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Go to the Operation: Maccabee page

Operation: Maccabee

27 out of 29 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ve played tons of games, but very few fully cooperative ones. They don’t seem to be the most popular style of board game – at least among my friends; I’m just going off of personal experience! I am a huge history buff and love any game that has to do with World War II. However, I often wondered was there another angle to play a World War II game and I found it in Operation: Maccabee. Operation: Maccabee is about the horrible acts inflicted by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. This is a topic rarely addressed by lame stream media in a way that is appropriate for children. It can be especially difficult for children to process the information – not just the facts, but the reality of what actually occurred.

First things first I needed to find players who wanted to play a cooperative game and not try to kill me as a goal of winning the game. Being that my friends are all competitive I couldn’t ask them, so I asked my fiancé and her kids if they wanted to play.

With that we opened the game, and we played it that night, although the game is not difficult, it is best to review the rules to get the feel of how the game will flow. The artwork is actually really good, the style of the artwork is realistic and easy on the eye. My favorite part of the artwork would be the texture some of the paintings, the texture of the grenade, on the grenade card, looks like a grenade, the texture of the boots, on the Movement Cards, make them look like combat boots, the wood texture on the Secret Maps card, looks like wood. It is from an artist by the name of Cliff Cramp and in my opinion is a great artist, not too many can pull of textures and make them look realistic.

Rules: Each player leads a squad of commandos to liberate concentration camps and the player who rescues the most prisoners is the winner of the game, it’s that easy. The game comes with everything you need to play: 1 game board; 1 Assault Area, contained in the top of the box; 2 dreidels; 8 USA commandos; 8 UK commandos; 8 USSR commandos; 8 French commandos; 9 Nazi guards; 30 Action Cards; and 11 concentration camp tiles.

Playing this game was great and we all had fun spinning the dreidles and killing Nazi’s. One thing I did like was the use of dreidles instead dice that is a great and innovative way of using Jewish history. They game play is very interesting, it is a two part game, part board game and part dexterity game. The game play starts by spinning the dreidle, with the result of what you spun being the number of movement points you get for your current turn. Depending your movement points can be 4, 3, 1 + Action Card, and 0 with a Possible Nazi Ambush. Nazi Ambush will occur if your marker is in a red hex when you spin the dreidle and get the symbol that gives you a 0 movement, you will also get one of your commandos wounded. The red hex represents Nazi patrols. Movement on the hex board is quite simple, for example entering a forest hex cost 2 movement points, clear terrain hex cost 1 movement point, entering a mountain hex cost 3 movement points, and crossing a river hex cost only 1 movement point, but you need to have a raft action card. The best part about movement points is that if you have wounded commandos you can make your way to a resistance camp and enter it for 1 movement point, and have a chance to heal 1 or 2 of your wounded commandos. Once you make your way to a concentration camp and wish to liberate it from Nazi control, the fun begins by moving to the inside of the lid of the box with the Nazi Guards on them. From there you spin the dreidle to see if you can knock out any of the guards, once the dreidle stops you reference the symbol to see how many more guards you might of knocked out as well. It could be 2, or 1, an action card, or the commando you use might get wounded. The fun part of the game is using the action cards, such as the grenade, where you toss the dreidle like a grenade, or the Sniper card, where you use the dreidle as a sniper bullet. I took the first couple of wings, but once my fiancé and her kids got the feel for the game they caught on quickly and I had a run for my money.

Cons: One of the cons is that the cards are very hard to shuffle, and my copy had a warped hex board, and the pieces are quite small for an adult to handle

Even with those cons, I still recommend this game if you have little ones who want a game that won’t take an hour to set up or 2-3 hours to play. It is also fun for adults as well. This game has won a place in my Top 10 board games of all time!

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