East & West is a strategic wargame about an hypothetic 3rd world war on 3 fronts: Central Europe, Middle East and Russian-Chinese Frontier.
This subject is related to the geopolitical situation at the end of the 70s. After the Vietnam war and the first world oil shock, there are less international tensions between USSR and USA. The two main crisis of the cold war: Berlin blockade and wall (end of the 1940s) and the Cuba missile crisis (beginning of the 1960s) are far away. The tensions are moving to the mid east, around 2 major events: the American hostage crisis in Iran and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, in 1978.
The idea to add a Russian-Chinese front makes this game very original. These 2 countries have frontier tensions since centuries. The Great Wall of China was build first 200 Before Christ. Even today, the situation is nervous, especially near Mongolia.
The illustration is signed by Enea Riboldi. Modern weapons, an F16 fighter and a nuclear missile contrast with the still necessary infantry.
Opening of the box
The box is heavy ! It includes 3 maps, 3 counter sheets, the rulebook, the example book, 2 tables for combat resolution, 1 table for troop transfer between fronts, 1 table for the calendar and the reserves, 1 set of sheets "electronic codes table / transfer control tables" and 2 dice.
The first map represents Central Europe
The counters are coming from different countries with original alliances.
- The East bloc is made of East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland
- The West bloc is made of Germany, Holland, Italy, Austria, Belgium and France.
In the middle east:
- The East bloc is made of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon (in fact for Palestinian counters from the PLO)
- The west bloc is made of Israel, Jordan, Iran, Saudi Arabia.
In China: USSR is against China
This game was probably designed before the Iranian revolution of 1979, that reverse the alliances: Iran became against USA. Then in 1980, Iraq, previously using Soviet weapons, started the war against Iran. Iraq received some support from the West allies (including France and USA) and Arabian countries (Saudi Arabia and Kuwait). More information is available in Iran-Iraq War on Wikipedia. This conflict had a major impact, with the growing of Muslim fundamentalism against USA on one side, and Saddam Hussein on the other side. It was also called "first Persian Gulf War". The "second Persian Gulf War" was the Iraq invasion of the Kuwait, with the USA intervention followed by a world economical crisis. Then in 2003 came the invasion of Iraq, made by a coalition conducted by the USA.
The rulebook contains 25 pages in 4 languages (Italian, English, German, French).
The rules are complex, with several particular cases, but remain far away from a "monster game" not easy to play. To win and establish a Strategy will moreover require some experience and a new player will have no chance against an experienced one.
Example of some specific case in the rules:
- "The electronic code research" is a mastermind giving some advantage to whom can find it
- The Lebanon is a neutral country except for the Palestinian Army (PLO) who can shelter here
- The Cuban instructors can increase the potential of African and Arabian units.
- The partisan units can carry out terrorist actions in the Eastern Europe.
The rules in French
The rules in English
The rules in English improved by Rob Veenenberg
A Spanish article from the magazine "Maquetismo y Simulación" n°13
The article (Spanish)
An article in Fire & Movement n°29
An article in Jeux et Stratégie n°7
"The rules have to be fully rewritten"...
Some price (2004-2006):
EAST & WEST overview
Game for 2/3/4/5/6 players from 15 years on
Time of Game: 4/8 hours
Difficulty level: 6 (very hard)
East & West in boardgamegeek
East & West in LA CAVERNE
East & West in Tric-Trac
Some historical source about the Mid-East conflicts:
Let's rewind far before Iran-Iraq War or even the Cold war.
After Beirut, Kabul and Sarajevo, Baghdad was heavily damaged by the war. The popular image of Baghdad is a city in the middle of the desert, the city of Aladdin. But in fact, Baghdad is one place where the occidental civilisation was born: the Mesopotamia, lying between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The bible itself places the origin of the world in that place: The garden of Eden, where the Tigris and Euphrates have their source.
In this place was discovered the first writings, from around 3000 years before Christ. The ruins of Babylon are only 150 km far from Baghdad. Babylon was the centre of a powerful Empire, 2000 years before Christ. the king Hammurabi created here the first law code, the first unified languages and religion, around 1750 years before Christ. In the whole world at that time, the civilisations were in China, in India, in Egypt. The rest of the world was just leaving the prehistoric ages.
Around 600 before Christ, the Babylon king was Nebuchadnezzar II , included in the Bible because he captured Jerusalem, destroyed the Solomon temple and deports the Jewish citizens to Babylon. This was also the period of the second wonder of the world: The hanging gardens of Babylon.
Around the middle east and the Persian culture, read again The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, this an interesting book. Don't keep only in mind the modified extracts for children books.
Around East Asia, read The art of War written by Sun Tzu between the 6th and 5th century before Christ. Any contemporary military or geopolitical theory is largely inspired from this book. It is even used a lot in the business strategy.
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