Category Archives: modern

Cold War Commander – Update 3: Belgians!

Not sure exactly how or where the Belgian Army would figure in any 1980s Cold War conflict but as I had the makings of these and have just acquired more I figure they may be fun to do and play and if nothing, a challenge! Maybe once I really start putting them together and do a little research I’ll be pleasantly surprised…

Anyway, in the mass of modern armour I bought this is what I’ve ID’d as Belgian:

 

There’s a good chunk of Leopard 1A2s(I think), M113s, Spartans, Scorpions, Scimitars, M109s and other odds and ends I’ve still to ID. Either way, a good start…

…and then I got the chance to pick up some more in trade and now have the following as well:

 

First picture, top right are I believe more Leopards but of two different types? 1A2s and 1A3s? The remaining stuff seems mostly mech infantry based. Bottom picture, bottom centre, top slot are a few AFVs I’m not sure on. They seem big compared to the rest so may be GHQ models? Just not sure what.

I’ve picked up the Belgain Mech Brigade list from MicroMark and may use this as a base, unless someone can suggest alternatives? I suppose some of the stuff could be used for other forces – some to US, Brit recon? Dutch? So lots of options there…

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CWC – First Encounter – AAR

Today saw my first game of Cold War Commander at the Contemptible Little Wargames Club in North Shields. I’ve been preparing my troops for this for some time and have had stellar support from the chaps on the CWC Forums. There were three games in progress: a British v. Warsaw Pact, a French (Ian Logan) v. East German and my own Russians v. Stuart Climpson’s West Germans.

I’d prepared a 5000pt list but had misread the rules and assumed that no artillery/air support assets for an Encounter Game meant none of the above, so apart from three 122mm 2S1s to be used onboard I had no artillery and no aircraft or AA. Stuart let me jiggle my list a little and I ended up with:

1 x CO (CV9) @90 = 90
3 x HQ (CV8) @45 = 135
9 x T-72     @150 = 1350
9 x T-72     @150 = 1350
9 x Conscripts @25 = 225
9 x RPG7 Upgrade @25 = 225
9 x BMP-2 (w. ATGW) @110 = 990
1 x Engineer Unit (RPO-A) @95 = 95
1 x MT-LB @35 = 35
1 x Inf Support 82mm mortar @40 = 40
2 x ZSU-23-4 @70 = 140
1 x Recce BRDM @45 = 45
1 x Recce BRM-1 @75 = 75
3 x 2S1 122mm Artillery @70 = 210

Which I’ve just realised comes to 5005! Sorry Stuart but I was rushing! 🙂

Anyway, this gave me a reasonable force to combat the Leopard 1A5s, Leopard 2s, Gepards, Marders and Phantom air support with some 120mm mortars and 175mm SPGs providing offboard support. On advice I decided to pull my 122mms offboard and call them in via the Recce units.

So the battleground was set:

As I had two T-72 battalions and a Mech Rifle battalion my plan was to push both tank units down the flanks and use the BMPs to get the infantry in the town and hold and then turn the BMPs to us their ATGWs against any armour. So deployment was as follows:

Stuart had placed the 1A5s behind the ridge on my left, with support, the Leopard 2s between the road and large woods and a force of Gepards and Marders on my right. The infantry, CO and engineers prepared to move towards the town:

I chose to move first and advanced rapidly on both left and right flanks, with the left flank advancing two companies, while a third provided overwatch on the small hill. The BMPs rushed to the edge of the town and prepared to deploy.

The Recce unit on my left provided support to the HQ on that flank:

While on my right I was able to pick off a Gepard as the Germans rushed to occupy the woods:

And the T-72s sent two companies to sweep round while a third prepared to cover the advance of the Leopard 2s.

The greatest success for the Russians came on their left as the quality of both crews and armour in the T-72 battalion proved more than a match for the five Leopard 1A5s facing them as they were continually suppressed and gradually took hit after hit:

A command failure on my right (and threat of air support) caused pause to the T-72s and allowed the West Germans to occupy the woods, but they refused to open fire preferring to skulk on the edge of the woods…

 

A command failure by the central West German troops caused them to pull back from the advance of the glorious Soviet conscripts as they deployed ready to advance through the town.

Meanwhile on the left the T-72s started to whittle down the cautious 1A5s:

However, the Soviet troops suffered a minor setback as the cowardly Germans dropped artillery on them as they still milled around their BMPs causing heavy casualties. But the remainder sought revenge as they pushed on with the advance:

Finally, on the left, superior Russian gunnery had reduced the Leopards on the hill to a solitary unit, cowering and afraid to fire for fear of the consquences!

