The Next War 1979 Intro (Full Version)

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Hellen_slith -> The Next War 1979 Intro (8/10/2019 11:33:25 PM)

I thought I would do another Next War and document my scattered thoughts about how I approach this scene. During my and Larry's last few tries at this game would CTD mid-move at various points, for both of us on different machines, both in the new beta "Expanded Next War" as well as in the original Next War ... at least on our Win10 machines.

So now that I have a nice fresh install of TOAW 4 ver. 2.0 on a Windows 7 machine, I thought I would give Mr. Cross's original another go and try to "recreate" the CTD in this Win 7 / ver. 2.0 environment (as opposed to the Win10 / ver. 2.1 environment where we had the CTDs)
And also to give some analysis of the scene from my PoV, and maybe some tips to encourage other people to try it. So, here goes!

I am playing the "non-Tension", vanilla version of The Next War 1979 (if you recall, there are two different versions, a "Tension" version, and a separate, "Sudden" version. I started a hot-seat game using the "Sudden" version)

Turn 1 for both WP and NATO is a "theatre option" phase w/ no movement. WP can only "Declare Hostilities" (no movement) during this phase at a 50 VP cost ... but why do that when, after NATO "phases" the game during its non-movement turn 1, WP can then declare hostilities on turn 2 without any penalty?

So: WP passes on turn 1, can MOVE his units and DECLARE during turn 2, and then start shooting on turn 3. Confusing, isn't it?

IOW, if WP wants to start shooting on turn 2, he must take the 50 point penalty by declaring on turn 1. Not a good choice for WP, b/c his units are all a good 50 km away from any engagement. Every WP shot on turn 2 is a wasted shot (unless he just wants to batter Berlin...but that just gives NATO the ability to respond with hot missiles and air strikes on Turn 2 ... so always better , IMHO, to only declare WP on turn 2 at the earliest. And not Austria until at least turn six. But more on that later.

Maybe this confusing S&T of the opening phase is off-putting and so making the scene less popular than say, FiTE and other scenes. Everyone wants to shoot the guns ASAP, and the "waiting" game is boring.

But it needn't be, b/c WP has so much to do. NATO, OTOH *has* to sweat it out an extra move, waiting for confirmation of where and how WP will strike.

Some folks like that sort of built in "suspense", others not so much. I can see how this scene can be an acquired taste, simply b/c of the nuances of turn 1, the suspense of when WP will declare, the inability of NATO to be sure of what he must do in defense.

But this is what makes the scene so unique, too, and changeable. OK, recap of the Turn 1 "options" phase appears below. In my next message I will go over some basics of what I think NATO needs to do during its one chance to move before WP actually starts shooting.


Zovs -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/11/2019 11:33:52 AM)

Thanks just that post makes me want to give this a go.

Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/12/2019 1:07:01 AM)

Before I show what I did w/ Copenhagen and Denmark, I wanted to document how I often break down the LARGE Soviet units, esp. when they appear "overstacked" w/ a yellow or orange button, even with only that one unit in the hex.

So, below is the area around Wittenberg and Stendahl, w/ the 2d Guards Tanks getting ready to roll into WG ... on the "before" section, you see my representation of the orbat and how the divisional size single chits for Armor and Infantry are already too many folks for that 14km hex size.

In the "after" section, I have split the two div. size tanks and the two div. size infantries into THREE subunits each ... then I stack one tank subdivision w/ one infantry subdivision. Resulting, in total, six "stacks" where there were once four chits.

I also show that I always try to also "task" at least three air units at the nearest AFB (in the after pic, the MiG21, Su17, and Su19) and I set their range to only that area I expect this 2d Guard Tank Army to operate in for the next three or four turns. The SF force unit will hop around using their helo transport when the time is ripe for it to carry out its mission (taking one of the BRHD hexes if / when the time comes.) So, this is from Soviets midway through turn 3 and still no crash, despite my messing around trying to make it crash. So far, so good!


