8th Army Meat Grinder – Defending against CCF assaults in Victory Games’ Korean War

The Korean War: Board Game Review


Overview

The Korean War board game, designed by Joe Balkoski and published by Victory Games in 1986, is a club favorite here on Long Island, NY, so we never pass up an opportunity to give it a “plug”. This article discusses a strategy the UN player can employ to form and hold strong defensive positions in any location, but particularly along the rivers in P’yongan-Pukto province, in the northwestern corner of the country. These rivers are where the UN are most likely to have first encounters with invading CCF divisions, as they are very close to the Chinese/Korean border. P’yongan-Pukto also contains a major CCF reinforcement entry point; the city of Sinuiju.

A Fighting Chance for the South in the Early Days of the Korean War

Introduction

The great challenge of playing historical military games is trying to surpass the achievements (or at least avoid the disasters) of the historical commanders. We try to beat Napoleon’s time to Moscow; defend the tactical donut at Alesia more successfully than Caesar (although he did it well); and actually attempt to score a knockout against the British with our Continentals in 1776. All of this makes for fascinating play, but many of these simulations are, well… lopsided. One side acts as the aggressor until they either succeed or run out of steam. If the initial defender survives, he may be able to transition to the offensive. But by this time the initial attacker is usually a spent force. What follows is more of a mop-up operation that a true operational shift in initiative.