Desert Fox: The Battle for El Alamein covers the World War II battles in the North African desert in the summer and fall of 1942. Players maneuver Axis or British Commonwealth forces of brigade and regiment sizes over a map divided into areas, with each turn encompassing a day divided into multihour impulses. The turn structure and the idiosyncrasies of the map make unit coordination a challenge, forcing gamers to carefully plan the sequence of movement and attack. Players can fight small battles, such as Ruweisat Ridge, or the entire El Alamein Campaign. The latter unfolds over a period of months divided into 14-day cycles in which players can choose to go on the offensive or disengage and refit. Combat results are influenced by many factors: supply, terrain, the use of combined arms, the presence of minefields, etc. Exploiting successful attacks with armored forces can dynamically change the tactical situation.
Desert Fox: The Battle for El Alamein is well adapted to the iPad, with crisp graphics, an easy-to-use interface, innovative game mechanics, and integrated help and historical information. Those looking for a new approach to war in the desert definitely should give it a try.
Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Jeffrey Paulding is a lifelong student of military history and science. He has been playing wargames since he was a child.
Originally published in the March 2015 issue of Armchair General.