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"Yet Another Cold War Gone Hot Scenario Question" Topic


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2,396 hits since 3 Nov 2013
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pigbear03 Nov 2013 2:01 p.m. PST

I know this comes up all the time so please bear with me. I'm planning a scenario for Modern Megablitz. It's a variant on the one that's in the rules, with an attack by the 2nd Guards Tank Army on the Hamburg-Luneberg area. It's set in 1989. Here's my thoughts for the forces involved and some of the equipment. Please comment if you have suggestions to make it better.

The Soviets attack with 2 divisions in the first echelon, 94th Guards MRD and 207th MRD (a third MRD is off map to the north and doesn't come into the scenario). They're equipped with a mix of BMP-1 and -2, BTR-60 and 80. There isn't much of a difference in game terms so I think I can just improvise the numbers. For tanks, mostly T-64 with perhaps T-80 in the ITB. If they achieve some prespecified objective then the second echelon, the 16th Guards TD, arrives on the table to exploit the success equipped with BMP-2 and T-64 (perhaps some T-80 too?). Artillery will be towed for one of the MRDs and SP for the other and the TD. The overall objective is to exit units off the Western edge of the table and to preserve a line of communications from the Eastern edge.

The NATO units include elements of the 3rd Panzer Division plus some Dutch and US units. These would include 3rd PzD HQ and assets plus the 7th Panzergrenadier Brigade near Hamburg and the 8th Panzer Brigade near Luneburg with Leopard 2 and Marder (perhaps some Leopard 1 and M113 too?), and one battalion of the 41st Pantserbrigade (NL) with Leopard 2 and YPR 765 elsewhere on the map. The rest of the 41st and the US 3rd Brigade/2 AD (M1A1 and Bradley) arrive on the table after a few turns. Artillery will be M109. The objective is to delay the Soviet advance as long as possible.

This is the basics and I wonder if I'm on track or if some redesign is in order. The NATO units have some very advanced equipment but this doesn't make a very large difference in game terms. For example, T80 and M1A1 battalions are +1 SP, probably the same for Leopard 2. This gives them some extra staying power but not invincibility.

Martin Rapier03 Nov 2013 2:17 p.m. PST

The biggest difference in rating MB units is troop quality, also NATO battalions are much bigger, base SP for a sov tank battalion is 2, for a type 74 armoured regiment it is a whopping 5! Add in good kit, veteran troops and you hit 8.

BW battalions are a bit smaller of course.

Flecktarn03 Nov 2013 2:23 p.m. PST

pigbear,

Your Bundeswehr organisation seems reasonable; there would have been a lot of Leopard 1s around in 1989, as the 1A5 had started coming into service in 1987. The same is true of the M113.

Jurgen

pigbear03 Nov 2013 2:36 p.m. PST

Yes, I'm worried about potential imbalance. I figure a Leopard 2 equipped Panzer battalion at 5 or 6 SP (base 3, +1 tanks, +1 good equipment, +1 if veterans). A T64 equipped tank battalion is 3 or 4 SP (base 2, +1 tanks, +1 if veterans). The one in the MRR is a little bigger so base 3 SP. I'm tempted to rank the Leo 2 as very scary kit but I think would be too much.

How would you estimate the troop quality? I'm thinking veterans for the NATO troops and regulars for the Soviets but again I'm worried about balance and may tweak it a bit.

Flecktarn03 Nov 2013 2:47 p.m. PST

pigbear,

Remember that the West German and Dutch armies were still conscript armies at this time; rating them as veterans might be generous.

That is, of course, solely in the interests of game balance and ignoring the fact that the Bundeswehr has always been an entirely elite force and easily the best combat organisation in the world (that should prevent me losing my job if anyone senior to me ever reads this).

Jurgen

pigbear03 Nov 2013 2:57 p.m. PST

Of course! wink

Well then perhaps regulars for NATO except for the US units.

Sparker03 Nov 2013 3:51 p.m. PST

entirely elite force

Whilst I admire your pride in the Bundeswher Jurgen, and realising that you have your tongue at least partially in your cheek, is it technically possible to have 'an entirely elite force?'

Even in the Royal Navy, the oldest uniformed armed force in the world, parts of it are considered better than average – the Submarine Service and the Royal Marines come to mind…

And of course the Communications and Electronic Warfare specialism!

John Leahy03 Nov 2013 3:54 p.m. PST

There is a modern Megablitz variant?

