Don’t Panic! Don’t Panic!

Even though the original Blood Red Skies Battle of Britain starter set is long out of print, with the Pacific-themed Battle of Midway starter set now serving as a fine entry point into the game, fear not. Blood Red Skies encompasses the entirety of World War Two (and beyond to the jet age!), so players wanting to operate in this earlier phase of the war or outside of the Pacific Theatre have not been forgotten. In fact, the Blood Red Skies hangar has recently expanded with the recent release of the Heinkel He 111, an entirely new air force in the form of the Italian Regia Aeronautica will be hitting tabletops soon, and many more aircraft are on the horizon. There is even a theatre-agnostic alternative entry route into the game – the Tactical Superiority collection, which furnishes you with all the rules and game cards you could possibly need to play – you’ll simply need to add the aircraft of your choice and get flying.

Tactical Superiority

This article is to provide new players with the recommended historical forces for the scenarios that were included in the original Blood Red Skies starter set.

Midway owners will find that the original Fighter Sweep and Bounced! scenarios from the original Battle of Britain starter have been repurposed to be more appropriate to the Pacific theatre (now called Torpedo Run and Carrier Strike), but the other scenarios (Hide and Seek, Dogfight and Escort Duty) can be easily converted back to their Battle of Britain versions with a simple substitution of forces.

Owners of Air Strike! will find that as well as the expanded rules (for example air-to-ground combat) they already have updated set-ups for each of the five scenarios from Battle of Britain – for the historical forces simply consult the tables below.

There is one change to the original Battle of Britain forces: the number of Skill ‘3’ pilots (bombers excepted) has been reduced by including more ‘4’s and ‘2’s while retaining the total points values. This is at the suggestion of Andy Chambers, as especially for a learning experience, the activation sequence is clearer where there are differences in pilot skill.

The ‘Defensive Tactics’ Doctrine and ‘Ace Skill’ cards of the Battle of Britain starter do not appear in the Battle of Midway set, so alternatives are suggested below. However, the Doctrine card can be obtained through the Ops Room Card Deck, included in Tactical Superiority or available separately here, or can also be found in the Hawker Hurricane Squadron box. And to be fair, you weren’t thinking of fighting the Battle of Britain without Hurricanes, were you?

As it is always annoying to have a single card you can only obtain by buying another product (and Defensive Tactics is very useful for the RAF) a description of the card effect and suggested substitution have been included above. However, the Hurricanes are excellent models from the initial injection-moulded wave of follow-ups to the original starter set release – as are the German Messerschmitt Bf 110s which make great tabletop opponents for them. I recommend both highly if you dive into this fascinating theatre of the air war, as…

What General Weygand has called the Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin.”

Winston Churchill in a speech to the House of Commons, June 18, 1940

Article by Mark Barker

The Scenarios

Scenario 0 Intruder Flight

Scenario 1 Dogfight

Scenario 2 Fighter Sweep

Scenario 3 BOUNCED!

Scenario 4 Escort Duty

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