I recently picked up a copy of Israeli Independence, a solitaire wargame published by Victory Point Games. I heard about the game while listening to an interview with professor Alan Emrich, who runs Victory Point Games as sort of an in-house publishing project primarily associated with his game design classes.
This is a very simplistic wargame and after reading the rules, you’ll think you’ve wasted your money, but once you play it a few times, you begin to understand why this is really a neat little game.
The mechanics are extremely basic. You must prevent any of the five Arab armies from reaching West Jerusalem. The armies will advance according to a card that is drawn each round, and the player must decide how to allocate their forces to push back them back. The combat is handled through a single die roll, but it’s the cards that really make the game interesting. Not only do the cards drive the flow of play, but they also include facts from the first Arab-Israeli war, which was not a topic that I knew much about. Between the cards and the page of historical notes included with the game, I felt like I learned quite a bit about the conflict.
The game itself is well produced. It’s obvious that each game is put together with a great deal of TLC. The price is okay for what you get. I don’t mind spending a bit more if I think it’s helping some good people get experience. My only complaint was that the shipping fee was excessive for sticking a tiny game in a padded mailer.