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Down In Flames places each player in the cockpit of a fighter as they enter combat against other aircraft. By playing cards, you gain advantageous positions on your targets, fire your guns, launch your missiles, and send them down in flames!
The game is based on a unique action-reaction card mechanic. Each card can be countered by specific other cards. At the bottom of every card is the list of cards it is allowed to cancel. This makes for exciting card play back and forth between players…
Player #1: “I Play an In My Sights. If you don’t stop it, you’re going down.”
Player #2: “I counter with a Barrel Roll.”
Player #1: “I react with a Yo-Yo.”
Player #2: “You got me.”
Each aircraft is accurately simulated with several ratings including: Performance (the maximum cards you can hold), Thrust and Afterburner (the maximum cards you can draw each turn), Guns (how good your gun is), Electronic Warfare (your passive dfensive electronics capability), Counter-Measures (your active defensive electronics capability), and missiles (the number and types of missiles you carry).
The air combat is simulated using a Positioning system that allows aircraft to be Advantaged, Tailing, Disadvantaged, or Tailed in relation to other aircraft. An aircraft’s position determines if it can attack, and which types of missiles it can launch.
The game uses a simple Altitude system to add this vital aspect of air combat. Aircraft get to draw cards when diving, and must discard cards when climbing.
So, how do missiles work in Down In Flames?
In most air combat games, the game grinds to a halt when a missile is launched. Charts must be referenced, complex calculations must be performed, etc. Not so in Down In Flames!
There are 2 types of missiles: Heat Seeking and Radar Homing. Heat Seeking missiles do better when fired from behind the target, and Radar Homing do better when fired from in front of the target. Each missile draws a mini-hand of cards when launched. The number of cards it gets is based on your Position and the EW rating of the target.
The targeted played must play cards to defeat your missile’s hand or get destroyed.
Here’s a example…
My Israeli F-4 Phantom is on the tail of an Iraqi F-1EQ. I play a Tone card. The opposing player looks through his hand for a card that will respond to a Tone card. He plays a Break card. I respond with a Break of my own. He does not respond. I now have a choice. I can choose to launch a missile or not. I look at my Israeli F-4 card and see that I have 2 Shafrir II missile counters. He might be bluffing. Maybe he has a great card that will defeat my missile shot once it’s off the rail. I decide to take a chance and launch one at him. I move a missile counter from my F-4, place it by his F-1, and declare “Missile Launch!”
I draw a hand of cards for my missile. From the Tailing position, the missile gets 3 cards. However, his F-1 has an Electronic Warfare (EW) rating of 1. So I only draw 2 cards. All missile attacks also have an inherent “Missile” card that is the first card always played for them.
I declare “Missile”. He responds by discarding one of his two Counter-Measures counters from his F-1. Counter-Measures will respond to Tone and Missile cards. I reply with a Scissors from my missile hand to defeat the Counter-Measures. He searches his hand in desperation, but does not have a card to play in response to my Scissors. My Shafrir explodes in his tail pipe, sending him, Down In Flames!
The game also includes Bombers that are used in the historical campaign games.
100 Full color Action Cards
120 Full Color Aircraft Cards
Full Color 24 Page Rulebook
Full Color Counter Sheet
Full Color Campaigns
Full Color Player Log Sheet
Scheduled Aircraft Cards:
A-4C Skyhawk, Dagger A, Mirage III
A-4N Skyhawk, Nesher S, Mirage III, F-4 Phantom, F-16, F-15
A-6 Intruder, A-7 Corsair II, F/A-18 Hornet, F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor, F-4 Phantom, Harrier, F-86, F-100, F-104, F-5, F-80
MiG-15, MiG-17, MiG-19, MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-29, Su-22M, Su-27
FRANCE Mirage 2000, F-1
Vietnam (Rolling Thunder)
The aircraft and campaign list is still a work in progress. In the end, there will be at least 55 different types of aircraft totaling 110 cards, and at least 6 campaigns.
|Publisher||Dan Verssen Games|