Wargames To Go 17 - Long Range Desert Group
Mark Johnson
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Santa Clarita
California
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As always, I keep a geeklist to organize the games I plan to play (or sometimes merely mention) for my next Wargames To Go podcast. Comments & suggestions from listeners and everyone else are welcome!

Unlike other episodes where I'd anticipated the topic for a long time (including acquiring too many games about it!), this one snuck up on me. I'd heard a little about the Long Range Desert Group, but certainly didn't know much about it. Then last year the French wargame magazine Vae Victis produced a solitaire game on the subject. I subscribe to the magazine...which means they keep arriving quicker than can get them to the table. I have many other VV issue games that interest me yet remain unplayed. This one, though, seemed worth an interruption of whatever other subject (WW2 east front) I was going to dive into next. Then I saw that Decision Games had its own ziplock folio game that was another solitaire treatment of the LRDG. Combined, those two made for a good one-off episode. Of course I managed to find some books & films to discuss, too. Those made it into the podcast episode that accompanies this geeklist.

-Mark




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Mark Johnson's irregular podcast about small wargames
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1. Board Game: Qui ose gagne [Average Rating:6.69 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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This is the game that prompted the geeklist and podcast episode. Like all Vae Victis games, the rules are available in English, while the magazine itself (with accompanying historic article, plus other features such as game reviews) is in French. The game has a small footprint. They don't often feature designed-as-solitaire titles, so I'm normally just playing both sides solo.

In this one, there's a real cat-and-mouse sense to it, as creeping about the point-to-point map of the desert involves avoiding detection and alarm. The dreaded aerial reconnaissance is the most troublesome opponent. In my plays I found that part the best aspect of the game. Actual combat & missions were ok, too. Think about the innovation that stealth-based videogames were after so many straightforward shooters.
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2. Board Game: Long Range Desert Group: Special Operations Against Rommel 1941-1942 [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:11377]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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This game--also designed-as-solitaire--has an even smoother combat system than the game above. Some might find it too simplistic, but I think it's appropriate for the game. However, what I didn't like much at all was the way you used that combat system. Missions generally required a minimum amount of enemies destroyed to be considered a success, so you actually seek out or chase down combat opportunities. That didn't feel right for the LRDG at all, honestly.
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3. Board Game: Special Forces [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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http://www.WargamesToGo.com
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I didn't play this one or seek it out. Just listing another game that includes a scenario about the LRDG (different than the SAS, but similar in ways).
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