Phantom Leader

iOS App


Year Published
# of Players
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 1 players
Recommended with 1 players
(20 voters) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
12 and up
Playing Time
30 minutes
User Suggested Ages
(10 voters) [poll]
Language Dependence
Moderate in-game text - needs crib sheet or paste ups
(9 voters) [poll]
(20 voters) [vote]
Reimplemented By
Primary Name
Phantom Leader
Alternate Names
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ObjectID: 41490
Description Edit | History

Phantom Leader - Solitaire

Phantom Leader places you in command of a US Air Force or US Navy Tactical Fighter squadron in Vietnam between 1964 and 1972. You must not only destroy the targets but you must also balance the delicate political repercussions of your attacks. If you strike too hard, your air offensive might be put on hold, strike too light, and you’ll be blamed for losing the war.

Welcome to the Vietnam Air War!

Each of the campaigns can be played with either an Air Force or Navy squadron. The targets assigned to each service are different and change the complexion of the campaigns. Each campaign can be played with three different durations of: Skirmish, Conflict, or War.

Each mission takes roughly 30 minutes to set-up, plan, and resolve.

Each of your pilots has their own skills. Selecting the right pilots and weapons for a mission is vital to its success. As you fly missions, your pilots will gain experience and fatigue. With experience, their skills improve, but as their fatigue increases, their skills decrease and they might not be able to fly for several missions.

For those of you familiar with our modern era Hornet Leader series of games, you might be wondering what’s different about Phantom Leader

The freedom of being able to select the best mission based on military objectives is something that is commonplace for today’s military. Back in Vietnam, the military was responsible for carrying out their orders, while at the same time being extremely limited in the weapons and tactics they were allowed to use to complete those orders. In many cases, the specific weapons, approach paths, and bombing altitudes were generated target-by-target at the White House. The mission specifics were then sent down the chain of command to the individual pilots flying the mission. As you can imagine, this was not the best way to run an air campaign.

Every target has a Political value. If you destroy it, you move the Political counter to the right a number of spaces equal to its value. As the counter gets moved to the right, your future target choices are reduced to those that are less politically sensitive. Which target you choose not to attack is also important. You get to move the Political counter to the left a number of spaces equal its Political value. [this last sentence is not in fact true for the game, though it appears in the game blurb; confirmed by the author]

This means that while you might like to flatten a big enemy target and rack up the victory points, it might be better for you to choose a pointless target and move the Political counter in your favor instead.

Another difference is in combat power. For the last couple decades, the US Air Force and Navy have enjoyed air superiority due to training and technology. Such was not the case in the skies over Vietnam. The enemy had different, but just as capable, equipment. They also had the training and will to use it to its utmost.

They soon became aware of the limitations placed on the US forces by the politicians, and used those limitations to their advantage.

For example, at times, US pilots were not permitted to fire on enemy aircraft until they were visually identified. This negated any range advantage conveyed by the radar-homing AIM-7 Sparrow missiles. It was also a common limitation that enemy aircraft could only be attacked in the air. US pilots were not allowed to attack enemy airbases. US aircraft were also limited to flying predictable flight paths, at set times. This made setting up ambushes much easier for the enemy.

So, while you might be a Hornet Leader ace, Vietnam is a whole different ballgame!


  • 110 Full color Cards
    1. 12 F-4 Phantom IIs (USAF)
    2. 8 F-105 Thunderchiefs (USAF)
    3. 2 F-105G Wild Weasels (USAF)
    4. 4 F-100 Super Sabers (USAF)
    5. 2 F-104A Starfighters (USAF)
    6. 1 EB-66 Destroyer (USAF)
    7. 8 F-4 Phantom IIs (USN)
    8. 6 A-4 Skyhawks (USN)
    9. 5 A-7 Corsair II (USN)
    10. 5 A-6 Intruders (USN)
    11. 4 F-8 Crusaders (USN)
    12. 1 EA-6A Electric Intruder (USN)
    13. 34 Targets
    14. 18 Special Events
  • Full Color, 20-page Rulebook
  • Full Color Double-sided Counter Sheet (176 x 5/8" counters)
  • 6 Full Color Campaign Sheets
    1. War in the South (1965) USAF & USN
    2. Rolling Thunder (1967) USAF & USN
    3. Linebacker (1972) USAF & USN
  • 3 Full Color Player Aid Cards
    1. Tactical Display
    2. Card Diplay Sheet
    3. Help Sheet
  • 1 Ten-sided die
  • 1 Player Log master (to be photocopied prior to play)

Other Leader series games by Dan Verssen

Re-implemented by:

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More Information Edit | History


mb Phantom Leader fan

mb Phantom Leader fan

Sort: Nickname | Year Published
Pg. 1
Phantom Leader
English first edition
Publisher: DVG
Artist: Wan Chiu
Year: 2010
Product Code: DV1-013
Size: 11.90 x 8.90 x 2.10 inches
1.76 pounds
Release Date:  
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Title | Hot | Recent
[Browse »]  [Upload File »] Language:
Pg. 1 of 2 »
2 résumé des règles
Résumé des règles en français
5 Hoja de Campaña en español
La hoja de campaña oficial del juego en español
9 Extended sequence of play
Updated file. I've added EA-6A Electric Intruder special future and other things
11 Pilot / Plane Reference Roster Sheet
Double sheet of all pilots and planes for quick and easy review and reference. Great for helping you pick your roster for a campaign. If printed large enough, you can use the empty boxes under the individual weapons to track plane loadouts and usage during a mission.
21 Phantom Leader Detailed Log Sheet
One page, in-depth log sheet for recording mission details and results during a campaign of Phantom Leader.
12 Phantom Leader AtA and AtG Cards
These cards will allow you to follow the career of a single pilot through the Phantom Leader Campaigns. There are 2 types of cards, an AtA and an AtG specialty, in both USAF and USN version. Add your callsign in the top left corner and on the counters and you’re ready to go. The cards will have to be resized to 2.5 X 3.5 and the counters will have to be resized to ½ in size. The graphics are taken from the public domain. Enjoy.
5 Campaing debrief
Hello, Here's the next campaign Rolling Thunder with the squadron that did the first campaign... Ready to challenge ? Gilles
7 Campaign debrief
Hello, Here's the excel file of my campaign war in the south. If someone want to replay it (same squadron, target and options) i'd be happy to see your results !!! Gilles
8 Campaign and mission log
The new version with medals etc.... of the campaign log... Have fun Gilles
18 Game track V2.0
Hi Here's a slightly modified version of the game track.(pdf file) Gilles
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Board Game Rank: 1301
War Game Rank: 126
Num Ratings: 403
Average Rating: 7.60
Standard Deviation: 1.22
Num Views: 126604
GeekBuddy Analysis: Analyze
Similarly Rated: View
Avg. Game Weight: 2.6
Fans: 94
Personal Comments: 195
Users Owning: 794
Users Wanting: 76
Users Trading: 36 [find trade matches]
Has Parts For Trade: 1
Want Parts In Trade: 0
Price History: View
Total Plays: 1032
Plays This Month: 1
Linked Items
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Linked Podcasts/Periodicals
Pg. 1
Show #20.5 Session Report: Phantom Leader
11.1 MB
Show #20: Phantom Leader, and Merchant of Venus
29.53 MB
ET39: El Grial y la especia portuguesa. Acabamos entre Vietnam y la feria local
OBG 045: Submit and Like It
61.07 MB
Game Gab: Gen Con 2009: Dan Verssen Games
32 MB
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