Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Unboxing - Blood Red Skies

I picked up this boxed set at a wargaming show mainly because I fancied something a bit different from my usual gaming experience and secondly because it was quite reasonably priced. I'm happy to impulse buy a starter set when it's under the £50 mark (£40 in this case) but not so much when they're £100+. This particular impulse buy I was very happy with...the later purchases I got from my local hobby store...
The box itself is well organised and actually has space for all the contents once you've unwrapped them which is always nice...
The three instruction booklets fit in a recess in the middle but I removed them for this picture.

Lets have a look at what you get then...
Rules - Instruction Booklets
The game comes with three separate rules booklets. One has the basic rules, a second contains several scenarios designed for the starter set (though it gives you guidelines for using the models from the starter set they're also flexible enough to be used with other plane combinations) and a third with the advanced rules within. When we played our first few games we used the expanded rules from game one with no issues in fact I'd recommend it myself.
Here's some sample pages but you can download the rules booklet pdf for free from Warlord Games website HERE should you so desire.
There's also a pair of quick reference sheets that are very useful.

Accessories and Tokens
The measuring sticks for flight and shooting and the tokens are of the 'push-out' thick card variety and we're half a dozen games in now and they're surviving just fine. There's also some cardboard bombers for the final scenario's escort mission as the models for bombers are yet to be released at the time of writing this. Here's pictures of both sides of it...
 Additionally the box contains two of the following which contain some clouds that have their own in game rules and the circular pieces for the bases which indicate your various pilots individual skill levels. Here's pictures of both sides of it. I only photographed one as they're identical.
Oh...and Dice...

Card Sets
There are also a number of card sets representing advantages and disadvantages for the various planes (Aircraft Traits) and additional ones should one of your pilots be an 'Ace' (Ace Skill) and others based on who you are and where your fighting (Doctrine and Theatre). The scenarios have recommendations for which cards to use when utilising the starter set models and there are also charts telling you which ones would apply to which theatre. The rules on them are very clearly written so you shouldn't have any rules debates...unless you misread them I suppose, lol.

 I suppose you'll want to see the planes now...
The Miniatures
The starter set comes with six Mark 2 Spitfires for the British and six Bf-109 E's for the Germans. The miniatures are plastic with a small triangular slot underneath where the base attaches.
The game itself uses an interesting 'advantage' mechanic where you need to have advantage over another plane to be able to shoot it which can be achieved in a variety of ways. Rather than use tokens for this the bases themselves actually swivel making it very quick to identify which of your planes are Advantaged, Disadvantaged or Neutral on the tabletop.

Lets have a closer look at the planes. Each countries planes are in a different coloured plastic which makes them easy to identify...if you haven't painted them yet that is...
Spitfire II

BF-109 E

I enjoyed this game so much that I've bought several of the expansion boxes as well which include named 'Aces' for each nation, planes for the Americans, Russians and Japanese as well as additional British and Germans should you need more than the initial six. These I bought from my local gaming shop 'Board in Brum' where they were very reasonably priced.

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.
Should you ever choose to purchase something based on one of my features or reviews then it would be nice if you could let the company know where the inspiration came from...who knows...they might be grateful to the poor unappreciated blogger who sent you their way...if however I've put you off a can keep that info to yourself...

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