Storm Above the Reich is a stand-alone game; you don’t need Skies Above the Reich to play. However, it can also serve as an expansion for that game. Storm uses the same rules as Skies, and components in one game transfer seamlessly to the other. Combined, Storm and Skies present eight formation maps, six pursuit maps, B-17s and B-24s. In Storm, you get an oversized staffel of 18 Fw190s, with the option of augmenting it into a Sturmbocke staffel. In Skies, you get a staffel of Bf109s, and with the games combined, the staffels can also be combined.
The Mission: You select pilots and “attachments,” such as gun pods, rockets, or added armor. You may also augment your attack with auxiliary aircraft such as Me110s, Bf109s, or later in the war, jet propelled Me163s, an erratic but powerful weapon. Time in a mission is limited, so you must do your best to wreck the bomber formation as quickly as possible, while bringing home as many pilots as you can in order to muster a force for the next mission.
The mission is played on a formation map that depicts as many as twenty-one B-24 bombers in a tight array. The game comes with two double-sided map boards (four maps in all) that as a set chronicle the development and increasing lethality of the bomber formation. Each map is a bigger and more lethal terrain than its predecessor.
Will you strike the formation from the nose or from the tail? Will your fighters make a dead-level attack or will they drop bombs on the formation from above? Will you split your squadron to attack from multiple angles, or will they charge at the bombers in successive waves? Will you even have time for this kind of maneuver?