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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Korean War (1986)

The Korean War (1986)

Ratings

7.54961 out of 10 with 343 ratings
Board Game Rank: 1954
War Game Rank: 163

Description

An operational level simulation of the first year of the conflict for control of the Korean peninsula, from the first North Korean attack, through UN-forces invasion of Inchon and the subsequent drive into North Korea that unleashed the Chinese counter attack.

  • Designer: Joseph M. Balkoski
  • Artist: Rosaria Baldari, Ted Koller, James Talbot
  • Publisher: Victory Games (I)
  • Year Published: 1986
  • Number of Players: 1 - 2
  • Suggested Number of Players: 2
  • Manufacturer Suggested Ages: 15
  • Playing Time: 960
  • Honors: 1986 Charles S. Roberts Best Graphic Presentation in an Adventure Game Winner
  • Subdomain: Wargames
  • Category: Korean War, Modern Warfare, Wargame
  • Mechanic: Hex-and-Counter, Simulation
  • Family: Country: Korea
  • Alternate Names: The Korean War

Reviews

9 out of 10
By
One of the greatest wargames ever made. It captures the topic beautifully. The rules are clear and not too long, but have enough detail to keep it rooted in reality. Playing 4 scenarios will create the more exciting part of the war before it becomes a stalemate. Or for a twist, you could play the campaign, that covers the same time frame, but brings in things like nukes, Soviets, and a Formosa invasion. This is one of the shining examples of why Victory Games was the greatest wargame company ever. Once I get more plays under my belt, I see this going to 10.

7 out of 10
By
Rating based on my memory of the 2 campaigns I played way back then. The game is great but hampered by the fact that the two greatest surprises in the war (the landing in In'chon and the Chinese intervention) aren't really surprises here and can be managed/avoided. I wish some mechanic had been devised to make both events stick closer to reality.

5 out of 10
By
Could never find anyone willing to play this one...something about it didnt lend itself well to solo playing either...

By
Punched, missing all blanks (previous owner removed them)

By
Mint, reference copy.

7 out of 10
By
Unusual topic. The two maps are big and beautiful. interesting the commitment idea. It mixes military ideology with political necessity.

8 out of 10
By
Good treatment

10 out of 10
By
My 5th wargame of a more than thousand collection and always played with full satisfaction, even now after 18 years. What does it mean? It means (at least upon my opinion) this game is simply one of the best you can ever play!

By
I don't know why I dislike this game while I usually appreciate everything coming from Victory Games. Perhaps because we can't play the whole war and that is also unusual from VG as they always proposed before whole campaigns for their other games.

8 out of 10
By
A great game, one of my favorites. Fast and flowing, simple enough for new gamers, complex enough for vets.

By
Another solid Balkoski offering.

By
1-2, 180, 3.6

By
G14

8.5 out of 10
By
I gave this game away when I was trying to drastically cut down my collection, but... I used to play it a lot in the 90s, it is a good depiction of the military campaign in a straightforward IGOUGO, hex-and-counter system. I like the chrome of various nationalities and some optional units (IIRC, some Soviet and Taiwanese units are available).

7 out of 10
By
Very nice system, the game suffer from not being able to replicate the surprise of Inch'on invasion.

By
Need to put this on my "Hot" list...

By
I bought this second hand after I ummed and aahed too long in the store when it was originally published and so missed the boat! Not a bad simulation, surprisingly well balanced given the subject matter but the given victory criteria are cruel indeed as I discovered when I played all the scenarios with a friend last year.

7 out of 10
By
Very innovative game that sparked my interest in the Korean War. I love the political aspect where players can chose their level of commitment and roll to see if the conflict escalates. It long playtime, big map, and ugly graphics means that I dont get to play it often, but it is in many ways my inspiration for my own game design on the Korean War using Academy Games Fog of War system.

7.75 out of 10
By
Vastly underrated war game. Actually this is a fun game.

By
unpunched. near mint only slight tear in box cover

By
VG

9 out of 10
By
Counter density and system work really well together. The fact that a game that has been around for so long completely lacks an Errata document shows how the game was so well designed and tested. Look forward to more plays. Too bad this game is not being remade by someone else.

10 out of 10
By
Nice operational simulation of the entire Korean War. I like the rule with the depots since it reflects the requiste build-up of supples before a major offensive. The game flows well. Another excellent game from Joe Balkoski.

9 out of 10
By
An absolute blast if you have an opponent, time, and a table big enough.

10 out of 10
By
Best game I own. The rules regarding escalation are awesome. Trying to achieve a UN military victory without touching off WWIII - I love it!