Overall, things were going well for the Soviets and the reports in Moscows papers would reflect well on the troops as they followed in the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers! On the right the air support and Leopard 2s began to slow the Russian advance as they resisted the temptation to close with the anti-tank assets in the woods. However, apart from a lone recce unit, the town was now firmly in Soviet hands:

As those Germans in the woods finally opened up and the Leopard 2s began to tell the Soviet right flank began to fragment as the Soviets closed on the woods while trying to keep the Leopard 2s at bay:

But support was at hand, despite heavy shelling by the Germans, the BMPs and remaining infantry moved to threaten the Leopard 2s:

As the remaining BMP-2s pushed into the town:

On the left the T-72s finally destroyed the last Leopard and began to take shots at the Gepards and Marders that had failed to advance on the town, while BMP-2s advanced to the edge of the town and began to make their presence known:

Things now began to look grim for the Germans as memories of 1945 could not help but come to mind. Their air support, although initally effective, flew one mission too many and was sent crashing to the ground as the ZSU-23-4 finally found its mark! On the left the T-72s prepare to advance:

While on the right the T-72s, having suffered losses to the Leopard 2s, finally pushed in close to the forces in the woods and with great leadership began to take out vehicle after vehicle. In the town and on the left the Germans pulled back behind the hill and awaited the inevitable onslaught that would seal their fate. And so, with the end close, the Germans conceded and the Soviet advance through Germany was to continue unchecked!

Conclusion
This was a great, fun game and although my first outing with the rules, things were finally coming together towards the end. I had one double 1 enabling me to push the attack on my right and the Brigade propaganda officer forbids me to mention the blunder on the left that saw friendly fire bring pause to the great advance! My artillery was little affective but did get some suppression on the Leopard 2s which helped the survival of the right flank T-72s.

The plastering my newly dismounted infantry got from artillery shows I needed to spread out more, or at least make some effort to drive off the recce and observers causing the problems.

I have to admit, I was lucky with some of my saves and Stuart REALLY unlucky (on several occasions) with his! I think I need to think a little more on force composition and how to handle the command side. Oh..and more artillery…offboard!

I look forward to my next game.

Other News
There were two other games of CWC going on. A Warsaw Pact v. British game:

And Ian had brought along his French to face Slobodan’s East Germans:

 

Ian lost his game, the French proving no match for the T-72s of East Germany. The railway and buildings are from Ian’s excellent collection of Timecast buildings. Really lovely stuff! I wish I had the money to buy them!
There was also a 28mm Blackpowder Napoleonic game:

And a 28mm ACW game which I totally failed to take a picture of! Apologies…

I also met up with Lawrence from the Tyneside Wargames Club and acquired a load of Belgians to add to my forces. There are still quite a few Russians left to base up (enough for another four Rifle battalions, 2 T-62 battalions and a good few odds and ends!) and I have a good start on some Belgians which the new acquisitions will seriously bolster! I’m a little uncertain how they will perform under the rules, given the performance of the French but I can maybe use them with a little US support!

All in all a good day. I’ll not get a game in again for a few weeks but will hopefully see all the guys at Border Reiver at the Arena next month.

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The Last Russians…for now…

In preparation for Sundays game I’ve managed to sort out the last few bits and pieces I needed for my Soviet force. I’m still not sure what I’ll actually use for my 5000pts and I’ve got way more than that ready. Anyway, here’s the latest…

First up, I needed some regimental artillery so went for a few 2S1 122mm howitzers. These were painted a gloss green when I got them and I’m not sure the new paint job has really worked.

And they also need some engineers in the appropriate MT-LB and armed with RPOs (I’ve just used the RPG figures with a different paint job) and hiding behind some barbed wire.

Although I’ve got two battalions of infantry I’ve got no support weapons so added some mortars:

Some Saggers:

Some SA-7s:

Some Spigots:

 

I used the remaining odds and ends to do a couple of heavy weapons stands which will likely just pad out any infantry force.

And finally I sorted the FAO and the FAC. The FAC needed a BTR-60PU which I didn’t have so I modified a standard BTR-60:

 

I may try and get a couple of GAZ-66 trucks done to carry this lot, although they would likely be in BMP/BTRs. I’ll see how this lot goes and then I have a couple of T-62 battalions to do, some more ‘support’ vehicles and then I’ll likely get a few of the Russian ‘funnies’ just for a bit of flavour.

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More Cold War Commander basing…

Just over two weeks since last post… work has been busy, kids tiring etc. Although I’ve managed to get a few things done progress has been slow. Main thing has been preparation for a first outing with Cold War Commander at the Contemptible Little Wargames Club in North Shields that is scheduled for next Sunday (22nd). Looks like there will be 6-8 people involved with a variety of armies and maybe a large game and a couple of smaller ones. Would be interesting to try and tie them together in some way – maybe have one of the smaller ones as a breakthrough game with successful units appearing on the flanks of the big game? Anyway, actual details will be decided on the day and both myself and Ian are really looking forward to it. Ian will be bringing his US and French forces down as well as his Timecast buildings.

