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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro

 
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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/12/2019 1:17:25 PM   
Hellen_slith


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NATO T15:

Despite dropping over 500 KT of nuclear ordnance on Praha, that little Czech armored division there remains at 100% health. It just won't take damage.

But, I found that I forgot to defend Plzen, which is another "revolt" city for NATO to target, so I dropped Fr. airborne there and got the Czech uprising, but WP put it down. Only 15VP and WP shock penalty for one turn as a result of that.

I also managed to get Belgian paratroops into Frankfurt o.d. Oder, which is an Polish "revolt" city, but the uprising did not trigger. Dice roll went the other way.

Only four moves left, I think. WP has this one sewn up. NATO air superiority is now about 2:1, b/c of all the French Mirage being released, I think. I shot down five Czech "furballs" during the paradrops (over 500 planes lost for WP that turn!!)

I also got some US III Corps reinforcements and sent them to Essen area. The front is pretty well static now, so I expect a WP "marginal" victory.





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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/14/2019 2:12:26 AM   
Hellen_slith


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Pact turn 16

Here we have a MASSIVE combat report. It goes on for another dozen or so lines beyond the screen shot. Note esp. the East German aircraft supporting the battle (East Germans are garrisoned ... but the garrisoned aircraft units still fly if they were set to support missions at the outset of the game by the computer.)

Same thing happened w/ garrisoned French and Italian aircraft. Just an interesting note of that. The NATO loss report is sorted by most units engaged. NATO took a lot of losses from the battle, but the unit abides even though Soviet SF blocked retreat.

It is still a WP marginal victory with only three turns to go. Not enough time to get third echelons up to the front ... I should have railed them closer sooner.






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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/15/2019 12:45:12 PM   
Hellen_slith


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NATO 16

A WG Destroyer unit that was around Denmark has broken through the Pact naval blockade and managed to steam into an enemy port with 30% health remaining. It might not survive counterattack, but at least it might tie up some Pact forces.

If I can find other Pact cities that are en prise, maybe I can find some NATO units to paradrop and try to claw back a draw. At the least, NATO will try to disrupt movement and supply to prevent a Significant Victory by Pact.

Another reason I like this scene so much: nearing the end of the game, things can get mighty interesting for both sides!





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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/15/2019 1:49:43 PM   
tyronec


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Can it be surrounded with 3 ships and chased out of port with any small land unit ?

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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/15/2019 3:39:28 PM   
Hellen_slith


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quote:

ORIGINAL: tyronec

Can it be surrounded with 3 ships and chased out of port with any small land unit ?


Yes, as shown below. There is a land bridge b/w WG and Denmark from which land units can attack sea bound units, too (if they have the range).




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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/15/2019 10:17:17 PM   
Hellen_slith


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NATO 16

Pact still has a marginal victory, but they are closing in on Essen area which has a lot of points available.

Going to send all the French that way to try to push them back. Having to fight the paratroops that got too close to Amsterdam sapped a lot of NATO's firepower.






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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/16/2019 2:50:16 PM   
Hellen_slith


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WP near the end of T18 (one round of combat left to do on this turn, then three more moves left for both WP and NATO)

Pact units have finally entered the city of Essen area ...

Still a marginal victory. I need 250 more worth of blue points to cross the significant threshold.

Not enough in that area. Will try whatever paratroops I have left and try for as many open blue points that I can find.

NATO managed to get 50 points worth of undefended red points way back in the backfield via Fr. and Canadian paratroops.

In the final stretch now ... looks like marginal for WP. Hard to get the WP third echelon up on the line without leaving red points open for NATO grabs.








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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/16/2019 11:37:23 PM   
Hellen_slith


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Pact beginning of T19

Easy to forget about those key cities in the east ... I was so focused on trying to get into Essen, I forgot about Gorlitz. Canadian paratroopers swooped in, passed the check for incitement, but insurrection failed. Result: 15
permanent VP for NATO and 25% shock on WP this turn.

All American 82 Airborne is on the map now, too. Means Pact has to secure its rear areas or NATO is just going to keep picking away.






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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/25/2019 8:06:33 PM   
Hellen_slith


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NATO end of turn 20

The scenario ended at the end of NATO's turn #20 since Pact declared hostilities on turn #3 (scenario ends 17 turns after Pact declares war). Had I declared war on turn 1 as Pact, the scene would have ended when NATO ended its turn #18.

In this hot seat game against myself, I got as far west as the Rhine (in the north) and was just on the verge of entering Essen proper when the game ended. Marginal Victory for the Warsaw Pact.

