Art imitates life. Life imitates art.
Following a series of contentious elections in which both sides accused the other of support from outside the country, the Ukraine began to fracture. What started as competing protest marches in the streets rapidly escalated into a shooting war between the different factions. When the President of the Ukraine finally ordered the Army to restore order, several units revolted, and the President appealed to NATO for assistance.
Ignoring Russian warnings against intervening, NATO provided a small UK-led force, which the Russians countered with a reinforced mechanized corps, plus reinforcements from their Belorussian allies. The US sent their available forces to the Polish frontier, hoping that their deterrent effect would stabilize the situation.
The Ukrainian "Interventionists" (so named for their favorability toward Russian "intervention") had organized their own fighting force around the two mechanized brigades (and assorted smaller units) that mutinied against the national command. Russian operatives assisted in arming and organizing the "101 Brigade" from provinces near the border; other partisans throughout the Ukraine also took up arms on the Interventionist side.
The Ukrainian government incorporated their volunteers into the standing army, hoping to avoid any public relations backlash from having irregular forces on the battlefield, as they attempted to paint the conflict as a civil war in which the Russians were meddling and NATO were invited peacekeepers.
The first battles were joined near Lvov, as the Interventionists bypassed Kiev and pushed as far west as possible, hoping to prevent the NATO forces from establishing a bridgehead in the Ukraine. Russian and Belorussian reinforcements arrived from the north to try and flank the existing Ukrainian national forces before NATO could join the fight. The Americans were moving through Poland, but had concerns about the security of their supply lines.
The Next Wars series brings battalion-level modern shooting wars to your tabletop. Combat units must synchronize attacks and defenses to maximize their collective combat power. Headquarters units coordinate actions on the battlefield and support battalions maintain supply lines.
Civilians are a fact of life on the modern battlefield, and they are present in The Next Wars. Neutral and benign, local civilians may come to support one faction or another based on the behavior of the forces of the battlefield.
Headquarters units also enable players to deploy command cards that allow give units special actions or bonuses on the battlefield. Simulating the staff planning process, the mission cards allow units to prepare and rehearse certain missions for later execution.
The Next Wars is scaled at 10km/hex, with 12-hour turns. Units are battalions, headquarters, and specialty companies.
Next Wars I: Orange Crush will ship in a solid box with over 200 counters, a gorgeous map from Olivier Revenu, a rulebook and scenario book, players references, and 2 decks of command cards.