Dien Bien Phu isn’t just an important battle, it’s a great wargame setting

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What’s a Dien Bien Phu and why should a gamer care? Let Bruce Geryk deftly explain. His new series examines boardgames set in the pivotal engagement of the First Indochina War. Bruce humbly calls it a “wargaming documentary” and beyond just a neat lesson about what makes Citadel, Frank Chadwick’s 1977 game of the battle work, (or not) Bruce supplies historical context for the game’s systems. As he explains, the actions of the real-life forces should inform the game’s mechanics. It’s a history lesson disguised as a boardgame review!

None of that has anything to do with Dien Bien Phu games, except that it explains why the events on the board had the repercussions they did. Which is important, because the absence of this context is what I think deprives many good games of the satisfaction of closure. At least games about a single battle.

Bruce Geryk’s five-part series will continue on Wargame_[space].

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