by Brian R. Train
One of the great `what-ifs' of the Korean War was the possibility of Nationalist Chinese entry into the war. Within hours of the start of the North Korean invasion on 24 June 1950, Chiang Kai-shek had approached the American government offering 33,000 of his best troops for use in the defence of Korea. His offer was refused due to the political and logistical difficulties it would have caused. There were also grave doubts about the fighting value of the Kuomintang (KMT) troops, as they had been driven out of China less than a year before.
In November 1950, Communist China intervened in Korea with almost one quarter of a million troops. They battered the UN forces severely and Douglas Macarthur proposed to expand the war by supporting a Nationalist invasion of the Chinese mainland, when it seemed that Korea might have to be abandoned by the UN. Later, after the fighting had bogged down around the 38th Parallel, some thinkers (including Macarthur's successor, General Matthew Ridgway, and the redoubtable anti-Communist John Foster Dulles) still favoured using the Nationalist option as a way of breaking the military deadlock at the front and repeating the strategic master stroke at Inchon. Invading southeast China with the Nationalists and a leavening of American troops would have diverted a major portion of the Communist war effort and possibly toppled the People's Republic, which was still less than two years old. Historically, Macarthur was relieved as Supreme Commander of the UN forces in April 1951 for his continued insubordination, but if this had not happened he just may pursued this course of action....
This game variant makes use of the map, counters, and rules for the game When Tigers Fight, found in Command magazine #26 (January - February 1994). To play this variant, the rules for When Tigers Fight are altered as follows:
2.0 Game Components
Use the eastern half of the map only. There are two players, the United Nations player (US and Nationalist Chinese/KMT) and the Communist. Use the following counters from the game to represent the following forces:
United States: Use three four-step Japanese infantry divisions with strengths of 15-18-8 to represent the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Marine divisions. Use one two-step Japanese infantry brigade with a strength of 5-6-8 to represent the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. Use the eight US Ground Support markers, the B-29 Strike marker, and three Aerial Supply markers from the original game.
KMT: Use the four four-step US-trained Chinese divisions (gold on blue) and the nine Chinese veteran divisions (white on blue) with a MA or more than 0 to represent the reorganized and upgraded survivors of the Chinese Civil War that fled to Formosa in 1949.
Communist Chinese (CCF): Use the black-on-purply-blue Chinese Army counters with their untried sides showing, as in the original game. Up to three tank regiments and six air units (use the Japanese tank units at 5-5-10 strength and the Zero air support markers) may enter the game as special reinforcements later.
Only the east half of the map is used. All UN units start off the map (`in Formosa'). The CCF player draws 15 units at random and places them anywhere on the map, untried sides showing, within stacking limits (no tank or airplane units start the game on the map). The CCF player is in control of all cities on the map except Macao and Hong Kong (which are inviolable by both sides), with no garrison requirements.
The game ends after 8 complete Game-turns or when there are no KMT units left on the Chinese mainland, whichever comes first. When the game ends, the UN player totals up Victory Points as follows and compares them to the Victory Table:
+5 VP for `de-Communizing' Nanking, Shanghai, or Guangzhou (5 pts. each)
+1 VP for each other `de-Communized' city
+2 for each in-supply US or KMT unit exited off the north edge of the map
+1 per KMT unit (any strength) left on the Chinese mainland at the end of the game
+1 per city hit by B-29 Strategic Bombardment or levelled by the 7th Fleet
+1 per increment of CCF special reinforcements diverted from Korea
-1 per US step lost
-1 per nuclear weapon used (optional rules)
Macarthur gets cashiered. World War III might not start.
The Nationalists do not prevail, but the diversion allows the UN to advance
the front line in Korea. Macarthur still has his work cut out for him. World
War III might start.
Victory. The Chinese Civil War starts again, and the UN sweeps the board
in Korea. Macarthur basks in reflected glory. World War III will start very
Victory. The People's Republic of China falls. US imperialism triumphs in
Asia. Russia backs down. Macarthur becomes President and marches the United
States into Vietnam ten years early.
5.0 Turn Sequence
The UN player goes first in each turn, followed by the Communist player. Ignore 5.3 and 5.4.
6.0 Ignore this rule and any other references to the Weather Line.
Use 7.1 to 7.6 only, and add the following:
UN Supply Sources: UN units are in supply if they are in or adjacent to any coastal hex, or able to trace a supply line no longer than 5 hexes from a coastal city that is `de-Communized' or occupied by UN units. Rule 7.14 applies for UN units (but not rule 7.15).
CCF Supply: CCF units are in supply if they are able to trace a supply line no longer than 5 hexes to any city that is under Communist control or occupied by CCF units.
8.0 No change. US and KMT units may not stack.
9.0 Use 9.1 to 9.3 and add the following:
UN Replacements: US forces receive one replacement step each turn after Turn One. No hoarding; use it or lose it. KMT forces have a total of four replacement steps for the whole game.
CCF Reinforcements: The Communist player rolls 2 dice at the beginning of the New Units Phase in his turn and randomly draws that number of Chinese units from the pool of untried and previously-eliminated units. He enters these units, maximum 4 per city and untried side up, at any city marked as needing a garrison requirement on the map. The Communist player may also divert forces from Korea: see the Special Rules.
