v.1.2, 3 April 97
(c) Brian R. Train, 1997
The China War: Sino-Soviet Conflict in the 1980s was the issue game in issue #76 of Strategy and Tactics (Sep-Oct 1979). This was SPI's second attempt at modelling a war between Russia and China, and was a great improvement over the first (The East is Red, issue #42, Jan/Feb1974). There were three scenarios in the orginal game: a full-scale invasion of the People's Republic of China (PRC) by the USSR; a rematch of the Sino-Vietnamese War; and a hypothetical invasion of the PRC by Taiwan.
The situation in East Asia has changed considerably from what it was fifteen years ago. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the modernization of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) have combined to make the PRC a strong regional presence. However, the drastic economic and political changes that are wracking Chinese society today also have the potential to make the PRC fall apart as a country and see a return to the regional fighting among warlords that marked the first half of the 20th century. This variant makes use of the rules, map, and some of the counters in The China War. All rules to the game are unchanged except as detailed below:
The East in Shreds examines the possibiility of the PRC breaking apart into warring regions some time around the year 2000.
2.0 How to Play the Game
This variant may be played by 2-6 people, each player representing a regional 'warlord' (military or political leader) hoping to reunite China under his faction. Although there may be fewer than six actual players, units from all six factions will be on the map at all times (see 5.1).
3.0 Game Equipment
3.2 Playing Pieces. The variant uses some counters from the original game along with the new ones supplied with the article. Photocopy the page with the counter images, colour, and mount them on cardboard. The only armies that are represented in the game are those of the PRC, the Chinese Warlords, Taiwan, the United States, and Russia.
China. The People's Liberation Army (PLA, or standing army of the PRC) is much reduced in numbers since 1980. It is represented in the game by first and second-line infantry armies, the three airborne divisions, and three new units (two airmobile brigades and a strengthened marine brigade: these are single-step, first-line units). The tank divisions and hundreds of independent formations have been amalgamated into the armies or eliminated. All PLA first and second-line units are considered mechanized units with a Movement Allowance of nine, except the three airborne divisions and the airmobile and marine brigades.
Chinese Warlords. Six identical sets of counters are provided to show which PLA units are under the control of which warlord or faction. Also provided are militia armies (third-line, non-mechanized units, three steps in size but one step for combat losses) that may be created during the game. The number provided is a design limit and more of them may not be made up, but players may make more control markers if they wish. Control markers (banners) are placed on PLA units and in hexes containing provincial capitals to mark who controls them. The player who has or last had a unit in the hex containing a provincial capital is the one who controls that entire province.
Taiwan. Use the seven North Korean counters from the original game, with the mechanized army on its reduced side.
United States. Four US divisions (black on green) are supplied to represent formations that might be sent to intervene in a future civil war in China. The 82nd Airborne Division is an airborne non-mechanized unit, the 101st Airmobile Division is airmobile, and the 24th Mechanized and 1st Marine Divisions are mechanized. They are all two-step units.
Russia. A varying number of Russian units may enter the game due to random events. Use the USSR tank and mechanized divisions from the original game as required.
4.0 Sequence of Play
4.1 The Game-Turn. Each Game-Turn consists of a Political Events Inter-Phase, followed by up to six Player-Turns. Each faction's player-turn follows the same sequence as in the original game (replacement, movement, reaction, combat) except that during the Reaction Phase, only units belonging to or controlled by other factions that started the Phase adjacent to units of the phasing player may conduct Reaction Movement (see 6.6).
4.2 Game-Turn Sequence Outline. At the start of each Game-Turn, the players determine randomly who will be the first player. After the first player (or human player temporarily in control of that faction: skip over NPFs that are temporarily neutral/inactive) has completed his Player-Turn, the next player follows in alphabetical order A-B-C-D-E-F-A until all active factions have had a Player-Turn.
5.0 Political Events Phase and Political Rules (replacement)
5.1 Non-Player Factions. In most games, some factions will not be represented by a human player. These are called Non-Player Factions (NPF). During the game, these factions will come under the control of one player or another or go neutral due to Political Events rolls. When a human player is designated as the controlling player for an NPF, he moves and conducts combat with the units of that faction during that faction's proper player-turn. NPFs remain under the control of human players until that faction becomes neutral in the Political Events Phase. Units of a neutral NPF do not move or attack but units of that faction may be attacked by other players. Attacking a neutral NPF during your turn activates it and places it under the control of a human player hostile to you (determine randomly which one). Use the "Ally" coloured markers as a reminder of which NPFs are under your control.
5.2 Diplomacy. During the game, players are encouraged to make any deal among themselves that does not actually violate the rules of the game. Examples would include allowing units of one faction to move through units of another, drawing supply from another player's provincial capital, etc. Be creative. Be fickle. Beg me.
