Have you ever bought a wargame based on the weight of the box along, thinking that having 900+ counters and four maps must make it an awesome game? I thought this back in 1983 when I walked into the Complete Strategist and picked up a new copy of Victory Game's Gulf Strike.
Gulf Strike sets out to simulate modern combat in the Gulf region all "within" 360 minutes. It's been updated a few times and has been used to game every modern war have been fighting over there.
Back in late 1983, I was at the height of my wargaming and roleplaying life. I was 20 years old, earning a decent living and preparing to go off to college the next year. (I worked for a few years between high school and college.) I had a large collection of wargames from Avalon Hill, SPI, GDW, Victory Games, Games Workshop, and others.
Well, several times I tried to play Gulf Strike to no avail. I read the rules as best I could. I even set it up several times just to motivate myself, thinking that looking at it all ready to go on my game table in my room would do the trick. Never happened. I mean, come on. I was an SPI veteran! I played plenty of "Complexity 10" games like AH's Third Reich. I even "tried" Squad Leader! So Gulf Strike should have been a breeze. Nope. Never happened.
So what is the moral of the story, boys and girls? I don't know. Just last night at Cool Stuff I almost bought Federation Commander: Klingon Border. Almost. So maybe I did learn something 27 years ago? Nah, I doubt it.