The Third World War: Session Report
I played this game solo. It was the first time I had played this in ten years (Marriage and Children take up a lot of time). This has always been one of my favorite games and with the holidays I had some free time.
Turn 1 – Clear weather – Both sides choose nuclear de-escalation.
Air war: PACT gain air superiority, air strikes crater 4 runways. NATO air forces take more losses than PACT units.
Southern Germany: The PACT launches an offensive in central Germany near Wurzburg. A gap is created in the NATO lines. The PACT forces drive south to within 1 hex of Stuttgart, isolating southern Germany and threatening to cross the Rhine. Munich and Nurnberg are surrounded.
Northern Germany: Polish units take West Berlin without loss. PACT forces drive towards Hannover; a German Panzer division is destroyed in heavy fighting south of Hannover. The Baltic port of Lubeck is attacked but holds. The PACT attempts an airdrop in Denmark, but it is intercepted and turned back with heavy losses to air transport points.
NATO forces shores up its front lines. NATO is able to build a contiguous line from the North Sea to south of Stuttgart.
Turn 2 – Clear weather – Both sides choose nuclear de-escalation.
Air war: The PACT is unable to gain air superiority as NATO air reinforcements arrive. PACT air units attempt strikes against Nurnberg, but are driven off with loses. PACT air losses mount, however the PACT is able to eliminate an A-10 ground support unit.
Southern Germany: PACT units drive to the Switzerland border cutting off Munich and Nurnberg (which are still surrounded). NATO units counter attack threatening to cut off PACT forces near the Swiss border.
Central Germany: PACT attacks and makes limited gains near Wurzburg, NATO air units slows the progress of the assault.
Northern Germany: Branschweig (just south of Hannover) falls to PACT assaults. The Baltic port of Lubeck is taken and Polish forces move toward Kiel. Hamburg is attack but thanks to NATO air, holds.
NATO units reinforce in central Germany and the northern port of Kiel.
Turn 3 – Clear weather – Both sides choose nuclear de-escalation.
Air war: PACT air superiority is impossible now due to PACT losses and NATO reinforcements. PACT air units attempt and fail to crater NATO runways. NATO is successful in cratering PACT runways and striking PACT ground forces near Hamburg. A second NATO A-10 air unit is lost
Yugoslavia joins NATO. PACT units blow past Yugoslavia border guard units and surround Zagreb. Italian units in southern Germany start back to Italy.
Southern Germany: German units in Munich breakout and join up with NATO forces on the Swiss border. PACT units seal up NATO breach near Stuttgart. Nurnberg is still surrounded, the PACT attempts an air strike but it is repulsed with losses.
Northern Germany: PACT assaults near Kassel and gains some ground. Kiel falls to PACT forces. Hamburg is surrounded.
Turn 4 – Clear weather – Both sides choose nuclear de-escalation.
Air war: The PACT player is down two three front line air superiority fighters. NATO rules the skies.
Yugoslavia: PACT forces capture Zagreb and Ljubljana, the Italians have only two mechanized divisions and a handful of brigades to hold off two Soviet Armies and one Hungarian Army. All other Italian forces are moving south through France. Rijeka is under siege. The Yugoslavian army consists of one infantry division and two air units.
Northern Germany: PACT forces expand the Kassel breakout and surround Hannover. PACT forces attack Hamburg but are driven back with the help of NATO aircraft at the cost of another A-10 unit.
Southern Germany: PACT aircraft attempt and fail to strike Nuremburg.
Turn 5 – Clear weather – Both sides choose nuclear de-escalation.
Air war: NATO transfers one fighter to the southern (Italian) front. NATO aircraft maintain air supremacy.
Yugoslavia/Italy: PACT forces capture Rijeka and Triesta. Italian forces fall back badly damaged. Reinforcing Italian forces are moving south through the Alps.
Northern Germany: NATO units evacuate Hamburg. Heavy fighting near the Kassel pocket, with both sides taking damage.
Southern Germany: Two French Armored Divisions, one French Attack Helicopter regiment and one French Mountain Brigade pull out of the Stuttgart line and move south to aid Italian forces. US National Guard units arrive in France from the states and move south to reinforce Italy.
Turn 6 – Clear weather – Both sides choose nuclear de-escalation.
Air war: NATO transfers two fighters and a ground support aircraft to the southern (Italian) front. NATO aircraft maintain air supremacy.
Italy: PACT forces destroy the Italian forces they mauled on turn five and take Venza. The recent losses put Italy in the shaken political status. This has little practical effect since all Italian forces are operating inside Italy. Italian forces cross into Italy from the Alps, followed by US National Guard units.