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/12/2019 11:19:41 PM)



Thanks just that post makes me want to give this a go.

Thanks for the kind words!

Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/12/2019 11:22:29 PM)

NATO T3: Denmark

The scenario notes state, iirc, that Denmark is usually a lost cause ... if WP is determined to take it, that is. What to do as NATO? You subdivide as many Danish civilian units as you can, post them at as many essential "points of entry" as you can, and hope that your air forces shoot down any paratroopers attempting an air route.

Shown here is Denmark after I have subdivided most of the civilian units and posted them at either point objectives or ports of entry. Next turn I will probably move more toward Copenhagen, b/c Copenhagen must be defended at all costs (if it doesn't surrender first).

Note, the blurb says 10% chance of Danes surrender if ANY HEX w/in 10 hexes of Copenhagen is occupied by a WP unit. Not sure if that includes naval units occupying a naval hex w/in 10; I've never seen the event triggered like that, but it does at least seem to imply occupying a port w/ a naval unit. I'll try to trigger that event when I get to the point of trying it.

If the Danes can survive, later in the game they can be used to harass WP rear areas and / or Lubeck area via seaborne operations. So you want to keep the Danes if you can, if only for harassing WP later in the game.


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/13/2019 10:40:46 PM)

beginning of WP T4

Another reason perhaps for not so much interest in this scene, is its wild variability. I made a serious miscalculation w/ NATO on their turn 3 b/c I thought I still had one more move to set up ... come to find out that I really DID declare hostilities on turn 3, so now WP can cross the border / start shooting.

I had made Hamburg an "open city" in the hopes that I could rail French forces to help behind the Elbe River there, but they've decided to stay in their have the Italians (Italians will be released if war is declared on Austria, but that won't happen until very late in the game, if it all).

SO now its up to the US / WG mostly. In this screen you see the results of my subdividing a lot of those Soviet units and getting them on the front line. I'll start by wiping out the WG navy, getting a WP marine unit close to Copenhagen, and launching massive airfield attacks against NATO w/ SCUDS and Soviet bombers.

The EG units are still effective as defenders, they're just immobile now. Of course, I'll take out Berlin and see how far west I can push the Soviet tank divisions. Lots of opportunities for the Soviet SF units to take out rail and hold back NATO reinforcements that have been caught flat footed.

Still no crashes!


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/14/2019 3:44:34 PM)

@ beginning of NATO turn 4

NATO has weathered the initial WP onslaught better than I expected. I almost always declare Hamburg open, b/c NATO cannot defend all of its points ... it has to sacrifice something, and it might as well be Hamburg to allow all the WG units east of the Elbe to move behind the river and defend from there (after blowing the bridges in Hamburg). Still, WP has managed to get one unit across the Elbe already, so that area is going to have be reinforced by the Dutch (now that the French won't go there).

WG did a lot better, too, defending. Now its up to BAOR to hold the line until I can get some Belge units moved up a bit. This is going to be tough to do, without giving WP the opportunity to hop SF or paratroops behind the line.

For the Danes: I have to destroy that WP marine unit that helo'd into w/in 10 hexes of Copenhagen. If they remain, then the 10% chance will be checked. Not sure if that is a continuing check, or a one time check, but either way they have to go.

I still hold the French and US sectors of W Berlin, but they will be overrun next turn barring a miracle. Should I try to disband those FR and US units in W Berlin? That seems a bit gamey, but wouldn't that put their resources back "into the pool" instead of being destroyed? Not sure.

NATO air losses are running about 2 for every 1 WP plane. Did better with that than I expected, too.

Now its my NATO turn to lay down some Pershings on WP airfields. If BAOR doesn't hold, I might need to spin up Operation Unthinkable and use some tactical nukes to slow down the WP steamroller.


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/18/2019 2:30:25 AM)

midway through WP turn 5:

The Danes managed to destroy my exploratory Marines, so they continue to soldier on for now.

