Wargamers Only

For those of you who own a copy of the Century of Warfare edition of The Operational Art of War, please feel feel to download this scenario.

It’s called Operation Final Justice, and it was originally designed by Al Sandrick. I’ve modified Al’s original inititial deployments to take to account Turkey’s refusal to allow Army units to operate from their nation. 4th Infantry and the 101st will have to move out from the Kuwaiti desert.

The game is played for 28 12-hour turns. You’ve got two weeks to win — and while you can win without taking Baghdad, I don’t consider that a realistic outcome. Also on the unrealistic side, Iraqi SCUDs can reach Diego Garcia, thanks to map scale limitations. Re-base those B-52s immediately. The rest of the game looks pretty damn realistic — after I made a few changes.

Al originally forced almost the entire Iraqi Republican Guard into a garrison role, unable to move until knocked out of place by a Coalition attack. I’ve removed that restriction. But if you decide to play as the Iraqi side, move units long distances (or even short ones) at your own risk — American air power is quite punishing.

Also, I’ve added a check on Turn 4. On that turn, each Iraqi regular army unit has a 60% chance of quitting the field. After 48 hours of bombing, the idea the 40% of the unmotivated regular army would still be fighting is, I think, pretty conservative.

To keep thing interesting, Al had four Iraqi nuclear bombs rigged in a static defense. Occupy any nuclear booby trapped hex, and there was a 2% chance of a small nuke going off under your feet. I’ve raised the odds to 25% for each of four rigged spaces, thus making it all but certain that one or two primitive nukes will be used against Coalition forces. You’ve been warned.

The Iraqis will use chemicals from Turn 1, and Shi’a refugees in the south will clog the roads you’ll need for your initial advance. There’s a 15% chance of Iranian intervention, an event which will severely complicate things for you.

Speaking of complications, keep those engineering and bridging battalions near the combat troops. The Iraqis will blow every bridge they can — and there are lots of bridges you’ll need to cross. Special Forces and airborne units will need to play hopscotch behind the front lines to secure any bridges the Iraqis leave unprotected.

A few words about Turkey. Although the game doesn’t model things like ethnic atrocities, that’s something you, as the Coalition commander, will want to avoid. You’ll need to use your limited air transport (and/or transport helicopters) to get either the 82nd or the 101st up into the Kurdish areas, or at least into Tikrit, long before your armor can reach. Thanks to Iraqi mobility and Turkish intransigence, those light units will have to do their job without tanks to back them up.

And that means more Americans will die than would otherwise be the case.

A quick word on casualties: Coalition forces don’t like them. At some fairly high percentage of effective manpower (I won’t say exactly what) Anglo-American units will cease fighting for a turn or two until they regain their strength. So avoid any and all unnecessary casualties. Don’t fight during the day when you can fight at night. Don’t fight when you can bomb, and never attack when you can use your greater mobility to surround and cut off the enemy. While you won’t have any opportunities to perform a massive encirclement like in Gulf War I, you’ll still have plenty of chances to gain multiple, smaller actions. Use those chances. Use your mobility.

Also, try playing as the Iraqi commander. You won’t win in battle, so instead think about three things: Delay the Anglo-Americans, cause casualties, and use your SCUDs against Israeli civilians. Iraq will be rewarded 15 Victory Points for lasting until turn 15, and 30 VPs if they still have units in the field at the end of the scenario. Those numbers won’t determine the outcome, but they will reflect world opinion turning against the Coalition. Dead Israeli civilians are worth 20 VPs per “unit” destroyed. A combination of delay and thousands of dead Israelis will be enough to secure a stalemate.

UPDATE: Destroyed Iraqi Airbase Security units were reconstituting — in Iran, thus preventing an Allied all-enemy-forces-destroyed victory. The flaw has been fixed. Download the scenario again.