Prelude to War Part2

Week 5 Pre War

Previously in this scenario.

The Gulf

“How hard can we hit the Russkies allies in Southern Iran?” Asked the General.

“Sir how hard do you want to?”

“Let’s send a message. A strong one. I also want our Carrier group to provide air support over Northern Iran. So you get those F-14A’s and supporting craft in CAP on the Iranian Armies tank forces and you show them we are here and we mean business.”

Just three days ago, tensions ratcheted up, the US was racing to a war it did not want, in a country it had already ceded power in. There was it appears, no turning back as Pride and its bedfellow Hubris were snuggled up close and personal on a bed of lies.

Protesters lined the streets outside the White House and the Europeans clamoured for calm. Life went on its own daily grind. In West Germany, older folks who carried the scars of WWII, began quietly stockpiling provisions, or making travel arrangements. Some were wiser than others.


In the South of Iran in the Gulf near Bandar Khomeyni the US Air force laid strikes on what it called ‘dissident factions’. The city of Ahvaz was also targeted for pin point bomb runs aimed at 17th Infantry Division and other rebel forces.

On the ground recon teams wired targets in. The Rangers were already on the ground. Marine AV-88’s ran missions for days. Alongside F-18 c’s. Decimating 2/3’s of the division and wrecking a Brigade of Communist sympathizers. Similar strikes in Bandar had little effect. In an attempt to clear up landing zones and remove rear threats the US air force ran dozens of sorties.

At this rash provocation Soviet forces entered Iran. Or where they ready to roll anyway?

The 145th and Soviet Airborne forces surround and destroy the Iranian Army (IA) Tank Bn on the coast of the Caspian Sea.


“Today is a day of shame for the Soviet Union. Unprovoked attacks upon a Sovereign nation will not be tolerated. Our ‘support’ of Iran shall not waiver. We have instigated a series of limited air strikes to degrade rouge elements in Iran. The Soviet Union is using this as a means to justify their thinly veiled Imperialism.”


US forces intercept Soviet Mig 23’s and Su-25’s that were running bombing missions against harassed Iranian defensive units south of Badar –e Anzali. The Soviet Air Cover is blown away and the strike packages are mostly shot down, but not before they land some effective fire on the Iranians.

Iranian Airspace

“Wolfman this is Zeus, you have target lock clearance, you are weapons free and clear to engage any and all hostiles”

Flying at 65,000 and around Mach 2, the squadrons of twin tailed fighters acquired tone and fired. A score of AMRAAMs, Aim 120 missiles streaked away. The first technological advantage to the West was their AN/APG-70 radar systems combined with the Aim 120’s which when leveraged by some of the worlds best pilots, put the less capable Migs under pressure from the get go. 75% of the Floggers took critical hits in the first round of fire. Accelerating into closer contact the F-18’s loosed Sidewinder AIM-9’s , 9 kg warheads hurtled into the enemy exacting a punishing 80% hit rate. Swept wing Mig 23’s attempted to avoid the attacks to little avail. However as the US forces closed to effective range for the Mig’s own missiles they set to work at 6-8 km distance. R-60’s lit the sky, they too were infrared sensing!

“Tango’s down” Came the reports. The pilots changed course, punched the turbo, leaving the remnants of the escort behind to close on the strike force attacking their Iranian Allies.

This however does little to slow the ability of the enemy to stomp on the hapless IA forces.

In their second stage of maneuver forces from the North and Afghanistan stream to the capital – Tehran and head South the recapture installations and ports.


Along the way the Soviets decimate all in their wake.

2nd AAB and 1st Guard Tank surround Bakhtaran and enter a deadly battle with the 1st Tank Division of the Iranian Army (IA), they close and attack @ 3:1 odds. Both sides suffer casualties.

Four divisions converge in the North East, the 201st Airborne, 357th, 360th and 345th Motorized Rifle Divisions quickly take Esafahan in a 7:1 attack near the salt flats and mountains that shield the coast from the rapidly encroaching Soviets.

Soviet forces all accumulate disruptions from combat.

Gulf Strike Force Command Center

“Striker One, you are clear to roll”

“Roger Home Plate”

In a massive maneuver US forces surge into friendly held ports in Abadan and Bushehr. The 18th Aviation Brigade and 2nd MEB land and had planned to attack and take Bandar Khomeyni. However airstrikes in the region prevent the attacks! SNAFU!!

82nd Airborne and 2nd Marine remove the threat of rebel forces in the foothills. Soviet and American forces are just 240 odd klicks (KMs) apart.










A more effective use of force would have been to not hit strikes on the Coastal port and land and attack it in turn.


Washington DC – Situation Room

The President is ashen faced. “How long again before we are in contact with Soviet forces?”

“A matter of days” said the SECDEF. “We can hold them in the mountains IF we have enough air support. Another full division would make it a lock. We have to however watch the Iraqi’s in our rear and ensure that no further uprising or forces come into play to inhibit the supply situation.”

The situation board displayed the four approaching Soviet Divisions and one Airborne Brigade. Of them the 3 units including the AAB had taken disruptions.

War was imminent.

“Get the Israelis committed then mobilize. DEFCON 4 and pray to God they blink before we burn the world.” said the President.

Moscow – Kremlin

“”He is a fool, he is too stupid to fight.” Said an aide.

“NO! It is worse than that. He is a fool with principles. Who is ready to sacrifice us and all of his nation for some oil! “said Sergey Sokolov a veteran of WWII and hold over from the past regime.

“We must limit this action to Iran it cannot spread. We could have true change.” Shevarnadze looked around as he spoke. No one met his eyes.

“Sorry my friend it is too late for that. We must mobilize all our forces. Surprise now is our only ally. Let them think we care only about the oil. Now we change the game and play for do you say in American? “keeps”. Gorbachev smiled ruefully. “This is our new destiny.”


MRD’s (Soviet Divisions) can take between 4 and 6 disruptions before elimination, their combat ratings are usually 7 or 9 on both attack and defense. One trick Soviets use is to add an AAB unit with an EF rating of 7 to weaker less effective unit and ‘average up’. This combined with isolating units to force a -1 on their efficiency enhances the column shifts that can be expected from the Efficiency Ratings modifier.

To date the airwar has proven effective. As the NATO player I am stunned at the mobility of the Soviet war machine on open ground. This will get ugly fast if the West has poor zone of control management.

Note also that Herr Dockter is running a fab blog series on the game play with 4 players.

Please drop in and read there. Lots of insights on game mechanics. I shall be focussed on game play and theme versus a demonstrative how to. LINK

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