This is my favorite scene b/c I used to own the original board game (and even managed to play a turn or two moving all those counters around LoL took me literally a week or two just to figure out the rules, place the counters on their starting spaces, roll dice and check combat tables for the simplest of moves.)

The only reason I bought TOAW:ACOW was to play The Next War! I had started with TOAW:II but can't remember if it came with the Next War. If it did, that's why I bought it. And here I am! Still playing TOAW and still playing Next War.

Very fun scene. [edit: the Win10 issue has been documented. Any CTDs you may experience while playing Next War are the result of a Win10<>Next War interaction burp, IMHO. This scene is SOLID. I have played it dozens upon dozens of times over the years. I suggest that if you use a Win10 platform, set TOAW4 to Win7 emulation for this one and be careful with scrolling the map while having a naval unit selected. Thanks are due to tyronec to pointing this out.]

If you play on a dedicated Win7 platform, you should have no issues. I had no CTDs during this session w/ same despite trying my best to make it crash.]

Win10 has issues with this scene, particularly that it does not like it when you have a naval unit selected and then scroll around the map...that sequence of events to cause the CTD on Win10 has been recreated at least twice on different Win10 machines. Win7 runs it fine...

If you have a Win10 machine, it may work all right in Win7 compatibility mode but be careful about selecting naval units and then scrolling the map. Or at least make a save file before you do your naval. Ok, well, that's it for this report! Thanks for reading and happy gaming!! Victory shot and final map below:






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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/26/2019 4:14:16 PM   
John B.


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Thanks for the AAR. Very interesting!

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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/27/2019 4:12:05 PM   
Hellen_slith


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quote:

ORIGINAL: John B.

Thanks for the AAR. Very interesting!


Thanks for the kind words! And special thanks to Mr. Cross who designed such a fun and challenging scenario! It really does capture the feel of the original board game.

I am currently playing another go at it against tyronec and will post an AAR for that game too. I would be very interested to learn tyronec's thoughts about the scene. I have rarely had the chance to play it PBEM (had a few games from the old Blitz ladder some 15 years ago or so, but for the life of me I cannot remember any of them.) T, shall we do an AAR? We're half way through (on turn 10 now) and our game should finish at the end of NATO turn #18, since I declared on turn 1 I think.

I'm Pact in that one and hold a draw @ the beginning of Pact T10.


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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/28/2019 11:14:38 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

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Can you do a "review" on the scenario based on the AAR? How difficult was for each side, possible strategies, etc.

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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/28/2019 2:20:15 PM   
Hellen_slith


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quote:

ORIGINAL: StuccoFresco

Can you do a "review" on the scenario based on the AAR? How difficult was for each side, possible strategies, etc.


Sure, be glad to. I'll break it up into three sections: a general overview / review, then two separate sections for strategy and tactics: one for NATO and one for Pact. Overview follows; S&T for NATO/Pact are in the following two posts.

OVERVIEW

I would say that Mr. Cross's The Next War 1979 is one of the more challenging scenes. It is hypothetical but dwells in a sort of nether region between complete make believe and historical fact. Recall that in 1979 there was a Cold War with much sabre rattling between the US and the USSR. They would soon go to war by proxy in Afghanistan. So the board game on which the scene is based was timely. It was one of those monster games that I was fortunate to see in a game store in 1979 and I bought it at the time. That wasn't my first board game--I had subscribed to Strategy & Tactics magazine since about 1974.

I never really got to play the board game; I only managed to set up most of the air war and a few ground units and got through maybe four moves before I had to tear down the set-up I had in a spare bedroom. Over time I lost the game, so I was very happy to find it in the TOAW:II disc I bought some 20 years ago (I think it first appeared with TOAW:II, not sure.) I know it was in ACOW.

The best thing about the scene is its very well constructed event engine. Mr. Cross really captured the feel of the board game by including so many variations that can occur from the very first moves. It seems like the game never plays the same way twice. Some of the Pact countries may not participate, as happened with East Germany in this AAR. NATO too has that same variation; France and Italy were only in it for part of the AAR. I can't do the math exactly, but the number of different ways that this scene can start ... simply due to the Pact "Tension" choice, the Austrian option, and dice rolls for both sides w/re/to supply, reinforcements, and participation ... it must be somewhere around at least 20 factorial if you include the "Tension" options (over 1000 trillion possible variations).

That is a LOT of variation and is what makes the scene constantly re-playable. I estimate that I have enjoyed many hundreds of hours of entertainment playing this scene solitaire off and on for 20 years. To this day, I still learn something new or find some different kind of strategy and tactic.

