Crimson Skies

 

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Crimson Skies is a tabletop simulating the aerial combat of propeller airplanes and zeppelins in an alternate Earth of 1937.

The back ground focuses on the North american continent, where the USA fell apart after the 1st World War and is now composed of smaller states and powers similar to Europe. The Car and Train never took off, instead Planes and Zeppelins are the rage.

You may have heard of, or even played, the Crimson Skies PC or Xbox game. The Xbox game was actually featured recently by Microsoft to announce their backwards compatibility of the XBox One all the way back to the original Xbox.

However this is about the original Tabletop incarnation, with metal miniatures and paper maps, using D10 ( Ten sided dice). There was a later incarnation by Wizards of the Coast, with prepainted plastic planes.

However, back to the original game here. Crimson Skies was published in 1998 by FASA, the now long defunct owner of such industry staples and classics as Battletech and Shadowrun.
Crimson Skies is played with 1-6 models per player on a so-called hex plan, a map that is divided into hexfields. The aircraft are simultaneously moved according to a previously secretly set route. Fights are settled by rolling dice against a calculated specific target number based on aircraft values, distance, and angle of attack (which is very simple in itself but sounds complicated).
The game is a fun, quick game for 2 or more players. It is still inexpensive to buy, the aircraft are available for 5-12 euros, by Ral Partha, they are held in the most scale 1:300, though the later ones can be 1:200 or not follow a set scale at all. Zeppelins do not exist as models, they are printed on some of the maps, but there is a lot of fanwork about that, including various rules for zeppelins.
The never officially released add-on covering Zeppelins and Bombers of the same name can now legally be downloaded as a PDF.

Many players use home-made zeppelins based on plastic or cardboard models.

The terrain is usually not necessary, however, can be used to represent impassable points or to highlight mission goals. The terrain is typically graphically displayed on the maps. However, terrain models are not used unless it is played on pure raster maps.
As a rule, cardboard markers are used to mark mission goals and effects.

An Organized Community is available under Montana Raiders, but you should not be deterred by trying this game by the lack of official coverage, the low effort and the low costs with gameplay and simple, but catchy almost all eventualities covering rules speak for themselves. The rules are readily available online, though be prepared for hefty prices if you decide to buy them physically.

The combatants are pirates, companies, military, cops, and militias, there are not, as in other tabletops, factions with an impact on the game. The background world is an alternative 1937. The main venue is an America crumbling into many small warring states.

There are also a few novels about the game. Unfortunately, it is now OOP. The miniatures are still available from Ral Partha.

This post will be part of a small series, in which I will introduce some Tabletop games I play as a hobby.

Tabletop games are usually miniature based tactical war games, usually played with 2 or more players, in either a Fantasy, Science Fiction or even Historic based setting. There is usually sculpting, building and painting involved.

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