- Game Equipment
- One 22" x 34" map sheet
- 400 die-cut half-inch counters
6 hours to play
- Game Scale
- 6 km per hex
- 1 day per game turn
Warasaw pact units are "regiments" 3 to a division (doesn't fit there table of organisation of 3 mech and 1 tank regiment). Nato units are brigades (except for US 11th armoured cavalry regiment which is split in two and airmobile batallions).
- Tripwire - a 7 turn scenario simulating the first week of The Next War assumes the Soviets are successful in their attempt to achieve a surprise attack. NATO units start the game in their barracks locations.
- Advanced Warning - a 7 turn scenario simulating the first week of The Next War assumes the war begins after a short period of rising tensions, allowing NATO to begin a partial mobilization and redeployment of forces.
- D+7 - a 7 turn scenario simulating the second week of The Next War, based on either the 'Tripwire' or the 'Advanced Warning' scenarios. The Forward Edge of the Battle Area (FEBA) and initial losses to the forces are determined randomly.
All scenarios may be combined with any or all of the following variants:
- Campaign Game - a 14 turn 'Campaign' scenario simulating the first two weeks of The Next War, based on either the 'Tripwire' or the 'Advanced Warning' scenarios.
- Soviet Main Effort - additional Soviet units are available at the beginning of the game: 3 motor rifle divisions, 1 artillery divisions, 2 artillery regiments and supply units.
- Warsaw Pact Disintegration - assumes the break up of the Warsaw Pact, removing all East German and Polish forces from the game
- NATO Disintegration - assumes the break up of NATO, removing all French and Belgian units from the game. West German HSK territorials start the game fully mobilised, and the US 1st Armored and 1st Mechanized divisions are available at the beginning of the game.
Warsaw pact nuclear strike, move, attack, move. Nato repeat. With overruns during each movement so there are many opportunities to break a defensive line and exploit the gap you just made before the other side can react.
Order of battle
7 Nato divisions + 6 reinforcements face 13 Pact divisions + 7 reinforcements. East and West Germans, Belgian, British, French, US, Russian, and Poles.
Combat resolution uses odds ratio and a combat results table. Regular combat results are mostly retreat points which mean less in rough terrain. Units normally only die when surrounded. This shows the mobility of the mechanized defenders. Marginal overruns and accelerated assaults can be expensive to the attacker but may break the line.
Attack helicopters, air mobile infantry battalions, airborne and supply dumps. Variety of aircraft types from SU7 to F111.
Refugees slow Nato movement early on.
Untried units roll to find their strength in their first battle, the all professional British turn out well.
Chemical warfare helps the Warsaw pact in combat but slows movement.
Air units have to trace a path through the SAM defences, fly through too much flak and you can't bomb as well or take hits. Nato's Nike/Hercules fixed sites cover the whole board, corps air defence reaches out 48km and each brigade reaches 6km.
Supply must be traced to corps/army dumps which can move. Pact troops can rely on the load they carry in their vehicles reflecting the reliance of western armies on firing amunition to save lives.
Nukes can be delivered by ballistic missile, artillery or air. Electronic warfare may land them at the wrong point.If a friendly unit spots for the nukes they get some radiation. A full strength ground unit will likely survive a nuclear strike but take damage. Radiation lingers in the target hex.
Cut off units can hedgehog losing their ZoC but doubling defense.
Divisional integrity doubles strength as every brigades artillery is in range. Favours keeping brigades of a division together which is common practice in the military.
Nato gets replacement points reflecting their large logistic tail. Pact units can amalgamate.
Disengaging from a ZoC is done in lieu of combat and can be painful.
Soviet doctrine forces them to advance to the west in early secondary movement phases. May stop close envelopments of Nato units following a breakthrough in the regular combat phase.
With many unit types and subsystems this is a complex game but more accurate because of this.
The amount of warning Nato has, destroying the enemy, Warsaw Pact crossing the Rhine, Nato leaving the East edge, using airpower, occupying airbases and control of a north-south autobahn provide victory points.
By the same designer, Fulda Gap has a less datailed air battle, and no fleets, weather, fatigue nor special forces. The Next War covers a larger area, more troops and more time and takes 50 hours to play.
Hof Gap, Fifth Corps, BAOR, North German Plain, and Donau front are a series of games at the battalion /regiment scale, 4km hexes and 12 hour turns for the same topic
Moves Article Index:
- Number 30, December/January 1977