First Cold war Commander game

Hello all and a happy new years eve to all of you few people how read my blog!

As the topic says have been playing my first game of Cold war Commander. It was the first game for both me and my opponent. Yes you guessed right there was allot of rule discussions and looking in to the rule book to find the answer. But I was surprised how little time we spent searching for rules for being the first time we played.

We played 2000 points and used no Artillery or Air assets and neither of us had any helicopters. So it was a simple mission with only ground troops. We played the encounter and used fixed formations to give a more reality feeling to the game. The missions is simple enough, we should knock out as much as possible of the opponent. I played my Brits of the Rhine and they encountered a Soviet Marin division. We both had a mix of tanks and infantry and nearly no support. The Soviet marines are elite infantry so I had to watch out for them in a close assault.

The game starts with a moving battle which means that you place your HQ and CO at your table edge and role a command role to get that HQ formation on the table. This is when we realised that it is crucial to be able to role below 9 if you are a soviet player. My opponent where not that lucky with his commander for the marines formation I think he passed 2 roles of roughly 13 roles during the game. So when his major portion of his force did not arrive was it a pitched battle and I could concentration my force on his light tanks.Here is a some pictures I took during the game.

Second turn and the British Chieftain tanks position them self to counter the Soviet light tanks that are advancing towards the British infantry that have take a position in the village.

The soviet marines finally arrives and advance towards the village. They are already late to the battle so they try to make the most of it. The Chieftain tanks are trying to stop the Light tanks to reinforce the Marines.

We called the game of when the last threat to wards the Chieftain tanks was eliminated and the commander of the struggled to get them moving. The result was a major victory to the Brit.

So to summarize the feeling of this rules. I like the system it is fast but you still feel that there is plenty of complexity to Cold war Commander. We never got to a close assault so I had no time to try these part of the rules. But they seam to be pretty streamlined we did a small test before the game sins assaults tends to the be weak point and hardest part in most rules systems. There where a few question regarding the assault but I think we ironed them out.

We also tried the Helicopter attack and realised that they are power full. But when I read the FAQ afterwords did we used the ATGW attack wrong. According to the FAQ "ATGW fired from helicopters can only target a single unit in the fire-zone and they do not double their attacks when doing so." That we did it wrong is not surprisingly because the rules clearly states that you should follow the Air strike rules which makes the doubling possible.

So there are a few issues with the rules and how they are written. But most of it can you reason out and try to get the intention of the rule not the exact wording. I think when we have played a few times will it be more clear.


6mm Terrain

Sins I started looking in to Cold war commander have I started making some 6mm terrain for the battle field. Some time back did I buy model trees from China. They where to small for 28mm and 15mm terrain so they went in to the storage. But now where are they in perfect size for 6mm. I want to make a functional forest where the trees are free standing. So I bought washes and took grey stuff to mould and fastened the tree trunks to the washers. It worked nice I think and they have a nice heavy feeling. Then it was the usual pumice and dry brushing and some flock.

I have not spent many hours on these trees and it looks good. Now I need to finish my forest base plate. But I have an idea how to make them easy and fast.


British 6mm cold war continues

I have started the painting on my BAOR force. Because it's 6mm did I base all my models first. I needed some thing to hold on to when i start the compress dig out my airbrush. I used pre tinted pumice as basing material and used it to glue models at same time (I had re glue all the infantry models they had to small base for the pumice to be effective as glue).

My reference (pic. above) for my painting is the camouflage pattern that was used in Europe in the 60-90. Its s green base with dark grey patterns in lines from side to side. The colour choice is a bit of experiment for me. To find a good contrast on these small miniatures and the same time have a realistic look. So I will use a lighter colour than in real life. I also take in account the darkening when I apply the wash in later painting stages. 

Base colour: I use colours from AK interactive Olive drab colour modulation set. Light green base (AK 135) plus highlight dusting with Olive draw shine (AK 137).