I’ve been looking at what to include in my Soviet forces. I published a list of what I have over on the CWC Forums here and got the usual excellent comment and advice.
The basic list was:

  • 1 x CO
    9 x T-72 + HQ
    9 x T-72 + HQ
    9 x BMP2 + HQ
    11 x BTR 70 + HQ
    3 x BM-21 MLRS
    6 x 2S3 152mm
    1 x SA-13 (vehicle mounted on MTLB?)
    18 x infantry (with upgrade to RPG7?)
    3 x BRDM1 with AT-3
    1 x ARCV as FAO

 To this I’ve added another 9 T-72s:

Along with an HQ:

This includes my first attempt at basing up some aircraft done with a 40x40mm MDF base with a piece of paper clip lathered in glue and held in place by a 2p and 1p piece. A similar piece of paper clip is drilled in the bottom of the model and then I managed to get some hollow brass rod so that I can swap aircraft between bases and vary the height. 

The only issue is that the paper clip is a snug fit in the rod and when I snip that to length it compressed the end and makes it hard to reshape and take the clip. May look for an alternative…

I have two of the aircraft shown which I think is a MIG-23 and one I think is a MIG-25 so hopefully someone can confirm, please?

I also needed some anti-aircraft support so went for a couple of ZSU23-4s:

 

And finally I needed a couple of recce units:

 

I’ve decided to keep most of my vehicles on the same size base so if I want to use recce units as ordinary units there’s no issue and I’ve just ID’d them by adding a few infantry figures.

I’ve got a few more things to add – mainly some Infantry Support Weapons and engineers for which I have an MT-LB arriving soon. I also have a couple of platoons of T-80s coming. Partly to look at the Scotia models and partly to add a little oomph to the battle group. Not sure I’ll get them painted and based by next Sunday though!

Heroics and Ros Support Weapons
I’m going to show my ignorance a little here. I’ve got several packs of the Warsaw Pact Support Weapons but I’m not 100% clear on what all the models are. So if anyone can ID these figures/weapons I’d really appreciate it!

 

I still can’t decide whether to put SW units on 40x20mm like other infantry or do them on 20x20mm…

More artillery vicar?
And talking to Ian and reading other threads on the forums I think I need more artillery but I’m not sure on what can legitimately be added? Again, any advice appreciate. I think I may have to pick up the MicroMark army lists to set me right!

So there we are. Aiming to get a few more done for next week and then do some US infantry to go with the battlegroup I bought a couple of months back so I can at least try some solo game. And then on to the Belgians!

Full game report will hopefully follow next weekends game so see you then!

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Contemptible Little Wargames Club – North Shields

Following various discussions on the Cold War Commander forums I discovered a little coven of CWC players based at the Contemptible Little Wargames Club in North Shields, a mere 10 minute drive from home. With much negotiation I managed to secure a pass for a couple of hours if I could fit the timings in around doing the shopping! With that motivation I managed to pop down and found them at St. Peter’s Church Hall in North Shields.

I knew they had a couple of CWC games planned so I just wanted to meet the chaps and see what they were playing. The venue is excellent, a nice size hall with a walk in storage area at one end. There were three games in the process of being set up, two CWC (1/300) and a 28mm ACW game. The latter looked particularly nice and the photos don’t do it justice.

The main reason for the visit though was the two CWC games. These were still being set up, with one a River Crossing scenario and the other an… damn, can’t remember! Incursion maybe? The river crossing looked good with a large river and some nice buildings. With West Germans on the defence from a Soviet onslaught.

I particularly like this building unit and would love to get hold of one!

At the start things were looking a little rough for the Russians as they blundered an artillery strike and then lost two tanks to sterling shooting from the German armour. It looked to be developing into a good game and hopefully Stu can write it up – even without photos.

On the other table the attacking British were not looking forward to having to root the East German conscripts out of the woods.

I’d have loved to stay longer and see the conclusions but shopping and kids beckoned so I left them to it.

The greeting was friendly from all concerned at the club and if you are based in the area I can recommend it for a Sunday. I hope to get down again soon for a proper game, but given I haven’t managed a game at my regular club yet this year I’ve no idea when that might be! Soon, I hope…

Now back to basing and sorting my Soviets and then a little painting. Yes, painting. I really must make the effort soon and try and get SOMETHING done!

(Apologies for the photos – I only had my phone with me and the camera is poor!)

