Year Published
# of Players
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 1 players
Recommended with 1 players
(33 voters) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
12 and up
Playing Time
90 minutes
User Suggested Ages
(13 voters) [poll]
Language Dependence
Moderate in-game text - needs crib sheet or paste ups
(11 voters) [poll]
(38 voters) [vote]
Primary Name
Thunderbolt Apache Leader
Alternate Names
wrong website?
 Customize View
xml RSS Feed 
Facebook Twitter Delicious Google
ObjectID: 123955
Description Edit | History

Thunderbolt-Apache Leader puts you in the cockpits of the world’s best Close Air Support aircraft. In Thunderbolt-Apache Leader, you’ll zoom through canyons hunting enemy tanks and troops while dodging their AAA fire and SAMs.

Stuffing all this heavy metal in one box has allowed us to expand the normal Leader component set! This game comes with 168 cards and 5 counter sheets!

Thunderbolt-Apache Leader puts you down in the weeds in 8 campaigns spanning the globe. The game system creates immense replayability by pairing a Tactical Situation card with the Campaign card to create a unique environment for the campaign. This means that your campaign in North Korea might be part of a Holding Action, Show of Force, Rapid Deployment, or General War.

The game places you in command of the pilots and aircraft of a squadron of U.S. Close Air Support (CAS) aircraft in hostile campaigns around the world. The aircraft and weapons available for each campaign are historically accurate.

A major part of the game is mission planning. You decide how to arm your aircraft and which pilots are best for the mission. Pilots are rated for skill level. Deciding which pilots to fly each mission is a major consideration. Your pilots will become fatigued with every mission. If you fly a pilot too often, his skills will degrade. Your pilots also gain experience with every mission flown. This makes for some great decision-making. Should you keep flying the top pilots and further fatigue them to get the job done, or fly the new guys to prep them for the tough missions ahead?

Missions are quickly resolved using an area movement system to display tactical combat over the target. Speed and realism take top priority in this game. Terrain cards randomly generate each battlefield. The cards include mountain ranges that block lines of sight from both you and the enemy forces. If you plan it right, you get to fly nap of the earth through the canyons and come screaming over the ridge-line to rain fire down on the enemy before they can react. Beware! During each battle enemy air defenses will pop-up on the map to ruin your day, so watch were you’re flying!

You get to resolve every missile launched at enemy bandits, and every air to ground attack against the enemy targets. Each enemy tank, S.P. Artillery, APC, Infantry, etc is represented by its own counter on the battlefield. You also get to resolve the enemy SAM, AAA, and Bandit attacks against your aircraft.

While performing each mission, you get to decide how your pilots engage the enemy Bandits, SAMs, and AAA Sites. This makes for some tough choices. Do you hit the high value targets first, or take out the enemy SAM and AAA assets?

Thunderbolt-Apache Leader aircraft are usually able to survive more than one attack. These aircraft are rugged and made to soak-up damage. This also factors into your decision-making. How long should you loiter over the target blowing-up enemy tanks before heading for home? If your aircraft is too shot-up, it won’t be able to fly the next day.

Thunderbolt-Apache Leader features an operation combat sheet that tracks the progress of enemy formations attempting to overrun your sector. You get to select the formation you want to engage each day and assign the air assets you think are best suited to the task.

If you’ve played Hornet Leader or Phantom Leader, you’ll make an easy transition into Thunderbolt-Apache Leader.

We’ve included the cards for every pilot to progress in experience from Newbie, to Green, Average, Skilled, Veteran, and Ace!