5.3 The Political Events Interphase. During each Game-Turn's Political Events Interphase, one player (it doesn't matter who) rolls two dice in succession to determine the event (if any) for that turn. See the Political Events Table and explanations for each even below. He also rolls two dice to see if 'The Machine Stops' (see 17.0)
5.31 Taiwanese Invasion. Taiwan may enter the game either through a political event or at the invitation of the player who controls Fujian province. Taiwanese units may not stack with Chinese units but may stack with US units.
If Taiwan enters the game via a Political Event roll, the Taiwanese units come under the control of (but are not allied with) a player hostile to the player who controls Fujian province (choose randomly). This player can then, in his Player-Turn, transport Taiwanese units to the mainland (two units, any size, per turn) and carry out amphibious attacks as detailed in 15.0.
Taiwan may also be invited to intervene by the player who controls Fujian province. He declares this invitation in the Political Events Interphase, and in the Movement Phase of his turn up to two Taiwanese units (of any size, per turn) may be transported to Fuzhou (hex 3729) without loss. The Taiwanese stay allied with the faction that invited them in (and would go neutral with it if it is an NPF) for the rest of the game, and at the end of the game the player who invited them in is penalized 150 points as a penalty for letting the running dogs in through the back door. If the United States is supplying or has intervened on behalf of another player, that player may veto the invitation to intervene (by interdicting the Taiwan Straits with elements of the Seventh Fleet).
5.32 Russian Invasion. When this event is rolled, a player who is hostile to the player who controls Heilongjiang province (choose randomly if more than one) rolls two dice, adds two to the result, and draws that number of Russian divisions blindly from the USSR tank and mechanized units available. These units are placed by that player in former Soviet Union territory within six hexes of 4605, and will move and fight in his Player-Turn (but they are not allied with anyone). Russian units may only move within the former Soviet Union and Heilongjiang and may only attack units in Heilongjiang. If Russian units succeed in occupying Harbin (hex 4309), they will leave one division occupying the capital and may then move into and attack units in Jilin. If they occupy Changchun (hex 4210), they may then move into Liaoning and try to take Shenyang (hex 4113).
5.33 ROK, Japan, or US Declares Neutrality. When this event is rolled, the country indicated will take no further part in the game. If it had previously intervened, the supplies cease, all intervening units and Air Points are immediately removed from the map, and all future 'intervention' rolls for that country are treated as 'No Effect'.
5.34 ROK, Japan, or US Intervenes. When this event is rolled, the country indicated will either provide supplies or (if the US) send units to help a randomly-chosen human player. The player may always refuse to accept this help. He must have at least one controlled port to receive supplies: if he doesn't, treat as 'No Event'. Receiving supplies allows a player to rebuild more and better units (see 12.0) and negates the mobility restrictions of "The Machine Stops" (see 17.0).
The US may intervene with military units and Air Points. In this case, the benefitting player not only receives supplies, he will in the Replacement Phase of his Player-Turn receive the US 82nd Airborne (in any clear, desert, or Pop 100/200 hex in China) and 101st Airmobile (at any provincial capital), plus 15 Air Points. In the Replacement Phase of his following Player-Turn he will receive the US 1st Marine and 24th Mechanized divisions, at any port he controls (no port, no troops). At the end of the game, the player who accepted US units is penalized 100 points as a penalty for letting the paper tigers in through the back door, whether they were withdrawn due to a later event or not.
If 'intervention' is rolled for a particular country and that country is already providing supplies to someone, treat as 'No Event' (although a player who was already receiving US supplies would get the US units, if the US were to intervene again for him).
5.35 NPF Activates. A randomly-chosen inactive NPF will activate and become allied with a randomly-chosen human player's faction. The human player will move and fight with the NPF units, distribute replacements, use its Air Points, etc. in the NPF's appropriate Player-Turn until all units of that NPF are eliminated or the NPF becomes neutral due to another event roll. However, units of the NPF may not stack with the human player's units.
5.36 NPF Goes Neutral. A randomly-chosen active NPF will become neutral. Its alliance with the human player is cancelled, and its units stop in place and do not move, take replacements, reaction move, or attack until they are re-activated by another event roll or are attacked by someone.
5.37 Second Korean War. When this event occurs, roll one die: on a 4,5, or 6 North Korea invades the ROK (else 'No Event'). Add one to the roll if the ROK is currently providing supplies to anyone. If North Korea invades, treat it as if the ROK, Japan, and the US had all simultaneously declared neutrality. All supplies immediately cease, and any US units and Air Points are withdrawn.
5.38 No Event. Nothing happens.
Use 6.1 to 6.34 only, and add the following:
6.35 (replacement rule) Each faction can move by rail only as many units as it controls provincial capitals. Each 'RR Manufacturing' symbol controlled adds two to this maximum rail movement capacity. An army counts as three units.
