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1985: Under an Iron Sky – This Is The End.

As already announced a few days ago, the dramatic events of the last few weeks are coming to an end. Talks for a ceasefire are now taking place in Belgrade, with both sides throwing in the last reserves to gain a tactical advantage on the negotiating table.

Whatever the result of these bitter diplomatic talks, Europe and the World will never be the same. For the third time during this century, European cities are in ruins and tens of thousands lives have been sacrificed on the altar of ideological conflict.

As a privileged witness of these historical events, I think my last duty is to report the key passages of World War Three and thank all the people who helped us during these extraordinary and dramatic circumstances.

September, 1 2017: “1985: Under an Iron Sky” Announced

 

February, 14 2018: DEFCON 3 and Production Print Started

March, 10 2018: DEFCON 2 – Production Print Completed

April, 07 2018: Official Presentation at Modena Play

 

April, 09 2018: DEFCON 1 – “1985: Under an Iron Sky” Available!

April, 10 2018: Thin Red Line Games is #4 Company in BoardGameGeek Hotness Chart

April, 22 2018: “1985: Under an Iron Sky” Out of Stock

May, 13 2018: Thin Red Line Games Party

June, 29 2018: “1985: Second Echelon” Announced

September, 30 2018: “1985: Second Echelon” Available!

October, 29 2018: “1985: Second Echelon” Out of Stock

Well, it has been quite a ride. Not even in my wildest dreams I would have expected such a huge success for our beloved creature.

As I’ve already stated a couple of times, there will be no more “1985: Under an Iron Sky” reprints during my lifetime. Only We Happy Few, We Band of Brothers, will savor the exclusive chance of having half of our living space impracticable for three months while playing a full-scale “Forward, Comrades!” campaign.

Thank you everybody, for real.

9 thoughts on “1985: Under an Iron Sky – This Is The End.

  1. Thanx for all your hard work in producing an enviable game, in size, complexity, component quality, and enthusiasm. I missed out on the first release due to old habits of expecting time and dithering to be on my side. I was wrong, and made sure that would not be the case when you announced the Second Echelon.

    Playing the game is one of my (many) top experiences in wargaming. You made it happen, and I am grateful for the quality, and now the pride of ownership, presenting itself in frequent attempts and call to friends to get more of this played.

    Cheers
    and Well Done
    Max

    PS. I will not miss out on Your Next Release “60 Miles”

    1. Thank you Max!!!

  2. The entire experience of UaIS has been marvelous. Most game releases come with the usual pre-publication peeks and design discussion but with Thin Red Line we got a full narrative including video! This narrative continued post publication as each announcement or blog entry included discussion tying into the narrative arc. A very large percentage of historical simulation gamers rate narrative as one of the key components of a successful game. UaIS and TRL provided tons of fun even before anyone outside of the immediate development group had the slightest idea of what you had. Bravo! Well done!

    1. Thank you Matt! Filming and assembling the “DEFCON 1” video was actually one of the best moment. Endless discussions about defining the attack a “Major, coordinated offensive against West Germany and Denmark” or a “Soviet-perpetrated offensive against several NATO countries” 🙂

  3. Dear Fabrizio and all.
    I am de “SHAPE guy”. thanks for the posted photo, it was a great detail.
    I have to say, after 5 turns of Northag Scenario (two weeks, partial time) that you, guys made an awesome wargame.
    All mechanics are fully consistent with the complexties of “modern” warfare.
    The fact of handing air power not in an abstract way is, for me, the keystone of this game.
    The moving-and-combat phase allows the player to adapt the manoeuvre to the success of faliure of your first echelon axis of advance (as soviet), and even take advantage of oportunities.
    I can say nothing negative about it and I feel lucky to have got one of the 200 games in this very narrow time slot.
    Congrats all of you.

    1. Enrique,
      thank you for your positive evaluation of “1985”! Shipping a copy to SHAPE has been one the greatest moment of the whole project 🙂
      Send me some snapshots of your campaign, I’ll add them to the official Players’ Gallery!

      Cheers,
      Fabrizio

  4. Hey, Fabrizio,

    I have some rules questions (probably more later).

    The Cadre rule 11.0 seems a bit odd, in that it seems far too easy to gain Cadre Rating 5/lose Cadre Rating 6. Is it really as easy as rolling 4 – 16 on a D20 to either go up to rating 5 or get downgraded from rating 6?

    The Defender No-ZOC modifier in combat seems to be at odds with the Hedgehog modifier. What’s the point of using Hedgehog if the +2 Def mod for Hedgehog is effectively offset by the +2 Att mod for Def No-ZOC?

    Combat Step Losses do have me a bit confused as well. It seems that Brigades are more resilient than Divisions, as a NATO Division operating as a Division can only take 3 Step Losses while the same Division broken down into its Brigades can take 3 times as many losses, according to 10.1

    Also on Step Losses, why does a WP unit use a Step Loss 3 marker when suffering 2 Step Losses while a NATO unit uses a 2 Step Loss marker for the same 2 Step Losses? (10.2 and 10.3)

    1. Hi John,
      here’s some answers 🙂

      The Cadre rule 11.0 seems a bit odd, in that it seems far too easy to gain Cadre Rating 5/lose Cadre Rating 6. Is it really as easy as rolling 4 – 16 on a D20 to either go up to rating 5 or get downgraded from rating 6?

      Well, 48 hours of real combat can teach a lot of things to a recruit. On the other side, elite troops involved in a modern, high intensity combat will probably lose 10 – 20% of their COs in a a matter of hours.

      The Defender No-ZOC modifier in combat seems to be at odds with the Hedgehog modifier. What’s the point of using Hedgehog if the +2 Def mod for Hedgehog is effectively offset by the +2 Att mod for Def No-ZOC?

      the +2 Combat modifier applies only to units having a “No-ZOC” marker (i.e., retreated after combat), not to units not having a ZOC for any other reason.

      Combat Step Losses do have me a bit confused as well. It seems that Brigades are more resilient than Divisions, as a NATO Division operating as a Division can only take 3 Step Losses while the same Division broken down into its Brigades can take 3 times as many losses, according to 10.1

      That’s correct, an army that is able to operate smaller formation independently is more resilient to attrition, with the reduction in combat power counterbalanced by employing a combined arms strategy. This paradigm has been followed by Western armies in particular for the last 70 years.
      But there’s also the other side of the equation: a brigade against a division takes 2 step losses and 2 brigades losing a combat both take 1 step loss.

      Also on Step Losses, why does a WP unit use a Step Loss 3 marker when suffering 2 Step Losses while a NATO unit uses a 2 Step Loss marker for the same 2 Step Losses? (10.2 and 10.3)

      The correct terms are “Step Loss” and “Casualty Marker”. A WP unit with 2 step losses has a 3 casualty marker, while a NATO unit with 2 step losses has a 2 casualty marker.
      This rule is the result of several considerations:
      1. WP operational doctrine does not have much consideration for equipment repair – recovery on the battlefield, but is completely centered on speed of advance. Moreover, the chronic shortage of replacement parts would have worsened the problem.
      2. Soviet commanders historically did not evaluate human / equipment losses in the same way as a Western commander and are willing to suffer more losses than their NATO counterparts before giving up.
      3. WP units were smaller than their NATO counterparts but at the same time unable to operate independently at a level lower than Division. Therefore, any serious attack would have involved at least a couple of regiments plus support units, with resulting higher losses compared to a NATO brigade (the more you use, the more you lose).

      1. Thanks, Fabrizio. Helps to have confirmation that I did read what I thought I read 🙂

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