Author Topic: Wargaming the Next Korean War  (Read 113 times)


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on: June 02, 2022, 06:29:14 AM

Another long piece from Rocky, with some excellent analysis


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Reply #1 on: June 04, 2022, 03:09:35 PM
Another amazing essay by RMN! Lots to chew on here. I found the section on "Theory of Red Victory" most fascinating. I had never heard of this before and want to read more and think about it before commenting further.

I do have an immediate comment on the "Thinking the Unthinkable" section. I think game should allow the use of nuclear weapons and once that happens both players immediately lose. I'm firmly in the camp of there is no such weapon as a tactical nuke. The article I link to is four years old, so please keep that in mind. It is interesting that although Gen. Mattis tells congress "I don’t think there is any such thing as a ‘tactical nuclear weapon", he then tells congress due to the Russians having them, we need them too. A more recent article, Why there’s no such thing as ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons, which quotes the previous article from DefenseNews, includes more history and thought about why tactical nuclear weapons really aren't tactical.

I think it is folly to believe tactical nuclear weapons can be used without escalation to strategic nuclear weapons and the end of our planet as we know it. It is for that reason I don't find nuclear weapons, of any kind, to be enjoyable in a game. I mainly play these games for their fun value. It's an added bonus that they can also teach me something about military doctrine, or to help us analyze how something might have happened. For example, RMN's article, Moskva Burning – Using the #wargame Harpoon V from to assess the story, is a great use of Harpoon V (2020) as both a game and as a way to help us understand how the Moskva could have been sunk.

RMN addresses my concern when he wrote, "Then again, maybe, just maybe the hobby wargame community is not the best place to test theories of nuclear deterrence", to which I wholeheartedly agree. I think Mr. Dunnigan said it best in his Designer's Notes from NATO (1973):

"NATO has rules covering the use of tactical nuclear weapons. To simulate the use of strategic nuclear weapons simply soak the map with lighter fluid and apply a flame."