Thanks,

John

Lion in the Stars03 Nov 2013 4:15 p.m. PST

@Sparker: Elite compared to the rest of the service, or compared to international forces?

I'd argue that it is possible to have a poor quality unit compared to the rest of the Bundeswher that is still head and shoulders better than their opposition.

I'm pretty sure that I've been on a poor quality ship compared to the rest of the US submarine fleet, but I have no doubt that my subs crew was still better than anyone else in the Pacific.

pigbear03 Nov 2013 4:32 p.m. PST

Modern Megablitz is a file on the Yahoo group (I think that's where I got it).

I wonder if I could improve the scenario balance even more by bringing on a 3rd echelon of NVA units to provide security for the LoC. Perhaps one or two MRRs.

Buck21503 Nov 2013 7:25 p.m. PST

Just have NATO go nuclear. Problem solved.

Flecktarn04 Nov 2013 3:40 a.m. PST

Sparker,

My tongue was almost entirely in my cheek:).

Jurgen

Martin Rapier04 Nov 2013 3:43 a.m. PST

For late 70s/early 80s I tend to use relative ratings

1. Excellent NATO (BAOR, some BW, some US etc)
2. Good NATO (other BW, US), Cat 1 Sovs (maybe)
3. Other NATO (Dutch, Belgians etc) Cat 2 Sovs, Cat 1 Warpac
4. NATO reservists, militia etc, Cat 3 Sovs, reluctant Warpac
5. Anything else too awful to fit in above.

Which in MB terms maps into Vet, Reg, Trained, Conscript, Green etc. All a bit finger in the air and you may wish to tweak for scenario balance.

in SPIs Central Front, NATO battalions range from 3 to 7 SPs, Soviet Regiments from 9 to 12 and that is the key, the Sovs go around in big regiment sized clumps, so I wouldn't worry if the individual battalions are awful.

It is very easy two work out the overall scenario balance by just adding up the SPs, and it one side is ridiculously outmatched, either give them more stuff or tweak the unit quality.

mwnciboo04 Nov 2013 4:01 a.m. PST

@sparker – And of course the Communications and Electronic Warfare specialism!

I was going to write something about all Comms Dabbers and G****'s are always the same.

Then I realised we cannot use the EW nickname in public, least I get banned from the board.

We used to have a Picture of one on the EW Office and got in trouble when a "Strawberry" on a ships tour complained about it.

ON TOPIC :-

I maintained an objective opinion that very little in the 1980's NATO was elite, they were Confident / Trained. Many forces like the Bundeswehr were unproven, though they did have some exceptionally Wehrmacht Officers with tremendous experience to guide them.

The Same with the US and UK, the 1970's were not kind to either Armed force, the UK was woefully equipped and under prepared and the US was re-building and licking it's wounds post Vietnam and the huge socio-economic changes at home.

The NATO forces of the late 80's was unrecognisable to the forces of the late 1970's.

For Soviet forces, I put forward that Guards units were the Equal of NATO units e.g CONF TRAINED. But that others were reluctant.

Exceptions were Spetznaz and USMC / Para's / British Marines which are all FEARLESS TRAINED.

Only Proven units like Special forces would be FEARLESS VETERAN – SAS, FERNSPAH etc etc.

My lists are 1986 – they are all here.

link

Mike

pigbear04 Nov 2013 4:14 a.m. PST

Thanks everyone for the comments about unit quality, very helpful.

Mike, can you provide a more specific link to your lists?

I have to remind myself that balance isn't everything. I wouldn't give it much thought at all for a historical scenario but for something hypothetical like this it seems much more important.

Rudi the german04 Nov 2013 7:45 a.m. PST

Hi,

here is a lot of old cold war propaganda going on.

It is fantastic that these old stereotypes are still around.

I served with US Special forces SOCEU and german Fallschirmjaegerrs and have serious doubts about the ratings here given.

I would give ALL Nato and Warsaw Pact troops in europe are "regulair" status. Some Special forces from Grenada, Afghanistan could be veteran plus all units from the Falklands. This said might the british be the top in this TOO.

Only the russian army has sustained huge losses in Afghanistan and was still function for 10 years. No other army in the theater had a punishment like this, which would indicate that the russian army might have the highest moral.

Furthermore was the russian attack doctrine to attack first with. 3ed rate troops, and with 2ed rate troops and than break tough with first rate troops in the 3ed line. This doctrine starts with a 66procent even before the critical phase. I am not sure if any other army expects punishment in these dimensions… I can tell you that no Bundeswehr unit is still in attack mode after losing 66prrocent personnel.

