1985: Under an Iron Sky (Second Echelon)


NATO vs. Warsaw Pact in Central Europe
(Reprint, code named Second Echelon)

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“The increasing destabilization of the political and economic situation in the Soviet Union is undercutting our positions in the world. The pride and honor of the Soviet people must be restored in full.”

Public Declaration of State Committee for the State of Emergency in the U.S.S.R., June 11, 1985

1985: Under an Iron Sky is the spiritual successor of “The Next War” by SPI: an operational, highly detailed simulation of a NATO – Warsaw Pact conflict in Central Europe.

Being a so-called “Monster”, 1985 is not exactly a beer and pretzel game. Rules include every aspect of modern warfare, leaving little or nothing on an abstract level: air war, helicopters, electronic warfare, SAM networks, AWACS, special forces, revolts, nuclear and chemical warfare…..you name it. In order to survive, both sides must keep a constant eye on the front line, the rear areas and on the sky above.

Map Sample (click for full map)
Counters Sample (click to enlarge)

Game Parts

  • 3 95x65cm and 2 31x24cm matte plastified maps, depicting Central Europe from Denmark to Northern Italy
  • 2000+ counters matte plastified counters, representing Warsaw Pact and NATO combat and support units
  • 65 pages Rules booklet
  • 60 pages Scenario / Designer’s Notes booklet
  • 18 Charts and Tables sheets in full colour
  • 2 20-sided dice

Game Highlights

  • Order of Battle and TO&E are not “generic”, but set exactly in July, 1985
  • 14km per hex, 48 hours per game turn
  • Division / Brigade sized ground combat units
  • Squadron sized Air and Helicopter units
  • Extensive air war rules covering Escort, Intercept, SEAD, Wild Weasel, Ground Strike and more
  • EF-111 and Yak28 PP Offensive ECM Squadrons
  • E-3 Sentry and A-50 Mainstay AWACS Squadrons
  • Special Forces, Airmobile, Paratroops, Electronic Warfare, Artillery, SSM, SAM and Air Defense Artillery units
  • Rules for Chemical Warfare, Nuclear Warfare and uncontrolled escalation to Strategic Nuclear Exchange
  • Specific operational tactics like Airmobile Antitank Battalions, Active Defense and Single-Echelon Assaults
  • Variable NATO reinforcements, depending on players’ decisions and events in the battle of North Atlantic
  • Variable Warsaw Pact reinforcements, depending on Pact’s decision for Mobilization and Norway Invasion
  • Unrest and Revolts in Warsaw Pact countries
  • Two different Campaign Games:
    1. “Forward, Comrades!”, the classical Warsaw Pact offensive in Central Europe
    2. “It Started in the Shipyards”, NATO intervention in support of widespread revolts in Warsaw Pact satellite countries
  • Four smaller scenarios:
    1. “Checkpoint Charlie”, the battle for West Berlin
    2. “A Damned Nice Thing”, Warsaw Pact main attack against NORTHAG
    3. “Mind the Gap”, Warsaw Pact secondary attack against CENTAG
    4. “Para Bellum”, Warsaw Pact offensive against Italy following a stalemate on Central front

Additional information

Weight 2.5 kg
Dimensions 38 × 28 × 8 cm


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