One thing about this scenario is, the situation briefing ALWAYS says that game should end on turn 35. This is not so. The game will end following 17 turns of combat action. In this game, since I "declared" as WP on turn 3 (I think), the game will end on or around turn 20 or 21.

Only if the WP player uses the full "Tension" ride of 17 turns setting up before combat starts, THEN the game will end on turn 35.

Ok, that's another nuance about this scene that can be confusing.

ANYWAY ... since the French are laying out, my usual technique of using French units to reinforce the west side of the Elbe River is hamstrung. So now the WP has made more progress than usual up north ... and I have landed a WP SF unit on the closest supply point up there.

Had I defended Hamburg instead, the WP would have made more progress against BAOR.

Be that as it may, the game remains a draw at this point, w/ WP needing about 300 points for the marginal victory.

As it is now, Berlin is about to be overrun, which will free up more WP resources.

Let's hope NATO gets some solid REFORGER soon. Otherwise, they will have a hard time retaining a draw.


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/19/2019 5:44:39 PM)

midway through NATO turn 5:

I see from my bombing run against that WP SF unit that the French and Italian AF are helping out, so that's something ... and that I have better luck taking out WP AF in the air, rather than bombing their airfields. So I'll do more bombing runs and try to take out more WP air units.

I can't move up the Dutch / Belge because they're watching the rear area BRHD and REFORGER hexes that are essential to NATO. Mostly just digging in, hoping to hold back the WP steamroller.


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/23/2019 11:36:08 PM)

@beginning of WP turn 6

With WP Air Superiority of 132 to 7, I tried an airdrop into Netherlands.

The Leeuwarden hex is just at the perimeter of the 8 hex radius for a check on Dutch surrender. Not sure if that hex will trigger the check or not.

WP has repaired two of the three main bridges in Hamburg, and the RR repair units are close behind. Still a draw, though. This north area has become the main push. Fulda and the south area are farther behind this northern thrust.

Looks like the Danes will soldier on, unless I can take Copenhagen. I think I'll just keep them penned up and focus on WG / NL for now.

If I recall, REFORGER forces show up more in the south / south central, so this northern area is pretty weak for NATO (esp. since the French and Italian ground troops still have to remain within their borders.)


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/26/2019 5:28:57 PM)

WP turn 7:

The Netherlands pushed my SF unit off of Leeuwarden, so I don't think I got the possible surrender calculation. No matter; at the least those paratroops will tie up some Dutch units for a while.

In addition to pestering the Dutch, WP needs to occupy a "BRHD" hex for 100 points.

My closest SF unit for that is still two hexes too far away for helo transport through the gap in NATO lines. Occupying one of the Rhine cities (or a BRHD hex) will get me 100 VPs. Maybe on turn 8 I can get there ... but by then, NATO will have closed off the seams that WP helos can use ... they can't fly over occupied hexes, only through seams.


larryfulkerson -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/27/2019 1:51:38 AM)

WTF does BRHD stand for?

Curtis Lemay -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/27/2019 2:18:40 AM)


ORIGINAL: larryfulkerson

WTF does BRHD stand for?


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/27/2019 2:48:26 AM)

at the end of WP turn 7

Here we see a huge undefended area just east of the Dutch border. That's where some French should be right now, but they're not going to activate until WP invades French territory.

The hexes with the red stars are some of the BRHD hexes. All I need is ONE of those, and that's 100VP for the WP. I just need to get a little closer to be able to get some Special Forces on one or more of those (using helicopters). I might try to paradrop, but those usually are not very reliable. They get shot down real easy.

Plus, I'll try to get at least some anti-air onto those hexes while I'm doing NATO turn 9. Hope I get some REFORGER!


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/28/2019 1:33:05 AM)

NATO Turn 7:

From the looks of the reinforcement schedule, I won't be seeing any REFORGER units. BAOR and the Dutch are going to have to hold the line and await their reinforcements.

Nuclear weapons are not really an option for West Germany in 1979 (irl) and plus, it costs too many victory points for little gain in the game. So that's out.

