Crimson Skies (Seven Plane Blitzkrieg)

Continuing the marathon of Minden Games, we have Flying Tigers. Basically an expansion to Battle over Britain. As the name implies, this expansion focuses on America vs. Imperial Japan. While it adds several campaign scenarios based on battles in the early 1940s’, it also adds a huge amount of planes. On top of the two factions, Britain and Germany, we now have America, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and China. The latter three having only one plane each, however.

However, I decided to make my own scenario, and perhaps even my own game mode: Battle Royale. Like the name implies, the Battle Royale pits a series of planes together in a huge dogfight for supremacy. Representing the countries are…

  • Great Britain: Spitfire
  • Nazi Germany: Me-109E
  • USA/China: Tomahawk
  • Japan: Nate
  • Poland: P-11C
  • Italy: MC-200
  • Netherlands: Fokker D.XXI

Getting right into the game, most of the planes got the top advantage by being on the highest altitude. As a rule of thumb to reduce heavy duty stuff, any character who plays a court card breaks off for a round, sparing them from any attacks, but with the trade-off of not being able to fire.

The next round, in order to get away from the Nate and 109E, both of which gained advantage, I played the Queen of Spades to fly off while the Fokker and MC took fire (only the Fokker was damaged).

The next turn, Nate dealt tons of damage to Spitfire while Fokker retreated. Fourth round, my character is killed off. The first casualty of the conflict… Adding insult to injury, Fokker dies next. After a couple of rounds, the battle ends and I reshuffle the deck of discarded cards and the plane with the least amount of health getting destroyed. In this case, it’s poor Spitfire.

After a while, Germany’s hubris (he insisted on not fleeing and stay in the battle to keep his advantage) became his downfall as Japan managed to shoot him down, leaving us down to our final three. And even then, after I forgot how to draw and discard for the sake of a good fight, we end up to our final two: Italy and Japan.

And Japan won by drawing a lot of high cards and rolling pretty high. It didn’t help that I instantly had Italy’s plane pick up all the non-disengaging cards. And with that, that finishes off my seven plane blitzkrieg. It was pretty quick, but damn was it fun. I liked playing with this variation, but damn can it get hectic at times.

Battle over Britain overall is a very addictive wargame and I recommend you all to try it out.

The Battle over Britain

So, a while back, I played Braunstein, the prototype RPG that predated all other RPGs. The thing was, it was more of a wargame with the idea that people played as generals or other important assets in the war, such as factory owners and police officers. Hence, I classified it as a Solo RPG Voyage and something I call a Solo Wargaming Voyage.

And while I can easily pass off Night Witches, Winter, and Kancolle as also SWVs, they were pure RPGs, as they gave characters stats or heavily encouraged a story over combat. They were not wargames in the slightest. However, it was only a matter of time before I could come across a wargame I could solo play.

This is where Minden Games comes in. Minden Games has so many wargames for different platforms that it’s pretty amazing. Best part is, most of them come with solitaire rules. Meaning, I am able to play these solo. I bought two of these games at the FLGS, since they’re were, as of July 8th when I purchased them, the only games to explicitly say they can be played solo on the front of their book.

These games use a system called “Battle over Britain”, named after the WWII battle, the Battle of Britain. The game is a simple and quick dog fighting game where one player plays as the British air forces and the other player plays as German air forces. It’s a really simple game to jump in, so I’ll do so with Tabletop Simulator.

I’ll be playing the Spitfire, while my opponent will play the Me-109E. Right off the bat, I play the nine of spades, which not only allows me to take the high ground, but also allows me to commence firing. Determining the difference between altitude (rather, how many spaces he is from me), I managed to hit him for one damage.

During the next turn, I had advantage over the German opponent. However, he managed to play a court card, which meant he was attempting to break off and make me lose advantage. Fortunately, I had a court card of my own, though it simply had me go to diamonds, the lowest level of altitude I could go.

The next turn, my opponent is caught between a two and a four. I’m using Tabletop Diversion’s variation for Solo Play where the opponent picks between two cards. He had to choose the four while I picked the six, allowing me to take the attack once again. I rolled and got, surprisingly, a four. I say surprisingly because that is actually this game’s version of a natural twenty. So now I consult the critical hit table. And I managed to finish him off with a six, which meant that the target was destroyed.

In this case, his plane blew up. Well, that was quick and dirty. I liked it. The rules were a bit heavy to get into, but once I actually bit the bullet and played with it, it was a pretty fun wargame. Now, the game as several other stuff going for it, like rules for a campaign, different scenarios, and even rules for roleplaying. This is actually a really fun game and I recommend war gamers to pick it up.