Advanced Search

Above the Clouds!
Quick Preview
Full‑size Preview

Above the Clouds!

Watermarked PDF

Above the Clouds! is a set of air-combat miniature wargame rules for fighting large air battles from the late 1930s through the 1950s. 

The rules are intended to produce a free-flowing and fast game to represent air combat.  Although air warfare is a very technical form of combat, rules which focus too much on the technical details quickly lose the "feel" of air combat by turning the game into a slow, plodding simulation where seconds of combat time require hours of game time to resolve. 

To avoid this, a fairly minimalist approach was taken in the game design.  Individual aircraft have unique capabilities, and pilot skill/experience determines advantages and disadvantages, but the emphasis in the game is rapid execution of turns so that they game moves quickly.

To achive this, the following concepts guided the game development:

- Each player will typically control 2-4 aircraft

- Minimal plotting, make a quick decision for each aircraft and move on

- Aircraft speeds should matter, but it should not take more than a couple seconds to determine speed changes

- Combat should be decisive and quick to resolve

- Aircraft damage should not be overly detailed -- aircraft will either be fully functional, crippled or destroyed

- It should span the gambit of combat from teh wars of the late 1930s (Spanish Civil War, 2nd Sino-Japanese War) through the 1950s (Korean War, Arab-Israeli Wars)

I hope you enjoy Above the Clouds!

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (0)
Discussions (13)
Customer avatar
Robert B September 16, 2018 12:07 am UTC
Gavin. I did a playtest of the rules today with my gaming club. Several questions came up/

1. There is no definition of "power" in the rules at all, and no section that describes how to use "power," so it is unclear just what it is used for, and how it is acquired

2. Does each plane start with a base amount of "power" that can be used to accelerate? If so, how is that determined?

3. How does a plane slow down or speed up other than by climbing or diving? Can you use braking to slow down even if not diving? Do you use "power" to increase speed?

4. It appears that you can climb or dive on a "right," left" or "straight" plot, but I couldn't find that explicitly set out in the rules.

5. The concept of a "double burst" appears in the examples, but does not appear in the rules themselves.

Customer avatar
Gavin T July 20, 2018 3:12 am UTC
After a long and unintended hiatus, the long awaited "Across the Yalu" should be available for purchase.

Gavin Tovrea
Customer avatar
Michael B July 18, 2018 3:43 am UTC
Any ETA for "Across the Yalu"? My Sabres and MiGs are feeling needy!
Customer avatar
Gavin T February 13, 2018 3:44 am UTC
Very soon! I pretty much have it all ready, but I am cleaning up some stuff after some more play and play testing of "Across the Yalu" (Korean war add on of which you speak) and "Missile Age"--a longer reaching project taking the system through Vietnam, the Falklands, and other actions (like Libya vs. the US Navy).
Customer avatar
Gary K February 13, 2018 1:34 pm UTC
Thanks looking forward to both those supplements
Customer avatar
Gary K February 12, 2018 8:24 pm UTC
When will the Korean war or 1950's add on be released
Customer avatar
Stuart T August 24, 2017 8:20 pm UTC
I bought these today and they make sense for the most part.. but you need to clarify what exactly a 'roll' is.
Is it any non-forward maneuver that isn't a bank, or any move that ends with a turn, or a move that doesn't end with a turn, or something else?
Other than that looks great.

Needs more pre-buidl scenarios, please! :D
Customer avatar
Gavin T August 25, 2017 12:18 am UTC
Excellent Catch! Upon reviewing the rules there is no definition of a "rolling" maneuver. I will update the rules and re-issue soon. In the meantime, rolling maneuvers are those maneuvers which have a "cork-screw" path found on the outermost edge of the "Left" and "Right" maneuvers. The rolling maneuvers show the aircraft moving one direction but ending up facing back toward the other direction (i.e. the Left roll ends with the aircraft turning 60 degrees back to the right).

Also, as you would expect, not all aircraft have roll maneuvers.
Customer avatar
alejandro A August 05, 2017 12:55 am UTC
Solitaire suitability?
My purchase is hanging on that.
Customer avatar
Gavin T August 07, 2017 12:38 am UTC
There are solitaire scenarios which involve attacking unescorted bomber formations. However the main thrust of the game is fighters vs fighters, whether or not there are bombers to be attacked or defended. Of course these can be played by a single player alternating decisions for each side, but there is no "system" for controlling fighters against you.
Customer avatar
alejandro A August 16, 2017 10:30 pm UTC
Thanks for your answer. Went for the Rules, Fall Weiss, Flat Top and the new one Blitz! Now, lets read!
Customer avatar
alejandro A July 28, 2017 4:20 pm UTC
Is it solitaire friendly, or can it be adapted for solitaire play?

Really caugth my attention to find there were so many models of one aircraft (ex. 5 P40 types). Thats nice!!