By
Never played it, but want to, and now I finally have the game table to do it!

9 out of 10
By
This game encourages a tightly fought campaign by tempting the players to take risks for the big victory points. The campaign will sweep up and down the map inline with the changing fortunes of the two sides. Logistics are key, ultimately it is stretched supply line that bring your offensives to an end. The game stands out in my collection of 80's games it is the keeper. VG is still my wargaming super group. This was one their best albums and am a huge fan. Korea is no longer just another item on a cold war check list. Korea tested the post war American Army almost to the point of distruction, it was General MacArthurs lowest and highest points, it made China a regional super power, fractured the relationship between Bejing and Moscow, brought the USA and Russia close to direct conflict and was perhaps the UNs finest moment etc.. This was not a prelude to the main event Vietnam this was every bit as important. Play this game.

7 out of 10
By
I have not played it but I want to subject is interesting

By
Supposed to the definitive treatment of the conflict.

10 out of 10
By
Nice maps & counters. Quick to set up and start playing. Medium complexity.One of few games you can play over and over again and actually play it to the end each time.

By
NOT YET PLAYED

8 out of 10
By
Perhaps Balkoski's best game design ever, BGG's overall rating for this game is ludicrous, and perhaps best explained by the overall lack of popular interest in the Korean War. The system used in this game is not only one of the most elegant ever found in a conflict simulation, but perhaps the most elegant ever for simulating both mobile warfare and the logistics of supply. A real gem of a game.

By
Wargame

By
Necesito las reglas en español

6 out of 10
By
Victory Games operational-level. Map covers the entire peninsula.

7 out of 10
By
Nice game, where airpower and supply seem to be well modelled. Have played the opening scenario a number of times and it's always fun to see if the UN forces can hold on. Complaint - can't seem to model the Inchon landing and it's subsequent effect (cutting of North's supply around Pusan resulting in total collapse of red position) - never seem to get enough units ashore to fan out and cut supply.

By
[b]Purchased on:[/b] 10/5/15 [b]Purchased from:[/b] [url]www.amazon.com[/url] [b]Purchase price:[/b] $89.00 (+$11.50 SH) [b]Notes:[/b] - Purchased used (unpunched) [b]Weight:[/b] 3.7 (10/5/15)

7 out of 10
By
Loved the choices forced on the UN player. A game that I regret having let go.

7 out of 10
By
Played once. I seem to recall that it was an interesting system, but the scenarios and variation are limited.

9 out of 10
By
One of the most interresting and exciting simulation of the korean war. I love it.

By
Not played

By
Opened. Never played.

7 out of 10
By
Very enjoyable game - well done - low unit density, good feel for the ebb and flow of Korean campaign.

9 out of 10
By
Many differents strategies, especially for the UN. Good tactical impulse gameplay. The campaing game allows the players to switch between attack and defense

9 out of 10
By
at this stage, this is the best hex and counter i've played. Both sides get to attack, there is plenty of room for out flanking and cutting lines, a bit book keeping heavy but this adds lots of wider context to the conflict with the UN commitment levels etc. This is a very very good war game. Has a manageable density of counters and a reasonable play time too.

8 out of 10
By
Have had this one for quite some time. Played it so often over the years the map has torn at one of the seams necessitating scotch tape surgery. A really great game designed by a military historian who knows the war quite well.

10 out of 10
By
Great game. Excellent combat system and feels very natural and realistically suited to simulate the conflict as it was actually fought.

8 out of 10
By
An excellent game and simulation, and, in my opinion, the most beautiful game map Victory produced.

8 out of 10
By
Period: Modern Cold War Korean War Scale: Operational Publisher: Victory Games Note: Excellent game system. Rules are good to work with.

By
LNK

By
UP

By
Bought a used copy from Ebay a while back but haven't played it yet. From what my friend has said, this is a wargame well worth exploring.

By
Never played. I bought it mainly because my father served as an MP in the war.

10 out of 10
By
This is a fine, fine game with excellent mechanics and great replay value. In fact, it is the only game I know where both players will find themselves repeatedly on the offensive and defensive. Anyone interested in the Korean War and not afraid of a little necessary complexity should own it. Although after repeated playing you may find a need for a very few minor house rules. For example: as written, the UN player need never actually end his turn as there is no limit on the number of times he may break-down and build-up the same US unit. Bottom line: For grognards, this is one exceptional game. For a more detailed analysis of this game and some unofficial errata see our site "The Boardgaming Life."

