We've seen a number of games over the past decade that have addressed North Korea, and a few that have taken a look at Taiwan Straights conflict with China. How realistic have these attempts been? Which have you played and what is your opinion of them? If you think, as I do, that most have fallen short of the mark, where do you think these designs can improve?

Attached are two class papers I wrote a few years ago that takes a quick look at both.

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Wow Jon, I just read China, Taiwan, and North Korea very excellent and rather scary to say the least. Very well written.

I must say I only have 'old' games on these subjects The East is Red and The China War.

I thought DG was coming out with one in the next few issues?

Did command do one?

Reading your 19 pager now..
Yes, I believe S&T 250 will have Red Dragon, but I've seen some of the proofs and it looks a lot like War at Sea, which I'm not sure will get at much of the complexity of the actual event should it occur. Hopefully the final product will prove me wrong.

GMT was supposedly doing an update of their Crisis Korea, but that front's been quiet for quite a while now. PRP did a Korea 2005, which was interesting and played well, but the mechanics were pretty old school, and I think it misses a lot of what modern conflict looks like. I think the Millennium Wars game on Korea was good, but I'm biased on that one.

Yeah, Command did a Taiwan invasion game, as did S&T. I think S&T's is the better of the two.
I also liked the S&T game, but the Taiwan and PRC OOBs are horribly dated now. What I liked about it was the system and the emphasis on C4I, but it was still an overwhelmingly MILITARY game, whereas I would expect an actual conflict to be quite heavy in the informational, economic, and political/diplomatic aspects of the contest. The COMMAND game had a better OOB, but was a bit too simplistic for my tastes. Plus, it assumed no U.S. intervention, which may have been more realistic but a lot less fun if you wanted to "see what would happen if..."
Something I've been toying around with is building a game system around the various scenarios outlined in the book Showdown, but design the system to reflect the strategies put forth in Unrestricted Warfare. I still have to finish reading the books, but I think it may hold some promise.
The ChinaNuc paper is a bit more technical and a lot more theoretical. It's real purpose is to simply boil down the elements to rationality given levels of salience. It's not a paper that has a lot to say about the real politics of the issue.
Regarding the Korea games, I really did like CRISIS: KOREA 1995 (GMT) the best. It had a lot of variety in it and I generally agreed with the premises the game was based upon. I also was serving in Korea during the time projected, so it was easy for me. Pacific Rim's game was okay--the module was actually more intriguing, postulating a ROK advance against the DPRK instead of the other way round! I liked that!

Personally, I always wanted a tactical treatment of the ROK/US versus DPRK contest. I imagined a two-map Tactical Combat Series (TCS) treatment of the Chorwon Corridor with all the bells and whistles. Rigid ROK and DPRK tactical command structures, with a more fluid U.S. (brigades of the 2nd ID) shown when a few battalions were able to trickle in. You could play it in the summer during monsoon season when airpower was scarce or you could play it the winter time when the rice paddies were frozen over--even better would be scenarios that stretched from the 1960s to the 1990s. Ahh....

I know, I know. "Well, Walters, if you want it so bad, why don't you design it?" Right.
Right! :-)
I've already made my wishes known on the Taiwan-PRC contest in other groups, but I'll repeat it here given the question:

What I want is a game called TAIWAN STRIKE! It would be based on the old GULF STRIKE!/AEGEAN STRIKE! system that Mark Herman did for Victory Games. But it would be a LOT more open ended, depending on the causes belli for the war and what the competing strategies the PRC, ROC, and US selected as the crisis unfolded. I'd want a lot of asymmetric approaches and effects at the strategic and operational levels to be possible. I also want the ROC to be able to play the PRC against the US in certain circumstances. Basing and overflight rights of the other countries in the region would also matter (Japan and the Philippines being essential)--the PRC and US could affect this depending on the strategies they selected as the crisis builds. Ideally the game would be played 3 player, but it could be played 2 player. Given the Communist track record for subversion and defection as seen in 1946-1949 which enabled it to win battles and campaigns that nobody would have thought possible, the game needs that kind of provision--but including major political, media, business, and public service/utilities interests as well as military and police/internal security force leaders on the island.

I know, I know, I don't want much....
Interesting idea. I really love Gulf Strike, and, although I think it would graft nicely onto the topic, it's still a fairly kinetic design, not to mention highly procedural. I don't recall that it allows for much in the way of asymmetric conflict or 4GW, but it's been a while. Then again, if it stuck strictly to the invasion and conflict over the island, none of that would likely matter. That said, I think some significant naval rules would need to be incorporated. I don't recall have great affection for the naval aspect of Gulf Strike.
Oh, there would have to be a number of major system changes, for sure. But the general scale and idea would work. I think the system is flexible enough to handle some "unrestricted warfare"/"asymmetric warfare" ideas at both the strategic and operational scales. Can't handle the purely tactical level, I don't think, not unless we introduce some CDG mechanics, which I just can't see doing. And yes, some tweaks to the naval system would be a must, given the nature of the combatants and where the naval battles would be happening.
I think you're going to like our new Advanced Millennium Wars design we're doing for ATO, States of Conflict.
Oh yes--tons of commercial shipping, fishing boats, all that. What's great about the STRIKE system is that it's got a good logistics engine, so the "staying ashore and supplied" thing should work out well. Foraging off the economy will only get the PRC so far--the population is pretty dense in Taiwan, particularly in the Taipei area, and whatever food, water, and petroleum supplies there are to be had will be gone in short order. The PRC might get away with moving replacements and ammo across the Strait for the first couple of days, but after that they'll need to sustain the force, or--lifting a page from the Cold War Russians--consider committed units expended and simply bring in more (with a few days of supply organic to them and not to be replenished!).


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