Tuesday 18 June 2024

Further Thoughts on WW2 Aerial Games

The original starter set for Blood Red Skies. This is no longer available as it has been replaced by a version covering the Battle of Midway which includes F4 Wildcats and the Japanese Zero

The contents - not the painted aircraft.

Six of each - every time I see these two quotes from the Battle of Britain run through my mind!

I certainly did not see this one coming! A gaming chum of mine was having a clear out and so sent the above collection to me for dispose of as I saw fit. Imagine my surprise then when I realised that not only was it an unpunched and unused copy of Blood Red Skies but also that the six Spitfires and six Me109s were painted! It has presented me with something of a conundrum as these are scaled at 1:200th as opposed to the 1:100th of the Axis and Allies: Angels 20 collection or the 1:300th of my 1944 skies over the Reich/8th Air Force set up.

The extras. I will not need the box of Zeroes - mainly as I have the Midway version on order - but I will certainly hang on to the Saburo Sakai ‘ace’ box. I will get some opposition for the Mustangs - perhaps some 109Gs or FW190s, possibly even some Me262s if I was feeling brutal. A box of P47s for the Americans might be useful as well….

I must admit that 1:200th makes better sense in terms of a scale for WW2 aerial games and having three scales in my WW2 aerial collection probably does not!

The rules for Blood Red Skies, after closer reading, make a lot of sense but they should not be thought of as a set of plane to plane combat rules. They are more concerned with the use of formations and so for the veteran plane to plane aerial gamer they require a rather different approach. 

They are also not grid based which would be a first (actually a second if you counted my Wings of War/Glory WW1 collection) for me as all of my WW2 aerial adventures have been firmly hex based.

With the caution and careful forethought that I am renowned for (really!?) I have taken the decision to invest a little further in the game as I reckon it would better suit the types of action I want to recreate.

With this in mind I will probably offload the 1:300th and the Axis and Allies collection in due course but we shall have to see how this works out first.


Els On said...

They are lovely models and a very nice scale too.
Me myself, I cannot stand the avantage.disadvantage droopy dogs wobbly base effect.
Other than that a good casual night system to play

David Crook said...

Hello there Els On,

I must admit that it will take a little getting used to but conceptually it makes sense - reminds me of the old SPI game Air War.

I have plenty of other rule options I can use though if it does not work out - love the scale though!

All the best,


Steve J. said...

I think the larger scale planes work well for maybe one or two per side, but after that they seem too big to me. The smaller ones work much better for a more massed dog fight feel, but it's always a balance between the visual look and fun of painting the planes vs playability.

David Crook said...

Hi Steve J,

You are absolutely right about the size of models! The scale of Blood Red Skies (1:200th) seems a good compromise as the Axis and Allies: Angels 20 1:100th scale, whilst lovely, do need a fair amount of space.

Wings of Glory/War also use 1:200th for their WW2 versions as opposed to the 1:144th for WW1.

All the best,


Glory to Ruritania said...

Great looking models, fab looking game indeed. Thanks David. Quinn

Paul O'G said...

We really enjoy the MiG Alley expansion

David Crook said...

Hi Quinn,

The scale of the models is perfect as fae as I can see - small enough for use on the table but large enough to look the part (and to paint!). As a system it does take a little getting used to, especially if you are dyed-in-the-wool grid based plane to plane aerial gamer!

All the best,


David Crook said...

G’day Paul,

Mig Alley eh? Hmmm, might need to take a look at that…..

….must stay focused….must stay….focused…. :-)

All the best,