RockyMountainNavy, 21 September 2023
My first deployment in the U.S. Navy was with Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 137 “Rooks” as part of Carrier Air Wing 1 assigned to USS America (CV-66) and we went to war over Iraq in January 1991. In the intervening 32 years since I was in DESERT STORM I actually have played very few (none?) wargames on the topic. So it is with great interest that I looked at and eventually acquired Eric Harvey’s Desert Storm: The Hundred Hour War from a relatively new publisher, Accurate Simulations.
First off, a shout out to “Bob” at Accurate Simulations for the unparalleled customer service. I ordered my game around 7:30pm eastern time on a Thursday evening. Within 30 minutes I had several emails that acknowledged the order and then informed me that Bob was able to pack and send the shipment off before the Post Office closed in California. When I got home from shopping with Mrs. RockyMountainNavy at 2pm Saturday I had a box waiting. Even with USPS moving the box it took less time for the game to order, ship, and arrive than the actual war. That’s awesome customer service. Thanks, Bob!
Desert Storm: The Hundred Hour War looks very much like a typical wargame package on arrival. The 11.25″ x 9″ x 2″ box has a very pleasing, thematic box wrap. One thing I noticed right away is the font used was comparatively large to what I often see on box backs. A good omen for this Grognard gamer who has to use vision assist apparatus these days…
The contents of Desert Storm don’t nearly fill up the box.
The components of Desert Storm are not numerous; a 22″x34″ map (portrait orientation which can be challenging on my usual game table), 154 counters on a single sheet, a 32-page rulebook, and two decks of 30 double-sided event cards. Not listed but also included is a single d6. My copy also shipped with an errata Event Card.
The top quarter of the map in Desert Storm has several tracks used in the game. The different card suits was not something I was expecting but it does make me more interested to dig into the rules.
The rest of the map in Desert Storm is your classic hexes. Not very colorful but just how “colorful” is a desert?
The counters in Desert Storm are rounded. Yes, pre-rounded counters in a wargame!
The rulebook for Desert Storm is 32 pages on slick, glossy paper.
Much like the back of the box, the font size used in the rulebook of Desert Storm is a bit larger than normal and better for an aged, vision-challenged Grognard like myself. The layout uses what I term the “Heading Case System” where major rules are numbered but individual paragraphs are not.
In another challenge to classic hex & counter wargames, Desert Storm has Event Cards. There are thirty cards for each player and the cards are double-sided meaning there are 120 Events.
If you were paying attention to that last card you might see a small problem. Don’t worry because Accurate Simulations sent along a replacement card with my copy of Desert Storm. For all you loyal Armchair Dragoons readers, the address for Accurate Simulations is below or you can go to their website accuratesimulations.com or email them at email@example.com.
Since this is an unboxing post of Desert Storm I’m not going to get ahead of Regimental Commander Brant and do a review here, but I want to go back to those card suits for a moment. They are very important for victory as they represent achievements as a table in 13.0 Achieving Victory explains. I am sure many historical conflict simulation fans will jump with glee when they read the line, “but victory is not assessed by military success alone” (Rulebook, 26).
For myself, this wargaming Grognard is looking forward to sitting down and learning to play what I was part of decades ago.
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In the world of wargames, a delight,
Unboxing is quite a grand sight.
With bated breath, we tear,
Through the packaging, we swear,
To unveil the fierce battles we’ll fight!
The miniatures gleam, so precise,
As we open the box, oh so nice.
With rulebooks in hand,
We’ll conquer the land,
In epic battles of strategy and fights!