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Arabian Nightmare: The Kuwait War» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Great Game For AFTER You've Cut Yer Wargame Teeth. rss

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Jeffery Hatmaker
United States
Kentucky
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This is a wonderful game. It's topical, historic, educational and very complex. Adding the "political" element (often seasoned with a bit much tongue in cheek humor), was a stroke of genius. For every "military" (combat) turn, there can be a corresponding political turn. The rules can seem daunting, especially to budding grognards, but the "introductory" scenario should help settle you in quite nicely. The maps are huge, and the counters at once detailed and simple. (This unit is the Iraqi Saladin, the next is the Hammurabi, etc., etc., so you know exactly who you're playing). I've got a dear friend who's in my Chapter of the D.A.V. who was "downwind" of some of the sarin gas that was used, (he's lost a promising medical career, not to mention a lotta years off the back end of his life), so I'm going to have difficulty (emotionally) deploying chem weapons as the Iraqi player, but it adds +2 to the eligible units attack strength. If memory serves, the ramifications for the Iraqi player are more sever if one is playing the political version. I'm not too sure about the combat tables... I'm used to calculating odds, (not that I'm not open to a better way), and this method, (subtracting defense from offense and rolling in that numbers' column), seems quite simple. I just hope it's not over simplified! But having seen the torturously complex rules, I'm fairly confident that such will not be the case. The introductory scenario is going to be a handful, (I'll be playing solo), especially due to the very complex, turn by turn "reenforcement" schedule. The Iraqis don't reenforce until turn three, though where they'd come from is beyond me. I'm very excited about the political game, and having got the introductory scenario under my belt, I'll give it a good go. Much like the very enjoyable "Battle For Basra," this game is heavily weighted in favor of the "allies." The practical upshot is that Iraqi victory conditions seem, at first, deceptively simple. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable such a difficult game could be. I highly recommend it.
 
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Ethan McKinney
United States
El Segundo
California
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Iraqi "reinforcements" represent mobilization. Reserves being called up from civilian life, distributing equipment, trying to organize them into something more than a mob (generally without success), and so forth. These things don't happen overnight.
 
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Matt Foster
United States
Ocala
Florida
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The game is also interesting from a historical perspective in that the original ‘magazine’ edition – the version without the map extension and additional units (IIRC) – was produced BEFORE the war started. Quite a technical feat, when you consider it was produced in the era before desktop publishing technologies were available (they still did things the ‘old fashioned’ way with galley proofs, etc.).

Arabian Nightmare suffers a bit from the lack of any significant development cycle, but as a pre-war ‘best guess’ bit of history, it’s still worthwhile.
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