6.4 Airborne/ airmobile movement. (replacement rule)
6.41 No change. The US 82nd Airborne Division, if it enters the game, may arrive in any clear, desert, or Pop 100/200 hex in China at the beginning of a Movement Phase. It may not be moved that Player-Turn; it may attack.
6.42 (replacement) Airmobile units in the game include the two PLA airmobile brigades (1-1-6), and the US 101st Airmobile Division. These units may travel up to six hexes through any terrain, regardless of movement point costs. They may not move through any hex containing three or more enemy divisions (or equivalent), and may not stop in any hex containing enemy units.
6.5 Sea Movement. (new rule) A player may move his units between ports (i.e. provincial capitals in coastal hexes, Xianggang (Hong Kong, hex 3229), or hexes with shipbuilding symbols). A maximum of one army or two divisions that start the Movement Phase in a port may move by sea to another port under the same player's control. It may not move any further but it may attack. On arrival, the owning player must check to see if part of the unit was sunk in transit. He rolls one die, adding one to the roll for each port controlled by a hostile player that is between the port moved from and the port moved to, and on a 6 or greater the unit moved loses one step.
6.51 The PLA marine brigade may perform amphibious assaults. It must start the Movement Phase in a port and may 'land' at any empty or friendly-occupied coastal hex within six hexes of the port. It may not move further but may attack. The marine brigade checks for losses at in 6.5 above on arrival but does not add anything to the die roll for intervening hostile ports.
6.6 Reaction Movement. (I think this rule got scrambled in the original game. Here it is in one place, slightly changed.) In the Reaction Phase, the units of players other than the moving player which are adjacent to his units may perform Reaction Movement. All mechanized units may expend two Movement Points, and all airmobile units may move up to six hexes as detailed in 6.42. The moving player may occupy any hexes adjacent to his units that were vacated due to Reaction Movement.
No change, except that units of an NPF currently active and allied with a human player may not stack with the human player's units. Taiwanese units may stack with US but not Chinese units. Russians may not stack with anyone.
No change except for the following, add to 9.4 and 9.5:
* Russian first-line units no longer get the one-column shift in their favour.
* Whenever one or more US units are involved in a combat, the combat ratio is adjusted three columns in favour of the player controlling the unit.
* There is no Chemical Warfare.
* PLA first-line, Russian first-line, and US units may all use Electronic Warfare.
* There are no Mass Attacks. Instead, a player may declare any attack a "Big Socialist Push". After the die has been rolled and combat results applied, he may continue the attack by losing one step from his attacking units, recalculating the combat odds and shifts, and rolling the die again. He may continue doing this (losing one step each time he recasts the attack) until one side is eliminated, the defender retreats, or he unilaterally breaks off the attack. Air Points allocated to the first attack of the Push apply to all subsequent combat resolutions as well.
10.0 Terrain Effects on Movement and Combat
No change except cancel 10.2, 10.5, and 10.8, and all other references to militia, garrisons, prepared positions, and the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
10.4 (addition) PLA first-line armies may apply the tank bonus (two columns) when attacking or defending in a desert hex, PLA second-line armies may apply the mechanized (one column) bonus.
11.3 Supply sources. (additions)
China: To be judged in supply, a Chinese unit must trace a line of supply as defined in 11.1 to two different friendly or allied-controlled provincial capitals.
Taiwan: Taiwanese units must trace a line of supply as defined in 11.1 to any coastal hex within two hexes of Taiwan.
United States: US units must trace a line of supply as defined in 11.1 to any coastal hex, or they may supply up to two divisions by air as detailed in 11.4 (except that the units being supplied may be anywhere on the map).
Russia: Russian units must trace a line of supply as defined in 11.1 to a rail hex that leads to Vladivostok(hex 4711) or hex 2701. They may not supply units by air.
12.0 Reinforcements and Replacements (change)
There are no reinforcements in the game. Reduced units are eligible to receive replacements as detailed in the original game, but only factions represented by human players and NPFs that are currently active get replacement steps.
China: In the Replacement Phase of his Player-Turn, a warlord will receive replacement steps equal to the number of provincial capitals he controls. These replacement steps may be saved from turn to turn, but are used only for creating new third-line armies (costs three steps), or unreducing second-line PLA units (one step for a division, three for an army). If a player is receiving supply from the ROK, Japan, or the US, he may unreduce first and second-line PLA units. PLA airmobile, airborne, and marine units may not receive replacements. New third-line militia armies are placed in provincial capital hexes, no more than one per hex.
United States: One step per turn: use it or lose it.
Taiwan and Russia: Taiwan and Russia get no replacements.
13.0 Tactical Air Support and Tactical Nuclear Weapons (change)
No nuclear weapons are used in this variant. Cancel 13.2, 16.0, and any other references to nuclear weapons. Each player receives Air Points as detailed below. In all cases, halve the value of Air Points used 4-6 hexes from their base (provincial capital, airfield, or coastal hex)
China: Each faction starts the game with 1-6 (roll one die) Air Points that may be used within six hexes of any friendly provincial capital.