Customer avatar
July 25, 2017 5:06 am UTC
Will there eventually be rules for pacific war planes and naval operations? My primary gaming is pacific, so hope that is on the agenda.
Customer avatar
Gavin T July 25, 2017 5:25 am UTC
The next release, planned for July 31st, will be "Flat Top" which will include the APDs for aircraft involved in the carrier battles of 1942.
Customer avatar
Claudio D July 24, 2017 8:41 am UTC
One Question: When we get the late-war aircrafts - such like the FW-190-D or the P51D-Mustang? Or better: Can we get something like "Armybooks" for the Axis and Allies?
Customer avatar
Gavin T July 24, 2017 2:16 pm UTC
My release schedule is set to get all of the Above the Clouds products released by the end of 2017. Right now the release schedule for "Pointblank" (Late-war Europe) is the second week of September, 2017.

Customer avatar
Bruce C July 20, 2017 7:54 pm UTC
Is there somewhere that I can read (or watch?) a detailed review of this ruleset?

There are plenty of air combat rules - what makes this one better than others? Please tell me why should I spend the money on this one instead of another.
Customer avatar
Gavin T July 24, 2017 7:02 am UTC
Sorry for the delay in responding. I have just uploaded a "Free Sample" file which will walk you through a simple turn of a 2-on-2 engagement to illustrate how the game plays.
Customer avatar
Joseph N July 18, 2017 7:47 pm UTC
But is this game fun? :)
Customer avatar
Gavin T July 19, 2017 8:12 pm UTC
It was well received by 1st time players at Rapier 2017 (Jacksonville, FL) and Nashcon 2017 (Nashville, TN), and is well liked by the local gaming communities in Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola, FL.
Customer avatar
Phil L July 14, 2017 2:45 pm UTC
Nice game system that only requires limited plotting (Left, Right, Straight, or Vertical). Movement and combat are clear and easy, and the game doesn't require the looks ups or multiple charts associated with similar titles. Limited aircraft in the base game--no Navy planes, almost everything else is early WWII, multiple variants of the same types. Nothing from Korean War or Arab-Israeli Wars) or pre-WWII. Designer courteously and quickly responded that additional aircraft would come in future supplements. The list of aircraft included in this product is below.

(Kittyhawk Mk.II / Mk.IV)
(P-38F-H Lightning)
(Spitfire LF Mk.V (ClippedWing))
(P-47B/C Thunderbolt)
(Spitfire Mk.V)
(P-40E/K/M Warhawk)
(P-39D-N Airacobra)
(Kittyhawk Mk.I / Mk.III)
(Boston Mk.III)
(P-40F/N Warhawk)
(P-40L Warhawk)
(A-20G Havoc)
(B-17E/F Fortress)
(B-26 Marauder)
(Bf-109G)...See more
Customer avatar
July 17, 2017 3:20 am UTC
Does this game take into consideration the slower roll rate of some aircraft, like bf110?
Customer avatar
Gavin T July 17, 2017 4:16 am UTC
Yes, aircraft have a roll rating, which effects the maneuvers which are available on their aircraft performance display. Some aircraft with bad roll ratings may end up "banked" after a roll maneuver which effectively limits their available plots for the next turn's maneuver. Other aircraft may not have roll maneuvers at all, and they may end up "banked" after simple turning maneuvers.

If an aircraft is particularly good at rolling its pilot may be able to move an additional hex after such a maneuver.
Customer avatar
Michael I July 25, 2017 4:08 am UTC
I cannot find the roll rating unless you mean that all shaded maneuvers are rolls. Also where do you find the power rating? This looks like a streamlined version of Check Your 6! but I am having some trouble piecing together some of the rules.
Customer avatar
Gavin T July 25, 2017 5:32 am UTC
If the aircraft has an "Average" roll rating it does not show up on the APD. If the rating is Good, Fair, or Poor it will show up in the characteristics section of the APD. Basically an Average rating doesn't change any rules so it is omitted for brevity, but if the rating is other than average it is listed in the characteristics. If the rating has effected the maneuvers (either deleting them or by making them "banked" maneuvers) it will simply note the rating. If the rating changes an ability (Good roll rating allows a bonus move of 1 hex, for example) the special rule will be in the characteristics where the rating is noted.

In any case, the roll rating is "baked into" the APD.

I encourage you to join the AtC Support group on Yahoo, I will be glad to clarify the rules and look forward to hearing what the problems are so I can continue to make the rules clearer. (Send an email to to subscribe.)
Narrow Results
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!
 Recent History

Product Information
Silver seller
Copy/paste disabled
File Size:
6.56 MB
Original electronic
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Information
Watermarked PDF
Watermarked PDF

These PDF files are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the PDF containing your name and the order number of your purchase.

Warning: If any files bearing your information are found being distributed illegally, then your account will be suspended and legal action may be taken against you.

Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked title:

File Last Updated:
August 02, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on July 04, 2017.
GT Publishing
Publisher Average Rating