The 1991 Gulf War - Operation Desert Storm
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A list of games dealing with Operation Desert Storm - the 1991 Persian Gulf War brought about by the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

The list was inspired by Blindspot's comment indicating that he was a Gulf War vet interested in finding out which Gulf War games were accurate and stimulating to play.

I believe this list covers all of the Desert Storm games in the database, listed alphabetically. In addition, at the end of the list are a few air combat games that came with Desert Storm scenarios.

Please add your comments!
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1. Board Game: Arabian Nightmare: The Kuwait War [Average Rating:5.10 Overall Rank:14968]
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Arabian Nightmare : The Kuwait War - Strategy & Tactics #139
3W (1990)

Scale: strategic
Hex: 30 km
Unit: division, brigade
Turn: 1.5 to 3 days

Designed and published in late 1990 while the events in Kuwait were still unfolding.

"The game has one map and 300 counters. The map covers the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, the eastern part of Iraq and its border with Iran. Scale is 1-3 days per Military Action Segment and 4-6 days per Political Action Segment Segment (a full turn is 2 MAS and 1 PAS, totaling 6-12 days). Units range from batalions to corps, naval squadrons and air wings."

"The game may be played using only the Military rules, the Political rules, or both sets. There is an Introductory Game as well. There are 7 scenarios including the full campaign."

"An expansion kit called Desert Sword was published separately in 1991, adding 200 counters and a new map covering the western part of the Middle East to the shores of the Mediterranean. The kit includes the historical Coalition offensive against Iraq."

"This is a medium-high complexity game with many creative mechanisms and special rules. For the experienced wargamer."
 
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2. Board Game: Assault on Kuwait City [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Assault on Kuwait City
Gulf Games Co. (1991)

Scale: tactical
Hex: 200 m
Unit: company, platoon
Turn: 15 min

Described by the designer as an "exercise" for Miltary Command Staff Officers to introduce them to the "horrifying aspects of modern Airmobile Infantry Operations."

"Components: The box is overall white with a military-style map of a very small portion of the Saudi-Iraq-Kuwait area (centered around the 'Neutral Zone') printed on the box-top; 2 identical rulebooks (one for each side); 2 sets of cardboard counters in two sizes (3/4 by 1-inch and 3/8 by 1-inch); 2 six-sided dice; 2 decks of cards containing cards that correspond to every unit in the game; and a paper mapsheet depicting Kuwait City and it's environs (28-inches by 34-inches, using hexes 2 inches across). The scale of the Military Units is given as Platoon to Company level."

[Thanks to Grognads for furnishing the game scale info!]
 
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3. Board Game: Battle for Basra [Average Rating:5.05 Overall Rank:14667]
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Battle for Basra
GDW (1991)

Scale: operational
Hex: 500 m
Unit: squad, vehicle
Turn: ?

"A free introductory wargame which was given away in the early 90s at conventions and in game shops. Uses GDW's First Battle game system."

"The game simulates a hypothetical attack in and around Basra, Iraq, during the Gulf War. One player commands the U.S. 24th Mechanized Division, the other player controls the Iraqi Republican Guard."

"Given that it is an introductory game, with a small map and fewer than 50 counters, the objective is kept simple: the U.S. player must exit seven out of his initial ten units from the east edge of the map within six turns or the Iraqi player wins."

"Historical commentary is also provided."
 
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4. Board Game: Desert Shield: A Gulf Strike Expansion Module [Average Rating:6.95 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.95 Unranked]
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Desert Shield - Gulf Strike Expansion Module
Victory Games (1990)

Scale: operational
Hex: 28km
Unit: division, battalion
Turn: 2 days

An expansion for the classic 1983 game Gulf Strike. Desert Shield includes a 12 page expansion module covering the Gulf War, a 16 page scenario update book, an expansion map showing western Iraq, and two countersheets adding a total of 390 new counters. Basically the expansion updates the Gulf Strike system to reflect the situation in 1990.

In 1991, a counter sheet with 40 die-cut Desert Storm counters was included in subscriber copies of Avalon Hill's General magazine, Vol. 26, No. 6.
 
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5. Board Game: Operation Desert Storm [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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Desert Storm
BanDai (1995)

Scale: strategic or operational ?
Unit: division, battalion ?

"A wargame on the Coalition vs. Iraq war published by Bandai. This game has four scenarios covering the whole war from start to finish. Medium Complexity."
 
