Monday, May 8, 2023

A blurry snapshot of Operation Market Garden

First off, I am not a war gamer. I have played war-themed games and I have played a few games that actually cross the line into what I think can honestly be called a war game but I don’t have the drive or interest to be what I could call a war gamer.

( would say that the definition of a true war game is realism. I mean, military colleges use war games to train folks about fighting actual battles. War games, at their ideal, are simulation. They may be asking what would happen if chaos marines were real but it really feels like the details are what define war games. Feel free to disagree)

But the brevity of Batrle Card: Market Garden has kept my eye on it. There are four locations and the game lasts six turns. (So, there really aren’t any details.)  it’s a postcard sided game with six markers so crafting it takes minimal work.

Then I saw someone made a web implementation of it. And that’s what it took for me to actually try the game lol

After I tried it a couple times, I looked at a review of the game. Jon Ericson wrote that the game was made up of forced decisions. You either decide to defend or attack at contested locations. You can move forward but only into allied controlled locations. And you have to make those movements or lose.

At the same time, Battle Card: Market Garden is still enjoyable. Part of the fun does come from the fact that it’s a five minute distraction. You don’t expect much from a postcard PnP that is six turns long.

But really, what makes Battle Card: Market Garden is interesting is rhe actual subject matter. Operation Market Garden is one of those fascinating pieces of history. If the Allie’s had managed to cross the Rhine and had a foothold n the other side, it would have changed the course of WW II. And this game gives you a snapshot of the event. A blurry, Polaroid snapshot but a snapshot none the less.

I’m not going to play Battle Card: Market Garden over and over. Being able to play it online means I won’t bother cutting out the counters for the physical game. (I do wonder if would work well in the classroom, given how short some students’ attention spans are) And I am glad I’ve finally tried it.

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