Games – American Heritage Games

In the early to mid 1960s, Milton Bradley came out with some interesting games all marketed under the label of American Heritage games. These were all war based games and at the time were very popular. Unfortunately, they drifted off into obscurity and are now some of the rarest games around if you can even find one. Collectors are getting a mint for some of these.

The series started in 1961 with the Civil War Edition. This game was a very scaled down Civil War battle game. Each side had only 22 pieces consisting of 10 Infantry, 10 Calvary and 2 Artillery pieces. In order to do combat with an enemy piece you had to line up your piece adjoining it in some way, either side to side or facing the piece. Also, in order to defeat the piece you had to have superior battle strength. Infantry and Artillery had the greatest strength of 2 and Calvary had a strength of only 1. You could combine your pieces in any way but in order to attack with Artillery you had to have a Calvary piece with it. To remove a piece you jumped over it, except Artillery pieces did not jump. The game was won by removing all the pieces of the other side. However, your opponent could surrender if he felt there was no way for him to win.

The next game in the series was the 1962 edition of Broadside. This was a game that was probably based off the old wars between Britain and Spain during the pirate days, though no actual description of a timeline is given. The object of the game is to position your frigates in such a way as to take shots at your opponents ships and knocking out one of its masts. There are also land based cannons that can attack enemy ships so getting too close to land can be very dangerous. The game itself is not very complicated and honestly not all that interesting either, but it does contain some really cool miniatures that you can play with and the board is very colorful. Not one of Milton Bradley's better efforts.

In the year 1963 the American Heritage series continued with Dogfight. This was a World War I air battle game between the American and German air forces. The game is a very light version of WW I air combat and not for really serious gamers. Each side gets 6 planes divided into 2 squadrons of 3 planes each. You have to try to maneuver your planes around so that you can get a clear shot at an enemy plane without getting shot yourself. For each plane you shoot down you get a token. These tokens are used to get cards. The player with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.

The final game in the series was Hit The Beach. This game came out in 1965 and was a WW II edition of the marines landing at the Japanese beach. In this game both players are the Americans and the object is to be the first side to reach the Japanese HQ. The Japanese defense forces are obstacles to both players in this game. In this game each player has 6 pieces composed of 2 Marines, 2 Infantry, 1 naval landing support ship and 1 strategic air support aircraft. If when moving your pieces you land directly on an opponents piece, you send that piece back to the start. This is ultimately how you become the first one to reach the Japanese HQ. This was probably the most interesting and exciting of all the American Heritage games.