By
N

9 out of 10
By
Un excellent jeu sur un thème peu courant. Le principe des dépot rend simple et limpide la gestion du ravitaillement et de son importance, sans rentrer dans une gestion comptable assommante. un fantastique jeu, qui ne peche malheureusement que par son traitement de l'intervention chinoise (problème récurent sur les jeux traitant de la guerre de corée)

9 out of 10
By
Brilliant exercice of style. The supply rules correspond exactly to the jostorical campaign... It's aging very well.

4 out of 10
By
This deserves the praise it usually gets, but I didn't really care for it and it's hard to say why. "She was a nice girl, but...." type game. It cleverly executes the strategic picture and it's possible to bring on an early WWIII. The mechanics are the ancestor of the designer's later Lee Vs. Grant and The Great Campaigns of the American Civil War, which I really like. But this...maybe it's a tad too abstract for my tastes. All the pieces on a side are the same ("cookie cutter"). I'm about to accuse it of following the same pattern every time, but what Korean War game doesn't? Luck plays a large role early in the game (initiative and number of activations). All things considered, I have too many other games that, should I bring this out again, this becomes another learning curve all over again.

By
Boxed

7 out of 10
By
Bought in 1989. Played once in the 90's. Was a very good game.

By
Never Played In a crate in Kalsel

9 out of 10
By
very good system, esp. considering the time period this game was released. The initiative system allows the play to go back-and-forth, so there is very little downtime for a hex-and-counter game. the scenarios work pretty well, and don't take long to play. Given that the Incheon landing and Chinese intervention will certainly not be a surprise to either player (history ignorant grognard?), I am not sure that the campaign game would work. It would certainly take several plays of the campaign to know what a good choice would be for the strategic plans (intervention level, tension level, etc.). the combat system seems to lack a certain amount of tension, as the results are pretty easy to guess.

9 out of 10
By
Excellent: Korean War - Strategic/Operational - Medium Plus: -Great theme -Great map -Great rule book. Lot's of rules but a nice read -Innovative core system, rules are failry easy but you can use optional rules to make it even more interesting -Great scenario's with optional Russians etc. -Low counter densitiy Down: -Counter art (very small italics / icons) -Quite some rules involved so it takes a lot of referring to the rule book when playing. Amazing how little appeal this seems to have. Well Korea is also called the forgotten war so I guess it has to do with this. Like Against the Reich, another great game of the great Balkoski. Interesting topic that has it all: North Koreans, Chinese intervention, Russian intervention, Nuclear threat: what more you need in a wargame?! The scenario's are great and all depends on the positioning of your depots (like Against the Reich)Especially the campaign game is interesting as you are able to commit more troops, but you raising the danger of intervention. A classic whithout the acclaim it deserves. If you can get your hands on it, buy it as you won't regret. Thankfully I have a copy!

10 out of 10
By
Finally got a copy and played it. See my session two reports. Fantastic wargame; makes my top 10 - probably top 5 ever. Incredibly well integrated strategic operational game. VERY innovative combat and supply system; still state of art 30 years after being published. Rulebook is among best ever making this game easily accessible. And, yet, the game is beefy: lots of choice, lots of tension strung out over 15 to 20 hours. The decision model generated for each player by this design produces GREAT play value. I do hope a designer or two uses the some of these concepts as a basis for other strategic operational games. Balkoski's logistics mechanic makes supply considerations an important component of military success: what a novel concept in wargames!

By
Thrifted gave away guild

7 out of 10
By
Loved this game, had to let it go because I just don't get it to the table much anymore

By
[color=#777777]mbadge = NONE[/color]

8.5 out of 10
By
Great fast play game of the Korean war. Very tense with random activation. This is a great game and in my opinion, better than the OCS Korean War game but I've played it enough times that my rating reflects an interest to play some OTHER games in my collection. Vassal Module

6 out of 10
By
-Clever design makes this one of my favorites -Operational activation -Quantity based on supply level commitment -Solitaired mostly but still enjoyable -This game ia a classic & is under appreciated. -I would take this over the OCS Korean War anyday -OOB in this game is lacking comparatively to OCS -Gave it away Xmas 2013

By
I just ordered the game from someone who sold it. Apparently it is a classic.

8 out of 10
By
An elegant design that captures the operational aspects of the campaign. The map is gorgous, and the scale is perfect, ... it makes the terrain varied and details important leading to tense and interesting battles within the campaign. The one fault is that hindsight will prevent most NK players from making the same mistake at Inchon.

7 out of 10
By
Tried to play this with a friend. We spent first evening trying to understand the rules. Did not move a single piece until the second session.

