The Coalition's goal is to capture cities. They roll dice each turn, and depending on the number of cities taken, there is a chance the communist regime will collapse. North Korea wins if Media Perception Points sink to zero, or if the Coalition hasn't achieved regime collapse after 15 turns (equivalent to 30 days of real time). Thus the aggressors have only a month to accomplish their goal of regime change before their toiling masses revolt in solidarity with peace-loving Korean workers and peasants. We trust that the impetuosity of the imperialists will lead to rash decisions on the battlefield.
And what about our peaceful, defensive nuclear program, you ask? As long as we hold Pyongyang, North Korea can choose to use battlefield nuclear weapons to weaken Coalition combat units, or conduct a "strategic" strike against a South Korean city (not Hawaii or California...yet) that reduces Media Perception Points. In either case, the Coalition may respond with a tit-for-tat battlefield strike against our troops. Since our People's Army is happy to die for the Father of the People, this would seem to make nuclear weapons an obvious choice. However, every time North Korea uses a nuclear bomb, the Coalition player rolls a die, with a one-in-six chance that the United States responds with a full strategic nuclear strike that automatically costs North Korea the game.
Preparations to Repel the Unjustified Aggression
In the standard "Drive on Pyongyang" scenario, China remains neutral, rather than coming to the fraternal assistance of their socialist brethren. No matter, we are strong, self-reliant, and our haircuts intimidate the enemy. Not to mention that this is better than the alternate game scenario, in which Chinese troops intervene against North Korea.
The Coalition deploys its forces first. We are horrified to discover that the imperialists have committed yet another atrocity, this time against the innocent fabric of space-time. Their Alternate Reality Device has created a world where neither the Iraq nor Afghanistan wars -- nor sequestration -- ever happened. Thus the aggressors field 10 U.S. Army divisions plus a Marine division, while the British and French each contribute an armored division. The world has not seen such an armada since Desert Storm, and we are perplexed that the United States and its lackeys could still muster the money and political will to accomplish this.
Because most of the U.S. troops are mechanized, the American running dogs position their forces along the western edge of the DMZ, presumably aiming for a thrust up through open terrain to Pyongyang. Likewise, the ROK mechanized units deploy along the narrow strip of open terrain on the eastern coast, where they can advance on Wonsan, backed by a U.S. Marine division that can land amphibiously in support. Most of the ROK army consists of infantry (a single U.S. mech division is rated as stronger than an entire South Korean corps), so the aggressors station them in the center where they can more easily advance through the rough terrain, block a potential counterstroke, and be able to turn east or west to support the offensives along the coasts.
Now it is our turn to deploy. I place our strong armor formations around Pyongyang, where they can maneuver more easily in the open terrain. The best infantry entrenches in the capital itself, while the remainder of our forces deploy in the hills and mountains in the center and east of the country. I know that the Yankees will use their Marines to stage amphibious landings behind our lines, probably along the east coast.
The three fixed Scud sites must be set up near the border, so I place them in the hills in the center of the DMZ, where they will be harder to reach. The WMD sites have a predetermined setup, mostly around Pyongyang or along the Wonsan-Hamhung-Sinpo axis in the east. Fortunately, two sites are located in the far north, near the Chinese border. To avoid losing Media Perception Points, the imperialists must destroy all sites, and the far northern ones will be difficult to reach.
Our basic strategy is to hang on until the imperialists grow weary of a fruitless war. Through endurance comes victory. The Dear Leader himself devised that clever phrase.
The Aggression Begins
Before hostilities commence, each player randomly draws Strategic Events chits from a cup. The Coalition gets "Additional U.S. Forces," which adds an additional four brigades of capitalist mercenaries. We get "Rioting in South Korea," which means the ROK puppets cannot cross the DMZ on the first turn. As I expected, the Coalition cannot afford to wait. American and NATO troops cross the DMZ, though our border defense inflicts some losses. Special forces units attempt to raid a WMD site in the far north, but the dice know their socialist duty, and the raiders are repelled.
I take advantage of the ROK puppet inactivity to shift some forces to the west to delay the Americans. Between casualties and surviving Scud/WMD sites, the Coalition loses 10 of its 200 Media Perception Points on the first turn, as CNN shows footage of burning American vehicles. It is a promising start for the Democratic People's Republic, but will it be enough? I remind myself to have faith in our Beloved and Respected Leader.
On Turn 2, the ROK puppets make good progress, capturing two Scud sites. The U.S. Marine division lands between the DMZ and Wonsan, while the advance on Pyongyang continues. About a fourth of our People's Infantry has been destroyed, but they are delaying the advance.