Strange Defeat: The Fall of France, 1940
Games You Can Play! series
List Price: $19.99
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In the spring of 1940, the French Army, generally believed to be the best in the world, again faced her mortal enemy, the German Army. With the last war scarcely 20 years past, this one seemed destined to develop along similar lines. British forces came ashore in strength and both nations made a show of cooperating. Few believed that Belgium could stay out of the conflict, but her leaders continued to act as if it was possible.
When the attack finally came, the speed and ferocity of modern warfare overwhelmed the Dutch and Belgian armies in the first few days and the French and British not long after. Air power, paratroopers and massed armor caught the Allies flat-footed and unable to effectively respond. In six short weeks two more countries fell under Nazi control, the French Army was defeated and the British ejected from the continent. None could have foreseen this strange defeat just a few short weeks before.
Strange Defeat is a sequel to Defiant Russia and Red Vengeance. Like those games, it's designed as an easy to learn, fun game. The map portrays the Netherlands, Belgium, western Germany and northern France.
Players control the actual units that fought in this campaign; most of them represent army corps with a handful of divisions. The typical Allied unit is as good as the typical German unit, and many of them are better. The German player must play to his or her advantages: an air force designed for tactical support, parachute regiments to assault key points, and concentration of force.
Like Defiant Russia and Red Vengeance, Strange Defeat isn't a very large game. The map is 34 x 22 inches, divided into very large hexes for ease of play. There are 140 playing pieces, and it comes in a small box that's easy to store. The game plays very quickly, concluding in about 90 minutes, with a minimum of charts and tables to consult. It's suitable for ages 10 and up.