Thunderbolt-Apache Leader includes the following aircraft:
A-10A Thunderbolt II
A-10C Thunderbolt II
AH-64A Apache
AH-64D Apache Longbow
AV-8B Harrier II
AH-1 Cobra
RQ-1 Predator UAV
MQ-1 Predator UAV
AC-130 Spectre

Scheduled Campaigns:
Iraq 1991
Pakistan 2013
Libya 1984
Iran 2014
Taiwan Defense 2008
North Korea 2011
Israel Defense 2001
North Atlantic WWIII 1986

Thunderbolt-Apache Leader includes the following weapons: Mk.82 Iron Bomb, Mk.83 Iron Bomb, AGM-65 Maverick, AIM-92 Stinger, LAU-68, LAU-61, ECM Pod, AGM-114 Hellfire, AIM-9 Sidewinder, Mk.20 Rockeye

Target Audience:
This game is perfect for both expert level military gamers as well as first time gamers. The core rules are easy to grasp and very intuitive, while still giving players a wide variety of decision-making options and tactical choices.

The game can also be played co-op (like our other Leader games) by splitting-up the aircraft and planning/resolving missions as a team.

Each mission requires only in 30 to 60 minutes.

Each campaign consists of 2 to 6 turns in which you’ll fly one or more missions each day.


Thumbs Up
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No items found
{{product.numforsale}} for sale {{product.price}}
Thumbs Up
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No items found
{{item.title}} {{item.timeleft}}
More Information Edit | History

Component List:

  • 168 Full Color Cards (use 2.5 x 3.5" / 63.5 x 88mm sleeve protectors)
    • 10 Mission Event Cards
    • 12 Special Condition Cards
    • 4 (Double-sided) Campaign Cards
    • 3 (Double-sided) Situation Cards
    • 12 Assault Battalions
    • 7 Support Battalions
    • 6 Command Battalions
    • 84 Pilot Cards
    • 30 Aircraft Cards
  • 352 Full Color Counters (2 sheets)
    • 36 Aircraft Counters
    • 62 Weapons Counters
    • 76 Enemy Counters
    • 32 Pop Up Counters
    • 48 Hit Counters
    • 38 Damage Counters
    • 8 Shaken/Unfit Counters
    • 4 Bingo Fuel Counters
    • 1 Special Options Counter
    • 1 Day Counter
    • 1 Loiter Counter
    • 25 Battalion Strength Counters
    • 20 Stress Counters
  • 18 3" Terrain Counters (3 sheets)
  • 1 22"x17" Mounted Display
  • 1 Full Color Help Sheet
  • 1 Ten-sided die
  • 1 Player Log Sheet
  • Full Color Rules Booklet




(click on microbadge image to purchase)

