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The Pentagon Game
The Pentagon Game
by Infinity Communications Ltd (1972)
Player Count
2 to 4

Playing Time
2 hours
  • Wargame
  • Vietnam War
  • Designers
  • (Uncredited)
  • Rating: 8/10 from 1 users


    The Pentagon Game is a simple wargame on the Vietnam War. The four players (rules are also provided for two or three) represent the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), South Vietnamese Army (ARVN), Viet Cong (VC), and the US Armed Forces. There are also civilian units. The map shows North and South Vietnam plus adjacent areas on a square grid.

    The system has more of the flavor of an abstract strategy game than a typical wargame. Units have low movement allowances (1 or 2), although regular armed forces can move greater distances by road or rail. Combat is deterministic.

    Some of the VC player's units start mixed in with the civilian units, only he or she knowing which ones they are. To fight, they must be revealed. The US and ARVN players can attack civilians if they think they are VC, but if they are wrong the VC player gets to add more concealed VC to the game. If the VC/civilian ratio becomes too skewed the ARVN player is out of the game.

    The goal for the NVA and VC players is to occupy a certain value of cities on South Vietnam. The US and ARVN players win by either occupying enough cities in North Vietnam and reducing the VC level, or by eliminating all overt VC units and clearing South Vietnam of NVA units.

    There are some additional game elements, such as a deck of event cards which can be drawn in lieu of one's turn (or if an incursion of Laos occurs), reinforcements, and the possibility of Chinese Army forces entering.

    The game is packaged in a red folder which pretends to be a CIA briefing folder. In addition to the game rules, the booklet inside the folder contains "briefing" materials - a time line of the Vietnam conflict, analysis of the phases of insurgency, and a (somewhat satirical) glossary. Attached to the folder are a counter sheet containing 782 counters (all the same color), a map, and a sheet of 28 event cards.

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