Next War: India-Pakistan – Strategic Choices, part 4 (and final)

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Doug Bush finishes his Next War: India-Pakistan strategy series with this look at the India player’s strategic options. See Part 1 and Part 2 for a discussion of the strategic choices faced by the Pakistan player. See Part 3 for the first look at strategy from the Indian perspective.

In the first two articles of this series, I focused on the war depicted in NWIP from the Pakistan player’s side. In the third article I switched to the Indian player’s perspective on the defense. Here, I examine the choices  facing an Indian player in the four scenarios where they are on the offense (“Lahore”, “Enough!”, “Unification”, and “Loose Nukes”).

Next War: India-Pakistan – Strategic Choices, part 3

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Doug Bush continues his Next War: India-Pakistan strategy series with this look at the India player’s strategic options. See Part 1 and Part 2 for a discussion of the strategic choices faced by the Pakistan player.

In the first two articles of this series, I focused on the war depicted in NWIP from the Pakistan player’s side. In this article I’ll switch to the Indian player’s perspective. India is the strategic attacker in four of the six scenarios in NWIP, including two standard game scenarios (“Lahore” and “Enough!”) and two advanced game scenarios (“Unification” and “Loose Nukes”). In the other two scenarios (“Kashmir” and “Border War”) India is on the defense.

A Look at Strategy and Tactics for the Americans in Combat Commander by GMT Games

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In this month’s customer update, I highlighted The Player’s Aid website and the good folks that are creating so much high-quality game-related content there. After the update, I asked Grant if he’d like to write an occasional article for InsideGMT to provide some added content to our site, and also to help spread the word about their site to an even broader group of readers. We’re always looking for quality third-party articles about our games, and Grant writes well, so we think it’s a win-win all around.  This article is a look at playing the Americans in Combat Commander. If you’d like to read Grant’s article about playing the Russians, you can find it on The Player’s Aid site here. I encourage you to check out their entire site; it’s chock-full of quality articles about a bunch of games – many of them from GMT Games. Enjoy the article and The Player’s Aid site! – Gene

The 1st entry in this series, found on The Players’ Aid website, is “A Look at Strategy and Tactics for the Russians in Combat Commander by GMT Games“.

Defend the ROK: Allied Strategy Considerations in Next War: Korea

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Dan Stueber is a long time Next War Series fan as well as a playtester. He has previously authored an article on a modifed Tactical Surprise scenario for Next War: Korea as well as After Action Reports for both the Tactical Surprise and Extended Buildup scenarios (links are to the first session reports). Here he has provided players with an overview of the strategic considerations for the Allied player in order to defend the ROK. Enjoy!

Next War: Korea postulates an invasion of South Korea by North Korea sometime during our current time frame. It is a great modern war game to play due to the numerous options in the game and the way it portrays modern combat. This article will discuss what I feel are good strategies to defend the South from the North’s aggression. General strategies will be discussed as opposed to discussing specific strategies of individual scenarios. Three points will be covered: the terrain, the air units, and the land units. All images were taken from the Next War: Korea Vassal module.

Next War: India-Pakistan – Pakistani Strategic Choices, part 2

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Doug Bush continues his Next War: India-Pakistan strategy series with this examination of the Pakistani Order of Battle and the various options they provide. See Part 1 of this series for a discussion of the overall strategic choices faced by the Pakistan player.

Pakistan starts with six front line Army Corps with three more that enter as reinforcements.  Each provides the player with different challenges and opportunities on the attack.  In this article, I’ll go into some of the choices available to a Pakistan player for each one.

Next War: India-Pakistan – Pakistani Strategic Choices, part 1

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Next War: India-Pakistan (NWIP) is unusual in the Next War series in that it involves scenarios where both of the main nations (India and Pakistan) are on the offense. As a result, there isn’t one “playbook” for the each side since, depending on the scenario in question, they must look at the map, their armies, and potential allies from a different perspective. In this series of articles, I’ll take a look at the situation for both sides from both angles (offense and defense) to try to help players think through some of the early decisions they are confronted with in the scenarios of NWIP.

