From the game manual:
Red Lightning is a game for one or two players. Players will assume the roles of commanders of NATO and Warsaw Pact military forces during a hypothetical general war in central Europe in the early 1990's. Each game turn represents 12 hours of action. The military units represented in the game are regiments, brigades, divisions, corps, and corps or army headquarters. Units and air forces may be examined to the level of individual vehicles, squads, and heavy weapons. Almost every tank, gun, and tactical aircraft deployed in central Europe is available for inspection.
Typical of SSI wargames from the 1980s and 1990s, Red Lightning includes a detailed manual with numerous tables, Orders of Battle and illustrations.
There is a separate laminated hexagon map of central Europe used within the game, the reverse side of which has various charts and tables.