GWaS: U.S. Navy Plan Crimson
In the 1920s, United States military planners hatched a scheme for the invasion of Canada. Called War Plan Crimson, it was a subset of War Plan Red, the plan for war with England, the largest, most detailed and most amended of all the U.S. war plans. A war with Great Britain and the British Commonwealth would be a world-wide conflict, easily making the term “Second World War” appropriate.
Even without the expected aid from Japan, the powerful British navy would threaten U.S. interests in and control of the Philippines, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, Cuba and Puerto Rico as well as the Panama Canal. In exchange for these losses, the U.S. planned to conquer Canada. This would be a crown to Manifest Destiny and a platform to rebuild and eventually regain all that would be lost elsewhere.
Canada would be invaded even if neutral. The Canadian government would be abolished and the conquest held in perpetuity. It would be made clear to Canada she would suffer grievously for resistance. The British peoples were seen as tough adversaries capable of fighting against odds to the finish. Use of poison gas was authorized from the start of hostilities. It would be a terrible war where populations would be on the front lines.
Experience had taught the British the advantage of naval control, and geography provided an inland ocean. The Great Lakes would be a shield of the Canadian Dominion and another sword to cut and bleed the United States of America. A long period of tension during which both sides made military preparations would include building naval forces for the Great Lakes.
Great War at Sea: U.S. Navy Plan Crimson is the most unusual game ever published in our popular naval series. While we've created games based on wars that never happened, fought with ships that were never built, in each case military planners thought about these battles and the ships at least reached the planning stage.
In this case, designer Milan Becvar has created a game in which neither the ships nor the plans have a "real world" analogue. That allows for a wide-open strategic situation, in which friendly and enemy bases are so close together that fleets cannot hope to elude one another.
There are 50 "long" ship pieces and 180 square pieces, all of them nicely laser-cut. The American and Canadian fleets are built around "lake battleships," similar to the coast defense vessels of other navies, with shallow draft and anywhere from four to seven big guns. There are also a handful of cruisers and a large number of destroyers, torpedo boats and mine craft.
The map, by Guy Riessen, covers the Great Lakes basin at the usual 32 miles per "sea" zone. All of the lakes are covered, linked by canals, both those that existed and those that could have been built. Both sides of the lakes are dotted with ports, with the American side hosting many vulnerable industrial centers and the Canadian shores within easy reach of the Dominion's vulnerable east-west lines of communication.
There are 30 scenarios, or separate game situations, included. The game uses the regular Great War at Sea rules, with some special rules to address this unusual situation.
U.S. Navy Plan Crimson is a complete boxed game in the Great War at Sea series. It's a limited-edition item available only from Avalanche Press.