Raid on Iran (1981)

The first game issues in Steve Jackson Games’ pocket box format was Raid on Iran. Hoo boy, this game.

The game is based on Operation Eagle Claw, one of the first Delta Force missions undertaken by the U.S. Army. The goal of the mission was to end the Iran Hostage Crisis and rescue the embassy staff held in Tehran. It was an exercise in poor planning and worse luck, which resulted in the deaths of eight US servicemen in a helicopter crash. The mission was aborted before any rescue attempt was made. It was a debacle through and through.

I was a year and a half old when Operation Eagle Claw occurred in April of 1980, so I can’t speak to the zeitgeist of the time, but nearly forty years later, Raid on Iran strikes me as being in rather poor taste. Released just months after the incident, the game is a what-if that allows players to simulate the tactical combat and rescue effort that might have taken place in the embassy had the US military gotten soldiers on the ground.

It must have done well enough, since the Pocket Box version is a second printing from 1981 (the first was packaged in a ziplock bag), but I don’t know. The 80s were weird, man.

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