Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
21 Posts

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: The Malayan Emergceny 1946-60 rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
roger beatson
New Zealand
flag msg tools
Is anyone aware of any war-games on this conflict ?.
Have tried looking various sites and apart from a couple of articles in Strategy & Tactics and War-gaming Illustrated there seems to be very little in the way of war-gaming.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Elijah Lau
Singapore
Singapore
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've done a search on this before and I'm quite sure there are, at this point, no Malayan Emergency wargame. My guess being that the topic is too obscure for Americans and there isn't a wargame designer whose area of expertise is on the Malayan Emergency.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hawkeye
United States
Astoria
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
elijah234 wrote:
I've done a search on this before and I'm quite sure there are, at this point, no Malayan Emergency wargame. My guess being that the topic is too obscure for Americans and there isn't a wargame designer whose area of expertise is on the Malayan Emergency.


The only game I know of is Guerilla and if you find a copy, let me know.

I think Americans have embraced all sorts of obscure topics, but usually only after someone comes up with a great design. I think counter-insurgencies are much more difficult to model than more traditional conflicts, so I am very curious to play a game of Kim Kanger's Ici, c'est la France! The Algerian War of Independence 1954 - 1962 to see how he handled it.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Elijah Lau
Singapore
Singapore
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Guerilla is on the Konfrontasi, which is different from the Malayan Emergency.

Still, thanks for the info! The Konfrontasi was also a very interesting period in Southeast Asian history.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
CJ
United Kingdom
Colchester
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
The inherent problem you're going to face in creating such a game is that the Emergency went through several fundamental shifts in the nature of the conflict, and representing those would require a complex game mechanic (not to mention that the latter part would be boring as fvck because kinetic conflict had largely ceased).

Although I've never played it I would suspect that you'd need something along the lines of Twilight Struggle...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kim Kanger
Sweden
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The British faced two major insurgencies comparable to Algeria (although they were much smaller in scope): Malaysia and Kenya. Each insurgency has its specifics and I'm not sure my system in Ici, c'est la France! can be translated directly into Malaysia. The major difference is the ethnic aspect. The insurgents in Malaysia were Chinese while the rest of the population there were mainly Malaysian and Indian. So, if one were to use the system in Ici, then I guess the following changes had to be made: 1) A population more friendly to the existing British power (not friendly to British rule as such but unfriendly to Chinese dominated rule). 2) Less politics (or perhaps different kind of politics) since the Chinese insurgents were less able to work politically than the FLN in Algeria. 3) More difficult to find the insurgents in non-populated areas because of the terrain there.

Rory, have you tried Ici yet?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Owsen
United States
Redmond
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm American and I would love a game on the Malayan Emergency, or the later Confrontation.

Guerilla is on my want list as well... cool
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marcus Lau
Malaysia
Petaling jaya
Selangor
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My daddy fought in the Malayan Emergency against the Communist Guerillas. He was a Malayan Air Force Sergeant and he was in charged of dropping supplies to the many scattered villages in and around Peninsular Malaysia (known as Malaya then). I know first hand from him that the war against terror (no pun intended) cost many lives on both sides of the conflict. And not only lives were lost but also many innocent women, young and old were raped by the Communist hiding deep in the jungles. They would come out at night and robbed the villagers of their food supplies and rape their women.

The funny part was that the Communist Guerillas were initially recruited to help the British fight the Japanese soldiers during WWII but at the end of WWII, the Communist (Kuomintang) refuse to surrender their arms but instead continue fighting for a Communist State in Malaysia. Even after Malaysia gain its independence in 31st August 1957, the guerillas vowed to fight on for the sake of Communism. The Malaysians at that time labelled them as terrorists. Many a chinese were recruited from Chinese National Schools in and around Malaya to join the communist guerillas. My dad has personally 3 friends from his village joining the communist and they did try to pursuade him to join them too but he refused. He instead joined the Malaysian Air Force to fight the insurgence. He even has a medal to show for it.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Elijah Lau
Singapore
Singapore
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with Chris that the later part of the Emergency would be quite boring to play as a game. In fact, historians have argued that it was pretty much over by 1952 (although it was not so clear to the participants at the time).

From 1946-48, Loi Tak was in charge of the MCP and he adopted a policy of gaining political control through legit means. Hell, he was a British agent to begin with! Then, he left and Chin Peng took over and embarked on the "insurgency". You could say the MCP's prospects went downhill from there.

Militarily, the MCP was damn-near useless. The best they could achieve was a few isolated assassinations, sabotage, ambushes..., while the British response evolved into similar small-scale COIN actions.

Quote:
The major difference is the ethnic aspect. The insurgents in Malaysia were Chinese while the rest of the population there were mainly Malaysian and Indian. So, if one were to use the system in Ici, then I guess the following changes had to be made: 1) A population more friendly to the existing British power (not friendly to British rule as such but unfriendly to Chinese dominated rule). 2) Less politics (or perhaps different kind of politics) since the Chinese insurgents were less able to work politically than the FLN in Algeria. 3) More difficult to find the insurgents in non-populated areas because of the terrain there.


Kim hit the nail on the head. The MCP drew their support from the Chinese, who were not the majority in Malaya, while the majority population distrusted the MCP. Once MCP embarked on the insurgency and "headed for the hills", the British were easily able to cut them off from the population centres and deprive them of political/military/economic support. Essentially, the MCP was starved out (politically and economically) in their isolated camps.

