Ambush!: steamy sex games by Tony Carnevale

I’ve hoarded stacks of solitaire games, and I want to play them. One of these is Ambush!, which I tried once, years ago, quickly realized I was Doing It Wrong, and flipped the table.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Damn dude, this thread is so in my wheelhouse that it has literally turned into a boat and is sailing away. Bye, S.S. Awesome Thread! Come back soon!

I too went through a phase of buying single player board games, or maybe I should say that I expect I will stop doing this someday and maybe then I can look back in it as a silly little phase. I’ve got some cool little sci-fi gems like The Vesuvius Incident (which I haven’t played because you have to cut out all the little pieces, I mean come on) and naval fun like Nemo’s War and Blackbeard. And some of my regular multiplayer board games have single player variants that can be kind of fun, like Merchant of Venus and Pandemic. Nearly bought the Fallout board game because I heard it has a cool single player variant.

But Ambush! Well, that’s kind of the white whale isn’t it? One of the big early ones that I’ve always heard about but never got a copy of my own. Maybe now it’s time to see what’s happening on eBay, I’m sure the wife won’t mind.

I loved Ambush! when I was a kid. Amazing to think that it’s an early-80s design.

Lovely investigative journalism, by the way. That was $11M of my Patreon donations well spent.

Where will you urban-explore next?

Character creation is not setup, it’s gameplay.

Know what Tony? I’m on board with this. That means that the time I spend list building in X-wing is time I’m playing the game. Which is much better than the relative paltry amount of games I get in a normal month. I can play the game all day, with zero setup!

Ok so on to the topic of doing it wrong ™ last week some friends came over for a game night. They brought Pandemic, which I am not really a fan of. However it was their new game and they’d been playing it a bunch, but always loosing. They hoped we could help break their streak.

We lost.

Now I hadn’t played it in 5-6 years, but after we ran the draw deck down we were trying to figure what we could have done better. We had been very effective, managed to keep contagion under control (until a triple outbreak from Shanghai to Hong Kong hit) and it just didn’t seem possible to clean up all the virus cubes in time. We had eradicated blue and black viruses quickly, the quarantine specialist really helped when a cluster of 4 got dropped into the Middle East during setup, and had cures for yellow and red just before the deck emptied, but clearing was going to be impossible.

Now some of you probably already see the problem. But, not having the game myself, I was fuzzy on the rules (normally I am the game decoder, as it is usually me who introduces games) so I was looking up strategies. I found consensus was 4 player was generally harder, some roles are required for 2, but with 3 it’s the sweet spot. Someone had compiled data on some 2000 games, and posted percentages. The win rates seemed impossibly high. How are they getting 70%+ win rates?

Then I saw it. Number of eradications was listed. Huh, that’s funny, didn’t you need to… oooohhhhh. You just need the cure. We had actually won, and eradicated two viruses in the process.

No wonder they hadn’t won!

I played the Fallout board game two player on Friday evening. I made some rules errors so I’ll need to play some more to really nail down what I think of the game. But, from what I’ve seen it totally works as a solitaire experience.

Tom Mc

Ambush! is my favorite boardgame of all time, to this day. It’s not perfect, but it comes really, really damn close to everything I want from solitaire narrative and squad tactics.

I had ’ Computer Ambush’ by SSI for the apple 2e…i loved that game…it required imagination back then…I played vic morrow and I still have the box/discs/manuals…good times

Wow, jealous! We played Computer Ambush also, on the Commodore. It did require some imagination but didnt they all at that time.

Ambush! is no relation to Computer Ambush, of course. It’s like regular Steve Jackson and British Steve Jackson.

1983? There’s no way this game is any good.


I owned this game. And lots of AH and other games including speed circuit, luftwaffe, panzer leader, squad leader, kingmaker, car wars, melee/wizardry, DnD 2nd ed, Up Front, and so many more. And then I went to college and my parents threw away all of the boxes I had packed for storage. I’m still crying.


It’s ok, I’m adopted.

43 West 33rd Street? Huh. The original Compleat Strategist was half a block away on East 33rd. (Pause for Google). Wow, they’re still there, too, at 11 E 33rd.

This article is so good how do I donate the author geekgold here?

I hope for Tony that from this day on, anyone googling his name will end up on his association with steamy sex games as a top result.


Tony isn’t even on Twitter. Dude sucks at social media and online foruming and stuff like that. Every now and then he’ll email me his response to what someone on this forum said, and the whole time I’m reading it thinking why are you sending this to me when you could post it on the forum and I would read it there?

In other words, just tip me all his Geekgold, because he wouldn’t even use it. I doubt he even knows what a microbadge is.