The fairy tale of reluctant WP allies is also discarded 21 years ago. After the incorporated of the NVA into the bunderwehr were a lot of achieves and personnel was examined. The high willingness and motivation of the WP allies was shocking. As there systems were crumbling was the fanaticism raising. These units would have even fought harder…

No Nato unit had any punishment or mind set like this…

So be very careful if you use data from the cold war, which was made up to motivate Nato soldiers to stand and fight against a 4:1 ratio… Therefore the story that the others are all amateurs etc…

If you put in the parameter of training in to account it looks even worse.

Don't be offended if this point of view does not match with your expectations but these armies NEVER fought and therefore is this topic unanswered…

Greetings and have fun

emckinney04 Nov 2013 10:22 a.m. PST

Forgotten bit is that the Soviet "Category" system was exactly the French system in 1940.

Flecktarn04 Nov 2013 10:51 a.m. PST

Rudi,

A few questions for you:

1. Why would British forces that had served in the Falklands count as "veteran" seven years after the war there?

2. On what basis do you state this:

"The fairy tale of reluctant WP allies is also discarded 21 years ago. After the incorporated of the NVA into the bunderwehr were a lot of achieves and personnel was examined. The high willingness and motivation of the WP allies was shocking. As there systems were crumbling was the fanaticism raising. These units would have even fought harder…"

3. You state:

"Furthermore was the russian attack doctrine to attack first with. 3ed rate troops, and with 2ed rate troops and than break tough with first rate troops in the 3ed line. This doctrine starts with a 66procent even before the critical phase. I am not sure if any other army expects punishment in these dimensions… I can tell you that no Bundeswehr unit is still in attack mode after losing 66prrocent personnel." Where do you get the figure of 66% losses in a unit? You are talking about three different units.

Jurgen

Rudi the german04 Nov 2013 11:22 a.m. PST

Hi,

1. From Mj Pinter from BOAR and Veteran of Falkland/Malvinas and the impact on losses of high ranking officers in infantry assault on the moral of the rest of the forces.

2. And 3.:
Based on my first hand impressions, the reports and Planspiels of my superiors, as I was attached to the 25.LLDiv, which had the mission to test and analyze NVA/WP doctrine and weapons in 1993.

Greetings and have fun…

Flecktarn04 Nov 2013 11:59 a.m. PST

Hi Rudi,

If your answer to 1. refers to the effect of the loss of Colonel Jones, it is worth reading rather more deeply on why the battalion performed so much better after his death than before it. There is a body of opinion that it was not solely due to the men being inspired by him but largely due to his 2iC having a better and more flexible approach to command. Very few of the men in BAOR would have been in the Falklands as the units that saw extensive combat there were "elite" units (Paras, Marines and Guards), who were not generally serving in BAOR. Also, it was seven years before the year in question and many of the veterans would have been out of the army by then.

With regard to questions 2 and 3, I notice that you did not comment on the 66% unit loss that you mentioned. As for the capability and willingness of NVA units, your view contradicts the results of my own discussions with former NVA officers. Of course, as I have said elsewhere, it is possible that they were trying to make themselves appear better by playing down their former loyalty to the DDR.

However, as you so rightly stated, these questions can never really be answered as the armies involved never saw action against each other.

Jurgen

pigbear04 Nov 2013 4:27 p.m. PST

For a fictional scenario I suppose I can invent a fictional context. Let's say the Soviets are reacting to the imminent collapse of their WP allies by going for broke in an invasion of the West. The allies aren't trusted and are left out of most of the plans. Like I said, I might still include a few NVA or maybe Poles to keep the roads clear but not much else. My scenario would cover the first couple of phases of attack; the first echelon of MRDs, a 2nd echelon TD, and maybe an air assault. Presumably there's an OMG waiting in the 3rd ecehelon to seal the deal.

nickinsomerset04 Nov 2013 4:33 p.m. PST

As Jurgen mentions not many of the Falklands Veterans served in BAOR. However plenty of lessons were learned from the conflict which together with NI put a great deal of importance on the flexibility of command and importance of initiative and leadership at all levels.

Another advantage was that the British constantly trained at all levels looking at position, alternative positions, alternative alternative positions that would be used to channel and defend. As of course did SOXMIS and all those lorries we used to see in the West with the DDR markings! (Not forgetting of course BVs, Yellow handbags and Wolfgang!)