Northern Germany: Hannover is attacked, but despite losses, holds. PACT units attempt an attack on Spanish units northwest of Hannover, but NATO air prevents the attack. The PACT attacks near Kassel and gains ground, damaging NATO units. NATO counter attacks (with air support) regaining some of the ground and badly damaging a Soviet Army.
Additional US National Guard units arrive in France from the states and move south to reinforce Italy.
Turn 7 – Overcast in German front, Clear weather in southwest front – Both sides choose nuclear de-escalation.
Air war: Overcast limited the numbers and effectiveness of PACT fighters. NATO’s ground support was also degraded. PACT strikes are turned back with loses. NATO archived limited success grounding one PACT aircraft.
Italy: PACT forces south of Venezia are pounded by NATO air strikes and forced back to recover. During this turn both NATO and PACT forces shore up defenses and repair damaged units.
Southern Germany: PACT forces break through north of Mannheim, 2 Soviet Mech Divisions crossed the Rhine. A PACT attack on Mannheim fails. On NATO’s turn, the Mech Divisions are drive back to the east side of the Rhine.
Northern Germany: Two PACT assaults near Kassel destroy two German Divisions, PACT forces edge closer to the Ruhr valley. Hannover falls to PACT forces. NATO counterattacks the Kassel pocket, surrounding a Polish Armored Division near Dortmund.
Turn 8 – Clear weather – Both sides choose nuclear de-escalation.
Air war: The PACT can only field two front line fighters, at this point the PACT does not have an effective air force. NATO launches numerous air strikes that disrupt PACT formations and prevent the PACT from launching any ground attacks this turn.
Northern Germany: NATO forces eliminated the Polish Armored Division trapped near Dortmund.
Italy: PACT forces south of Venezia are pounded by NATO air strikes again. During this turn both NATO and PACT forces shore up defenses and repair damaged units.
End Game –
The PACT player scored 53 victory points – resulting in a marginal NATO victory. Major Cities under PACT control are: West Berlin, Kiel, Hamburg, Hannover, Munchen and Venzia.
4 Soviet Armored Divisions
6 Soviet Mechanized Divisions
2 Soviet Mechanized Airmobile Divisions
4 Soviet Airmobile Infantry Brigades
1 Polish Mechanized Division
1 Polish Armored Division
1 – Soviet Su-27
4 – Soviet Mig-29
5 – Soviet Mig-23
2 – Soviet Mig-21
1 – Czech Mig-21
3 – Soviet Su-24
3 – Soviet Mig-27
1 – Soviet Su-17
1 – Polish Su-17
2 – Czech Su-17
1 – Polish Su-20
2 US Armor Divisions
1 US Mechanized Divisions
2 US Cavalry Regiments
1 US Attack Helicopter Regiment
1 British Armor Division
4 German Panzer Divisions
3 German Panzergrenadier Divisions
5 German Panzergrenadier Brigades
1 German Attack Helicopter Regiment
2 Italian Mechanized Divisions
2 Italian Mechanized Brigades
3 Italian Motorized Brigades
1 Italian Airmobile Infantry Brigade
4 Italian Mountain Brigades
2 Yugoslavian Armor Brigades
2 Yugoslavian Infantry Divisions
5 Yugoslavian Border Guard Brigades
1 – US F-15
1 – US F-15E
1 – US F-16
3 – US A-10
1 – Dutch F-16
1 – German Tornado G
2 – French Mirage 2000
1 – French Mirage F-1
2 – French Jaguar
1 - Yugoslavian IAR-93
This was my first playing of the game since the early 90’s so I don’t think I did the best job running the PACT forces. In past games the PACT usually got to the Rhine and Ruhr. This game they didn’t do as well. There were some turns were the PACT forces couldn’t launch more than one or two good attacks. I suppose the good weather really helped NATO also.
I chose not to go nuclear, mainly because I was still relearning the rules and didn’t want to complicate the game. As I recall, nukes are a double-edged sword, they can help the PACT player crack NATO strong points, even destroying whole divisions in a single turn. On the other side, nukes force the PACT player to spread out his forces (a nuke affects all units in a hex). By spreading out his forces, the PACT player weakens his conventional attacks.
A really enjoyed revisiting this game. It is still a fun, playable game after all these years.
Just your friendly, neighborhood game player and superhero!
Great report! I always wanted to play this game, and now I want to even more.
Excellent AAR on one of my favorite games.
Yes very well done. I liked this game as well. One thing about the system is its very easy to learn especially with the expansions. If you can find them, they're great. Persian Gulf adds the diplomacy that leads to the beginning of WW3.
Concise, effective, awesome AAR!