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It is December, 1979. Hafizullah Amin, a dedicated communist, leads Afghanistan ineffectually. In Moscow, his Soviet handlers at the Politburo chafe under what they see as his failure to unify what may be an increasingly unravelling national unity. Leonid Brezhnev, the aging Party Secretary, has been slowly but certainly convinced by the hawks on the Politburo that, absent decisive Russian action, Afghanistan will not only fall from the Soviet orbit but may, at best, become an anarchic Muslim state siting adjacent to the USSR’s own sometimes restive Muslim republics. At worst, they see Amin asking the United States to send in its military in a direct challenge to Soviet dominance. Such an action would be catastrophic to Soviet interests in the area.
In what they see as a likely short and decisive “regime change” action, the Politburo signs an order on December 15th directing Soviet mechanized rifle and airborne forces to deploy throughout Afghanistan under the guise of assisting Amin in restoring order but in reality occupying critical national centers. When complete, units of the elite Spetsnaz secret police will storm Amin’s palace outside Kabul and liquidate him. He will immediately be replaced by Babrak Karmal, a pliant Soviet puppet. No trouble is expected, and no one in Moscow anticipates a fight. In good order and according to plan, Soviet forces occupy bases throughout the country and on December 27, 1979, Amin’s palace is stormed and he is shot dead (then grenaded for good measure). Soviet casualties in the assault are high but acceptable in what is viewed as a tremendous success. That view, they would learn, could not have been further from the truth.
Welcome to the Great Game, Cold War version. In the mid-19th century, the Great Game pitted the Russians against the British in Afghanistan in a battle over the future of India. “Save Afghanistan, Comrade!” pits you as the Soviets and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the rebellious Mujahadeen for dominance in Afghanistan.
Can you defeat the resilient Mujahadeen fighters and create a stable and lasting communist Afghan nation on the USSR’s southern border? Or will you, like Brezhnev’s Soviet Union, find the Mujahadeen to be a stubborn and ultimately indomitable enemy? You begin in December 1979. Amin is dead, Karmal in power, but unexpectedly the Afghan army and security forces have essentially dissolved.
COMRADE: REESTABLISH ORDER, CRUSH MUJAHADEEN RESISTANCE, AND REBUILD THE AFGHAN ARMY AND POLICE!!!
UNBOXING: Take a look at the 2nd Edition Print reveal of “8th Air Force” & “20th Air Force” – the same sturdy game board (14-point stock) and pre-cut counters will make for a high quality “Save Afghanistan, Comrade!” as well!