Lethal Skies is A miniatures game of modern air combat, light-medium in complexity and game play. Overall, it appears to be an initial rules set that needed a healthly amount of Beta-testing before it should have been published.
Position: Describes an aircraft’s positions relative to each other, or energy-state during combat (Offensive/Neutral/Defensive). Plays a factor only for Movement and Gunnery. Aircraft are not shot down, instead their Position-level drops until it falls below Defensive and the aircraft is removed from the game. In addition, Status Level is mentioned under the section on Tailing (RED/Yellow/Green) but is never explained.
Pilot Skill: Ranges from 2 (Rookie) to 5 (Ace). Skill Rating is added to 1d6 skill checks for most every action.
Aircraft Capabilities: Most Ratings range from 0 to 3+, and are as follows: Firepower/Gunnery, Maneuverability, Speed (Turn, Stall, Max, Afterburner), Hard Points, Countermeasures, Point Costs. Some aircraft also have Traits listed, which may modify the aircrafts handling in combat.
Missile Capabilities: Guidance, Range, Target Lock, Warhead
Movement: Aircraft move in inches equal to their listed speeds and make 45 degree turns. Tailing is mentioned as critical to gaining a position advantage as it causes a tailed aircraft’s Position to be reduced.
Missile Attack: An aircraft can launch a missile attack once an enemy aircraft is in range. A Lock-On attempt is made by rolling a number of 1d6 equal to (Pilot Skill + Missile’s Target Lock), with each roll of (6) a success. The Defending aircraft also rolls a number of 1d6 equal to (Pilot Skill + Maneuverability + Countermeasures), with each roll of (6) a success. If the Defender rolls at least 1 success they are safe. A successful attack allows the Attacker to roll a number of 1d6 equal to the Missiles Warhead, and (6)’s shoot down the enemy aircraft.
Gunnery: Similar to Missile attacks but more reliant on the Attacker/Defender aircrafts’ arcs relative to each other.
Aircraft Card Deck: Mentioned through out the manual but never explained in detail. Basically, it appears the player should have a deck of cards containing all the missiles the aircraft carries, any special traits, etc. Players maintain a hand of cards and plays them during the aircraft’s turn to modify its movement or when firing a missile.
[3 of 5 Stars!]