Masking: Masked the area with blue tak

Camouflage: I use Tamiya acrylic paint Nato black (XF-69) 60/40 with Dark sea grey (XF-54) as base and a high light dusting with Dark seay grey (XF-54). I think the grey is a bit to light so I will make it darker next time, this was my first three vehicles of around 25.

Next step is to complete the remaining vehicles and shade them and then start painting all the small infantry models. 


British 6 mm Cold war models

As you might understand am I diving in to the cold war era. And this time are the local gaming group decided on 6 mm models to get shooting distance more correct and we are able to simulate lager battles. We are starting with a hypothetical scenario 1982-84 cold war outbreak in the European theatre.

So I will make the BAOR (British armed forces of the Rhine) base on 1982. There is a little hard to get information but I think I got some clue how the organisation is working. It will be a armoured battle group with mechanized infantry support and some air support. We are aiming to build 3000 points list for Cold war commander (review) which is rather big but I think it will give a good game with combined arms.

I got my models yesterday and started go through the models and base sizes and try to get order in the chaos. I will use these measurements for the different bases (LxW):

HQ & CO 30x30 mm
AFW 40x30 mm
APC, IFV and support vehicles 30x20
Infantry 20x40 mm
Inf support 20x30mm
FAO & FAC round base d20mm
Rec. hex base 20mm

These measurments looks good and there is plenty of space on the bases. Next step if to put down the pumice and start air brushing. Updateds will come later.


Cold war Commander rules review

We are a group of historical games in Gothenburg that have grown a bit tiered of Flames of War and want to try an interesting what if scenario during the cold war. We also wanted to try a different scale and zoom out  more to get the divisional level of gaming. Some one in the group heard about Cold war Commander rules that are a streamlined historical rules set that is built for combined arms that is suitable for 6-10mm models. So I picked up the PDF rules from Specialist Military Publishing and read the trough.

First you realise that this is a much smaller production compared to Battle fronts games. This is not a bad thing in my opinion the rules from minor publicist tends to be more worked through and have less errors. The book is about 140 pages where more than half is different army list for different conflicts after 1946 to modern times. Of the remaining 70 pages are 40 pages rules including long examples with full colour pictures that explain the different rules and game play.

The first thing that you find when opening the book is a very comprehensive index which will help when trying to find specific rules. This I really like there is more frustrating thing than when you now that there is a rule some where but you can not find it. After that do the book continue with the basics and the go through the sequence of play. Cold war Commander is a I go you go system. One commander do a full turn and then is its the opponents turn to respond. The turn is divided in to four segments:

First segment is the scheduled phase, here is where pre-scheduled support  will be used. This is air-support or off-board artillery. These support is possible in various scenarios and you have to buy them in the rooster. Before you start your first turn will you designate which turn and towards what target your support will come. This is a very neat way to handle preliminary bombardments and air strikes before or during an assault. I like the idea that the commander plan his operation before it´s started and have pointed out specific targets.

Second segment in the turn is the initiative phase. This phase can soldiers and tanks react on the enemy with out any order from the commander. Depending on the doctrine the country has for it´s army is this reaction distance different. Guerrillas are more flexible and can react if the enemy come with in 30cm compared to Soviet more rigid command structure with little initiative from the commander can they only react if the enemy is with in 10cm.  During this initiative phase can you shoot and assault if possible.

Third segment and the main segment is the command phase. Here is where you will issue orders (move, shoot and assault) with you HQ and CO to the various formations and units on the battle field. Here is where this game really shines in my opinion. To issue a order do you need to pass a order test. To pass the test do you need to roll two D6 dices and get lower than you HQ or CO command value. Normal stats for Nato HQ 9 and CO 10 compared to Soviet HQ 8 and CO 9. You can continue give orders with your commander but your command value will be lower -1 every time you give an order to the same formation/unit. So it will get harder and hard to give orders to the same unit. When you HQ miss a command role will he be spent and you continue with your next HQ. Also the distance to your unit/formation is relevant so you will not spread out your troops to much because then will it be harder to give orders to your units.
You are allowed to give orders twice or more to your units but only with the same HQ or CO. So there is a limit of how may times a unit can act but it depends on luck and commander value.

