Two new games, portraying the end of the fratricidal struggle between North and South Vietnam from the Summer of 1973 to Spring 1975 and the liberation of west Mosul by Iraqi security forces in 2017, are coming to the tabletop from Nuts! Publishing and distributed in US by Ares Games. Saigon 75 is a fast-playing, strongly asymmetrical historical and strategic game, and We are coming, Nineveh!, a two-player intense tactical game with modern mechanics and an amazing graphic design.

Saigon 75: the struggle between North and South Vietnam from the Summer 1973 to Spring 1975.

In Saigon 75, the “Communist” forces from North Vietnam and the Viet Cong fight against the “Liberal” forces from South Vietnam for the control of the capital, at the end of the Vietnam War. After the US troops have gone home, the North Vietnamese regime plans to take Saigon as quickly as possible against a well-prepared but corrupt South Vietnam. One player controls the "communist" forces and the other controls the "liberal" forces of the South (the Army of the Republic of Vietnam). The game also includes a solo mode with the player controlling the South as they attempt to resist the onslaught of an automated enemy, guided by specific cards.

Designed by Pascal Toupy and Jean-Philippe Barcus, Saigon 75 provides a tense and exciting game experience with just a few pages of rules and a playing time of one hour. The game portrays the differences between North Vietnamese divisions and the Rangers/Marines/Paratroopers and other units of the South Vietnamese. Air power and desertion are also featured, with the experience being completed by event cards that give the game great replayability. The North Vietnam player has more activations, more events to his advantage, better battle dice, and the ability to conduct assaults on a very wide front, while his opponent has air support as well as parachute and mechanized units.

Saigon 75's: map of the South Vietnam.

The game is played on a board representing a map of the southern part of Vietnam, divided into 20 provinces. Cambodia, Laos, and North Vietnam are also represented, and constitute territories that may only be used by North’s forces. When a player activates some of their units (with a die roll and depending on their turn), they play an event card from their hand. The activated units then move and attack. Battles are resolved by special dice rolls, which determine enemy losses and the number of units that must retreat. If, at the end of any turn, the North player controls the Saigon province the game ends with a North victory. The South player wins by successfully defending Saigon for eight game turns.

We are coming, Nineveh!, the liberation of west Mosul by Iraqi security forces in 2017.

One of the largest and most difficult urban operations of the post-WWII era and the major defeat for Daesh and its so-called “Islamic State” relives in We are coming, Nineveh!, a tactical/operational-level game reproducing the Iraqi campaign to liberate the western area of the city of Mosul between 19 February and 9 July 2017. With a simple, intuitive, but highly effective system for movement and combat, Nineveh combines low complexity, being suited to even neophyte wargamers, with mechanics that really fit the theme.

In the game, one player assumes the role of the Iraqi security forces and the other the Daesh (also known as ISIS). They first decide on operational priorities. With their objectives established, they then select which additional capabilities they wish to bring to the fight. With more than four dozen different options - units, weapons, fire support, intelligence, advisors and training, defensive preparations, and more - each game will be different from the last. The zonal map depicts the major areas of west Mosul, including the densely-built Old City where Daesh forces made their last stand. The use of blocks maintains uncertainty and the “fog of war.” Cards are used to indicate defensive preparations, air and indirect fire support, special weapons, and various other capabilities. Each turn represents approximately two weeks of grueling combat.

Some of the Event cards of We are coming, Nineveh.

Game play is intuitive, engaging, and extremely realistic. Unlike most wargames where there is a single measure for victory or loss, the game assesses three key aspects of the campaign: the speed with which the operation is completed, the casualties suffered by Iraqi government forces, and the collateral damage done to Mosul. One might outperform the historical case, capturing the Old City faster—but at a terrible civilian cost. Designed by Harrison Brewer, Rex Brynen, Juliette Le Ménahèze, Brian Train, We are coming, Nineveh! game play is intuitive, engaging, and extremely realistic.

* This article was originally published by Game Trade Magazine, issue 275 (January 2023).

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