Monday, 27 August 2018

Connections UK: Operation Vijay

I will be attending Connections UK again this year ... and my offer to put on a session at the Game Fair on Wednesday 5th September has been accepted! I will be running OPERATION VIJAY, which is about the Indian invasion/re-integration/liberation* of the former Portuguese colony of Goa in 1961.

The brochure for the Games Fair was published over the weekend, and my session is described as follows:
Goa (and several other smaller enclaves) had been a Portuguese colony on the Indian mainland since the early Voyages of Discovery, and after India had gained independence, the government saw it as a priority to re-integrate the colony into India. This had already happened in Hyderabad (successfully) and Kashmir (unsuccessfully).

In 1961 the Indian Armed forces were given the go-ahead to invade/re-integrate Portuguese-held territory into India but it had to be completed within 48 hours. Resources were made available, and planning began. Once the plans were completed and approved, the invasion/re-integration went ahead.

All this took place against a backcloth of inter-service rivalry and very poor intelligence. There was no guarantee of success, and any of the service that failed to achieve its part of the plan was likely to see less funds being allocated to them in the future.

Outside of India, Operation Vijay is little known. As such, it is a very useful tool for those wanting to see the interaction between military and political constraints in an environment that is very different from that the players are used to and within a strict timetable. Although the Indian Armed Services still retained a very British outlook and organisation, they were already beginning to develop their own traditions and modern military history.

The players will take on the role of senior officers of the Indian Armed Services, one being the overall service commander and the other the officer responsible for enacting their service’s part of the plan. The game will begin with a detailed briefing, followed by individual services producing their hour-by-hour plans. These will then be brought to the table and integrated. The format at this stage will be a committee game with elements of Matrix Gaming.

Once the final overall plan is agreed, it will be moved onto the map, with (where possible) hour-by-hour bounds being used. At this stage the game will have moved into a more ‘free kriegsspiel’ format.

Map of Goa. Click on the map to enlarge it.

* I have seen this operation described by writers as an invasion, a re-integration, and a liberation. The choice of which word to use usually depends upon the writer's point-of-view and nationality. I tend to use the word invasion because in my opinion that is the easiest term for players to understand.


  1. I hope the session is well recieved Bob. Although, having played the game at Sheffield, I'm pretty sure that it will.



    1. Pete.,

      I think that it will appeal to the attendees who want to take part in a session that is a bit different.

      I always feel sorry for the Portuguese defenders. They did not stand a chance, especially in the face of the stupid demands made upon them by Lisbon.

      All the best,



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