Also during the command phase can you call in air support and artillery support with designated teams FAO/FAC. It is the same procedure here. You have to pass a command test for the FAO/FAC to get support and then designate a visible target for your support.

And the last thing that happens is that your command units move.

Fourth segment is the end phase where you check for victory conditions and remove hit markers.

These are the essential steps of the game. It is rather basic for being combined arms and I think the game will have a nice flow.  The orders/actions is; Moving simple as it sounds move up to the move distance for the unit. There is terrain restrictions which is similar to order games. Shooting order is resolved with formation/unit designate target/targets for each unit and role the amount of dice according to the there stats. You will hit your target on 4+ if it´s in the open and 5 - 6+ if the target is in cover of some sort. You count the hits and if the target have a save value will it role saves for each hit. Mark the unsaved hits if it´s below the units hit points. Then role all the unsaved hits again and if they are equal or more than the score needed to be hit will the unit be suppressed and if its suppressed will it retreat x-cm where the x is the amount of successful suppress roles. This sound harder than it is. I think the idea that the designer is after is that you will suppress units and push them of important ground. And it is not easy to kill a tank unit if you don´t concentrate your fire.

There is allot more to the rules than describe above. The artillery support and how it interacts with the game and the Air units and Helicopters. There is also rules how to handle helicopter airborne attacks and beach assaults. And off course are there rules how to handle field defences and removal of them.

So my verdict: I like the rules and the book. It is very compact and not much text that will mislead you and interpret the rules wrong. There is some questions marks from my first read but I think it will be sorted out when we play a few times. I like the command system and I think it will make the turn exciting when you try to do the last thing in the turn to win but you fail your command role and your units are standing in the open and are eaten up the next turn. So there will be some intense roles the good thing is that the command roles are done with 2D6 which makes it more predictable. The only real issue is the poor quality of the pictures and examples of play. There could also be some more pictures or guide for the different armies in the back. I had to make allot of research on the net to figure out how the BAOR (British army of the Rhine) was build during the cold war. But you can not expect every thing from a book that cost me 12£ + 8€ for printing and spiral bounding.

I am looking forward to get a game on and try these rules with my friends. I am getting my tine British men these Friday. We have opted to use 6mm figures because that is what the rules are built for. And I will build the Brittish BAOR force that will stand ground against the WARPAC. I will keep you informed about my first game and my painting progress of there smal men. I have only painted Epic before in this scale and that was ages ago.


Fallschirmjäger performance at Hammar FOW


Now am I back again from a hectic weekend gaming in Halmstad. If you have followed my previous posts do you know that I have been painting a Fallschirmjäger company for flames of war under 1,5 months. This weekend was the deadline for my painting because Hammar Flames of War was in Halmstad and I was signed up for it. It is a pair tournament so you can ditch out in the last minute either. The tournament was divide over two day and five battles total.

So this post was about how the my brand new company performed and my thoughts about them. Unfortunately do I not have any pictures from the battles I was to occupied with the game for that.

Battle 1: My first battle for the day and with my new small men. Mission is Fighting withdraw and I am meeting Magnus with his US mech infantry.
I kampf grouped my mortars and attached my HQ mortars so I had 9 platoons in total. Then I deploy my forces over long stretched line with one jäger platoon in each end. The pioneers take the middle to be able to react on with flank he decide to be his main assault. This mission is not to bad for me because I have plenty of platoons to take of if needed but will still be able to keep a major portion of my fighting value intact.
After opening turn where I was lucky where I made some major damage on one of the big US infantry blobs, my mortars manage to till kill 9 stands out of 18 and the took the my Pak40 two more teams. So the platoon of 18 men was below half and needed to take a moral test. So the game was more or less over from turn one. After that was it more to keep the line and don´t do any stupid mistakes. In the end was it a 6-1 win for me. I need also mentioned the 88´s which shoot down more planes than I counted even if they where trained. This was a very promising start on the tournament.