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CWC rebasing continues…

Here are some pictures of the ongoing rebasing of my Cold War Commander Soviets. All the models are pretty well as I got them – bit of drybrushing and touching up here and there – and the three figures on the CO base are Irregular and painted by me. Still have a good few to base though – some Support Weapons, sniper, recce etc. but getting there…

Here is the lot as they stand:

The HQ stand for the T-72 battalion:

The BTR equipped Mechanised Rifle Battalion:

Close up of the infantry sections:

The SA-9 platoon:

I wanted to do something interesting for the CO stand so I upped the base size to 60x60mm and with a few bits from Irregular made up the following:

So there you have them. I quite like basing! :). US and Belgians to follow and then more Russians!

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CWC – and a bit more!

Most of what I picked up is painted OK and can be used as is once re-based but a few batches are either just a single coat of paint, and some are gloss. The BMP-2s, although matte, are very basic and a little dark compared to the rest.

This is a first attempt at touching them up. I’m still undecided if they’re too dark, or whether it might be better to strip them and start again.

May just do enough for a company anyway… 🙂

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More Cold War Commander…

I’ve done a little sorting of the Russians and NATO troops I bought recently. Thanks to some sterling support from the chaps over at the CWC Forums who’ve helped ID a lot of the vehicles. So anyway, here’s start…

This is the first lot of planned basing…

There are three lots of 9 T-72s which all appear to be basically the same model plus an HQ element for each with a T-72 and a BRDM-2(?)

There are also two lots of nine T-62(?) again with an HQ element with BRDM-2

 The bottom unit is not in the bog standard Russian Green but has a camo pattern so not sure on the significance of this.

The next lot is a mixed bunch. Top left will be a CO stand with T-72, BRDM-2, a jeep type thing and the bloody huge truck with the radar on top which seems to dwarf the T-72! Then top right we have the 4x SA-13 gopher AA missile vehicles, followed by 6x BRDM-3 ATGW which I may use on some of the HQ stands as well. Below them are 6x 2S3 152mm SP guns and to their left 4x SA-9 Gaskin AA missile vehicle. Again, may use these on the odd HQ stand to free up BRDM-2s for Recce stands. The two vehicles bottom center I’m not sure on but they may be ZSU-23-4?

Moving on to some of the stuff that wasn’t in the original shots I posted to the CWC Forums. The top lot are, I think, BTR-80s. And those on the bottom, BTR-70s?

More detail on the BTR-80s…

And on the BTR-70s along with the ZSU-23-4s again?

The radar chappies at the back are…?

These are, I think BMP-1s. They just have a coat of gloss green which look bloody awful. I’m thinking of a heavy dry brush with a proper Russian Green (to match the main vehicles I have) and then a light drybrush. Either that or strip them…

BMP-2s?

Now I’d assumed these were T-72s but by a different manufacturer to the rest. But I’m not 100%.

Here’s a close up.

These are more odds and ends. Artillery at the left which I may not bother with. Then a load of BM-21s. The bottom six seem better models. Then the camo T-62s followed by some odds and ends and then the only infantry in the set which are marked Elite Airborne (on round bases) and the other strips seem to have RPGs? Infantry are something I will need for this lot so will need to figure out exactly what’s needed.

These are the last chaps. The load to the left are 2S1 122mm SP artillery, those to the front, 2S3 152mm SP artillery. The 122mm are again, gloss green, the 152mm are matte but very dark, so again may drybrush lighter.

So, there we have them. A start on organising them and a few questions. I know for CWC I’ll need infantry to go with the IFVs and no doubt a few other odds and ends, especially for Recce and observers. The HQ units will likely go on round bases when I get them. On to the basing up then!

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Another Slight Diversion No. 4

Well, it may be No.4 or it may be more! Anyway, where am I going this time? Recently someone asked me sell off all their son’s old wargaming kit which I will be doing over the next few months. Amongst this lot however were a reasonable size Cold War Soviet army and a corresponding West German and Belgian force. Many. many moons ago I was quite in to all this following the reading of Hackett’s books and playing SPI’s Fulda Gap. But I never really got in to the figure side of it.

This was a chance to pick up a decent size force and actually get in to a game quite quickly – especially as I was slowly building up 6mm terrain. The troops were organised for WRG rules (I think – there being copies of the rulebooks!) but having looked at Future War Commander I decided I would head down the Cold War Commander route.

Now it’s going to take me a while to figure out what is what and I don’t want this to become a ‘major’ period. Luckily, Ian from the local club has troops for Modern Spearhead and a decent library so will be helping me organise the troops, decide what I can use, and what I can part with.

So, with no particular rhyme or reason I decided to base up a few just to see what they looked like. So, here we have half a dozen T-72’s and a…well, Ian told me last night but I’ll need to ask him again what it is!

Most of the figures are reasonably painted. A few may need a new coat and a lot of the West Germans seem to be in a non-standard pattern. I’ll be consulting the CWC forums for advice and hopefully it will be a nice start to a new period for me.

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