One Page Bulge (1980)

Steve Jackson Games has a long history of producing small board games. Before 1981, many of their games were sold in ziplock bags. In 1981, they launched their pocket box line, replacing bags with black clamshell plastic boxes called Pocket Boxes, because at 4×7” you could probably jam it into your coat pocket. They are cheap and flimsy and feel so very 80s. I kind of love ‘em.

Pocket Boxes generally contained a rulebook, a fold out map for the play board and sheets of cardboard chits that needed to be hand cut. Many of Steve Jackson Games’ best-known board games – Ogre, Car Wars, Illuminati – found themselves in the pocket box format at some point.

One Page Bulge (an unfortunate name for something you’re supposed to stick in your pocket), a lean and mean simulation of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, was the second installment in the Pocket Box series and is a typical, if not very flashy, example.

As far as wargames in the classic style, this one is pretty good, though I am saying that as someone who doesn’t really care for wargames in the classic style. Since the rules are only one page, they aren’t punishingly complicated and that simplicity masks a surprising depth. If you’re hankering for a nostalgic romp with cardboard chits with tanks printed on them and don’t want to block out a week of your life, try to snag this on eBay.

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