|A Spreading Insurgency|
South East Asia
War fare has for millennia been centered upon strategy and tactics, the strategy being the march to battle, the tactics the placing of the correct force for offence or defence.World War One changed all that putting the emphasis upon mass production, the machine gun and the aero plane making a mockery of years of military lore. Combat became a contest where the strategic element involved the armaments industry and the tactics all that followed. During World War Two the emphasis had swung even more dramatically towards the industrialization of warfare.
How can such a painstakingly put together military industrial complexe be defeated by medieval ,and in some cases stone age ,enemies as was the case following the end of World War Two .What mistakes have the post war armies of the west made in these conflicts.
This game attempts to address these questions. The game may be played by one to four players in a unilateral or bilateral mode, the former featuring NATO, ISAF and US Army players opposing an unseen insurgent force. The bi lateral game is played by four players, the insurgent position now relegated to one of the players. It is not a detailed game set at the Corps level where every possible unit is taken into account, rather it concentrates upon the fortunes of a few battalions within each force and a slice of the insurgergency.Besides the western forces there are periphery forces which come into play depending upon how their brothers in Afghanistan fare. Added to this are the Afghan National Army forces and the Afghan National police . Also taken into account is the international periphery scene, the insurgency in East Africa and the one in South East Asia. The tactical factors of intelligence, tribal attitude, collateral damage, orthodox and unorthodox troops are taken into account as are effects of suicide bombers, IED attacks and conventional combat.
Also included are what I consider the crux of the matter, the make up of the nebulous insurgency .Countries can patronize insurgent groups adding to the insurgent income. Is it under a governance board giving it a professional edge or is it a multiplicity making it a many headed snake? Also to be taken into account is the co-option factor ;insurgent groups which have crossed over to the incumbent ,supplying him with extra infantry plus police to man the check points in the war against the poppy, a key insurgent means of income.
The game encompasses twenty pages of rules plus the counters which are available on line.Playing time can vary anywhere from a half an hour to three hours .There is no playing board in the traditional sense ,instead strategic moves are played upon a circle deliniated by marked cards and concentric cirlces.Three small maps are used in order to portry combat ,the maps simple grids allowing area's of Afghanistan,East Africa and South East Asia to be portrayed .The infrastructure is noted on the scenarios as a map reference. Cards keep track of the strategic situation and of tactical events .There is a victory track for combat plus an additional one for the insurgency taking into account such things as good or bad fit organizations with or without a safe haven.
A small amount of constuction required in the mounting of the cards onto thin card.In order to get an idea of the work involved click on the graphic at the top of the page.
A word about the designer :me.I have for the past decade or so been involved in the design of military games and the writing of articles pertaining to wargames .I have been published in Strategy and Tactics and in Miniature Wargames magazines.This is my first venture into full sized games.The present effort represents the culmination of projects inspired by a game featured in Strategy and Tactics called The Great Game which explored the world of nineteenth century Afghanistan and the British and Russian involvement.This led to reencatments of the Russian war against the Jihad and the subsequent civil war following the withdrawal of soviet forces.