Iran Attack: The board game

By Nathalie Rothschild, November 17, 2011

Can't wait for Israelis to make their mind up about how to deal with Iran? Now you can take command of the Israeli Air Force and plan the obliteration of its nuclear facilities - all from the comfort of your own home.

Persian Incursion, a strategic war game, lets players explore the political and military ramifications of an Israeli military campaign against Iran.

"It's extremely complex," says co-creator Larry Bond. He was recently invited to teach the game to a group of marines in the intelligence training unit of the Quantico marine-corps base. "They were mystified," he says. "It was a very steep learning curve for them."

The board game comes with a 42-page rule book, a briefing pamphlet with background information on Iran's nuclear programme and the Israel Defence Forces, plus a set of target folders with Google Earth images and detailed descriptions of the various locations Israel could potentially hit in an attack on Iran.

After testing the game, Military Times editor Michael Peck said it "gives the average citizen a chance to step into the shoes of Israeli decision-makers. It's one thing to listen to an expert on TV explain the consequences of a war. It's quite another to actually plan that war yourself, and appreciate all the complexities and consequences of a conflict."

In addition to gaming enthusiasts, publishing company Clash of Arms sees policy and military professionals as a key target audience for Persian Incursion. Publisher Ed Wimble claims high-profile Washington DC think tanks are using the game to appraise the situation in the Middle East.

As of yet, no games have been dispatched to Iran or Israel but Mr Wimpler suspects customers with Arab-sounding names using forwarding boxes have shipped games on to addresses in the Middle East.

Mr Bond insists the game can be used to model realistic scenarios, but adds: "As God is my witness I don't want any of the events of this game to come through!"

Last updated: 12:47pm, November 17 2011