In an industry that cranks out new, slick-looking rules-sets faster than most people\'s pay checks can handle, few wargames are as interesting, clever, and seemingly less-likely to succeed than Ambush Alley. Yet despite its lack of pretensions and its standard pdf format, the game is worth every penny of the $20 asking price.

Although most people would probably describe Ambush Alley (AA) as a “modern wargame,” this is slightly inaccurate. In reality, it is a game that depicts the struggle between modern armies and insurgents, irregulars, and criminal gangs. While this may deter some players, it is this decision that makes AA a truly unique game.

Unlike most wargames that pit two equal armies against one another, the scenario driven AA rarely, if ever, sees balanced forces on the tabletop. Instead, one player controls a few squads of regular soldiers, while the other controls a horde of irregulars that is being constantly reinforced. If it sounds a bit like colonial wargaming, let me assure you it is not. In fact, it is almost the exact opposite. In AA the regular forces always have the initiative and they had better use it. If they stop moving and take up a defensive position, they will quickly be overrun. The regulars\' strength lies in their ability to move around, destroying isolated groups of insurgents before they can link up. The longer it takes, the worse off for the regulars. It is as close as you can get to recreating the movie Black Hawk Down on your tabletop.

Ambush Alley gets my highest recommendation. While the game can be played at any scale, the authors obviously lean towards 15mm. Before I got this game, I never considered buying 15mm figures, and I certainly wouldn\'t have thought to individually base them. Now, I have done both. With 15mm figures, I have been able to buy large forces cheaply, construct lots of terrain quickly, and with a 2\' x 2\' table-size, I can play a game on one end of the kitchen table.

At $20, Ambush Alley is one of the best value purchases in the wargaming community. Pick it up from their website