Alternative Titles/Edition History:
Derived from materials originally published in Critical Hit Magazine "Operation Compass" Special Edition (1999).
Critical Hit (2016)
Country of Origin:
9 12" x 18" heavy paper glossy map panels, 2 11" x 16" heavy paper unmounted geoboards (L, M), 5 scenarios, 2 pages rules, 1 play aid (on back of folio), 368 die-cut counters
Everything old is new again, goes the old saying, and in no context is that more certain to be true than in the context of Critical Hit, whose business model is based on constantly renaming and re-releasing its catalog of products, even its least successful products. And that neatly brings us to Beda Fomm (BF), which is a recycling of material originally released way back in 1999, in Critical Hit Magazine’s “Operation Compass” Special Issue. Fifteen years later–an infinity in terms of Critical Hit recycling, which gives an indication of how relatively unpopular this product was–parts of the product were recycled in the 2014 release Graziani’s Advance, which itself was a supplement to Critical Hit’s extremely short-lived Desert War: 1941 module.
BF is yet another recycling of those parts, though not all the same parts. So as to avoid complication, it is given a “new” entry here, even though it is a retread. The original CH Magazine Beda Fomm had around 19 scenarios; Graziani’s Advance redid 8 of them. Beda Fomm has fewer still: only five (which are not the same scenarios as in Graziani’s Advance, however).
CH Magazine Beda Fomm came with a 22″ x 30″ historical map. Graziani’s Advance came with no map at all, only overlays, which were to be used on the desert geoboards that came with Desert War: 1941. BF tries to recreate the original historical map, albeit far larger in size, using 9 12″ x 18″ glossy heavy paper map panels that must be assembled to form the map area; experience has shown that trying to arrange more than 4 such panels is a pain. Note that the size of this map is larger than will fit on many gaming tables.
BF also comes with 2 11″ x 16″ unmounted heavy paper geoboards (L, M), which are used for the recreation of some of the original Beda Fomm scenarios that themselves used geoboards.
Of the 5 scenarios in Beda Fomm, 3 use the historical map and 2 use geoboards. The latter pair are relatively small affairs (one, for example, pits 10 Italian AFVs against Australian forces of 1.5 squads, 1 AFV, and 3 AT guns). The three historical map scenarios are larger, featuring considerable numbers of men and vehicles. The OBs are essentially the same as in the original 1999 versions, with minor tweaks, and additional changes to VC and SSRs. Ostensibly the three scenarios can be played together in a rudimentary mini-campaign, in which wrecks, etc., are left on the map; the winner of 2 of the 3 scenarios is the mini-campaign winner.
There is a single page of rules, most of which is simply Chapter H style write-ups for some Italian trucks.
The counters are mostly not needed and, indeed, were not created for the game, but are rather excess Graziani’s Advance countersheets thrown in.
The asking price for Beda Fomm is $69.95, which is very expensive for five reprinted scenarios. The large map drives up the price. The original Operation Compass issue of Critical Hit Magazine is typically available on E-bay or through other sellers for around half that price.
2019 Update: In 2019, Critical Hit offered for sale, separately, a “Monster Map” version of the map of Beda Fomm, i.e., the original map artwork with larger hexes, and an “Uber Monster Map” version that offered an even larger-hexed version of the map (indeed, impractically large). Oddly, the larger Uber Monster map was priced at $59.95 and the smaller Monster Map version was priced at $64.95.