Taiwan: When Taiwan enters the game, it receives six Air Points to be used within six hexes of the airfield in hex 3828.
United States: When the US intervenes in China, they enter with 15 Air Points that may be used within six hexes of any provincial capital controlled by the warlord with whom they are allied, or any coastal hex (represents Carrier Air Groups).
Russia: When Russia enters the game, it receives four Air Points that may be used within six hexes of any military airfield in the USSR.
14.0 Army Reorganization (change)
PLA first-line armies break down into one tank division and two first-line infantry divisions (if reduced, one reduced tank division and one full-strength infantry division). PLA second-line armies break down into three second-line infantry divisions (if reduced, one full -strength and one reduced infantry division). The infantry divisions are mechanized units with Movement Allowances of nine. Only a limited number of breakdown counters were supplied with the original game: if you can make up reasonable facsimiles, do so.
15.0 Taiwanese Amphibious Attack Capability
no change except Taiwan can now move two units of any size per turn off the island.
16.0 Tactical Nuclear Weapons
17.0 The Machine Stops (new rule)
This rule reflects the widespread socioeconomic chaos of a second Chinese Civil War. Within a month or two, it would no longer be possible to keep modern mechanized armies fully functioning in the field. Each Game-Turn after the first, during the Political Events Phase, one player (doesn't matter who) rolls two dice. If the roll is less than or equal to the number of the current turn, then the following conditions apply to all Chinese units for the rest of the game:
* All first-line PLA units lose their Electronic Warfare capability.
* All Reaction Movement is reduced to one Movement Point.
* All factions lose half their Air Points and halve their RR movement capacity (round up).
* The two PLA airmobile brigades are removed from the game.
* A player may move at their full Movement Allowance only as many PLA mechanized units as he controls provincial capitals (an army counts as three units). PLA units above this number are still treated as mechanized units but have a Movement Allowance of three instead. Non-mechanized units are unaffected. A player who controls Changchun (hex 4210) or who is receiving supply from the ROK, Japan, or the US is not affected by this restriction while he controls the hex or receives supply.
18.0 Scenario: The East in Shreds (new scenario)
18.1 Length. This scenario is ten Game-Turns long.
18.2 Setup. First, PLA units are grouped off-map for each Military Region as follows:
||PLA Units |
||Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi
||3 first line armies, 2 second line armies |
||Xizang, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou
||4 second line armies |
||Guangxi, Guangdong, Hunan, Hubei, Xianggang (Hong Kong)
||5 second line armies, 1 marine brigade |
||Jiangxi, Fujian, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangsu, Shanghai Shi
||2 first line armies, 4 second line armies, 1 airmobile
brigade, 1 airborne division |
||1 first line army, 1 second line army, 1 airborne division
||Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Nei Monggol Zizhiqu
||2 first line armies, 4 second line armies, 1 airborne
||Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning
||2 first line armies, 4 second line armies, 1 airmobile
18.4 How to Win
At the end of the last turn play stops and each faction receives Victory Points (VP) depending on the resource symbols controlled at the moment the game ended. The VP received are as listed in 17.41 of the original game except that no points are awarded for eliminating enemy units, and players may have VP deducted if they accepted Taiwanese or US units. Note the special award for Xianggang (Hong Kong, hex 3229). The winner of the game is the faction with the greatest total of VP. Each faction counts independently without regard to alliances, so it is possible for an NPF to win the game! If a player controls a Provincial Capital and there are no units of other factions in the province, he gets VP for all resources in the province (See list below to make counting easier. Since province borders run through hexes, the location of the resource symbol in the hex was used to judge ownership.). If there are opposing units in the province, then VP are awarded to who has or last had a unit in the hex containing the resource symbol.
||VP Value |
|Xianggang (hex 3229)
|Nei Monggol Zizhiqn
Political Events Table
Roll two dice in succession, treat the first die as 'tens,' the second as 'ones' (e.g. a 4 followed by a 2 is read as 42). For full details concerning each political event, see 5.0.
||Taiwanese Invasion. If this has already occurred, treat as
No Event. |
||Russian Invasion. If this has already occurred, treat as No
||Japan declares neutrality |
||US declares neutrality |
||Japan intervenes (choose beneficiary randomly) |
||ROK intervenes (choose beneficiary randomly) |
||US intervenes with supplies only (choose beneficiary
||US intervenes with supplies and units (choose beneficiary
||Random NPF activates (choose randomly from among inactive
NPFs; the NPF allies with a random human player) |
||Random NPF goes neutral (choose randomly from among
currently active NPFs) |
||ROK declares neutrality |
||Second Korean War. If this has already occurred, treat as
No Event. |