Churchill Strategy Primer #2: Defeating the Axis

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Now that the game has begun to get into people’s hands and is getting some initial plays,  I thought I would continue my series of Churchill strategy primers. My goal is to accelerate our collective understanding of the art of the possible in Churchill, although I continue to discover new tactics as I continue to play with friends and family.

In case you missed it here is a link to my first strategy primer in InsideGMT.

Churchill Strategy & Tactics Tips

The main theme of this strategy post is the intersection of victory conditions and forcing Axis surrender.

Churchill Strategy and Tactics Tips

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mark-herman1The ship has arrived in Oakland and WBC is just around the corner, so 1200+ Churchill games will soon be arriving at front doors around the world. I just completed my next Clio’s corner #6 for c3i magazine that covers many aspects of design theory through the lens of Churchill. Unfortunately, the magazine will not hit the market until after your games have arrived, so I thought it would be useful to write a short strategy primer to improve everyone’s first experience with the game.

First here are a few important tactical tips. If someone appears to have come up with an unstoppable strategy, take a deep breath and consider the following:

1. Take their stuff away: Each player has a limited amount of production, and each player has a Directed offensive issue plus inCHL-US-22-nf the case of the US and UK production issues. For example, if the UK were to have the other two players control their Directed offensive and production issue, the British would have one production marker out of four that they could control. The same is true for the other two sides. So, if any player seems to be driving the game and looks unstoppable, the other two players need to get these issues on the table and neuter whatever the third player is doing by taking their stuff.

2. Playing order matters: Each side has a national characteristic. The British capability is the Imperial Staff that adds one to the value of its staff card played during the Agenda segment. This means that if Churchill always plays a five card they will go last in the conference. This will seem to be an overpowered capability unless you know how to deal with it.

Perfect Openings: First Turn VC Strategy in Fire in the Lake

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Welcome to the first Strategy Article we’ve published in InsideGMT! Unlike the majority of our articles, this one was not written by one of our designers or developers, but by one of our players. I want to thank Mark D. (the new owner of  for creating such a well-conceived and well-written article that’s aimed at helping players new to Fire in the Lake. I’d also like to take this opportunity to invite any of the rest of you who would like to submit a strategy article on one of your favorite GMT games to please do so. My hope is that over time, we can create an excellent online resource of player-created strategy articles to help others as they sit down to learn and play our games. Enjoy the article!  – Gene

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Fire in the Lake: Insurgency in Vietnam, designed by veteran designers Mark Herman and Volko Ruhnke and published by GMT Games is a 1 to 4 Player game that simulates either a part of, or the entire, Vietnam War. It’s a game with many moving parts and many interrelated methods, procedures, and techniques. The interaction of four players with competing, and often conflicting objectives (even for nominal allies) often results in a bewildering array of potential outcomes.

However, as in most games of skill or chance, there are fundamentals to which gamers should adhere, particularly new or inexperienced players. The player who gets the first move of the game should capitalize on this advantage. It can set the tone for the early portion of the game and, in Fire in the Lake, it’s the only move that can be planned with any certainty. After that very first move, the game can go off in a thousand different directions… but the first move can be carefully planned.

You can choose a “shotgun approach”, attempting to inflict damage on both of your historical enemies while simultaneously assisting your ally, or you can opt for self-promotion and the bettering of your own position. You can also choose to focus your aggression against one particular enemy player whom you consider the most immediate threat, hoping to rock him back on his heels for the next turn or two. Or you can try to do a bit of all the above.

Each player’s initial game situation is unique and demands a custom strategy that complements their peculiar capabilities. This article is geared towards inexperienced Fire in the Lake players who have a decent working knowledge of the game mechanics, but are still not “old pro’s”. It proposes a set of “perfect opening moves” for the Viet Cong, assuming the luck of the draw has granted them the very first move of the Short: 1965-1967 Scenario.