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6. Board Game: Desert Storm: The Mother of All Battles [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:12184]
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Desert Storm: The Mother of All Battles - Command #13
XTR (1991)

Scale: operational
Hex: 12 km
Unit: brigade, regiment
Turn: 1 day

"Ths game is a one or two-player operational simulation of the Gulf War. It focuses almost exclusively on the Coalition ground war that liberated Kuwait and shattered the occupying Iraqi army."

"The game includes a 22x34-inch hex map of the significant terrain in the Kuwaiti Theatre of Operations, 192 counters, and 20 pages of rules, charts, and tables."

"Rules are split into both a basic and an advanced game. There are separate rules for solitaire play."

"The U.S./Coalition player must completely liberate Kuwait to have a chance to win. If Kuwait is liberated within 12 game turns, the player who has gained the most 'points' in inflicting losses on their opponent, wins. The Coalition player must be aggressive in order to completly clear Iraqi units from all Kuwaiti cities, towns, oilfields, and airfields, otherwise the Iraqi player will win."
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7. Board Game: Desert Storm: The Unfinished Victory [Average Rating:6.47 Unranked]
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Desert Storm: The Unfinished Victory
Pacific Rim (2005)

Scale: strategic?

"Using a mixture of military and political interaction, players refight the most violent international conflict of the previous 48 years. The Iraqi Player must use SCUD missiles and the variable power of his largely conscript army against the Coalition's might. The Coalition Player must weigh the political costs of casualties against the dollar cost of the war while keeping an eye on the balance of World opinion. The opposing sides will strive to change History."

"This game illustrates the balance between military might and political reality. The Coalition forces arrayed against the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait are - particularly the airpower - inevitably overwhelming. The Iraqi player, not fettered by constraints of world opinion, maneuvers both on the desert and through a number of varying political options that can enhance his military position or hurt the Coalition . . . or backfire."

Solitaire variant included.

Components: 140 die-cut backprinted counters, 17x22-inch map, 12 pages of rules, folio format.
 
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8. Board Game: Desert Victory [Average Rating:5.12 Unranked]
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Desert Victory
Omega Games (1991)

Scale: tactical
Hex: 250 m
Unit: platoon, vehicle
Turn: 10 min

From the rule booklet:

"Desert Victory is a realistic simulation of modern tactical combat that puts you in the role of the commander of a U.S. battalion task force or an Iraqi brigade. Desert Victory simulates combat in a playable, realistic manner. Units in Desert Victory represent platoons and sections. Losses are expressed in individual vehicles and fire teams or squads."
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9. Board Game: A Line in the Sand: The Battle of Iraq [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:9884]
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A Line in the Sand: The Battle of Iraq
TSR (1990)

Scale: strategic?

Two distinct games combined into a single BGG database entry. This is the first of the two editions.

"Please note that the first edition of the game was published in TSR's Warhawks comic magazine (issues #3 and #4) in 1990. The boxed game published in 1991 can be considered to be a redeveloped 2nd edition."
 
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10. Board Game: A Line in the Sand: The Battle of Iraq [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:9884]
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A Line in the Sand
TSR (1991)

Scale: strategic
Hex: area map
Unit: division
Turn: 1 day

"Two versions of this game are played. With less than 5 players, the game is a Basic Game where military might is what wins the game. Players take sides, usually a combination of Middle Eastern nations plus the U.S. In the two player version, for instance, it is the U.S. & Allies vs. Iraq; in the three-player game 'Holy War', it's Israel vs. Iraq (and Yemen and Jordan) vs. Saudi Arabia (and Syria, Libya, and Lebanon), and so on."

"Combat rules are rather straightforward, and wargamers will be familiar with many of the mechanics. Land (w/ infantry, Iraqi National Guard, and tanks), sea, and air units are all utilized. Most units can take a few hits before removed from the board."

"The Gameboard is big and beautiful. It has large areas denoting the nations of the Middle East, with some abstracted land to shore up the U.A.E. and some islands. It also has oil wells and airbases, as well as some other stuff."

"The *real* game, though, is the six-player diplomatic game. The players are now clearly defined: The U.S. (NATO), Iraq, Israel, Iraq/Yemen, Moderate Arabs (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, etc.), and Volatile Arabs (Jordan, Libya, etc.) This adds a crucial element of diplomacy and politics, and makes the game much more interesting than the normal wargaming stuff. A 'War Fever' and 'Jihad' marker change as nations do things--for instance, the first time a U.S. unit is attacked outside of Turkey, War Fever 'tripwires' to 10. If Israel attacks a neighbor, Jihad increases by 2. War Fever and Jihad permit certain things to happen--for instance, if War Fever gets too low, the US is restricted in whom they may attack. If Jihad hits either 1 or 10, revolutions may occur--which can switch entire nations to another player!"

