March 1987: The hopes
raised by Mikhail Gorbachev's reform efforts in the Soviet Union and nuclear
disarmament talks with the United States are suddenly crushed when a military
coup removes his regime from power. Hidden
behind a disinformation campaign, Warsaw Pact forces prepare for war against
the allied nations of NATO.
May 1987: More than 2,000
aircraft in the Warsaw Pact air forces reach a peak of readiness. They plan to overwhelm the NATO air forces
and provide cover for the Soviet armies in East Germany to roll across West
Germany to the Rhine in less than a month.
For NATO commanders, the long-feared “Red Storm” in the skies above
Germany is finally here...
second sequel to the Charles S. Roberts Award-winning game Downtown, Red Storm is a standalone game that
utilizes the Downtown game system to
depict a hypothetical air war in May/June 1987 over the central portion of the
NATO-Warsaw Pact front in central Germany.
Like Downtown and Elusive Victory before it, Red
Storm is an “operational” level air warfare game where players manage
large strike packages and numerous combat air patrols in an effort to strike
enemy targets, protect their own ground troops, and secure control of the air
above the land battle raging below. Both
sides field highly advanced all-weather aircraft, long-range air-to-air
missiles, precision bombs, sophisticated electronic warfare assets, and
networks of surface-to-air missiles and radar-guided AAA.
the NATO player, you fight outnumbered in the air, but with a qualitative edge
in technology and training. NATO faces
the daunting task of claiming air superiority in the face of the initial
onslaught from the Warsaw Pack air forces while also delivering bombs onto
Soviet and East German ground targets already on the frontline and those
approaching in the rear echelons. As the Warsaw Pact player, you must push your
numerous but less flexible forces to the absolute limit in an effort to
overwhelm NATO forces in the air and destroy them on the ground, all while
supporting your advancing ground forces.
Both players also must manage air defense networks consisting of
overlapping layers of SAMs and AAA.
other games in the series, air units in Red Storm are flights of 1 to 4
aircraft, each tasked with different roles such as bombing, combat air patrol,
close escort, or jamming support. Red
Storm features more than 50 types of aircraft, including both older
“3rd Generation” workhorses like the F-4 Phantom II and MiG-23 Flogger as well
as advanced “4th Generation” fighters including the US F-15 Eagle, the UK/West
German Tornado, and the Soviet MiG-29 Fulcrum. Aircraft from the air forces of
Belgium, Canada, West Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, the
Soviet Union, and East Germany are provided.
Ground units depict various types of troop concentrations, radars, SAMs,
and AAA assets. SAM units are both more
numerous and more dangerous than ever, with low-altitude SAMs like the UK
Rapier, US Chaparral, and Soviet SA-13 Gopher joining a potent array of medium/high
altitude SAMs like the US Patriot and Soviet SA-10 Grumble.
Maps and Terrain
Segment of one of the game maps (playtest art)
22” x 34” map sheets depict the difficult terrain in the central portion of the
NATO front line, reaching from the Rhine River in the west to the Thuringia
region of southwest East Germany. The
map uses the same scale of approximately 2.5 nautical miles per hex used in
other games in the series. Numerous
rivers, cities, and airfields dot the map in this densely populated region of
Europe. Red Storm also features a
frontline that moves steadily west as the Warsaw Pact armies advance.
the other games in the series, Red Storm requires both players to plan
both their air and ground forces prior to a scenario. Raid forces must be generated, targets and
routes mapped, and aircraft loadouts determined. SAM, AAA, and radar units must be placed. Both sides have to figure out how to handle
the rough terrain and frequently poor weather of central Germany.
a scenario, players progress through a sequence of phases each turn where they
conduct electronic warfare, detect and track enemy flights, and move and fight
with their own flights while potentially being attacked from the ground. The heart of game is the movement phase where
players use a chit-draw system that allows players to alternate moving one to
five flights at a time.
war depicted in Red Storm is a short one, with just six weeks between the start
of the air war and a fateful initiation of nuclear warfare by both sides. More than 20 scenarios feature a mix of day
and night operational missions for both sides, including missions to directly
support frontline ground troops as well as many missions that “go deep” behind
enemy lines to strike enemy airfields, logistics, and air defense
networks. These range in size from
smaller, partial-map scenarios that can be played in an afternoon to very large,
full-map scenarios that might take several days to complete. There are also scenarios depicting
reconnaissance missions, airborne drops, helicopter assaults, special forces
insertions, cruise missile strikes, and delivery of nuclear weapons.
● Two 22” x 34” maps
● 1,260 die cut counters
● One Rules Booklet
● One Scenario Booklet
● Four Full-Color Player Aid Cards
● Four Full-Color Aircraft Data Cards
● Two 10-sided dice
● NATO and Warsaw Pact log sheets
GAME DESIGN: Douglas Bush
SYSTEM DESIGN: Lee Brimmicombe-Wood