The Christmas season always provides me the opportunity to catch up with wargaming odds and ends. Whether it be a forlorn examination of all the tabletop titles I’ve purchased in the previous year and haven’t taken out of the box yet, or selecting a PC game and making an empty promise to dedicate 12 straight hours to learning how to play it again after ignoring it for years. Or….and this is my favorite…..breaking out the credit card and romping through the Matrix Games Holiday Sale in search of games and DLCs that pique my curiosity. Title selection here is really hit or miss but I recommend checking it out. There are titles available to suit every budget and interest.
For the next ten days I’m going to devote a considerable amount of time to Red Storm: Baltic Approaches and put it through the paces. The game is the first expansion of GMT’s Red Storm operational level air warfare between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. In other words, Baltic Approaches is a flanker of Red Storm: The Air War Over Central Germany, 1987. Where the main title looks at a hypothetical NATO-WP air war in Central Europe set in 1987, Baltic Approaches examines the air combat in the Baltic region during the same timeframe. I’ve put a decent amount of time into Air War Over Central Germany in the last year. Despite having some issues with the nuts and bolts of the simulation aspects, I am enjoying it. Since the air war over the Baltic is different when compared to 4 and 2 ATAFs, I’m looking forward to giving it an in-depth test run. The fact that these games simulate an air war in Europe during the 1987 timeframe is also appealing, I won’t lie. For better or worse, this means I’ll pull no punches in my final verdict reviews. 😊
On the WWIII 1987 scenario front for CMO (Command Modern Operations) I plan to have the final version of Eastern Med Shootout revised and ready for download by New Years Day. Thanks for all of the feedback received. It was helpful and I will include some of the suggestions in the final version. Sometime next week I’ll also be posting a link to a rough draft of the second WWIII 1987 scenario. It will also be for CMO, but unlike Eastern Med, this one will be air intensive and set in the opening hours of the Third World War on the Central Front.
Final Wargame-related mention. Before New Years I’d like to devote an entry to professional naval wargaming in the 1980s. Specifically, to the prestigious Global War Game series played out at the US Naval War College. Professional wargaming is another animal altogether and the games run at the NWC back then certainly made their mark on US and NATO naval strategy and operations in the ‘80s and beyond.
Back to WWIII on Friday. Hope everyone is doing well. –Mike
6 Replies to “Holiday Wargaming Patchwork 2022”
You still have some miniature wargaming to do…. I mean, you spent the coin on some stuff, may as well play some of it 🙂
I’m sorta in the same boat, with a long planned game of Stargrunt to happen in the near (?) future. Had it for years and never played it. Then there is the Alpha Strike stuff and a Soviet Army for Bolt Action on a shelf unassembled….. *sigh* too many projects, not enough time.
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I’m going to break out the miniatures a bit tomorrow so expect a call. 🙂 Or text. Or both.
Interested to hear your thoughts on Red Storm: Baltic Approaches. I’ve played some of the other games in that series (Downtown – about the air war in Vietnam was very good) including Red Storm: The Air War over Central Germany. The latter was decent. My interest is more naval and naval-air ops. It will be interesting to see if a future module is developed to model say the Norwegian Sea or North Atlantic ops.
Regarding the Global War Game series, there were two Newport Paper monographs published (in PDF) on the Naval War College site. The first, if I recall, Newport Paper 4, hasn’t been on the site for some time, but the later one I think still is. It’s too bad, because the earlier ones, although deemed to have had the Soviets play a bit too unrealistically did expose a lot of issues about the relative lack of value to escalation.
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I’m sure I will have a lot to say about Baltic Approaches once I get a couple days worth of game turns under my belt. I’d like to see a Northern Flank variant in the future. That would be air/naval air intensive.
I have Newport Paper 4 if you ever want to get refreshed on it. I agree with you too, Soviets might’ve been portrayed unrealistically but the first games revealed some problems with Blue’s thinking, especially with regards to escalation.
Looking forward to it. Regarding Newport Paper 4, thanks: I do have a copy.
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Excellent. The Newport Papers are all valuable to have handy 🙂