WWIII 1987 Wargame Scenario Update: First One Drops In Early December

Yesterday I blocked out some time to look over some of the World War III 1987 scenarios I created to help wargame the conflict in many theaters. Originally the scenarios were designed and built using CMANO (Command Modern Air and Naval Operations). Once its successor CMO (Command Modern Operations) was released I was grateful to find they remained playable and did not require a total rebuild. After a deeper examination yesterday, I am happy to report that aside from minor adjustments, three scenarios in particular are good to go. So, barring unforeseen circumstances, I intend to make the first scenario available around 3-4 December, 2022.

The first scenario will be titled “The Eastern Mediterranean Shootout” and covers the first 8-12 hours of WWIII (1987) in this area. Both NATO and the Soviet Union held similar maritime goals for the Eastern Med: Establish permanent air and naval dominance on the first day of war. NATO have two carrier battlegroups present in the region while the Soviets have one carrier group, a surface action group and large numbers of Backfires and Badgers in Syria, Bulgaria and on the Black Sea coast. The moment the balloon goes up, the shooting begins. And like a good shootout, the guns do not stop until there’s only one gunfighter left standing. For this scenario the player assumes the role of NATO commander.

As a game, ‘Shootout’ is a lot of fun. The action kicks off at once and becomes fast and furious as the minutes and hours pass by. As a scenario, ‘Shootout’ forces the NATO commander to respond instantly to multiple threats emerging simultaneously against his carrier groups. The restrictive geography of the eastern portion of the Med is also a factor which will influence your tactics and priorities.

For anyone who is curious about how the first day of war in the Eastern Med turned out for NATO in the World War III 1987 blog, check out the Southern Flank entries for D+0. Although that could provide some spoilers. I might need to change the scenario up a bit to minimize the chances of that. 😊

4 Replies to “WWIII 1987 Wargame Scenario Update: First One Drops In Early December”

  1. I have a copy of Northern Fury another WW3 alternate WW3 in 1991 history book ( not a blog ) where the authors were so inspired by their naval wargaming of WW3 in CMANO & CMO; they wrote the book to dovetail round their playable scenario’s which they regularly post on the Matrix Games website forum. As always it’s great when such authors as Bart & Joel ( from Northern Fury ) and yourself devise playable scenarios based round the book or your blog. As for myself, yes CMANO & CMO are great but I still find myself switching on my old Windows 7 Laptop, to play the odd scenario from one of the Battleset’s of Larry Bonds computer Harpoon Ultimate Edition. I know computer Harpoon also gained top marks & you regarded highly in your play testing of retro computer games.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Harpoon is a classic. The gold standard for naval wargames. Command is almost there too.

      Yep, Northern Fury was done right. The guys wrote a great book and their scenarios are absolute monsters.

      Windows 7…..SMH 🙂


      1. My introduction to naval wargaming was in junior high playing the tabletop board game “Bismarck” by Avalon Hill back in the 1970s. Even now, my son and I attempt to make SPI’s game TaskForce, printed in the late 1970s, work. Haven’t tried computer games yet.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Task Force is a good game. I’ve toyed around with it now and then. Bismarck I hear is a great game. Never played it myself though.

          If you ever get into computer games, I’d suggest starting off with Harpoon for sure.


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