The Sands of War Expansion

The Sands of War Expansion built on the successful Sands of War game, which itself was an expansion of the First Battle series begun with Team Yankee in 1987 by GDW. Like the original game, the expansion is an anthology in that it covers a wide time span, with scenarios ranging from the Second World War to then-contemporary Gulf War settings. The common theme addressed by the anthology is mechanized warfare in the deserts of the Middle East.


A limited number of new rules were added in the expansion; Escarpment and Rubble terrain types, with a mechanism for creating rubble during play, and Amphibious Assault Vessels were included as a new vehicle type.  Steve Keifer noted in his review of the expansion for Fire & Movement that "GDW didn't tinker with the original game system and I applaud them for that. They included errata for four of the original scenarios and some minor rules errata." Keifer's opinion was that there were some obvious rules omissions and inconsistencies but that "(n)one of the rules ambiguities affected my enjoyment of the game".1


Eight new scenarios for the game were included, in addition to modifications to the existing scenarios of the initial Sands of War game. Three come from the Second World War, one involves Israeli and Egyptian troops, and four from the Gulf War of 1991.

  • The Battle of Beda Fomm (6 February 1941)

  • The Battle of Bir El Gubi (19 November 1941)

  • The Battle of Sidi Rezegh (22 November 1941)

  • South of Sheikh Zuweid (5 June 1967)

  • The Battle of As Salam (25 February 1991)

  • Al Jaber Airbase (25 February 1991)

  • Kuwait International Airport (27 February 1991)

  • Beachhead Kuwait (24 February 1991)

Map 17 Map 18 Map 19 Map 20


Sands of War is a successful refinement of GDW's First Battle system. The Sands of War Expansion Kit can only be used with the original Sands of War game...


There are eight new scenarios. They cover subjects that were neglected to some degree in the original. Two 1941 battles, Beda Fomm and Bir El Gubi, introduce the Italians...The Six Day War was short-changed in Sands of War with only to scenarios - the Expansion remedies this with Sheikh Zuweid, as the Israelis attempt to clear a section of road...


Three of the new Gulf War scenarios feature the U.S. Marines. If you think the Iraqis are easy meat, try the Kuwait International Airport scenario. The Marines are hard-pressed to demoralize the Iraqi formations holding the airfield in eight turns...A fourth Gulf War scenario depicts an action involving French and U.S. Coalition forces on Desert Storm's far left flank.


The Expansion Kit also comes with a set of campaign game rules, just in case you've played all forty historical scenarios to death and want more. These provide the framework to fight a series of scenarios on tactical map sections linked in a tactical campaign...2


Fire & Movement

No. 82 Sep-Oct 1992 ►"The Sands of War Expansion Kit" by Steve Keifer (Review)


  1. Keifer, Steve "The Sands of War Expansion Kit" Fire & Movement, No. 82.

  2. Ibid.


The Sands of War Expansion

Developer: Frank Chadwick
Publisher: GDW
Date of Release: 1992
Scale: Squad level
Players: 2
Campaign Type: Linked scenarios
Components: ► 4 unmounted 11" x 17" maps
► 11" x 17" campaign map
► 16 page rules and scenario book
► 1992 errata sheet for The Sands of War
► 350+ 1/2" counters
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