GMT Games has released the fifth entry in the Next War series of modern era wargames. In Next War: Vietnam, designed by Michael Land, the powder keg which is the South China Sea finally explodes as Chinese forces pour over the border to invade their southern neighbor. The game is for one or two players, ages 14+, plays in two hours or more, and carries an MSRP of $89.00.
For over 2000 years the Chinese have tried to dominate their neighbors to the south. The last time was 1979 when the PRC invaded Vietnam in response to the latter’s invasion and occupation of Cambodia. That war lasted about four weeks before China withdrew, having declared its mission accomplished.
Now, the old foes are at it once again. Sparring over the resource rich areas of the South China Sea, both sides have been slowly edging toward the precipice of war. That day has now come.
Next War: Vietnam is the fifth game in the Next War Series. This game returns the action to Asia and the powder keg surrounding the South China Sea. This time the Chinese don’t intend a limited, punitive expedition; they intend to squash the burgeoning threat from their southern border once and for all and prove, through force of arms, that the South China Sea is theirs. Building on the naval rules showcased Next War: Taiwan, players will have a chance to fight over the Spratly and Paracel Islands once again, as well as the mountainous jungle of North Vietnam.
If the U.S. gets involved, it might finally land troops in Haiphong Harbor and march on Hanoi, albeit as a relief force and an ally to its former enemy. The question is what will the rest of the region do? Will they join a side or stay neutral?
Next War: Vietnam will also allow players to play a combined game with Next War: Taiwan, and, with the rules in the latter game, adding on Next War: Korea as well for what would amount to the Pacific Front of World War III.
Ownership of any previous Next War Series will NOT be required to play Next War: Vietnam
Next War: Vietnam puts you in command of the potential conflict. Can you, as the Chinese player, enforce your will on Vietnam and achieve your goals in the South China Sea, shaping your position in world affairs? Or will you, as the Vietnamese player, once again successfully defend against your larger northern neighbor?