(2-player, operational, WW2)
Falaise Pocket is a two-player World War II game of strategy, simulating the German attempt to escape the encirclement in the Falaise area by allied formations. The time is mid-August, 1944, and the allies (British, American, Canadian, and French troops) are trying to "pocket" as many defending German formations as possible. This game is part of the "Battles for France" series of games being published by Minden. The object of the game is for the Germans to evacuate as many units as possible from the pocket area, while the allied goal is to prevent this.
Falaise Pocket Zip Edition comes with a 12-page illustrated rule booklet, an 8.5" x 11" mapsheet, a set of 56 color, thick-card counters (uncut), and Reference Card. The game uses a straightforward sequence of play, with units rated for attack, defense, and movement. A "differential" Combat Results Table is used. The hexagon map represents the rough/bocage area of the campaign, at a scale of about three miles to the hex. Each turn represents one day, starting at August 17, 1944. Units represent divisions and brigades. The rules cover standard procedures such as movement and combat, but also deal with options covering allied airower, attack supply, German fuel shortage, weather, strategic movement, and more.
The game is won or lost by how many German units can safely exit the map to the east. The design uses a bidding system, which self-balances the combat situation which saw the Germans heavily at a disadvantage. Players bid on how many German combat factors they think they can exit; high bid plays the German, with the bid being the number of Victory Points he must get to win the game. Overall, the design delivers a lot of play value and rewards sound tactics.