Next War: Korea, the first of a planned series of Next War games, allows players to fight a near future war on the Korean peninsula. In this updated and improved version of the previously-released Crisis: Korea 1995, players have access to virtually all military assets of North and South Korea, as well as large forces from the USA and the PRC. The integrated, easy to learn air-land combat system allows for unit efficiency, armor effects, light infantry, attack helicopters, Close Air Support, Cruise Missiles, and the particularly tough terrain of Korea.Standard & Advanced Rulebook
Make no mistake: Next War: Korea is not an Introductory wargame. Rather, they have intended herein to create a system (and a series) that will allow detailed study of modern warfare in various venues as well as engaging gameplay. That said, the Standard Game rules encompass a fairly straightforward ruleset that will, we think, be considered pretty "easy to learn" by experienced wargamers. So players who choose to play Standard Game scenarios can have a relatively quick game when that's what suits them. The real flavor of a war in the theatre, though, comes through in the Advanced Game, where you get much more control over airpower and can more clearly see each side's strengths and weaknesses. For players who want a "mini-monster game" experience, playing the Advanced Game Campaign Scenarios with some or all of the optional rules will definitely "deliver."
So their hope is that they have created a game with enough variety and scaling of complexity that you can find an engaging and maybe even enlightening experience whether you want to play a fast two-player game, a longer monster game, or an ongoing solitaire study.
Ground units in Next War: Korea represents primarily divisions and brigades of armies of North and South Korea, The United States and her Allies, and the People's Republic of China. All ground units are rated for their attack and defense strengths, movement capabilities, and unit efficiency.
Air units represent fighter, bomber, and attack squadrons of the major combatants and are rated for All-Weather Capabilities as well as their range, average pilot skill, and their abilities in Air-to-Air Combat, Close Air Support, and Strike missions.
Naval units and capabilities are abstracted somewhat in the Next War series. A "Sea Control" mechanism reflects the results of the surface and sub-surface battles, while the game's naval unit counters represent the major Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups of the US Navy. Additional amphibious capabilities are represented by the Special Forces capabilities of each side.
Maps and Terrain
The game's two maps present modern-day Korea at a scale of roughly 7.5 miles per hex. The maps cover the entire peninsula east-to-west and stretch from about 30 miles north of Pyongyang and Pusan in the North to Taegu in the south. Hexes are larger than the standard 1/2" hex found in Crisis Korea: 1995, allowing us to use larger 9/16" counters in this game and make it a bit easier for players to move game pieces in the congested areas around the DMZ.
As in Crisis: Korea 1995, there are two types of game turns: Initiative turns (longer turns where the side with the Initiative has more opportunities to move and attack) and Contested turns (shorter turns where neither side has the initiative but each is trying to muster the resources to regain the initiative). Thus the inherent "initiative player advantage" built into the game system incents each player to always be thinking about how to seize and maintain the battlefield initiative.
There are several Standard Game scenarios. The first three one mappers, "Seoul Train," "Uijong Blues," and "East Coast Highway" (North Map only) cover the first week of the war by dividing the DMZ into roughly three equal sections. These focus on the initial assaults to break the South Korean lines and introduce players to the basic mechanics of the system, while giving them insight into attack and defense strategies for the "big game." Players can also play the entire DMZ front scenario, "Militarized Zone," (North Map only) for the first week (basically, combining the three scenarios above). In addition, players can add the South Map and play the entire Standard Campaign game, "All In." One other scenario is provided which examines the U.S. Amphibious landing. "Inchon Again." In addition, a scenario, "They Did What?" is provided for players to experiment with a South Korean attack on North Korea without, however, the help of the United States.
The Advanced Game Scenarios come in three flavors a la NATO: The Next War in Europe: Strategic Surprise, Tactical Surprise, and Extended Buildup. This offers the players the ability to game out a variety of "At Start" war scenarios based on varying levels of readiness.
There is also an International Posture Matrix a la Flashpoint: Golan to allow players to experiment with a variety of intervention options for the non-Korean players in the region.
Notes for Players of Crisis Korea: 1995
The Next War series is heavily based on the base system and rules pioneered in Crisis Korea: 1995, modified and enhanced based on additional testing and development over the past 15+ years.
In Next War: Korea, the Korean Peninsula is on fire with two of the world's most well-prepared, antagonistic forces arrayed against each other. Can you, as the North Korean People’s Army commander, conquer the South in 3 weeks before the full might of the U.S. can be brought to bear? Can you, as the Republic of Korea’s Army commander, hold out against the renewed Communist assault until help arrives? And what will China do? There’s only one way to find out.
Game Specific Rulebook
1026 9/16" counters
Two 22x34 inch Mapsheets
5 8.5x11 inch Play Aids
2 11x17 inch Play Aids
One 10-sided die