Anzio Beachhead is an operational level simulation game of the allied invasion of the Italian mainland near Rome during WWII. The invasion began January 22, 1944, under the code name Operation Shingle. It had the Alban Hills and the isolation of the German army as its objective. Failing in this, Allied troops would have to hold until relieved. Here Hitler recognized Germany's great chance to destroy an Allied invasion. Had his troops succeeded in destroying the beachhead, the war in Europe could well have been lengthened.
Anzio Beachhead is a two-player game in which one player controls the German forces while his opponent controls the Allied forces.
This first appeared in Strategy & Tactics magazine #20 in December 1969, along with Bastogne. SPI later released it in white box and black formats during the 1970s. In 1990 it reappeared, with minor revision, in S&T #134 (May/June 1990).
Per Jim Dunnigan:
"AB was seen as another situation like the Bulge, where the attacker had a rapidly declining edge. The original American commander was not bold, and lost. So the idea with AB was to explore the what if's. At that time, I had been working on designing games for about eight years (since I first discovered the AH games.) Before that, I was always interested in the details of history, and how they were connected. AH wargames were the first time I saw someone else thinking the same way, and doing it in a novel way. I was always building on that."
"I had been designing a similar game, called Italy, which incorporated the rest of the Italian theater, with a smaller scale map of the Anzio area (ie, two interrelated games, one strategic and the other operational). But when Dave's game came in I thought it did a better job of the Anzio section. We had come up with some of the same solutions, and his game was more compact and suitable for the magazine."
(e-mails with Neopeius, 9/5-6/11)