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by Harvey Mossman

Design: Mark Herman

Publisher: GMT games

“We will leave this war to our children “, King Archidamus’ prophetic retort to the Spartan assembly at the opening of the 2nd Peloponnesian war sounded the alarm that the conflict would be generational. His compatriots did not agree and thought an easy victory would be had, yet the war lasted 27 years, cost thousands of lives and fundamentally changed the Greek civilization. How do you simulate such a cataclysmic event? Wargame designers have tried for years to simulate this tragic epic. Now, acclaimed designer Mark Herman brings us a fresh perspective on both the 1st and 2nd Peloponnesian wars, seamlessly meshing the politics of the polis with the wider military conflicts in a unique design that captures the challenges of the era.

Strategies for Scenario #1 in Victory Games’ Gulf Strike Board Game

Gulf Strike Board Game

Overview

Long before Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi army brought the horrors of war to the kingdom of Kuwait, there was a company called Victory Games and a designer named Mark Herman who postulated that it would likely be Iran who would incite a major war in the Persian Gulf region. Work was begun on a simulation that culminated in Gulf Strike, a board game that addressed a series of potential conflict scenarios in the Persian Gulf, from an Iranian invasion of the Gulf States (US siding with the Gulf States) to a Soviet invasion of Iran (US assisting the Iranian defense).

A General Information Tracking Sheet for Gulf Strike

This Game Record Sheet allows for tracking of the following important Gulf Strike information:

  • U.S. Special Forces Detachment Missions – Space is provided for up to 30 Game Turns of missions for all 9 Detachments of the 1/75 Special Forces unit and the 9 Detachments of the 5th Special Forces Group unit. For example, entering “A 1316” in the GT6 space for Detachment 1 of the 1/75 Special Forces unit indicates that 1 Detachment is assigned to an “Ambush” mission in hex 1316 starting with Game Turn 6.

Tactics for Proper Employment of U.S. Special Forces in Victory Games Gulf Strike


Overview

One of the most overlooked and misused U.S. assets in Gulf Strike are the U.S. Special Forces (specifically, in this game, 5th Special Forces Group and a Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment). Until you’ve actually played your way through the entire Scenario 2 or 3, it’s hard to understand the full impact of the Soviet “avalanche comin’ down the mountain” towards the hapless Iranians and light American ground forces. As the U.S. player you need to maximize each advantage the game presents you. One such advantage in Gulf Strike is the U.S. Special Forces. Provided that they’re used correctly. This article examines the various usages of U.S. Special Forces and provides some specific examples of how they can be put to best use in Scenarios 2 and 3.

Techniques for Safely Delivering Heavy U.S. Ground Reinforcements to Iran in Gulf Strike

Gulf Strike Board Game

Gulf Strike is a game of planning. Let me repeat that. Gulf Strike is a game of planning. I could probably just end the article right here and consider it a great public service to the Gulf Strike playing community, but ego compels me to expound. Planning, at all levels, is essential to winning this game, from “big picture” theater-wide planning all the way down to planning missions for Special Forces detachments. This article examines the challenge of safely delivering heavy U.S. ground reinforcements via naval transport to the theater of operations covered by Gulf Strike Scenario 2.