In Next War: Poland, a large portion of Poland is represented by the Operational (hexagon) map, while the Baltics are represented by a Strategic Display (similar to Next War: Taiwan’s). The Russians are not the behemoth of the Cold War, but they have resources and a better trained army than before. The Baltics, using new rules and mechanics, may fall quickly, although their forces may put up some resistance and make an appearance as reinforcements, while the front quickly establishes itself in eastern Poland; the Russian 6th and 20th Armies push forward to seal the Suwalki Gap; and NATO rushes forces into the area spearheaded by the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (and followed up by whatever nation’s troops respond to the Article 5 declaration). The question is, can NATO stop the Russians or will Poland be overrun while Russia presents the world with a fait accompli?
Note: the Next War series is not an introductory wargame. Rather, it is intended to create a system (and a series) that will allow detailed study of modern warfare in various venues as well as engaging gameplay.
That said, the Standard Game rules encompass straightforward instructions that will be fairly "easy to learn" by experienced wargamers. So, players who choose to play Standard Game scenarios can have a relatively quick game when that's what suits them. The real flavor of a war in the theatre, however, comes through in the Advanced Game, where you get much more control over airpower and can more clearly see each side's strengths and weaknesses.
For players who want a "mini-monster-game" experience, playing the Advanced Game Campaign Scenarios with some, or all, of the optional rules will definitely “deliver."
Ownership of any previous Next War Series game is NOT be required to play, although ownership of Supplement #1 and Supplement #2 adds to the games.