Monday, July 31, 2017

Red Sun Black Cross (1985)

Red Sun Black Cross (1985)


5.81818 out of 10 with 11 ratings
Board Game Rank: Not Ranked
War Game Rank: Not Ranked


SGB-11 Red Sun/Black Cross (1985) (JPY 6800)

RS/BC has two mapsheets, 1008 counters, six PACs, one 30-pg history booklet, a 32-pg scenarios booklet and a 48-pg rulebook. Also included in many copies of RSBC are 49-pg copies of English rules, including all PACs, plus charts and tables (the rules themselves are only 23 pages long).

The setting for the game is that Germany won WW2 (conquered Europe) due to Japan not attacking the USA and we both stayed neutral while Japan picked up territorial concessions. Now it is 1948 and Germany and Japan are about to fight it out for control of the Indian subcontinent. The USA is on Japan’s side in the conflict.

The maps go from Turkey and Egypt to Burma. Ground units are divisions, capital ships are shown individually, and air units are about 30 planes each. The rules state that all three types of combat (air, land, naval) are represented equally and there is a form of programmed instruction here in that there is a separate naval and ground game, with the relevant air rules being included in each.

One of the more innovative rules that I remember reading was that combat was preformed in-hex. Supply points play a key role in the game, as they determine who is allowed to do what on any given turn.

Game designer: Shunichi Takanashi
System designer: Daisuke Satou & Makoto Fukuda

  • Designer: Makoto Fukuda, Daisuke Sato, Shunichi Takanashi
  • Artist: Shin Ueda
  • Publisher: Ad Technos
  • Year Published: 1985
  • Number of Players: 1 - 2
  • Manufacturer Suggested Ages: 12
  • Playing Time: 240
  • Subdomain: Wargames
  • Category: Wargame, World War II
  • Mechanic: Hex-and-Counter
  • Alternate Names: Red Sun Black Cross, レッドサン・ブラッククロス


4 out of 10
Background was very interesting.

I also have the companion game Return to Europe, but I'm still trying to get the 3rd game in the series: Escort Fleet.

Something about this game seems REALLY COOL to me. However, the INSANE prices that this commands on Ebay relegate it to nothing more than a dream for me.

5 out of 10
Long a Holy Grail of war gaming that few have even seen let alone played.... Now that I have played it I am giving Red Sun Black Cross a 5 just because it has so much potential. One thing to note: the English translation of the rules are missing whole sections (important ones!) so our interpretation of the play sequences may not be conclusive. To start with some of the mechanics are over fiddly, one of them a long one: the air allocation. Players allocate one air unit at a time alternating with your opponent. This can take some time to get through each air phase, and there are several per turn! At least this is what the rules seem to say, as I stated, they are incomplete and not too clear. To quote the turn phase, "Air Movement Phase (simultaneous)"... and "simultaneous for both players". When a unit reaches it's destination you have to roll against a chart to see if it finds the target, problem here is that if you have to alternate allocating aircraft with your opponent you don't want them to know that you can't find that target until he counters moves you! So we ended up trying to remember where every plane came from (roll is based on distance from base), not an easy task! The only alternative with this sequence would be to use numbered chits on each plane for distance traveled.... :-( Maintenance of units takes a lot of points (allocated per unit from a set amount received per turn, again taking a lot of time). The scenario and rules translations are unclear if the amount of points (not even remotely enough!) is per step of the supply phase or for the whole phase, the wording contradicts. For fleets you also have to pay maintenance per ship, but also ships can only be at sea for 5 turns (or naval phases, making it 2.5 turns) and then they run out of fuel and are sunk! So why two rules for supply? Unless the rules are incomplete there also, why not pay maintenance once then they last the 5 phases before paying again.... oh, and going back to where I mentioned you don't have enough maintenance points earlier... if you pay for the fleet each turn (or half the fleet for the Japanese) then you won't have any points left over for anything else. This game really needs a proper translation and I think a lot of development. The over long sub-phases for each turn may have been impressive in the 80's, but we can do better.

Looking for an updated version.

7 out of 10
Fantasy World War Two gamers would appreciate this game. A historical stretch, the game is pretty cool in its own right.

This is supposed to be the rarest of the three games of the set and therefore goes for insane prices. I've never seen a copy but it's not on my "grail list" either.

7 out of 10
Operational game with nice tactical elements in the naval and air combat resolution system. There is no hidden naval movement. Ship to ship battles have a nice tactical flavor as the first round takes place at long range and then subsequent rounds can take place at short or long range depending on whether or not players want to shift ranges, to close the distance or maintain distance. Battleships have immunity zones. For instance, the German BB Frederick the Great would have been invulnerable at short range to the Japanese battlcruisers Kongo and Hiei, while the Yamato would be invulnerable to the Frederick the Great at long range but not at short range. Flak seems to be inordinately powerful, but perhaps this is reflective of the late-war heavy AA protection.
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