Tonkin - The First Indochinca War 1950 - 1954

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(3 reviews)
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Tonkin is a two player game that covers the crucial period of the First Indochina War fought between the Viet Minh and France from 1946 -1954. The game focuses on the intensive years from 1950 - 1954 in the northern part of Vietnam, called Tonkin, and Laos. It is a game of high interactive play where both players have a set of ten operation points and a number of supply dumps. By spending operations points you will be able to perform different, mostly non-combat, actions. By expending a supply dump you will also be allowed to perform combat missions. But there will be a limited number of supply dumps to expend and they will also be needed to keep units in supply. When you spend operation points you will only be allowed to spend one, two or three points in a row before it is your opponents turn to spend his. The two sides have very different forces so you have to identify what you are good at and avoid getting into situations where your opponent will beat you on his backyard. The French units are strong. They have artillery and air support, plus they have a high motorization which gives them mobility in clear terrain. Viet Minh units move fast in bad terrain and they can ambush and fight with sudden ferocity. This is a game of high tension and tough decisions, and you will not be rewarded for ineptitude. It is won by controlling territory and by forcing the other player to replace and reinforce heavily and this is a balance you have to keep an eye on.


  • 5
    Asymetrical Indochina Sim

    Posted by Jeff Z on Jun 15th 2020

    Recently, I wrote a review for this on BGG, and I will repost it here: Just started really getting into it and Tonkin is a great wargame and represents the dynamics of the First Indochina war, and fighting in Vietnam, excellently. For history, reading Bernard Hall's Streets Without Joy and that first and second hand data helped get me in the theme of this game. They go well. Mechanics, show the differences between both factions and within a couple turns the limits and ways to win show themselves. The way VP are similar but divergent is key. E.g. the French need to wound the Viet Min for Vp but the Viets want to obliterate whole units. When those units come back, they cost the French VP again so it is a double hit. No such limit is on the VM. Visuals: it is beautiful for a paper based wargame. I will buy games from this designer again.

  • 4

    Posted by Carsten on Aug 31st 2019

    Fascinating implementation of the Indochina conflict. The game plays fast but doesn't lack depth. Limited resources, asymmetric abilities of the conflict parties and a relentless jungle (beautifully depicted on a gorgeous map) make for a very interesting 'brain burner'. The counter artwork is something I didn't warm up to, yet. But I can imagine that this might change over time.

  • 5
    Excellent game

    Posted by Frank on Mar 13th 2019

    I owned the first edition of this game, which I traded a while ago, but after some time I wanted to get a new copy, when I finally saw the second edition of this game on legion wargames for preorder, I promptly ordered it, and I am happy I did, this new edition is a much better edition than the first, and I look forward to getting it on the game table.