10.0 Replace this rule with the following:
UN Amphibious Assault: The UN player can sea-lift units from off-map (`Formosa') to Chinese coastal hexes, or vice versa. Units must be in either the off-map box or a coastal hex at the beginning of the Strategic Movement Phase in order to do this. The UN player can `lift' 6 units on Game-Turn 1, and 3 units on each turn thereafter.
Amphibious assaults are made by deploying UN units from off-map (Formosa) to points adjacent to coastal hexes and doing an Infiltration Assault (cost 4 MP plus the other terrain in the hex) into the coastal hex, whether it is occupied or not. If the hex is unoccupied, then the invading force lands without incident. If the hex is occupied and the Infiltration Assault fails to eliminate all the defending units, then the invading force returns to Formosa. US Marine divisions inflict an extra +1 LP on the defender in Amphibious Assaults. Invading units, once ashore, may make Prepared Assaults in the ensuing PA phase. US units may invade anywhere along the coast, but KMT units may only invade hexes between 5321 and 6011 (inclusive). Invading units are in supply on the turn they invade.
UN Air Transport: The UN player can airlift up to 2 units per turn from off-map to any UN-occupied or de-Communized city, or vice-versa. Each unit so lifted reduces the UN Aerial Supply capacity by one that turn.
Air Assault: The paratroop unit can conduct Air Assaults. It must start the Strategic Movement phase off-map in Formosa. The UN player may `drop' the unit anywhere on the map in the Strategic Movement Phase, but the unit may not move in the Operational Movement Phase. It may conduct a Prepared Assault by itself or in conjunction with other UN units, with the defender's LP combat result raised by +1. The unit is in supply the turn it drops. An Air Assault reduces the UN Aerial Supply Capacity by one that turn.
Communist Strategic Movement: Three units lifted by rail each turn: use rule 10.2.
11.0 No change except that 11.7 (barring entry of Chinese units into cities) is suspended.
12.0 No change except that all units of both players can conduct Infiltration Assaults.
13.0 No change except defender has +1 LP added to his result when: US Marines attacking in an Amphibious Assault
US paratroops attacking in an Air Assault
CCF tank unit attacking
14.0 Use 14.5 and 14.6 and replace other rules with the following:
UN Air Power: US Ground Support markers may be deployed anywhere within 10 hexes of a coastal hex.
CCF Air Power: Communist Ground Support markers may be deployed anywhere within 10 hexes of a city under Communist control or occupied by Communist units.
15.0 Add the following Special Rules:
15.1 De-Communizing: Beginning on Turn 2, in the New Units Phase, KMT units (only) may attempt to `de-Communize' Chinese cities up to 2 hexes away from them. Only one attempt may be made per city per turn. The attempt is automatically successful if a KMT unit is occupying the city's hex and reduces itself by one step (the step is permanently lost). Otherwise, the KMT player may roll the die: the city is de-Communized on a 1,2, or 3 if a KMT unit is occupying or adjacent to the city, and on a 1 or 2 if the city is 2 hexes away. This roll will be affected by the UN player's use of Strategic Bombing, the 7th Fleet, or nuclear weapons. The effect of de-Communizing cities is to remove them from the Communist player's control (which gives Victory Points, and the Communist player may not draw supply, enter reinforcements, or base air units there unless he is occupying the city with at least one unit). Mark de-Communized cities with coins. The Communist player may not `re-Communize' cities.
15.2 Strategic Bombing: The UN player starts the game with the B-29 Strike marker available. He may use this unit as an extra Ground Support marker or for Strategic Bombing. Strategic Bombing is done by placing the B-29 counter on any Communist-controlled city in the New Units Phase (before he makes any de-Communizing rolls) and making crispy-crackling noises. The city in that hex ceases to exist for all purposes, the UN player scores one Victory Point, and the UN player must add one to all KMT de-Communizing rolls for the rest of the game (that's plus one after the first city is destroyed, not plus one per city). Denote destroyed cities with blank markers.
15.3 The 7th Fleet: US units (only) in coastal hexes may call on naval gunfire support from the 7th Fleet. Whenever US units, by IA or PA, attack units in coastal hexes, the CRT odds ratio is shifted one column right; when US units defend in a coastal hex, the odds ratio is shifted one column left.
One coastal city per turn (in the New Units Phase, before any de-Communizing rolls) may be leveled by the Fleet, with the same effects, rewards, and penalties as Strategic Bombing. US units do not get naval gunfire support on turns when the UN player uses the Fleet to level cities.
15.4 CCF Special Reinforcement Units: The Communist player may divert units from the Korean front and get extra reinforcements by `paying' Victory Points. Each increment of reinforcements taken gives one Victory Point to the UN player; one increment is defined as two tank regiments or two air units (or one of each) or 1-6 extra infantry units (roll one die). Tank units have one step (enter as 5-5-10's) and add +1 LP to the defender's loss result (these are T34/85's, not the tin rattletraps the Japanese had).
15.5 Nuclear Weapons (optional rule): Any number of nuclear weapons can be used in a turn but the penalty is -1 VP per strike. Nuclear weapons can be delivered anywhere on the map and strikes are conducted in the New Units Phase (before any de-Communizing rolls are made). The UN player points out the hex to be struck, says, `Kerblam !' and rolls the die. The number rolled is the number of CCF units eliminated in that hex. Nuclear weapons may not be dropped on hexes containing cities. If nuclear weapons are ever used, then the UN player adds +2 to his KMT de-Communizing rolls for the rest of the game (this is cumulative with the +1 for Strategic Bombing or 7th Fleet).