The Plot To Assasinate Hitler is a work of abstract art
in the lengthy gallery of wargaming history
. It hangs on the wall, full of vivid colors, breaking new ground, casting a long shadow, challenging the viewer. But is it playable?
PtAH was published in Strategy & Tactics #59 by SPI, in November 1976. Designed/Developed by Dunnigan/Simonsen. Virginia Mulholland wrote the historical article The Plot To Assasinate Hitler 1940-1945.
This was another attempt by Dunnigan to make a conflict simulation that was not actual warfare. (The earliest example would be Up Against The Wall, Motherfuckers!, his simulation of the student riots at Columbia in 1970.)
PtAH certainly looked like a wargame. It had the tyical hex-based map. It had the square chits with numbers on them. It even had locking ZOCs! But the units did not represent tanks or planes or platoons -- they represented members of the German elite.
Or more properly, the influence those members of the elite had within society. During WWII, civilian leaders, Abwehr (army) officers, Nazi party members, OKW spooks, and Schutzstaffel (SS) soldiers all felt something wrong was going on, and joined the game. But historically, most conspirators, like Rommel, were cornered, neutralized, and removed from play.
The game is one of the quintessential "what if? games. Can you, the gamer, manuver so as to kill one of the most hated men in history? Dunnigan posted to Usenet that, although PtAH got low ratings, there was always a core of about 25% of all respondents who loved the game. Sounds like abstract art, to me...