MODERN WARS (post 45)

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FORCE ON FORCE STAN AND IRAK (souvenir pics- finished gaming it-sold).

In 20 mm, started around 2010 till 2013. All given or sold as had to shrink space for storage. It all started as "a small quick game", ended up with 1700€ of spending and the thing filled the whole car when I moved it to its new home. Had a lot of fun with it. Souvenir pics.

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1/285th "ww3" or the one we prepared for but did not do (thankfully) but which is sort of happening in reduced scale as I write, unfortunately

Started in the late 80s, with "Combat commander" back when players could play slow complicated rules.
Tried a bunch of others, then this "period" went in "general reserve".

Cold War Commander review and mod.

My "modern" 1/285th miniatures have been sleeping in their boxes for years. They started 25+ years ago with playing a thing that nowadays we would call unbearable called Combat Commander. Then came Corps Commander, Challenger, WRG, FFT2/3, Combined Arms. I mostly gave up for years as the burden to give a fair and enjoyable rendering of the intricacies of modern combat was never fully satisfied. I don't want fantasy. Some bits about the first game of CWC here.

My opponent bought the two "Commander" rules from Pendraken. My fault, as I kept reading bits here and there and liked mostly what I saw. Obviously he passed on me the hot potato of deciphering, learning the thing to explain and play later. I won't go into describing the appearance, pages etc. plenty are doing this moderately useless thing. The rules are looking businesslike, clear enough, though with use, I had to go page hunting and even ask questions on the forum for half hidden stuff. Often in rules, one should not be afraid to add text with repetitions if they apply at a certain point rather than have you search back and forth. Same in QRS. The Pendraken Forum and possibly the facebook page are fast invaluable treasure of help and experience. I tried to play alone then realised I made pretty heavy mistakes. Tried again. Then we had an afternoon. I don't like "points shopping lists" but if properly done they at least give an idea of the relative power of things (and I am jealous as I have no idea how to construct this thing). A bit of the game here.

The result: the system is fine, easy to remember though there are hidden intricacies one can miss initially. I used the captured paper on stats for multiple D6 rolls reduced to only two dice, a trick from boardgames; saves a huge amount of time. We did screw up the first partial attempt, as I thought (with questioning the thing!) opportunity fire was a possible response to each active player fire. I don't have enough experience yet on the overall thing but at least in a few turns we did not have half the tanks burning. It is hard to say what time a turn can represent (say 10min?) so it is not too crazy. I re plunged into OPFOR manuals (I am the Warsaw pact, often), though to my surprise still lots of info from the Cold War stuff lingered deep in my memory. We used 6mm figs and those tiny tanks take little space so the stated 1cm=20m makes the table is fair enough (here it was 3.2 km attack frontage and 5km depth) if you have space. The but was that the things do not spread enough to be realistic combat frontage, the system even pushes you to mass (except the artillery and even), something found in many rules. A bn of soviets in attack should be around 1km wide, at least. If you follow doctrine in the rules, you will suffer for commanding them. I would have thought that doctrine should rather be the optimal use .

As a former tanker (son of an artillery officer) who read a lot, some of the stuff do not fit but can be easily corrected. One of the reason tanks spread (40-200m between) beside collisions ( you don't see well on the sides as the driver, the commander can easily be busy ;) and artillery strikes, it comes to target re engaging. If the foe is clustered, you can find one; shoot and in the firers optics he will fast or even God forbid immediately get a new target. If they are spread it will take time, and time is vital, it can easily be like OK Corral, who shoots first and well, wins. So clustered tanks should get a die bonus to the AT fire (guns. missiles are slower and the other crew can work on acquiring while the shooter tries to maintain aim). I am talking of stuff from the 80s as I play this war we did not do (fortunately). Say to be game conservative needs 5 cm between AFV (except in close terrain) so in 6mm 6-7 cm (140m for 4 vehicles) which is a minimum. 10cm should probably be better for NATO but...

The one thing in the rules which  does not do is the treatment of artillery. Others who know what they are talking about said so on forums (TMp). FOOs are equipped with proper optics, very modern ones with sats and computers but that is beyond my "period". If you talk to one they will tell you they "walk fire". My dad would jump in his grave if you'd tell him that every fire for effect will drift away 100-500m+ if you are 1km from the target point. The game only considers what artillerists call impromptu fire. A rare stuff where you are in such a hurry that you might waste scores of your precious rounds on a fleeting juicy target. Normal arty calls (that gets a favorable response) walk regulating rounds (from one regulating gun) to the target; it can take a few minutes. A mech target might take this time to move away. Once the caller is satisfied he calls for fire for effect with the number of rounds. And most of the rounds, given the wind, and circular error inherent to the tubes, (make, wear+) they fall pretty close to the target. So in the game that deviation should be uncommon and for long distances or partially obscured targets. If you want artillery to be limited, the best is the number of "rounds". It looks that the effects are quite good in the game. Soft and foot targets should be automatically supressed, no one stands to run away... After all, armoured infantry transports where invented mainly to allow the infantry to move into the "artillery zone". AFv should have a fair chance to be supressed too (button up in time? big bangs nearby and on you that will make you say dizzy at best. Worry that anything vital gets smashed (tracks, comms, optics). My dad used to say armoured vehicles (say up to 30t?) can be put on the side/upturned by a close 155.