BUT, if WP takes a BRHD hex France will activate. If WP approaches too close to France, France will activate. With that in mind, I'm retreating WG and Dutch to behind the Rhein in the North. That undefended area doesn't have hardly any VP anyway.

USAEUR and Central / South WG will hold their positions and hope for the best.


StuccoFresco -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/28/2019 5:03:31 AM)

How is the air war going?

Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (8/28/2019 6:39:10 PM)

NATO midway in t7:

Air War is currently WP near total air superiority, but by running bombing runs against WP ground forces by NATO, I find that NATO escorts can shoot down MIGs etc. with better success than by airfield attacks. I still have 9 rounds of combat available during this NATO T7, so I will do more bombing runs, esp. with more air power in the NATO reinforcement schedule coming up.

Some back story about my moniker "Hellen": when I served w/ US 2AD "Hell on Wheels" Armored Division back in 1984 (in 502AG), we were required to respond to Officer commands not with "Yes, SIR!" but w/ "Hell on Wheels, SIR!" and b/c of my hillbilly accent, it came out "Helen Wheels, SIR!" and ever since, my battlefield call sign has been "Hellen" .... ANYWAY

Shown below is the French "stop line" -- where WP will trigger activation of the garrisoned French forces:


StuccoFresco -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (9/2/2019 7:28:14 AM)

Funny story about the nickname!

Maybe the airfield strikes aren't effective because of WP's neat AAA/SAM defenses?

Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (9/2/2019 11:13:00 PM)

Midway through WP T8

Pic below is w/ "Fog of War" off so you can see how thin NATO is b/w Hamburg and Amsterdam. I managed to land quite a few paratroops around Amsterdam.

Also decided to go after Copenhagen, trying to get both Denmark and Netherlands surrenders. I want to stay away from France and keep them out of the war.

Still a draw and still pretty static down south, but this northern area is going to be overrun, looks like. Not sure if that will be enough for a victory, we'll see. There are still 12 or so turns remaining for NATO reinforcements. If they survive the dice rolls for surrender, they may still hold a draw with any luck.


larryfulkerson -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (9/2/2019 11:35:18 PM)

Here's another load of humvies being delivered to a forward area.


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (9/6/2019 7:10:30 PM)

LoL at first, Larry, I thought, "Why they shoot that turtle out the back?" I guess that's the parachutes.

Here at beginning of NATO turn 9:

Netherlands and Denmark are soldiering on, but they are in bad shape. I sent the Soviet SNGF group north to take Denmark. Since the Rhine is so hard to cross at the Dutch border, I think I'll swing those westernmost WP forces down toward Essen now.

So, NATO is in a bind ... BAOR is getting hammered now and will have to retreat to Essen area.

For Italy, I've always been kind of torn about the Caribaneri forces ... in the old board rules, it was kind of unclear whether they would participate. On the one hand, it says they need to stay in Italy, on the other it says they might operate on their own ... and since France is being so recalcitrant, I'm going to go with them operating independently and swing them up into Essen / Netherlands. Got to do something to try to salvage this NATO disaster!

If the WP gets enough points for a marginal victory, I will unleash the atom just to see how it do. Finally got the US 4th Mech on the ground, sending them to Amsterdam.


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (9/7/2019 11:16:09 PM)

Midway through NATO T9, here is a screenshot of another aspect of Next War I really like: the air war. And one that I do NOT like (as NATO), is those danged SCUD missiles.

One of the most useful units of WP is those damned SCUD missile sites. They give a HUGE boost to WP defense capabilities.

So, I tried to take out a SCUD site by sending in 39 Brit "Hunter" FB. They were escorted by over 200 various fighter escorts.

WP answered w/ over 200 interceptors. Results shown. I got a whopping TWO scuds. But, at the same time, took out 69 MiGs for 62 or so of my various fighters. And lost 2 of the Hunters. I guess they Kamikazi'd into those two scud launchers. Good job, Chaps. Progress.