All this would be quite hard to characterise in an meaningful manner in a wargame and yet, at the same time, be fun to play.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hawkeye
United States
Astoria
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kanger wrote:
Rory, have you tried Ici yet?


Good notes, Kim, and no, not yet. Definitely looking forward to it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
United Kingdom
Durham
flag msg tools
Scheiß Inselaffen!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
elijah234 wrote:

From 1946-48, Loi Tak was in charge of the MCP and he adopted a policy of gaining political control through legit means. Hell, he was a British agent to begin with!


If I remember correctly, he was a triple agent during the Second World War, working for the Japanes as well as the British. On the eve of the planned insurrection, he disappeared with the Communist funds, but not before giving the British warning of the party's plans, allowing them to arrest many potential guerillas shortly before they intended to go into the jungle.

My grandparents were in Sarawak during the Emergency, and thus didn't actually witness it at first hand, but they remembered seeing British military hardware being transported from Borneo to the penninsula.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Elijah Lau
Singapore
Singapore
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Salo sila wrote:
elijah234 wrote:

From 1946-48, Loi Tak was in charge of the MCP and he adopted a policy of gaining political control through legit means. Hell, he was a British agent to begin with!


If I remember correctly, he was a triple agent during the Second World War, working for the Japanes as well as the British. On the eve of the planned insurrection, he disappeared with the Communist funds, but not before giving the British warning of the party's plans, allowing them to arrest many potential guerillas shortly before they intended to go into the jungle.

My grandparents were in Sarawak during the Emergency, and thus didn't actually witness it at first hand, but they remembered seeing British military hardware being transported from Borneo to the penninsula.


Yep, he worked for the Japanese when the masters in Malaya changed. Then he switched right back in 1945. He sure knew which way the wind was blowing...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Beaton
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
I have a cunning plan
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It shouldn't be too hard to put something together using ASL's DYO rules, with partisans as the guerrillas. That does assume that you are an ASL player and are willing to do some research.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Graham
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Malayan Emergency might be amenable to an adaptation of the We the People system. I'd certainly be interested in a game covering it or the Konfrontasi.

For those interested in the era but who haven't read much on it, I'd recommend Bayly and Harper's Forgotten Wars, (http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Wars-Freedom-Revolution-Sout...). It devotes special attention to Loi Tak and his shifting loyalties.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Carlton
Australia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My step-grandfather (for want of a better term) was a senior officer in the Australian Army during the Malaya Emergency. (He was originally with the Black Watch at Cassino in Italy)

He has a ton of interesting stories from that time.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ethan Tan
Singapore
Singapore
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The 2 interesting dimensions to this conflict are:
1. food
2. propaganda

If a wargame is able to capture these 2 aspects in addition to the usual military aspects, an interesting simulation could be designed.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kim Kanger
Sweden
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Or you could rephrase it and say:
1. Supply
2. Insurgency

Playing the insurgents in Malaya would be a struggle to spread the insurgency outside the Chinese community and getting hold of supplies. Getting supplies is easier, of course, if you spread the insurgency, and spreading it can be done if you have supplies. So, this could be a interesting game of balance.

Playing the British would be, not only to deny the insurgents reaching their goals, but also to play a political game. The British knew after awhile that they had to leave, but not before the insurgency was contained. So, by promising independence they would increase the Malayan support of the British struggle. But, by delaying such promise, Malayan support for the insurgency might increase. Playing the British, therefore, would a game of time. Setting an independence date, as early as possible will win the population but result in an withdrawal of a large part of the british forces. Setting a late date will keep the forces but make the population angry.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ethan Tan
Singapore
Singapore
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Some very interesting ideas there!

What I had in mind were:

1. food: mechanics to simulate/abstract efforts to enlarge the Min Yuen network (using influence points?), as well as covert missions to pillage (using sacrifice of manpower and dice?)

2. propaganda: the information (or rather mis-information) war between the MCP and the British (using event cards?)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Graham
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As I understand the Emergency, food was important but it was more tied to influence in the villages and towns, i.e., in areas where the MCP had support, food was easier to get; in areas of low MCP support, food was hard to get and the insurgents had to resort to pillaging, which lessened support even further. Thus the game should revolve more around the search for influence than directly the search for food.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
roger beatson
New Zealand
flag msg tools

Thanks to all those who've been contributing to this thread.Sorry for my lack of input since starting it but I've been tied up with Uni studies. I think there are some really interesting ideas that have been put forward.

From my perspective I think the conflict would probably be reasonably straight-forward to recreate as a traditional hex-type wargame as there appear to be a number of rule sets about that could handle the type of guerrilla warfare involved. Personally I would be really interested in something a bit more abstract along the lines of a mini "Twilight Struggle" or "We the People" as some of the other contributors have suggested.

Including the political elements along with propaganda , influence , and food/supply denial amongst others would really bring the game to life , so to speak.If we developed some game mechanics and some card artwork with a 1950's theme I think you could have a game that would really shine.

Any thoughts/suggestions ?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
roger beatson
New Zealand
flag msg tools
Rory

I've just taken a quick look at the info on the French v Algerian war-game you mentioned in your thread and it certainly looks very promising. Looks as though with a bit of tweaking The Malayan Emergency could be quite done as a variant using a similar system .
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.