Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pegasus Bridge -- a quick review

Pegasus Bridge was the issue game in Strategy & Tactics No. 122. That issue was notable because it includes an article by your truly entitled "The Other BEF" about the Brazilian Expeditionary Force, which served on the Italian front in World War II. (pp. 53-55).

The game is one of the few solitaire-by-design games published in S&T over the years, which is kind of funny because most issue games probably see more solitaire playing time than any other sort.

It uses a variation of the system first used in Raid on St. Nazaire, although it's a much less involved game than that previous effort.

The topic of the game is the coup de main by six-gliders full of British airborne troops who seized a pair of important bridges that guarded the eastern flank of the Normandy invasion on D-Day.

The game starts with the approach by the gliders, guided by die rolls, but they will generally land close enough to deposit enough assault troops to overwhelm the small bridge garrison. The larger part of the game is the subsequent defense of the bridge against German counterattacks. In the historical event the British held on, and in the game they will probably also succeed. It's not the most challenging solitaire game out there unless one uses the optional rules and reinforcements, which almost always add more Germans to the mix.

There are just seven pages of rules, so it's no more than a moderately complex wargame, although there are some gaps in the rules. It is a solitaire game, after all, so the player should feel free to fill in any gaps with whatever satisfies his opinion.

There are special rules to account for most of the colorful aspects of the fight, such as the ambush of the German commander in his staff car, the brewing up of the first German tank, the capture and use of a German antitiank gun, etc.

There aren't an awful lot of solitaire wargames, so if you're short on opponents and want something that's a little lighter fare than most of the AH/VG solitaire titles such as Ambush!, Tokyo Express or Patton's Best, then Pegasus Bridge is worth having.

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