To echo Jurgen, so glad it never came to anything and here we are chatting about it to further move models around and throw dice!

Tally Ho!

Milites04 Nov 2013 5:10 p.m. PST

Nick, you mean the DDR lorries with two 'drivers', who used to hang around likely fording points?

I thinks SPI's Next war had the right approach, units had national competency values which could be adjusted. IIRC, the S&T review said, 'if you are outraged at US troops having the same rating as the Russians, change it to a four. If you believe the Soviets are mindless automata, change their rating to 2. So just pick what makes the best gaming options, you can never historically get it right because its a war that was never fought, proxies aside.

Bottom line, no one knows, I knew officers in the British Army who were a liability during exercises, let alone a shooting war. Others were brilliant. The worst people, IMHO to ask, are those who serve or served in the unit in question, try telling a Marine, of any nationality, that they are slightly above average in competency!

Martin Rapier05 Nov 2013 4:08 a.m. PST

Yes, troop ratings are very subjective, particularly when the armies in question never actually fought each other.

One can however base games on:

1. the performance of some of those units when they fought other people
2. the quality assumptions planners used in developing their operational plans

at the end of the day though, they are only numbers and the degree of granularity in unit ratings partly depends on your rules. If you are stuck with only 3 (like Modern Spearhead) then it necessarily becomes a little clumsy, although C3 differences are modelled separately.

You could of course choose to ignore it, but if troop quality was not a significant factor in modern warfare, the outcome of both the various Arab-Israeli wars and the paras assault on Goose Green would have been very different.

'Quality' can encompass a range of things in game terms though, including doctrinal differences, as well as differences in experience, training, motivation etc.

pigbear03 Jun 2016 8:42 a.m. PST

Finally got back to this project after a very long hiatus. Here is the Warsaw Pact OOB:

Elements 2nd Guards Army
Rating: Regular, Air Assault Forces Veteran
Unit Type SP
Army Headquarters BTR-60PU 2
2xEngineer Battalions Engineer/Truck 3, EP 4, BP 1
MRL Regiment BM-21 3, Range 20km
Truck LOG 2
Artillery Brigade 130mm Field Gun 3, Range 31km, CBR
AT-T LOG 4
SAM Battalion SA-4 AA 2, Range 70km
Attack Helicopter Squadron Mi-24 Hind 3
Transport Squadron Mi-8C Hip 3
Air Assault Battalion Infantry 3
2xArmy Supply Battalions Truck LOG 4

94th Guards Motorized Rifle Division
Rating Regular
Unit Type SP
Division Headquarters BTR-60PU 2
204th & 286th Guards MRR, each with
3xMotor Rifle Battalions Infantry/BTR-80 3
Tank Battalion T-64B 3, Fast Tracks
288th Guards MRR
3xMotor Rifle Battalions Infantry/BMP-2 4, Fast Tracks
Tank Battalion T-64B 3, Fast Tracks
74th Guards Tank Regiment
3xTank Battalions T-64B 3, Fast Tracks
Motor Rifle Battalion Infantry/BMP-2 4, Fast Tracks
Recon Battalion
3xRecon Co BRDM-2 R
Division Assets
RAG D-30 3, Range 19km
Truck LOG 4
DAG 2S3 4, Range 27km, CBR
Truck LOG 4
AD Battalion ZSU-23 2, AA 3
SAM Regiment SA-6 AA 3, Range 35km
Engineer Battalion Engineer/BTR-60 3, EP 4, BP 1
Antitank Battalion BRDM-3 2
Supply Battalion Truck LOG 4

207th Motorized Rifle Division
Rating Regular
Unit Type SP
Division Headquarters BTR-60PU 2
33rd and 41st MRR, each with
3xMotor Rifle Battalions Infantry/BTR-60 3
Tank Battalion T-62 3
400th and 591st MRR, each with
3xMotor Rifle Battalions Infantry/BMP-2 4, Fast Tracks
Tank Battalion T-64B 3, Fast Tracks
Recon Battalion
3xRecon Co BRDM-2 R
Division Assets
Independent Tank Battalion T-80B 5, Fast Tracks
RAG 2S1 4, Range 19km?
Truck LOG 4
DAG 2S3 4, Range 27km, CBR
Truck LOG 4
AD Battalion ZSU-23 2, AA 3
SAM Regiment SA-6 AA 3, Range 35km
Engineer Battalion Engineer/BTR-60 3, EP 4, BP 1
Antitank Battalion BRDM-3 2
Supply Battalion Truck LOG 4

