I am beginning to wonder who lead this designer by the nose? A week ago we started the FIFTHCorp/HofGap/BAOR set of titles from the SPI series named Central Front.
Perhaps the 80’s were an exceptionally fluid time? Over the course of a decade this system changes three or four time that I can figure. One so substantially as to be a different game. Each time though the Soviets become stronger and stronger. Until this: 165%-180% increase in combat power per unit for the same designations. Admittedly the CRT is very different too, but more deadly to the defender. Split losses are foregone and retreats, exchanges and DE/AE results are the norm.
The www.grognard.com offered reboot of this game is starting to make more sense.
However I think I shalll first play the combined FIFTH Corps, Hof Gap and BAOR together to see what the system was like. My quick read of the last two titles rules is leaving me cold.
I think perhaps it is the pervasive negative slant on NATO ability to respond, and the maximum benefit of doubt to Soviets from Force size, capability, and timing to arms system enhancements that cruel the game for me.
It is indeed one thing to design a game based on your view point but another all together to cobble all the little data points to your view point advantage and ignore all else.
Hell even the Brits take a 50% reduction in movement rates! Dissenting views and data in the various magazines on the topic present clear evidence that shoots Kamps contentions down if not completely then at least by 1/2. The numbers below are the entire armed forces of Soviet Russia thru to the Urals!
If we assume that a 1/3 of theses forces were 3rd echelon elements and would mostly be held to secure the borders the numbers change drastically as to what could be brought to bear..
If we then looked at the resulting pool of force, and broke that into two groups. An A team and a B team, I think we would see a very different battle forming.
US armed forces in the 80’s had planners pouring over maps, looking for airstrike targets for staged units. “Where would the enemy be if they were trying to prepare a lightening strike” type of thing. The presumption that 12 hours notice would be it for NATO is just not logical nor really justifiable in any way.
Pure logistics would curtail short notice attacks. Leaving with less than 4-5 days supplies would be a disaster for the Soviet supply net. That could be interestingly tested, by shortening the Soviet supply rules up, with a 12 hour ‘surprise attack scenario’ as presented by Kamps. That said the good news is in a hypothetical – we can change the rules we dont like!
Anyway on with the game as is circa ’81.