Another thing that needs be addressed; the command and control "position" of the artillery. It is either dedicated, or in general support for a normal game. Dedicated means it is under direct command of your Co/ or his arty chief in the game. General support, it is shared with other outfits outside of the table, it might be busy when you need it.

In soviet ways, unless re organized for the mission, each regiment has its own bn, dedicated. It fires only for you. In most NATo things yours are also (but not always) in general support of others. Moreover in soviet doctrine, the normal FOo for those guns is effectively the artillery battalion commander (forward command- he has a deputy who is with the guns); hardly the guns will say no to him unless they are moving or in a tight situation (and the game does make it possible to do counter battery). In many ways his response to needs should be better than the average Nato call (lowly officers who need to go through arty Hq). The rest of the guns (the DAG- division artillery group-sometimes augmented by army assets) can be in general support or assigned to you or others. The main difference with NaTo besides to forwards Foo being the commanders, "what is mine is mine, what is yours is yours". Unless the top re-assigns stuff, your guns only work for you. If you have a plenty whoa. If you don't and need them, well too bad. Nato can call for neighbours. Each Wp foo commands his own stuff only but he can be assigned a lot of stuff if they plan for it. In that case where he is, hell can come, but elsewhere...

So in the game:

use the option fast results, 2 hits= suppression, I would have no saves from woods for foot troops vs artillery/mortars (branches chewed up to splinters adding fun).

Throw 3D6 for request, one different colour. On a 6 on this one it deviates. add+1 for each km after the first between the observer and the impact zone, +1 if not a pro artilleryman calling (or Hq in game). If it does, roll deviations as normal, including reduced rolls for lasers.

For calling: dedicated artillery +1, general support -1. You have to organize before the game who has what and commands, if not obvious. If a long game some command rules for re assigning units could be  used.

Reduced impact zones, (as in options) one for each battery that can be side to side or piled up. Add dice. Smaller guns/mortars could be smaller. 

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Where my recently done Leipzig felt mat came to unexpected use. Plenty of fields, the roads are not much what they should be but I don't have decent bitumen roads in scale. I would love to find grey chalk which would allow for it.
I chose the "exploitation" scenario from the rules, as did not want to learn the things about fixed defenses (yet). Little deviance as I allowed the defending brits a Bn of M109 in support.

turn 2 
We played with hidden deployment+ mobile for me (popov) as I can't understand post 1900 with everything seen.
soviets had part of a DAG in general support.
2 reasonably in shape bn groups of Brits (one inf heavy with Chieftains, one lucky armor heavy with challengers: set somewhat in 1985.
Facing them two understrength rgts, one motor (BTR70+T72) one armour (T64+ bmp1/2).
We fumbled with the rules but in the end it works quite fine.
It was quite fast to learn the basic systems but we fumbled quite a bit with the rules as we had to search things. No wonder for a first game with only one poor sod who read the thing.
We ended up playing only with the tank rgt as I and the dice kept the motor one for "exploitation"/later. tank rgt vs brit 2coys of Challenger and 2 FV 438. The brits ended up smashed but He did not manoeuvre enough.
I was puzzled as to how many Hq to use. Brits had one per bn and one overall(brigade) Co. soviets, one per rgt plus one "division/ or rather assistant division forward post. It was a bit not enough for the soviets. Next time they will have two per rgt like the real ones one "rear" one forward.

Various mistakes:

Sp122 artillery has to be a sort of bn guns, no Foo , wrongly used. I forgot the composite armour of the Challenger, to the utmost joy of the BMP shooters.

For a while we forgot the evade against ATGW.

I did not buy the rules for the remote shooting of Fv438. I just put them behind the crest in full defile the guy with his joystick, dismounted assumed to be a dozen meters in front; I think this should be the way. The "morale" rules for collapse might have to be refined. Figured out that the brits could lose all 6 Challengers but because there were 10 other bases (FV432+ inf+ 2 fv438+2 scimitars) and still be happy. Hardly. The artillery rules are rubbish. Changed. (afterwards;) I will use proper hidden deployment with company counters and some decoys. In this game there should have been no way to know where the mech coy was hidden like I knew. Not a big deal, it forces to think and use recon. We liked the game, he also bought the ww2 version and we will test it. Might somewhat replace Battlefront as it handles armour badly. When the hidden bits are mastered, and some fine tuning, this game would go fast and be quite fine.

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