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Subject: Three Raids rss

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Tom Jensen
United States
Pacific Grove
California
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This last week I pulled out this ancient game of 1980 and tried three games solitaire. I've had it for years and, because of the verbosity of the rules, had never sat down and played it before . Because I'm a longtime wily wargamer, I pretty much hit on a successful strategy right from the start and all three games ended with all hostages freed and with a Major Victory for the USA! Hurrah!

Now, there's a good game here, it tells a good story with a lot of emotion, but it seems very unbalanced. To enjoy Raid on Iran, the US player needs to be very dense or very unlucky. Everything depends on getting your Commandos into position for the snatch without being detected by the sentries. Since the raid takes place in the early morning hours, there are 15 sentries at the main gate, 5 at the back gate, and another 10 walking the roads of the perimiter of the embassy compound. Another 95 "students" are sleeping in the surrounding buildings and need to be awakened by 'splosions, gunfire, or shouts from the guards.

The US Embassy compound (hypothetical because the actual layout is classified) is rectangular with a Gym and football field at 12 o'clock, the three story Residence at 3 o'clock, the Chancellory at 6 o'clock, and another block of buildings occupying 7-11 o'clock in the west; here the majority of "students" were sleeping.

In the first raid, I sent 10 Commandos silently over the wall just east of the Residence where they quickly disposed of one sentry. Then they quietly infiltrated in small groups with the last group carrying the two mortars. Luck and good die rolls kept the sentries unalerted. I put my groups into position just outside the Chancellory and the Residence where the hostages were kept in the basements of both buildings. Then both groups entered with shock grenades, dashed down the stairs and freed the hostages. A few commandos were killed and several wounded; the "students" put up little resistance. However, the gunfire alerted the sentries and they began to run toward the guns and to awaken the sleepers. A mob formed at the front gate. Now, my extraction point was a small lawn between the Residence and the east wall. Unfortunately, I had failed to notice that only one helicopter could land at a time. The first few helicopters landed, loaded the hostages, and took off. The third helicopter had mechanical failure and couldn't take off. With time running out and the lawn now permanently filled to capacity, I used a satchel charge to blow a hole in the compound wall allowing the rest of the commandos to escape out into the city where, presumably, they made their way to the helicopter rendevous in the hills north of Tehran.

The other two games pretty much played the same except that I now used the larger lawns north of the Chancellory to land the helicopters. In the second game a serious group of militants were charging from the front gate toward the landing area but a burst of gunfire from the second floor of the Chancellory left seventeen dead in the road! After that, my commandos were no longer in jeopardy. In the third game, there were four groups of hostages so it took much longer to get them to the extraction point. Still, it was not much of a problem. In the third game, I dropped some satchel charges out the Chancellory windows to destroy a group and picked off the survivors inside the building.

I had fun but the Iranian guards were just too slow and unaware; is this historical? Anyway, I never got a sense of danger for the US player. He needs BAD luck and an early alerting of the guards to make this an interesting game. Perhaps the turn of the Iranian reinforcements should be moved up. With balance, this game could be very intense.
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Hilary Hartman
United States
GLENNALLEN
Alaska
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I played this game when it first came out. That was 26 years ago? Geez.

Anyhow, glad you seem to be enjoying it. My Dad and I played several times, and he never would let me be the US forces. I honestly don't remember who won, either, but it was one of the few games I could get my Dad to play with me. I was 13, at the time, and he was leery of all of my games after a very bad session of D&D...
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