Modern Campaigns specifically Fulda Gap

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ruppert29
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2022 8:08 am

Modern Campaigns specifically Fulda Gap

Post by ruppert29 »

Reading through a lot of historical commentaries of possible Warsaw Pact attacks in the 80's, a lot of experts expected the Russians to easily win / reach Frankfurt in three days. Starting the full campaign, I marvel at the number of objectives / points that the Warsaw Pact immediately starts in the scenario. Certainly the Russian troop drops behind the front add even more of an advantage. Do the Allies have a chance to prevail?

Just curious, will keep on playing.
Midge
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2023 1:15 pm

Re: Modern Campaigns specifically Fulda Gap

Post by Midge »

This title and Danube Front are fairly old titles now. They could certainly do with a makeover with the information now available!
If you want more of a challenge try the Beta Campaign set in 89, it’s certainly a very good two placer game!
Dion
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Re: Modern Campaigns specifically Fulda Gap

Post by Dion »

From what I learned about the subject from TV, school, and other sources, the Warsaw Pact had a tremendous troop number advantage. But from my experience from playing Danube Front '85, NATO does pretty darn good, good enough to win most of the scenarios. I don't know if the game had a poor AI or NATO had a much better weapon system than was commonly believed, "system" might be the key here, but I'm not sure, it might have been the AI. That was with version "1.something or other", so it was probably was the AI. From what I understand, the AI has been greatly improved since then, so I expect it to be much more realistic.
Dion
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Re: Modern Campaigns specifically Fulda Gap

Post by Dion »

More importantly, NATO had the Abrams tank in 1985, what did the Soviets have? NATO had a tremendous technical advantage in 1985 too. Combine those two facts with superior air power and I really don't think the Warsaw Pact had much of a chance. Buts that's not how the experts seen it. Nevertheless during game play, whoever had the advantage didn't stop the otherside from using weapons of mass destruction, sometimes NATO, sometimes the Warsaw Pact, always heavy casualties.
AngryBug
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Re: Modern Campaigns specifically Fulda Gap

Post by AngryBug »

Yes, NATO can win. The NATO side must play to its technological and airpower advantages while negating the WP numbers advantages. This means not allowing it's units to be isolated at all costs. Build a defense in depth behind natural barriers and urban areas and force the WP armor to fight the M1's, Challangers and Leopards at a disadvantage. These tanks when dug in are nearly impregnable. They must be the keystone and protected by the other arms. NATO artillery and rocket systems must be well positioned with deployed spotters. The game fundamentals of command and supply are crucial to a NATO victory.
ruppert29
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Re: Modern Campaigns specifically Fulda Gap

Post by ruppert29 »

Thanks for the replies. Good point on Improved positions. I am finding the Warsaw Pact thrusts into Germany less than aggressive so far. They have obliterated defenders at the cities of Bad Herschfeld, Fulda, Bad Kissengen and Bamberg but have barely moved beyond there by turn 17. Most of the casulties on their side from come from interdiction, mine fields and such.
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TANSTAAFL
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!

Post by TANSTAAFL »

It's always fun, but of course problematic, to speculate on what might have happened. It's why we like games like this, of course! In trying to decide what might have "realistically" happened, we can never be sure. We have to take into account what we now know that we didn't know then, but also we have to guard against assuming that the situation as we now see it describes the situation as it was in the past.

For instance, the abysmal performance of the Russians in Ukraine does not necessarily mean that the Soviet forces in the 1980s would have performed just as poorly. There are a world of differences between the military in Russia today and the Soviet-era armed forces. And the technological climate was radically different--drone warfare, such a dominant part of the current conflict, was pretty much unknown back then. Yet, there are many aspects of the current Russian military situation that existed under the Commissars, so we can't entirely dismiss contemporary events from our analysis either.

Like others on this forum, I lived in Germany during the 1980s (and 1960s, 1970s, and into 1990, off and on), and like many, I was also involved to some degree in the military or intelligence arena focused on deterring a Soviet attack into Central Europe. Opinions about Soviet capabilities and the ability of NATO to defend against them varied over time. By the mid-1980s, the consensus seemed to be that NATO finally had the conventional strength and technological advantage to defeat a Soviet attempt to occupy Germany, though it would have been a costly affair. But everything was very contingent. Would the Soviets use WMDs from the outset? Would they expand the war into a global conflagration? Would the political structure of NATO hold together? Would the Soviet satellites be willing or unwilling partners, or would they flat-out revolt? And this stuff is on top of the more prosaic questions about logistics, transportation, communication, and all that.