Also, note: YOU CAN SORT the loss reports by icon, equipment, or # engaged, by clicking on those labels in the loss reports. You can sort a lot of stuff in a lot of different reports by clicking on the white labels. Re-sort / re-set the report by clicking the labels again. Here is the screenshot:


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (9/8/2019 4:05:26 AM)

at the end of NATO turn 9:

250 WP aircraft lost to 175 NATO lost, and I will slowly gain more NATO air power over the next few turns, so that's good.

Below is shown the Fulda Gap and southward; with limited attacks, I have been able to keep the WP back.

Important to maintain mobility for NATO, as the blurb from the original tabletop rules explain in the boxed text (screenshot from the original "situation breifing" for The Next War)


StuccoFresco -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (9/9/2019 6:02:53 AM)

Are you planning to move south from Osnabruck to try a flanking attack to Bielefeld? The latter seems well defended from the east.

Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (9/10/2019 12:01:33 AM)


ORIGINAL: StuccoFresco

Are you planning to move south from Osnabruck to try a flanking attack to Bielefeld? The latter seems well defended from the east.

Yes :) but those Brits are tough, they held ... so far. Still a draw, but WP just keeps getting closer to an inevitable victory. Only 9 or 10 moves to go, but they will get it sooner or later. Meanwhile, looking through the old board rules, I found a little blurb for justifying some nuclear action. NATO will lose anyway, might as well go out in style :) LoL

The Rhine is pretty solid, except for A BRIDGE that SOMEONE forgot to blow up. Italians Carabineri is now in / around Amsterdam, so Netherlands is pretty solid. But, there are just too many points left in Denmark, and around Essen, and elsewhere that just cannot be defended. Without the French, it is really really hard to even draw w/ NATO.

Here is map at beginning of Nato turn 10


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (9/10/2019 8:20:54 PM)

Well, this one escalated quickly. Last turn w/ WP, I accidentally went through a "BRHD" labelled hex (bridgehead) but did not stop on it, hoping the French would not notice.

French noticed. They activated. And Praha turned to ash.

So now, if I can airdrop the 1st Fr. Airborne into Praha, the Czechs should surrender.


Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (9/10/2019 8:56:13 PM)

Beginning of NATO turn 12:

France has joined the war. Copenhagen will fail next turn.

By points ... it is still a draw, barely (until Copenhagen goes). So, as NATO, I guess my best bet is to get French and US commandos behind the lines and into Praha and hope to get the uprising and removal of Czech troops from the map.


StuccoFresco -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (9/11/2019 5:46:49 AM)

Will the WP retailate with nuclear attacks on its own?

John B. -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (9/11/2019 5:14:53 PM)

I'm impressed at the Danes holding out for so long! It does tie up some of the forces you could have been using so it helps, a little, off set France's late arrival.

Hellen_slith -> RE: The Next War 1979 Intro (9/11/2019 5:56:59 PM)

Yes, the Danes were tough, it took me three turns to get into and hold Copenhagen once I got the forces built up there, but now that the Danes have surrendered, the WP will hold off on nuclear retaliation. I just threw in that bit b/c the board rules seem to hint that France will use the atomics as a last resort ... but it didn't help at all, it just gave the WP a free 100 points. I should have held off on those, but I thought I might be able to get into Praha that way. Maybe I still can.

WP now holds a solid marginal victory, and there are about 5 turns to go now, so the only thing now is to try to get the higher victory levels (and, as NATO w/ France, try to regain a draw or at least keep the marginal defeat.)

Looks to be a hard thing to do, there are still the second echelon forces of WP 150% supplied and ready to throw into the line, and I may even be able to rail up the third echelon for the last turn or two.

US Marines are "needed elsewhere" now, so France is pretty much on its own to hold Essen and help South Germany. This is the map after WP turn 14:

PS: no crashes have been experienced at all during this game. By saying that, I call upon the TOAW furballs and any Foo-Fighters to make their appearance now, or forever hold their peace :) This game has been solid, despite my efforts to crash it.


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