cards and flight stands.
The box feels a bit empty when you open it up. The majority of the space is just air, but I suppose it's to keep the models from being damaged. They fit snug into compartments in a plastic insert that is provided. Oh, if you can't tell that's six Messerschmitt 109's and six Spitfires.

Rummaging around a bit more reveals more cards. 
The basic rules are 16 pages long, with the expanded rules booklet a mere 12 pages (which includes game credits). You do get a deck of 42 action cards so I guess a lot of the tactics might lie in card management. The scenario is also 16 pages and tells you how to choose your forces and pick a scenario as well as using the national trait cards. Finally it has five scenarios and rules for bombers since one scenario is escort duty. But there are no bombers in the box you say?

Lifting out the plastic tray reveals a quick reference sheet -- there are two so you get one per side.
Next some cardstock -- clouds which functions as terrain and pilot chits for the flight stands.
The clouds are doublesides showing balloons on the other side. You get two sheets of these too.
Next a sheet with counters, movement templates and British Blenheim bombers. 
You only get one of these but I wanted to show the other side which has German Dorniers.
Last some shots of the miniatures.

Wait, that's not a Hurricane?
As I stated earlier you get twelve miniatures in the box, six messerschmitts and six spitfires. But if you preordered in december you would get a free Bolton Paul Defiant. At the launch there are only one fighter per nation available -- and I wasn't so interested in the pacific or the eastern front -- so having another type of fighter for the Battle of Britain, even if I got just one, is an immense upgrade.

The details are quite nice, even though the turret looks a wee bit awkward.
The Defiant came in it's own little box with a flight stand, plane card and pilot chits. No decals though but I can probably manage.

There are squadron boxes and ace personalities released, but I hope Warlord will release more different planes soon, I want the Hurricanes and the Messerschmitt 110's too, and Stukas of course.

For now I leave you with this.

Tally ho, and happy gaming!

7 kommentarer:

  1. THis is a game I'm very interested in. It will good to hear your thoughts on how it plays.
    THis just might be on the shopping list, when there are more planes available.

    1. Yeah I'm hoping it sells, so Warlord releases more plane types. I think it was a mistake to release one plane for each nation instead of focusing on just the Battle of Britain. I they had released Hurricanes and Me-110's from the start I think a lot more people would go all in -- I probably would have.

    2. Yes to not focus on the preeminent air battle of the war (at least in English language historiography) seems odd.

  2. The planes look better than the PSC efforts that we are still awaiting replacements for from the Kickstarter. Will never buy anything from PSC again. Wish I had bought this.

    1. There is a deal with Northstar (I think it's still available) where you get a Defiant and an Ace along with the base game for 40 quid. Not bad, considering I paid 40 quid too and didn't get the ace :-)

      I nearly backed the PSC Battle of Britain too, because I wanted a dogfight game. Luckily I did realise that it wasn't one and bailed out (pun intended) in time.

  3. Hey, how great to see you post.

    Seems like this might be a very interesting game, particularly as there are not many games of this type (squadron, but with maneuver)

    And the turret on the Defiant should look awkward, that is part of why they got rid of them!

    1. Thanks! I will try to post more.

      I think the game fills a niche, there is Bag the Hun also on the market which people like but it's depending on a hex mat, and also I think is more brainier.


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