From: Washington D.C.
Anyway...what are your thoughts on all this?
Whew! That's a really big coalition (on both sides). My own preference is to think smaller at first, and then build from there.
2025 is only 7 years out. It's a long time in terms of the world, but not an eternity either. Rather than building a coalition and then trying to think of a reason for them to fight, I've found it's easier to study a possible conflict and then the coalition tends to evolve naturally the more you study it. It helps a lot to just look at a map and see what nations are nearby. They'll always be the most concerned for a lot of reasons, and influence everything from overflight rights and basing, to the distance scale and types of aircraft that matter. A-10s for example, don't make a lot of sense in the South China Sea without a ton of tankers to support them. I know, it's unoriginal, but it saves work and actually (hopefully?) helps make the scenario shed some light on current events. Most wargames are contrived, but going about it this way helps make it less so.
If you insist, however...
Something involving Oman could be interesting because it's far away from both China and America, so it could potentially be stressing to both Chinese and American long ranged aviation. Both sides would have to use foreign bases in the region in order to make use of their tactical aircraft. Split loyalties among long time regional allies might make some bases unusable, or perhaps result in denied overflight rights. Oman is also on the edge of DF-26 range. Oddly, it's also within range of Saudi DF-21s, so the Chinese might see some of their own export arms shot back at them, depending on how things shake (sheikh?) out with them. Factions in Oman are supported by Iran, but other factions are not and are more aligned with the Saudis and the US. If China decided to ship arms to Iranian backed Omani factions, America and its allies would be opposed to those shipments. That'd form the context for your Command scenario. The difficulty with it, is that it'd be a "Cold War" sort of scenario, where it's hard to imagine US and Chinese forces actually coming into direct conflict. US naval and air forces might be devoted to monitoring the Chinese presence, and there might even be some sort of show of force, but I expect on both sides there'd be efforts to avoid escalation. If the US forces attacked anyone, it'd be the forces aligned with the Iranians equipped with Chinese and Iranian export arms, but it might be more likely a Saudi fight. The other thing I like about an Oman conflict, is that it is not something that either country cares super deeply about. That means the conflict is likely more limited both in terms of the size of the force in conflict, and in terms of it not being likely to quickly escalate past the nuclear threshold. Chinese support for factions in Oman probably would not be something they care so much about as territorial integrity (as they would in the case of the South China Sea or Taiwan) or the regime's unchallenged legitimacy. Similarly, I doubt America would ever have so much invested in the outcome of an Oman conflict that they wouldn't be willing to negotiate some sort of political settlement. Arriving at that might be complicated, but it'd serve to make things more constrained as well.
For the purposes of forcing the conflict, though, you might consider a direct intervention by the Chinese in Oman. Truthfully, I can't think of any reason why they'd actually do that, but for the purpose of a game, go for it. Maybe in 7 years they'll want to put a naval base there. Maybe they'll send their carrier group or other aviation (land based tactical aircraft? bombers? where? why?) to provide support to the factions aligned with them.
NATO nations really can't stay neutral if the US is actually attacked by another nation. If the US invoked Article 5, they're obligated to help.
I also think a lot of this stuff doesn't really matter in Command unless is inspires interesting tactical problems. Remember, Command models the kill chain not geo-politics or complex logistics trails spanning the globe. While all that stuff provides context, it isn't really a scenario yet. You have to transition from the political/strategic level, to an operational level and say, "the political leaders want to do X, military forces can help accomplish that by doing A, B, and C." Then the next leap you need to make is, "Because the military forces are trying to do A, that means these guys are going to attack/defend this stuff."
In the US/China conflict in Oman, it's possible to imagine lots of scenarios:
1) US carrier strike group with or without an SSN versus the Chinese carrier group (or maybe leave out the carriers and let the SSN do it by itself!).
2) US expeditionary strike group engaging in forcible entry operations in Oman to establish a forward operating base (FOB) on land.
3) Container ships carrying arms to the Chinese backed factions, escorted by Chinese surface combatants might be attacked with by US SSNs. It's important to note, however, this scenario is probably a stretch, because most international merchant vessels fly flags of convenience and are owned by multinational corporations, so it's very hard to really justify these kinds of attacks on merchant vessels.
4) SOF insertion or pick up, to stealthily (or not) insert or recover advisers sent to assist one of the factions.
5) US Marine Corps aviation and artillery (HIMARS w/ATACMS? Saudi DF-21s?) operating out of a FOB in Oman attacking Chinese backed Omani forces infrastructure defended by Chinese SAMs (and maybe land or sea based aviation, depending on what the distances are?)
6) US defensive air and SAMs (Aegis, Patriot, THAAD) defending against Chinese aircraft and ballistic missiles attacking airbases/FOBs or ports where US ground forces are expected to debark.
That's just what I'm thinking off the top of my head. I'm sure we could come up with more if we thought about it. If you stick with the Oman thing, though, consider coming up with a campaign timeline that starts well before the onset of war and starts with the forces that are initially in the region, their build up, describes how the war starts, works through the various phases of each side's plans (e.g. Phase One: Take down the IADS and the air force, Phase Two: reduce the navy to XX%) and ends with what each side considers "winning." That'll help you think through the overall logic of the conflict, and also help inspire some scenarios. If, at the current phase of the plan, the Chinese or Iranians are trying to attrite the US Marines and/or Army to a certain level, then you might want to make a scenario where USMC F-35Bs, and SAMs supported by an Aegis SAG defend a FOB with infantry barracks, artillery and HIMARs launchers from H-6 bombers, tactical aircraft, cruise missiles and DF-26 missiles.
I hope this gets your juices flowing...
< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 12/21/2018 3:32:11 AM >