Danger Zone is a bit of a labor of love for me. As a big fan of the anime Area 88 and a lifelong lover of the air combat genre, I've wanted to do my own rules for mercenary air combat throughout the cold war. I've been noodling on these rules for a while and think I finally hit on a fun set of rules for players to create their own mercenary squadrons.
If you don't know Area 88, here's a link- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYSRbIhrcfo
I started writing the rules with aircraft from the 1950s in order to make a set of rules that would be fun with all gun aircraft. I wanted to get that right before diving into missiles, though I have initial rules for those as well. The guiding principals for the design are:
- Man over machine (a better pilot in an average aircraft trumps a poor pilot in a better aircraft)
Fast Paced Play without pre-planned turns
Allow players to get miniatures on the table from all eras (the rules work from the 50s up through the 2000s)
Fun and Usable Altitude Rules
No hexes (though the game is easily playable with them)
Players create squadrons, buy aircraft and fight for the various sides in each hot spot. Depending on location, and who the favored benefactors are, weapon and aircraft prices vary. Some locations are favored by one or the other major sides- East or West. Players buy aircraft and weapons and pit them in air combat missions for one of the local combatants. Payment is given for successful missions, aircraft shot down, and ground targets destroyed.
Pilots improve over time, and you can spend money to upgrade or buy new aircraft.
At What Khan I'll be pitting two mid 1950s era squadrons against one another in the fictional Central European nation of Grunewald in 1/600 scale. The Blue Squadron is a mix of F100As, F86Fs, a Hawker Hunter, F9F Panthers, P80 Shooting Stars and a DeHavilland Vampire against the Red Squadron of MiG 17s, MiG 15s, DeHavilland Venoms and Dassault Ouragans. Everybody gets a Hotrod and a Studebaker (more advanced and less advanced jet) and gets to go at it.
I'm taking my time with the rules, so I'm not sure when I'll release. Probably some time in 2017. I have the core rules fairly well done but want to take my time with the financial and squadron rules.
When I'm done I'll put the game out on Wargame Vault, but wanted to let folks know about it if you happen to be anywhere near Rockford, Illinois and want to check them out in person.
I'm not sure how I'm going to release the rules yet, either. I might do them by period- roughly 50's as a set, 60's into early 70s as a set, late 70s to mid 80s as a set, etc. or even adopt the Table Air Combat method of doing it by aircraft. I'm not sure yet, and would love to hear people's thoughts.
My private playtests so far have been a lot of fun so I hope players enjoy the live game at What Khan.
Why Danger Zone? Here's why- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyAn3fSs8_A
Here's some pictures of the planes and items from the game I'll be running at What Khan in Rockford, ILL on October 22nd.
Here's some pics of the game I have set up for then.