I guess the upshot is, when making a game that simulates this might have been, you have to make a bunch of assumptions and work with a particular set of them to get the scenario you think will give the best bang for your buck. In these games, the assumptions that are made try to provide a balanced (from a game perspective) approach, not necessarily the most accurate (from an analytical/historical perspective) approach. The game is better for it, too, because it's a lot more fun to have a tensely balanced battle than a rout, either way.
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Strela
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Re: !

Post by Strela »

TANSTAAFL wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 6:42 am It's always fun, but of course problematic, to speculate on what might have happened. It's why we like games like this, of course! In trying to decide what might have "realistically" happened, we can never be sure. We have to take into account what we now know that we didn't know then, but also we have to guard against assuming that the situation as we now see it describes the situation as it was in the past.

For instance, the abysmal performance of the Russians in Ukraine does not necessarily mean that the Soviet forces in the 1980s would have performed just as poorly. There are a world of differences between the military in Russia today and the Soviet-era armed forces. And the technological climate was radically different--drone warfare, such a dominant part of the current conflict, was pretty much unknown back then. Yet, there are many aspects of the current Russian military situation that existed under the Commissars, so we can't entirely dismiss contemporary events from our analysis either.

Like others on this forum, I lived in Germany during the 1980s (and 1960s, 1970s, and into 1990, off and on), and like many, I was also involved to some degree in the military or intelligence arena focused on deterring a Soviet attack into Central Europe. Opinions about Soviet capabilities and the ability of NATO to defend against them varied over time. By the mid-1980s, the consensus seemed to be that NATO finally had the conventional strength and technological advantage to defeat a Soviet attempt to occupy Germany, though it would have been a costly affair. But everything was very contingent. Would the Soviets use WMDs from the outset? Would they expand the war into a global conflagration? Would the political structure of NATO hold together? Would the Soviet satellites be willing or unwilling partners, or would they flat-out revolt? And this stuff is on top of the more prosaic questions about logistics, transportation, communication, and all that.

I guess the upshot is, when making a game that simulates this might have been, you have to make a bunch of assumptions and work with a particular set of them to get the scenario you think will give the best bang for your buck. In these games, the assumptions that are made try to provide a balanced (from a game perspective) approach, not necessarily the most accurate (from an analytical/historical perspective) approach. The game is better for it, too, because it's a lot more fun to have a tensely balanced battle than a rout, either way.
Great post.

This captures a lot of the essence of what we grapple with daily here at WDS. No matter whether a title is 'historical' or 'hypothetical', we have a range of decisions and tradeoffs to make when developing a title. Maybe surprisingly, hypotheticals are easier than historical as there in no known outcome, but rather a range of possibilities and that allows us more largesse on what victory looks like. Historical titles have a known end point, so there is a clearer basis for 'winning'.

That said one of the best things about even lopsided titles is representing the conditions and seeing whether players can perform better than history, even if that means losing the bulk of your forces. Other forms of adversity is also interesting. We were told that Panzer Campaigns Scheldt '44 would be a challenging title to design and market as it was essentially fought in mud in pretty shocking conditions. The opposite has happened, the inclusion of irregular forces, worn-out Allied formations, German units that were desperately reconstituting after the fall of France and Market-Garden in context has made this a very popular title - a pleasant surprise.

That said, I have meandered off the actual topic and the fact this is the Modern Campaigns forum.

I will mention that we may have more to share specifically on Danube Front soon and some possible additional content.

Finally, a word on Ukraine. I have personally followed the situation daily since February 2022. It is both a momentous confrontation and an example of the speed of innovation, but also a cauldron of misinformation. I would love to look at titles covering the conflict, but it is too soon. There is no way we could do anything close to the actual situation on the ground beyond knowing the approximate OOBs and the general sweep of the fighting. I expect we will cover it in one of our engines at some point, but not before we are confident about the data we use and importantly, we feel that it's not immoral to cover such a recent conflict.
ruppert29
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2022 8:08 am

Re: Modern Campaigns specifically Fulda Gap

Post by ruppert29 »

Great replies, as it happens Danube Front will be my next campaign. Hopefully i will see the blog post on that game.
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