Battle 2: No I am getting a little warmer in my cloths. Second game for the day is Hasty attack on a snow table with a forest line go through the board form each short edge. I am facing Andreas "Löwe" with his British mech. infantry. I am the defender again and Andreas is not to happy with the snow table because makes his M5 transports very slow in the snow. This means that I have an advantage and have more turns to get reserves in before is main force arrives at my lines. And top of this do I make an assault that takes out one tank unit and one infantry platoon and after that was the game more or less over.
In the was it a 5-2 victory for me. This is a really good start and I get more and more fond of my smal jägers.

Battle 3: The two first games are getting it´s tool on me and I getting tiered, I am to inexperienced and have to focus to much. This is the last game for the day and it´s against Jesper with his Brittish airborne engineers. I think this is one of worst lists that my fallschirmjägers can face. And on top of the hard engineers was the mission surrounded and Jesper chose to make a night attack.
This means that it will be hard to hit him and turn 3 will I have minimum 4 flamers hitting my troops. So I knew that I will have a hard time winning this game. So from the start was my aim to get points and try to kill at least one platoon. After some very bloody assault from both side was Jesper close to break to units but manage to make the platoon moral for two platoons and the sole survivor dice role for one platoon. I also did the same so I guess it was even here. After turn 4 was this battle over and Jesper had claimed 6-1 win. Yes I lost 1-6 which was not good for the team sins my partner also lost 1-6. Before this battle was our team in a good position but after the last battle where we in the lower half.

Battle 4: After a night with decent sleep and very calm night life (three beers) had I forgot the bitter loss from yesterday. I knew that we did not have any chance to win this at all and could only hop to get a decent placement in the tournament. So this time did I meet "Staka" and again did I meet British mech company but this time where they guards and it was Fighting withdrawal again. As I said before this is one of my favourite missions especially for my company.
The board had a town in the centre and lots of small wood patches that blocked most of my sight for my 88´s. So I had put them far back and have them gone to ground until the target presented it self. The game progressed as I though. "Staka" loaded on one flank and sent his small rec. unit to the other side. After a few turns and a bad planed assault from my side was it a clear 1-6 game but I manage to snag two points my last turn with some luck. So in the ends was it a 3-4 result.

Battle 5: Last battle for this tournament. I meet a new guy for my and Johan is his name. He is playing a chaffy company and the mission is Pincer. The board is divided by a huge 28mm terrain wall so the sight from my 88´s are blocked slightly but they have a few nice clear fire lanes. I know that the caffys are very fast and need to hold the line for 3 turns before any reserves might arrive. So the 88´s where far back and my pioneers with two panzer schrecks where covering both objectives and my four Pak40 in ambush. He did as I thought pushed the Chaffys hard and where very close first turn. But I presented the ambush and removed one of the tank units. One to go and then would my life be a bit easier. After some more manoeuvring and some unlucky roles from his side was the game over at turn 4 when I get two fallschirmjäger platoons in his side and takes out two more platoons. It was a clear 6-1 two me so I had a good finish at least.

To summarize the performance of my Fallschirmjäger company am I pleased with them. They are a bit static but I also only played defensive missions where I needed to defend all the time. So it is hard to tell how they perform on the offensive. I knew that they are very lethal in the assault and they can take an assault and still counter attack with a punch. I need to practice more with the deployment and add a few more units to get a broader company to play around with. When I meet Jesper and his Airborne engineers would 4 HMG change the playing field, I could change out the 88´s for more HMG but it was a painting problem for me I could not paint more than I did.  So there is room for improvement, but I will not sell this list. It is probably the funniest LW company that I have at the moment.

I was a bit sad that I did not get the best painted price. But next time with some tanks or other vehicles could make the company look more coherent. I will try next tournament.

So here are the promised close up picture, this is taken with my new studio setup. Please come back with comments.


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