The Art of Ambush! – A Comprehensive Guide to Winning the Game


Ambush! is a strategic board game that combines strategy, battle tactics, and luck. It is a solitaire game set in World War II, where the player controls a small group of American soldiers behind enemy lines. The game is unique in its use of paragraph booklets to generate unexpected events and enemy actions, creating a sense of unpredictability and suspense.

The equipment needed to play Ambush! includes the game board, character cards, counters, dice, and the mission and paragraph booklets. As opposed to a lot of combat-style WWII games (e.g. Fields of Fire), I find Ambush! a lot easier to pick up and play, especially because you can take your time with it being a solo war game.

Quick tip to win at Ambush! board game

Use the terrain to your advantage by keeping your squad in cover and out of line-of-sight when possible. Be patient and avoid rushing into potential ambush spots without proper reconnaissance. Keep your squad’s formation flexible and ready to react to contact with the enemy.

Rules for playing Ambush!

The official rules of Ambush! are designed to create a realistic and challenging game experience. The game is turn-based, with each turn representing a few seconds of real time. The player’s soldiers can move, shoot, or perform other actions during their turn. The enemy’s actions are determined by the paragraph booklets, which are consulted at specific points during the game. The player’s goal is to complete the mission objectives while keeping their soldiers alive.

While the official rules provide a comprehensive framework for the game, players may also choose to implement ‘house rules’ to customize their game experience. For example, some players may choose to modify the rules for movement or combat to increase the challenge or to better reflect their understanding of World War II tactics.

How to Win at Ambush!

Winning at Ambush! requires a combination of careful planning, tactical decision-making, and a bit of luck. Here are some strategies that can help players improve their chances of success:

  1. Know Your Soldiers: Each soldier has unique strengths and weaknesses. Understanding these can help you make the most of your team. For example, a soldier with a high shooting skill is best used in a combat role, while a soldier with a high stealth skill is better suited for scouting and evasion.
  2. Use Cover: The game board is filled with terrain features that can provide cover for your soldiers. Using cover effectively can protect your soldiers from enemy fire and give them an advantage in combat.
  3. Plan Your Moves: Each turn represents a few seconds of real time, so it’s important to plan your moves carefully. Try to anticipate the enemy’s actions and position your soldiers accordingly.
  4. Manage Your Resources: Your soldiers have limited ammunition and other resources. Use them wisely to ensure that you can complete your mission objectives.
  5. Adapt to the Unexpected: The paragraph booklets can generate unexpected events that can change the course of the game. Be prepared to adapt your strategy to these unexpected challenges.

Best Strategies for playing Ambush! game

The best strategies for playing Ambush! involve a combination of careful planning, tactical decision-making, and adaptability. Here are some strategic plays to aim for:

  1. Flanking Maneuvers: Try to position your soldiers on multiple sides of the enemy. This can give you a tactical advantage and increase your chances of hitting the enemy.
  2. Divide and Conquer: If you’re facing multiple enemies, try to isolate them and deal with them one at a time. This can prevent you from being overwhelmed by enemy fire.
  3. Hit and Run: If you’re outnumbered or outgunned, consider using hit and run tactics. Attack the enemy, then move to a new position before they can retaliate.
  4. Use the Terrain: The game board is filled with terrain features that can provide tactical advantages. Use these features to your advantage to ambush the enemy, evade pursuit, or set up defensive positions.

Scenarios for Ambush!

In Ambush!, players can find themselves in a variety of challenging scenarios. Here are some common scenarios and strategies for dealing with them:

  1. Outnumbered: If you’re outnumbered, consider using hit and run tactics or trying to isolate and eliminate the enemy one at a time.
  2. Outgunned: If the enemy has superior firepower, use cover and stealth to evade their fire and get close enough to attack.
  3. Behind Enemy Lines: If you’re deep behind enemy lines, stealth and evasion are your best friends. Avoid unnecessary combat and focus on completing your mission objectives.
  4. Under Fire: If you’re under fire, use cover to protect your soldiers and return fire to suppress the enemy.
  5. Wounded Soldiers: If one of your soldiers is wounded, get them to safety and use your medic to treat them. Remember, keeping your soldiers alive is crucial to your success.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing Ambush! game

  1. Q: How do I determine the enemy’s actions? A: The enemy’s actions are determined by the paragraph booklets. You consult these booklets at specific points during the game to find out what the enemy does.
  2. Q: What happens if one of my soldiers is killed? A: If a soldier is killed, they are removed from the game. You must then complete the mission with the remaining soldiers.
  3. Q: Can I play Ambush! with more than one player? A: While Ambush! is designed as a solitaire game, it can be played cooperatively with multiple players. Each player can control one or more soldiers.
  4. Q: How long does a game of Ambush! take? A: The length of a game can vary depending on the mission and the player’s strategy. However, most games take between 1 to 3 hours.
  5. Q: Can I customize my team of soldiers? A: Yes, you can choose which soldiers to include in your team at the start of each mission. Each soldier has unique strengths and weaknesses, so choose carefully!

Ambush! board game review [Video]

Buy a copy via Noble Knight Games