16th Guards Tank Division
Rating Regular
Unit Type SP
Division Headquarters BTR-60PU 2
47th, 65th, and 60th Guards TR, each with
3xTank Battalions T-64B 3, Fast Tracks
Motor Rifle Battalion Infantry/BMP-2 4, Fast Tracks
723rd Guards MRR
3xMotor Rifle Battalions Infantry/BMP-1 4, Fast Tracks
Tank Battalion T-64B 3, Fast Tracks
Recon Battalion
3xRecon Co BRDM-2 R
Division Assets
RAG 2S1 4, Range 19km?
Truck LOG 4
DAG 2S3 4, Range 27km, CBR
Truck LOG 4
AD Battalion ZSU-23 2, AA 3
SAM Regiment SA-6 AA 3, Range 35km
Engineer Battalion Engineer/BTR-60 3, EP 4, BP 1
Antitank Battalion BRDM-3 2
Supply Battalion Truck LOG 4

Warsaw Pact Air force
All Air units are considered to be at close bases with plenty of LOG to support them.
Unit Type SP
2xFighter Bombers Regiments Mig-27s 3, AAM-short
Bomber Regiment Su-24 4, Night capable
Ground Attack Regiment Su-25 5
Recon Regiment Mig-25 1, Night capable

Soviets also have 2 FASCAM attacks and 3 Chemical Weapons available.

pigbear03 Jun 2016 8:43 a.m. PST

And the NATO OOB:

Elements 3. Panzerdivision
Rating Regular (except PzGBn71 and PzBn81 which are trained)
Unit Type SP
Division Headquarters M577 2
Panzergrenadierbrigade 7
Panzergrenadierbataillon 71 Infantry/Marder/Leopard 1 2, Fast tracked
Panzergrenadierbataillon 72 Infantry/Marder/M113 4, Fast tracked
Panzerbataillon 74 Leopard 1 4, Fast tracked
Panzerbrigade 8
Panzerbataillon 81 Leopard 2/Infantry/Marder 4, Fast tracked
Panzergrenadierbataillon 82 Infantry/Marder 4, Fast tracked
Panzerbataillon 83 Leopard 2 6, Fast tracked
Panzeraufklärungsbataillon 3
2xRecon Companies Luchs 1R
Division Assets
Brigade Artillery M109 3, Range 15km
M548 LOG 2
Division Artillery various 3, Range 30km, CBR
M548 LOG 2
AD Battalion Gepard 3, AA 4, Fast tracked
Supply Battalion Truck LOG 4
Engineer Battalion ? ?

Attached from I Dutch Corps
Unit Type SP
Attack Helicopter Bn PAH-1 3
SAM Battalion Roland AA 4, Range 6km, Fast tracked

8th Panzer Brigade and the Attack Helicopter Battalion begin deployed in Luneburg. The rest of 3rd Panzer begin deployed in Hamburg.

Elements Dutch 4th Division
Rating Trained
Unit Type SP
41 Pantserbrigade
42 painfbat Infantry/YPR-765 3
43 tkbat Leopard 2A4 3, Fast tracked
2x Recon Companies Luchs 1R
Engineer Battalion M113, bridge, trucks 1 or 2?
Supply Battalion Truck LOG 4

Arrive after Turn? From the Western map edge.

Elements US 2nd Armored Division
Rating Veteran
Unit Type SP
2 (US) AD (Fwd), aka 3rd Brigade
Mech Inf Battalion (1/41) Infantry/M113 5
2/66 Armored Battalion M1A1 7, Fast tracked
3/66 Armored Battalion M60 6
Brigade Artillery M109 3, Range 15km
M548 LOG 2
Supply Battalion Truck LOG 4

Arrive after Turn? From the Western map edge.

Luftwaffe
All air units are in close bases and have plenty of LOG.
Unit Type SP
Fighter bomber Squadron F4E 4, AAM-long, may do air superiority
at Night.
Ground Attack Squadron Alpha Jet 4
Recon Squadron RF4E 1, Night capable

West German Forces also have 5 FASCAM rounds available.

pigbear03 Jun 2016 8:46 a.m. PST

There's a lot of the original scenario in there (with all due credit to the author, whose name escapes me) but I have increased the total number of forces and will tweak the objectives a bit. Still working on the scenario and need to make a map. Maybe in another three years I'll be done…

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