Slouch Hats and Eggshells: The Allied Invasion of Syria & Lebanon - 1941, recreates the World War II campaign in French-held Syria and Lebanon, historically from early June 1941 through mid-July 1941. One player will control the Axis forces (Vichy French, French colonial troops, and Germans), while his opponent controls the Allied forces (British, Commonwealth, Free French, etc). The playing pieces represent the actual units that participated in the campaign and the map represents the terrain over which those units fought. The players maneuver their units across the map and conduct combat according to the rules of play. One player wins by capturing certain specified objectives while his opponent wins by avoiding those victory conditions.
When Free French leader Gen. de Gaulle visited the Middle East in April 1941 he forced a political crisis by demanding the occupation of Syria. As a result London ordered an offensive to place all of Syria and Lebanon under Free French control. Sadly, such posturing caused Allied command staffs to hold unrealistic views of what the ensuing occupation would look like. Certain authorities believed the Vichy French in Syria would offer only token resistance and their defense would collapse like an eggshell. The thinking held that Vichy forces could be won over with wine and coffee along with displays of the Australian slouch hat. Instead, the Vichy-led troops fought ferociously from the start.
Players should feel free to combine play of this game with that of Rommel's War, published by L2 Design Group. Both games include the same historical moment, have identical scales, and have some of the same historical units. It is natural that players would want to explore more historical alternatives with combined play. To facilitate such game play, this game uses many of the same rules, charts, and tables found in Rommel's War.
Game Turn: 10 days
Hex: 10 miles / 16 kilometers
Units: Company to Brigade
One 22 x 34" full color map
Two dual-side printed countersheets (96 - 0.6" & 20 - 1.2" counters)
One 28-page rulebook
Two 4-page Player Aid Cards (CRT/TEC, etc)
Four 1-page Player Aid Cards (Turn Sequence, Set-up, Counter Information)
Two 6-sided dice
Seven plastic storage bags
Solitaire Playability: Medium-High
Complexity Level: Medium-High
Players: 2 (or medium high solitaire)
Playing Time: 4-6 Hours