"Messages can be sent to other players via a diplomatic pouch--you cannot simply pull another player to the side and whisper in their ear. All messages, once read, go into a big pouch, and players can make diplomatic gestures to read some of the messages after they're read."

"Victory occurs, in any case, when you meet objectives, which can vary from player to player. 'War Aim' chits are drawn before the game begins, and so players are not quite certain as to exactly what other players are going for. For Instance, Iraq may win if they capture and hold Kuwait for the last three turns; if Jihad has reached 10 at least once and 10 non-Muslim units have been destroyed (by anyone); or by controlling three more oil fields than they started with. It all depends on what they looked for."

"All in all, the Diplomatic game changes the basic game so much that political considerations are as important as military ones."
 
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11. Board Game: Operation Nabopolassar: Kuwait 1991 [Average Rating:3.17 Unranked]
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Operation Nabopolassar: Kuwait 1991 - Alea #10
Ludopress Alea (1991)

Scale: tactical?

"The game represents a hypothetical attack by coalition forces on Iraqi positions during the Gulf War."

"Battalion-level simulation of the breaching of the Saddam line. Complete simulation game with rules booklet, 1 DIN A3 map, 160 die cut counters and play aids."

Publisher rates complexity at 4 on a scale of 10.
 
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12. Board Game: Phase Line Smash [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:9589]
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Phase Line Smash
GDW (1992)

Scale: Operational
Hex: 5 miles
Unit: brigade, battalion
Turn: 12 hours

"A solitaire game based on the Gulf War. While the Iraqi unit's reactions are programmed, it is still possible to lose by taking careless chances that cause an excessive amount of friendly casualties. To win, you must do as well as the actual campaign. What makes this difficult is the need to explicitly manage the flow of supplies to allied combat units. The difficulty of the game adds to its play and replay value."

"Phase Line Smash handles a number of aspects of the Gulf War in a realistic and sensitive manner. Fratricide is one such issue that is included in the game mechanics and discussed in the historical notes included with the game."

"The game box is rather heavy because of the historical notes included with the game. Other extras include optional rules for up to eleven players. This adds the complexity of having to coordinate with other players for use of limited supply routes and coordinating attacks."
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13. Board Game: Thunderbolt/Apache Leader [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:3401]
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Thunderbolt-Apache Leader
GMT (1991)

This solitaire Leader Series game from GMT includes a Desert Storm campaign card.

"An exciting solitaire game that challenges you to command teams of A-10 Thunderbolt tank-busters and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters on battlefields around the world. You select the best mix of aircraft, weapons, tactics, and crew to suppress air defenses, neutralize tank columns, pound troop concentrations, and duel helicopter gunships."

 
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14. Board Game: Hornet Leader [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:2920]
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Hornet Leader
GMT (1991)

The Desert Storm Module was the first Hornet Leader module and came boxed with the game.

"An exciting solitaire game that challenges you to command a squadron of F/A-18 Hornet strike-fighters in an almost endless variety of combat missions. From the decks of U.S. Navy carriers you lead your squadron against 26 different target types, from naval strikes and fleet air defense to fighter sweeps and ground attacks."

"As Squadron Commander, you must select the best team for each mission from the fifteen Naval or Marine aviators under your command (each of whom is rated for his own individuals skills and style). You must also decide how many of your F/A-18s will fly, the weapons each will carry, and how they will be used."

"Once you're in the air, dozens of surprises can upset your carefully laid plain ... from munitions shortages and enemy early warning to targets-of-opportunity and Tomahawk strikes. You might get extra help from friendly F-14 Tomcats and F-117 Stealth Fighters, or you might have to scramble for survival when faulty intelligence sends you into an unexpected storm of enemy MiGs, SAMs and AAA."
 
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15. Board Game: Ace of Aces: Jet Eagles [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:8816]
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Ace of Aces - Jet Eagles
Nova (1990)

A Desert Storm edition, marked with a banner on the cover (as shown here), was released in 1991. It included data cards for aircraft involved in the conflict.

Alfred Leonardi's attempt to portray jet combat using a variation of his classic Ace of Aces picture-book game system. Unfortunately, it does not measure up to the earlier versions of the game.
 
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16. Board Game: Air Duel: Danger Zone [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
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Air Duel: Danger Zone
One Small Step (1998)

The game features 6 scenarios from the Korean War through Desert Storm.

"Danger Zone is a two-player game of air-to-air combat between jet fighters. Each player pilots an airplane and attempts to shoot down opposing fighters. You maneuver to get your opponent's plane in front of yours, where you can shoot at it. The first player shot down loses."
 
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