SKYHAWK: Rolling Thunder 1966

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(3 reviews)
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Skyhawk is a solitaire game which puts the player in the cockpit of an A-4E Skyhawk of VA-72 flying missions during the early days of Operation Rolling Thunder. Your base of operations is the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt on duty at Yankee Station. You play as a Navy pilot flying strike missions against targets in North Vietnam. Your goal will be to survive a mission or a campaign. The Skyhawk was a nimble aircraft and was capable of carrying slightly over four tons of ordnance. Depending on your target, the player has the opportunity to load out his aircraft to meet the mission requirements. The missions will not be easy. President Johnson and his civilian advisors may even change your target or ordnance loading depending upon the political situation in the USA.

Facing you will be a determined North Vietnamese force. It is possible you will face small arms fire, AAA, SAM launches, and a rare encounter with a MiG. You will have help. Support Forces allow the player to attack NV defense forces before you attack your target. Their success could make your job easier..

The player may fly a single mission or play one of the three campaigns included in the game. These campaigns are: - First Tour of Duty: Yankee Station: 10 August 1966 – 10 September 1966 - Second Tour of Duty: Yankee Station 20 October 1966 – 27 December 1966 - The third campaign combines the two campaigns above with additional rules..

The game is not meant to be a detailed simulation of the Rolling Thunder campaign. It is a simple yet engaging, quick game for the player. Concepts for the game come from B-29 Superfortress, Target for Today, Target for Tonight, and Kenney’s Boys as well as Able Dog, a free print and play game by Patrick Millin. Some of the concepts used in Skyhawk will be expanded upon in the upcoming Operation Linebacker II game by myself and Bob Best.


  • 5
    An elegant, compelling narrative game

    Posted by Jonathon Dyer on Mar 13th 2023

    Skyhawk is my first “in-the-cockpit game”, so I can't really compare it to anything similar. I can say that I've found it a compellingly immersive experience. I haven't completed a campaign yet, and I'm a little surprised I've survived the half-dozen missions I've conducted so far. The game is a little unruly; the mission board is only two panels, but add to that the load-out and damage templates, the book of tables that drives the game, and the fact that I'm still constantly checking the rules to make sure I'm doing it everything correctly, it takes up some table real estate, but it's not unmanageable, and I suspect I'll be able to streamline things with further play. One of Skyhawk’s strengths for me is the fact that the missions play out in about a half-hour (when you get the hang of the process) and between missions, you can pack the whole thing up after noting the relevant details on the record sheets; I'm not in a position to be able to leave a game set up to come back to later, so this works like a charm.

  • 5
    Another Outstanding Release

    Posted by Jim Rose on Jan 11th 2023

    I have several games by Steve Dixon and not one has been disappointing. Quality components, well researched material and great rule books. Add to that excellent customer service and satisfaction is guaranteed. Well done!

  • 4
    Good but some issues

    Posted by Scott Lackey on Dec 26th 2022

    Overall mechanics are good as they are for all Steve Dixon games. The charts and things could be improved, as they are not easily reproduced via copying and I did not see any files posted to boardgamegeek. Also would have like something that explained use of a single aircraft in a campaign game, which seemed geared to full squadron roster play