Home Forums General Blogs Warsaw Pact Tactics as a wargaming tactical solution

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  • #35932
    Bandit
    Participant
    #35949
    John D Salt
    Participant

    I don’t know whether the owner of the blog has permission from John Curry to post his work, but this is a copy of a piece John originally published in The Nugget no. 222 in 2008.

    A copy of The Nugget no. 222 can be downloaded Harry Freeman’s from the back issues site maintained by Bob Cordery:

    http://www.wargamedevelopments.org/Nugget2008-9/nugget_back.htm

    People who like this sort of thing might also take a look at The Nugget 223, which contains follow-up pieces from John’s article by me and Phil Barker. My piece on Russian Tactics was previously available, with the author’s permission, from John Curry’s “History of Wargaming” site, but I recommend the original Nugget piece because The Nugget could reproduce Cyrillic letters.

    All the best,

    John.

    #35953
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Very very good read.

    #35954
    Bandit
    Participant

    I don’t know whether the owner of the blog has permission from John Curry to post his work, but this is a copy of a piece John originally published in The Nugget no. 222 in 2008

    At the bottom of the posting he provided attribution:

    References

    [1] Curry John (editor) 2008 Contact! The Canadian Army Tactical Wargaming Rules (1980)

    Source: http://www.wargaming.co/rules/dunnkempf/articles/whyrussiantactics.htm

    Though that link appears now out-of-date.

    Cheers,

    The Bandit

    #35955
    Spurious
    Participant

    These articles a few years back actually kinda inspired me to get more into learning about actual soviet tactics. Several books later and I think I am far more prepared than I need to be for the purposes of wargaming, which is somewhere between knowing enough to know that I’m doing it wrong and not enough to write a paper on why

    My first attempt at implementation though was in the PC game Wargame: AirLand Battle. It’s a multiplayer focused Real Time Strategy game (no base building, just pulling units from the army list with an initial points cost and then additional points to spend over time based on holding objectives) that’s heavily inspired by tabletop games like Cold War Commander, with the interesting thing that it is highly realistic except in every aspect it really isn’t. All the equipment and locations are modelled on reality but mechanically they only really have bare hints of reality; infantry are casually strolling at over 20mph, no thermal imaging systems, missiles have a fraction of their maximum range and all that stuff that’s very familiar to game designers who’ve had to compromise reality for gameplay.

    But it did have some smart line of sight stuff that you just don’t get in most games, especially tabletop. even my favourite A Fistful of TOWs and it’s nice rules for spotting/concealment can’t escape it’s medium and allow for completely hidden units on a table. More than the usual fog of war effects found in RTS games, recon was essential for keeping an eye on what was going on, and smart use of recon was a very good indicator of how good the player was. Either way, it’s decent. or was anyway, dead game now and the sequel is more popular despite being kinda worse due to wasting far too much development time on ships (naval assets up to Destroyers in a battalion level game! What were they thinking!?).

    But myself and a comrade had great fun in applying high speed aggressive attacks, bypassing defences wherever possible, dumping huge amounts of artillery on target areas and shrugging casualties rather than playing in the typical style of being fairly conservative, using the best equipment in small amounts and the like. Essentially the usual style didn’t use Soviet equipment as designed in favour of how the game pushed people to play given how the mechanics are. So we broke that. Thankfully we won because not only was my comrade very, very good at the game, most people are not. We took huge casualties but still managed to swing it back for victory as sustained assaults eventually found their way through enemy lines and started hitting the important supplies and support assets.

    From then on it was a rare game where I didn’t take something that should have been objectively terrible like an entirely Polish force with early ’80s hardware (going up against the usual NATO mix of late ’80s stuff) and have a great time proving that good tactics with bad units, especially used with uncharacteristic aggression, would beat most average/bad players using good (to the point of massively outclassing my stuff) equipment.

    On the aggression part, there was the general assumption it seemed that once you’d taken an objective area you stopped and reinforced it. Pursuing retreating units as much as possible would typically really put people off. Good players though would see right through this and crush overly-enthusiastic attacks with timely application of reserves, rather than panic just and call in air-strikes and artillery.

     

    #35965
    John D Salt
    Participant

    At the bottom of the posting he provided attribution:

    Yes, thank you, I know that, being quite capable of reading it myself.

    Attribution not being the same thing as permission to publish, I still do not know whether the web page owner has John Curry’s permission.

    All the best,

    John.

    #36006
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Thanks, it was very interesting, as were John D Salt’s and Phil Barker’s responses in the subsequent issue.  I was particularly interested in the observations on the strengths and weaknesses of the Russian planning system and also the en passant remarks about the differences between Israeli and British planning.  Again, many thanks.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

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