By
Victory Games 1986

8 out of 10
By
Picked up an unpunched copy off Ebay March 2015.

By
Punched

10 out of 10
By
A brilliant design by an outstanding designer. Possibly the best incarnation of a system he refined in many games. Tense, exciting, good history, attacking possibilities for both players, ebb and flow. Highly recommend.

7.5 out of 10
By
Great game, for me this really caught the 'ebb and flow' of building up for offensives, and then resupplying and building up again.

6.5 out of 10
By
Enjoyable game - really recreated the initial strategic sweep of the war for me

By
(Geekgold auction, January 2006)

By
Have had for many years but never played it. Purchased it primarily because my dad fought in it.

7 out of 10
By
One of the VG title that I do not want to own a copy (very few of these) originally. It is because of the subject matter, not because of the system. The Korean War is a continuation of the WW2 into the Cold War, whereas the superpowers, Communist China, USSR, American and the "Free World" flex their muscles in the Korean peninsular. A dirty politically- induced war. I just don't understand why there would be such a war even after the drop of an atomic bomb on earth -- a fact which proves that the threat to use nuclear weapon itself cannot be a means to prevent/ stop war.

10 out of 10
By
own it.

7 out of 10
By
5 Scenarios and 1 Campaign. Turn=1 Month.

By
For Sale : MINT

5 out of 10
By
Long ago, I had pegged this as a good game with the usual nice VG graphics and the usual Balkoski virtues. I then played Against the Reich, which had a similar system but serious problems, with the inability of units to conduct an offensive along a front. Turns out this game has the same problem once you go past the initial head-over-heels NK expansion period. Too bad.

9.5 out of 10
By
Great Game on Korean War. I like the operation system and the fact that UN political objectives are represetned (the escalation rules are wonderful.) I like ot be able to break down US divisions to better spread out or conentrate them for the decisive punch. I like the portayal of the UN efforts (but including also minor natioanlities air forces would have been great). People have complained about the lack of surprise on the Inchon landing or on the CCF intervention. The problem is that susprises have already been done in 1950... A gem of my collection.

By
wt: 3.65

By
Unplayed

7.5 out of 10
By
Very decent game on a forgotten subject, but (like most games) suffers from being unable to simulate the big bug outs that happened historically. The players have too much control of their units and visibility to the overall situation (combat and political)

10 out of 10
By
My all time favorite. Korean War is a fast moving game that provides both sides with opportunities for blitzkrieg-like advances and "stand or die" defenses. The rules could use some very minor tweaking, but it is always a competitive game; a real nail-biter.

8.5 out of 10
By
Nice game about a lesser portrayed conflict in the hobby. With the help of this a game I've got a better understanding about the whole situation. Both sides are on the attack and both on the defense or have fighting withdrawels. Also you have some political decisions to make.

By
Fascinating but unplayed.

7 out of 10
By
Victory Games did a great job with this one. I haven't played the advanced game, but I have kicked around some of the simple scenarios and I like it a lot.

2 out of 10
By
I used to own this. Sold 01/11/00.

By
Looks like an interesting change of pace. MEDIUM priority.

7 out of 10
By
Just started playing the Advanced Game, if anything, rating likely to increase. Low counter density and a fluid game system. Good operational level system that integrates air power (air support/interdiction), an interesting logistics systems (supply depots) that really forces you to carefully choose your area of concentration and the Global Tension Track. UN military deployment and level of involvement ratchets up Global Tension, which can lead to Chinese/Russian intervention, even World War 3. Cool! I'm enjoying the game so far. Feel inspired now to read up on some of the history of the war. --------------------------- Interested in the Korean War, but have yet to play a wargame covering it. Well regarded Victory Games design, glad to have finally obtained a replacement copy for my collection.

8 out of 10
By
An excellent game that breaks out of the standard turn-based system. I learned a great deal about the Korean War from the wonderful designers' notes.

6 out of 10
By
Balkoski can always be relied on to come up with something interesting. Best treatment of the subject.

8 out of 10
By
This is an operational-level game covering the first year of the war in Korea, from June 1950-May 1951. It contains both basic scenarios and an advanced game, focusing on ground actions, with air rules for interdiction and air support as well as amphibious rules for naval landings. Award(s): Charles S. Roberts Best Graphic Presentation in an Adventure Game Winner (1986).

9 out of 10
By
An excellent, tense, exciting game, with carefully considered and appropriate mechanisms, and pretty good as history. There are a few aspects which could use a bit of tweaking through house rules. One of the best of the VG publications, which counts as high praise.
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