Gaming WWIII: Requesting Some Reader Input On WWIII 1987 Wargame Scenarios.

Before we jump back into the mixture for a few more detailed D+24 entries, I wanted to reach out to the readers and get some opinions on a project I’ve been considering for a couple of weeks. As most of you are aware, the conflict model for World War III: 1987 includes several sets of scenarios created specifically for each theater. For many of these I used PC game platforms such as Command Modern Air-Naval Operations (CMANO, also referred to as CMO, its successor) the Operational Art of War, Volume IV and even Steel Panthers MBT. I had originally intended to make some available earlier in the timeline, but unfortunately never found the time needed to revise and polish them so they’d be worthy of release. I did release one scenario on CMANO which was later ported to CMO. A smaller scenario covering air operations in the Baltic Approaches earlier in the war. But that was it.

Over the last week I have gone back and looked at some of the other scenarios. It would be a shame to let them just waste away on my computer without doing anything with them. My thought at the moment is that if there’s enough folks are interested in trying out some of these scenarios, I’ll start to revise and update some of them between now and December. Maybe offer some to interested parties as a Christmas present of sorts. Collectively, the scenarios cover the entire war in the North Atlantic, Baltic Approaches and the Central Front. For the Flanks, Arabian Peninsula Persian Gulf and peripheries, I’d say overall 75% of the conflict is handled in the scenarios.

Just a thought at this point, as I said. But as I said, if the interest is there I will start putting a handful together for release by Christmas and then we can go from there. Later in October, I will lay out more details about the scenarios. Or, if you’d like to know before then just drop me a comment, email or message.

Next entry will be up Friday afternoon or evening. North Atlantic: Death of the Backfires on D+24 😊


34 Replies to “Gaming WWIII: Requesting Some Reader Input On WWIII 1987 Wargame Scenarios.”

  1. I’m curious as to the NATO reinforcements for Denmark that you used in your Baltic Approaches scenarios, and when they were deployed. The little I’ve read about, it seemed the plans were rather vague. The British 1st Infantry Brigade and US 9th Infantry Division were mentioned most often. Other possible reinforcements I’ve seen included another British infantry brigade of Territorial Army units, the US 6th and 10th Infantry Divisions, the 82nd Airborne, 2nd Marine Division, and Canadian units diverted from deployment to Norway. It didn’t seem like any reinforcements were to be deployed before fighting started, but they were to arrive at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are pretty much the pool of reinforcements. The British 1st Inf Brigade and US 9th Infantry Division (Light) were the permanent reinforcements. Everything else was dependent on operations elsewhere. If the Pact really got a hold in Denmark we probably would’ve seen USMC units at least.
      10th Mountain Div. was tagged for Norway in 1987 so that unit would’ve been unavailable.
      On the air side, a lot of RAF and USAF squadrons were tasked with reinforcing Denmark.


  2. My big question in your Wargaming: What happened to the Reagan/Lehman 600 ship Navy? Really I see the multi national CSG North Atlantic major combat and 6th fleet skirmishes. Did we need 600? How many were left? Just wondering because we seem to be having the same debate today.
    My concern is is today’s big 500 number politician/industry driven. The reason I question is it seems the Admirals aren’t in a big hurry to procure 500. Makes me wonder if their internal Wargaming shows a smaller number.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know if we ever really made it to 600 but at the time, it was the target goal. Realistic or not, I can’t say 🙂
      Today, the Navy needs to get in a big hurry. Whether or not China’s ship number surge is right, we should really assume its correct and move to meet it. Unfortunately you’re right. Washington doesn’t appear to be in a serious rush to start building the number of ships we might need


  3. Yes, I’d be interested in scenarios for CMO (I’ve bought the DLC packs Northern Inferno and Red Tide, and so I’m just waiting until the base game goes cheap) and TOAOW IV.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. An old post at this point, but:

    How do you view the current events i Ukraine i regards to how WAPA doctrine, equipment and planning is modelled versus NATO?

    1987 WAPA is NOT directly comparable to Russia anno 2022 – but there seems to be som lessons to be learned?

    – Bad WAPA logistics would have been a lot more impactful than anticipated.

    – Small ambush units would slow down WAPA advances a lot more than anticipated?

    – WAPA AA and air doctrine would be a lot less powerful than anticipated?

    – Generally – flexible leadership and missions command would absolutely win against WAPA command and planning system?

    Have all wargames been overplaying WAPA strengths and underplaying NATO? Where we in a much much better position back in 1987 than we thought?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christian. I’ll answer a couple of these questions now and get to the rest as the week progresses along.

      -I think the war in Ukraine has definitely put some of the former WAPA/current Russian deficiencies on display for the world to see. First, current Russian heavy forces were road bound for most of the first weeks of the war. The Ukrainians took advantage of this in the same manner NATO might’ve back in 1987. Striking lead and rear elements of convoys to create a bottleneck and then coming back later to chop up the middle sections, is one example. Small unit ambushes too, as you mentioned. As well as a heavy reliance on anti-tank missiles. The Ukrainians bled Russian units white, just as NATO ground forces had been trained to do. And just as NATO forces had been trained to go after WAPA commanders, the Ukrainians have done this well too.

      -The WAPA knew its air forces were inferior to NATOs. Which is why they chose quantity over quality for most of the cold war. We’ve gone against snippets of Soviet air doctrine over Iraq and Serbia and had no major problems with it.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. It has to have been better back then. In this war, Russia’s air force has been a non-factor more or less. They would’ve at least showed up in a NATO-Pact war in the 80s

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Russia today has both quantitative and qualitiative advantages over Ukraine’s air force. The Soviets only had the quantitative advantage. I have my doubts that such a factor alone is enough to lead to a better performance.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. Sometimes it comes down to the basic level. Pilot proficiency and skill. How many hours were their pilots getting pre-war? How adept were they at not only flying but also fighting their aircraft. In my view these things play a considerable role because I’ve seen and experienced first hand how perishable of a skill flying modern combat aircraft can be 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

      1. Right. And we rarely win the first time around, whether in tactical or strategic exercises, real world or map. If we’re winning handily early on, something is wrong somewhere

        Liked by 1 person

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