I think it is best played as PBEM. Next best is solitaire. I think the PO is only lacking because of the complexity of the game--Elmer simply cannot take into account the nuanced strategies that a fleshly player will use. It is a complex scenario with a fair learning curve. It can last anywhere from 18 to 35 turns, depending on how long the Pact player rides the "Tension" option. NATO always moves last -- the game ends 17 moves after Pact declares hostilities.

The next two posts are possible strategies: one for NATO one for and Pact.


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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/28/2019 2:22:36 PM   
Hellen_slith


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STRATEGY: NATO

Playing NATO is a challenge. As in the board game, NATO will spend most of its time digging in but should not attempt to build a "stand fast" line all along the front. NATO must choose to defend certain key points and abandon other areas--what those points will be is up to the player and is also another factor in the variability of the game. Forces must maintain mobility if at all possible and avoid being drawn into prolonged entrenched fighting unless absolutely necessary.

Offensively, NATO must take advantage of every possibility to grab one or more of the key cities that may trigger insurrections in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. If successfully triggered, insurrections will take Red chits off the board and impose shock penalties on Soviet forces. If those key cities are well guarded by Pact forces (and they better be, or Pact will have some nasty surprises) then NATO must use its special forces and airborne units to wreak havoc in Pact rear areas ... disrupting supply lines and railroads and keeping the Pact looking East instead of West.

NATO has to defend its own key cities, too: the "BRHD" hexes (bridgeheads over the Rhine which give Pact 100 VP if crossed by a red chit) and the essential REFORGER hexes (I think those are Kaiserslauten and ... I forget the other one.) If Pact takes a REFORGER hex, NATO reinforcements are delayed or cancelled. There are nine BRHD hexes and two REFORGER hexes that MUST be garrisoned by at least an AA unit. That's 11 NATO chits that should be earmarked for rear area security at all times.

NATO is tough to play but gets more offensive opportunities as the game progresses. NATO grand strategy is to try to gain the initiative at some point somewhere so that it might start a ground offensive later in the game. This will keep the Pact pinned down and hopefully will stop the westward advance of the Pact steamroller.

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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 9/28/2019 2:32:06 PM   
Hellen_slith


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STRATEGY: Warsaw Pact

Pact has the offensive and the initiative from the get go, and plenty of firepower.

There are so many strategies available to Pact that are workable. One of the best that I have found is the "shock drop" which tyronec well knows is not only effective but demoralizing.

By "shock drop" I mean the early and continuing use of the many Red paratroops that are available in wave after wave of rear area attacks aimed at disrupting NATO infrastructure, occupying a BRHD hex for the permanent 100VP award for seizing a Rhine bridgehead, and triggering possible Dutch and Danish surrenders. Dropping one or two paratroop units every turn, spreading them out over wide areas, turn after turn at the NATO edge of the board has a devastating effect on NATO reaction.

It is impossible for the NATO player to guard every hex, every railroad, and every bridge. There will be drop zones, and Pact has near total air superiority for much of the first half of the game. Use that time to destroy NATO infrastructure and limit mobility of NATO forces.

On the front lines, the Pact player also should not use a "broad front" approach. Pick a large urban area full of blue points and stick to an attack plan for that city ... Essen is a good choice if you can get through Hamburg and the BAOR. Or, you might try a South German offensive ... Munich and Frankfurt (this is a harder play because of USAEUR garrisons that will work with the many West German forces in the south, and probably works better if Austria is invaded.)

Well, there are so many strategies available to both NATO and Pact that it is impossible to describe them all without writing a book-length treatise. I hope that I have given enough information here that will inspire you all to give it a try. PS: if you are using Win10, be sure to remember to be careful in selecting a naval unit and then scrolling the map. You might get a CTD. Under Win7, I have never had a CTD. I hope the powers that be will be able to patch whatever memory leak is causing the CTD under Win10.

Special thanks to Mr. Cross for bringing this classic board game to life.



Thanks for reading!




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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 10/5/2019 4:35:05 PM   
Hellen_slith


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Tyronec and I just finished our game of Next War "sudden".

It was a draw--as Pact I could not quite get through his line.

Around turn 14 or so, he sneaked into Plzen and almost got my Czechs pulled off the board.

I got lucky on that dice roll! Had the insurrection succeeded,
it probably would have been a victory for NATO.

Well played, tyronec!
Thanks for playing me!




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RE: The Next War 1979 Intro - 10/7/2019 6:02:05 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

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Amazing posts, thank you very much for explaining the scenario in detail.

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