Sort: Nickname | Year Published
Pg. 1
Thunderbolt Apache Leader
English first edition
Publisher: DVG
Year: 2012
Product Code: DVG 1017
Size: 12.00 x 9.00 x 3.00 inches
3.60 pounds
Release Date: Jul 5, 2012
Link Image
Thumbs Up
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No images found
Thumbs Up
Category: Language:
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No videos found
{{video.numrecommend}} {{video.title}} {{video.language}} {{video.username|truncate:"10"}} {{video.numcomments}}
Thumbs Up
{{data.config.moduletitle}} Relationship:
[] [Forums »] [Post »] [Search »]
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No threads found
{{thread.numrecommend}} {{thread.subject}}
Last Post {{thread.lastpostdate|truncate:"10"}} Posted {{thread.postdate|truncate:"10"}}
{{thread.user.username|truncate:"10"}} {{thread.numposts-1}}
Thumbs Up
{{data.config.moduletitle}} Relationship:
[] [Forums »] [Post »] [Search »]
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No threads found
{{thread.numrecommend}} {{thread.subject}}
Last Post {{thread.lastpostdate|truncate:"10"}} Posted {{thread.postdate|truncate:"10"}}
{{thread.user.username|truncate:"10"}} {{thread.numposts-1}}
Thumbs Up
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No posts found
{{post.numpositive}} {{post.title}}
Title | Hot | Recent
[Browse »]  [Upload File »] Language:
Pg. 1 of 4 »
1 Tuckboxes for cards (5 boxes)
Set of five tuckboxes for cards. I split into 5 decks: Battalion Cards Pilot Cards (Helicopters) Pilot Cards (Airplanes) Aircraft Cards Misc Cards On US letter size but should print okay on other papers. Remember to print at 100% disabling scaling.
24 Weapons information sheet
Reference sheet that details all the special rules for weapons. Version 1
0 TAL - Sequenza di gioco
Sequenza di gioco in Italiano Sequence of Play in Italian language
7 TAL Pilot Roster & Skill Comparison
Two A4 tables with all pilot data. The first table is a skill comparison noting which pilot is best at what skill in the respective rank. The AVG RATE column ranks each pilot in terms of who has the most skills above average (makes any sense?). The second table is a run-through of all the pilot data. Changes in skills are filled in grey. Let me know if I've made any errors of any kind. Hope you find it helpful.
8 Régles complétes du jeu en français
La régle du jeu compléte en version Française. -Petite mise à jour sur une expression mal traduite concernant les tirs sur les unités en couverture. (page 13, Dé de couverture-le 08/2015).
11 Enemy Battalion Information for Combat & Campaign Use
New & Revised! (ver 2.0) Two page PDF showing all information and data for each Enemy Battalion. Completely revises v1. Shows both Campaign, and Combat related information on separate pages. For each battalion the tables show: VPs, # of Units, Total Value, Half Reduction Threshold, Delta to Reduce to Half, Unit Composition, Attack Modifiers, Starting Sector, Mobility, $ Special Notes . Also indicates which units inflict heavy damage, and a mini table showing all individual unit data. This document is a component of my upcoming "Target Prioritization Tool".
2 Règles du jeu
Résumé des règles en français
7 Files for recording campaigns
Here's multiples files for recording your campaigns. Feel free to ask questions if it's not clear for you. You'll find a file for : 1) Strategical and tactical analysis of the battlefield 2) Squadron status 3) Planes status 4) Campaing situation 5) Daily ops 6) Mission log Gilles
17 TAL Horizontal Record Sheet
As promised. For those who fly with more aircraft. Record sheet has place for two more aircraft at the cost of place for aircraft damage record. Personally I play with fewer high quality aircraft so I use previous file a lot more.
9 Individual Plane Payload Checklists
When I first started playing this game, I had the desire to cut down on the fiddliness of the chits, so I took it upon myself to make player card/checklists for each plane. In the file there is a breakdown of each weapon chit as well as how many there are and their front/back pairings. I know I have found this information useful when deciding how to distribute my payloads on each plane before a mission. I apologize if it's a bit rough, but I hope it can be useful to someone! -rw Also, a shoutout to BGG Michael Regan whose 'TAL Weapon Selection Worksheet' I pulled some of the data from. Cheers!
Thumbs Up
[Browse »] [Summary »]
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No lists found
{{list.numpositive}} {{list.title}} {{list.username|truncate:"10"}} {{list.numitems}}
{{list.lastreplydate|truncate:"10"}} {{list.postdate|truncate:"10"}}
Board Game Rank: 533
War Game Rank: 28
Num Ratings: 636
Average Rating: 8.27
Standard Deviation: 1.42
Num Views: 184709
GeekBuddy Analysis: Analyze
Similarly Rated: View
Avg. Game Weight: 3.1
Fans: 197
Personal Comments: 252
Users Owning: 1570
Users Wanting: 205
Users Trading: 48 [find trade matches]
Has Parts For Trade: 0
Want Parts In Trade: 0
Price History: View
Total Plays: 1485
Plays This Month: 2
Linked Items
Relationship: Sort: Category: Mechanic:
Pg. 1
No Items Found
Linked Podcasts/Periodicals
Pg. 1
OBG 86: We're All His Vassals
84.9 MB
Thumbs Up
Web Links
Category: Language:
1 « Pg. {{module.params.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
No Web Links Found
Link {{cat}} {{lang}}
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: wishlist [+] solitaire [+] wargame [+] want [+] own [+] modern [+] 1-player [+] solo [+] tactical [+] air [+] [View All]
User Information
Use this tool to rate games, save comments, and manage your collection.
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.