Last updated 6th August 2009
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DOWNTOWN is a board game of air warfare over Hanoi. During the Rolling Thunder (1965-68) and Linebacker (1972) campaigns, Hanoi and the Red River Valley was the focus of American air operations targeting North Vietnam's military, economy and Communist leadership. Against large packages' of US attack and support aircraft, the Vietnamese deployed a formidable array of anti-aircraft artillery (AAA), Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs) and MiG fighter jets.
Covering air operations from 1965 to 1972, Downtown recreates the clashes between American air power and the North Vietnamese air defence system. The United States player controls Air Force and Navy strikes into Route Packs 5 and 6 the heart of the Vietnamese defences.
Packages include forces of bombers, fighters, recon planes, jamming aircraft and Iron Hand' aircraft for suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD). The US player's objective is to destroy ground targets.
The North Vietnamese player controls concentrations of AAA, Fire Can radar-directed artillery and SAM . They can launch MiG fighters to intercept the bomber streams aimed at 'Downtown' Hanoi. The Vietnamese player must disrupt enemy attacks.
The scale is 2.5 nautical miles per hex and 1 minute per game turn. Individual units are flight-sized air units (1-4 aircraft), battalion-sized SAMs (six SA-2 launchers), or multi-battery concentrations of AAA. Scenarios cover historical strike raids from the Rolling Thunder and Linebacker operations. Campaigns recreate actions taking place over the course of several days.
All questions and enquiries should be directed to the designer Lee Brimmicombe-Wood at: leebwood at googlemail dot com (Note that this address has been modified to protect against web spiders and other malware.)
To take a preview look at the game, click HERE. To see an illustrated example of play, click HERE. Check out the Downtown FAQ; follow this link to the Frequently Asked Questions.
California-based games company GMT Games have published Downtown. You can place your order at the GMT website HERE.
You can also place your order via 'phone. GMT's ever-helpful staff are on hand to take your call and order. Their toll-free number (US and Canada only) is: 1-(800)-523-6111. Calls from elsewhere should ring: 559-583-1236.
Update 24th February 2007
A second Downtown module has been published in C3i Magazine Nr.18. This comprises an extension to the game map covering Route Package 4 and the Thanh Hoa bridge. In addition to this, errata counters for the game have been included, as well as new counters for the scenarios included with the module.
The Thanh Hoa map extension
C3i Magazine can be ordered from GMT Games. See above for ordering details.
Due to a production error with C3i Magazine issue Nr.17, the Aircraft Data Card (ADC) insert was not included. Players may download a printable .pdf version of the insert HERE (152 Kb). The printed ADC has also been included in C3i Magazine issue Nr.18.
An alternate history module describing what might have happened if the US sent air power to defend South Vietnam in 1975 appears in C3i Magazine issue Nr.17. This includes errata counters for the F-111, new counters and ADCs for the F-14 Tomcat and details of the USS Enterprise's 1975 war cruise. C3i Magazine can be ordered from GMT Games. See above for ordering details.
Downtown has won two 2004 Charles S. Roberts awards in the categories Best Modern Era Wargame and Best Graphics. The awards were announced at the World Boardgame Championships in August 2005. In addition the designer Lee Brimmicombe-Wood picked up a James F. Dunnigan Award for Outstanding Achievement.
Because of a production error, the Blue/Green player aid card (the one containing the Raid Sequence of Play) was printed without changes that were made during the final playtest. GMT Games has reprinted this player aid card with the correct information. Check your copy has the updated 'Version 2.0' card. (You can tell the difference as the new card has 'v2.0' printed on the blue side.)
Illustration: The new card should have this 'v2.0' notation
A number of these cards are being passed to the distributers, so folks who bought their copy through a retailer can ask them to get copies from their distributor. If that doesn't work, contact GMT Games direct and ask them if they can mail a copy.
Players without the updated card can download and print out .pdf files of the version 2.0 player aid card with the corrected tables. These can be found on the Downloads page.
We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused customers.
Lead Design and Graphics: Lee Brimmicombe-Wood
Additional Design and Scenarios: Gordon Christie, Jean Foisy, Gary "Mo" Morgan, Antonio Pinar, Terry Simo, J.D.Webster
Additional Graphics: Al Cannamore, Phil Markgraf, Miguel Mourato
Playtest and Help: Brett Dedrick, Olivier Dufour, Dave Farr, Tjepke Heeringa, Jean-Manuel Hergas, Chris Janiec, John Kantor, Curtis Kirkland, Alan Krause, Vincent Lefavrais, Karl Mueller, Paul Procyk, Tom Russ, Dave Schueler, Mustafa Unlu, Pieter van Nieuwkoop, Jeff Weitkamp, Barry Williams
Historical and Technical Advice: Hank Hough, Dick Jonas, Robert King, Marshall L. Michel III, Stephen P. Mock, Gary "Mo" Morgan, Bill Sparks
Downtown game and materials are copyright © GMT Games LLC, 2004. These pages copyright © Lee Brimmicombe-Wood, 2001-2009. All rights reserved.