Sunday 26 May 2024

Fire in the Sky First Impressions

I downloaded a copy of Fire in the Sky yesterday, having watched the YouTube videos and some excellent games played on the Storm of Steel FB group pages:

I've been looking for something like this for years, a set of rules that uses formations rather than individual aircraft, very much like Bag the Hun but without the detail or buckets of dice, so I was encouraged by the things I've seen so far online.

On first impressions, this system looks really good for a number of reasons, specifically the use of formations, the swift resolution of movement and combat, and the clear focus on historical tactics. I like the multiple basing and use of a grid, as well as the way that aircraft types are given performance ratings that reflect their particular quirks. I also like the way that altitude is represented and reckon my tried and tested panel pin, MDF and magnet method of cheapo basing would work well and keep costs to a minimum.

On the downside, the number of models required is pretty hefty, with most of the scenarios and the campaign using upwards of three or four squadrons a side, as well as bomber formations of three squadrons. As each squadron can consist of up to three flights of four aircraft, each one would need two packs of Tumbling Dice models for starters. So even my crap maths makes a typical game total upwards of fifty to sixty models for the USAAF and perhaps forty or so for the Luftwaffe. That's an awful lot of painting even if I already have quite a lot of the models in the 'I'll do that one day' box.

I need to give this some more thought but I do like the system and think it could be a new direction in which to take my air wargaming. I think it would also go down well as a club game, especially for those players for whom Bag the Hun is too restrictive and Wings at War too crunchy or confusing. It's also got potential for other theatres like the Pacific and the Battle of Britain, which I believe are planned by the author for later editions?


  1. Yes per Mark Fastoso, early Pacific then Battle of Britain.

  2. Yes per Mark Fastoso Early Pacific and then Battle of Britain. I’m working on building out the St.Valentine’s Day Massacre with Navy PB4Y1 (B-24Ds] escorted by F4U1s and P-38s. Attacked by A6M2 Zeroes and A6M2Ns Rufes

    A nice crossover from the B-17 runs in the first book and the Pacific.

    I’m playing in Carl Cardozo’s Midway game at Historicon.

    1. Hopefully that Midway game will appear on YouTube in due course.

  3. Thanks for bringing to my attention Jim. I'd be all over this if it was the Pacific, although that is on the horizon, so to speak.

  4. I think "bathtubbing" this to a single model per section cold solve the "too many models" problem.
    It would also allow playing on a smaller table / mat.

    My only concern is that bathtubbing removes the mass B17 box appearance seen on Mark's YouTubes.



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