Welcome to Cold War Gamer, a blog I am using to record my Cold War wargaming projects. These range from fictitious Cold War hot projects to historical conflicts that took place around the globe throughout the Cold War era, all modelled and gamed in 20mm. The blog includes links to various resources useful to the Cold War Gamer.

My current projects include: Central Front; British & Soviet. South African Border War; Angolans and South Africans. Soviet Afghan War; Soviets and Afghans

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Wargames Unit - Soviet, Combat Helicopter Regiment, Attack Helicopter Squadron

Otdelnyy Boyevoy Vertoletnyy Polk OBVP or Independent Combat Helicopter Regiments were formed to support Soviet Armies from the late 70's and were part of the fronts Air Army.  The Regiments comprised:
  • 2 Attack Helicopter Squadrons of 5 Flights of 4 Mi-24
  • 1 Assault Helicopter Squadron of 5 Flights of 4 Mi-8
As a component of Air Assault operations undertaken by the DShV these units were critical for support, escort and elements of transport, depending on the exact configuration of the Mi-8s.

Having decided to build a Soviet Air Assault force I felt I really need some solid Attack Helicopter support and these squadrons could deploy in there entirety to support operations.  So a full squadron it had to be,  20 Mi 24 @ a ratio of 1-3 would give me 6 aircraft and a difficult problem of representing the flights.  So I decided to represent these boys at 1:4 with 1 Aircraft per flight, flights were capable of independent operation or as part of Squadron or indeed Regimental plans.

Building this sort of force presents a few interesting problems if your to avoid breaking the bank or the models every time you use them. Ebay was the primary approach to the first problem and as such I have a bit of a range of marks and models in the Squadron.  Breaking down to 1 Airfix, 1 Matchbox, 1 2 Italeri and 1 Zedveda all built as D/E variant Hinds.  Whilst some have Sagger rails and others Spiral launch tubes I'll probably use them all as one type in a game.  Of the different manufacturers I prefer the Italeri birds to the others more detail a better build quality and a nicer model.  As can be seen by from the pictures the range of manufacturers does not detract from the unit.

On the second problem, robustness, I decided to drop rotor blades and numerous smaller parts, making transport and handling easier as inevitably because of the way they are based they take a bit of a battering. The other problem the Rotors give you is the relationship of there physical size to the ground scale.  which means the aircraft which are otherwise fairly big beasts start to eat up a lot of real estate, more of a problem with the transports than the attack aircraft.

Without an airbrush painting also becomes a bit of a burden when building large numbers of aircraft, as does getting the markings right, particularly when you have three different manufacturers.  I managed to crack that withs some decal purchasing, more of which in the construction post.

can't wait to get them into action.


FM 100-2-1 Soviet Army Operations and Tactics
FM 100-2-3 Soviet Troops Organisation and Equipment
Soviet Tactical Aviation - Yefim Gordon & Dmitriy Kamissorov

Related Posts:

ORBAT - Soviet Air Assault Capability Part 1, Overview and Lift Assets
Review - Model 1/72, Mi-24 Hinde, Italeri, Zedveda, Matchbox, Airfix

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Wargames Unit - Soviet Late 80's, Independent DShV Battalion

The Army Independent DShV (Air Assault) battalion comprised of a BMD Company and two parachute Infantry companies.  The Parachute infantry companies in the late cold war period included AT-7 and PKMS Sections.  For operations they would be heavily task organised with elements of the Battalions support platoons these included:

  • Anti Tank
  • Anti Aircraft
  • Mortar
  • Direct Fire Support
  • Indirect Fire Support
  • Reconnaissance
The organisation I am showing here has been task organised for an opperation with battalion assets distributed to the companies and grouped with the aviation assets required to deploy and support it. The aircraft were all part of Frontal Aviation although some of the units would be under Army command. It is loosely based on rapid Fire concepts scale is Ground Vehicles at 1:3 and Aircraft at 1:4.

The AT-7 is scratch built and crewed by Elhiem, the remainder of the figures in the Parachute infantry Company are by Liberation Miniatures and were part of my existing collection.

The support weapons teams are a mix of Liberation and Elhiem, AGS-17, AT-4, SAM-7 and Sniper are Liberation, the excellent SPG-9, Soviet 82mm Morter are Elhiem and the OP team are a mix of S&S and Elhiem. The Elhiem figures are all conversions from their Iraq range.

The lift is provided by two flights from the Army OBVP Assault and Combat Helicopter Regiment, in this case 1 flight of Mi-8TV and 1 of Mi-8T, I am currently not intending the TVs to carry troops and the Mi-8Ts to carry a reduced load, although I have no data to support this.

The remainder of the lift is provided by 2 flights of Mi-8 from the Fronts OTBVP, Independent Combat Transport Helicopter Regiment's Medium Transport Helicopter Squadron.  The air craft comming from a mix of manufacturers.

The other type of Company in The Independent DShV Battalion is the BMD company, equipped with 9 BMDs and a small company of dismounts, I have chosen to represent it with 2 BMD 1P and a BTR-D. This breaks with a traditional RF Route of only representing 1APC per company.  in this case I have decided to use the BMDs as "light tanks" or Fire Support Vehicles and the BTR-D will be used to carry the dismounts.  The Battalion Recce Platoon has been grouped with the BMD company.

The BMDs are by Liberation miniatures as are the figures, the BTR-D is an ACE Kit which as ever scrubs up well, crew figures are Liberation and stowage is Goffey.

Lift for the BMD company is provided by an Mi-8T flight from the Assault and Combat Helicopter Regiment and 2 flights of Mi-26 from the OTVBP's Heavy Transport Helicopter Squadron.  in this case the Mi-8 is by KP and the Mi-26 by Revell.

Battalion HQ is a 6 Figure Command team and Mi-8 Flight which would be a mix of command and control aircraft and ECM aircraft, and an Mi-2 which will act as an air OP.   The Aircraft are part of my divisional support squadron, but I am not sure that fits in with the late war Orbat, a bit more reading to do there.  Both aircraft are KP kits and the Mi-2 is a nice little kit.  The bases which I am probably going to use throughout my force are by East Riding Miniatures.

The projects been a year in the making and other than this battalion and the air-fleet required to shift it around the battlefield, includes a Strike package of Fighters and Ground attack aircraft and a fairly impressive Hinde Attack Helicopter squadron but more of them later.  All the references and research on Orbat Colour schemes etc are contained within the related posts.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Scenario - Storming The Waidhaus Gap

This years game was an Air Land battle extravaganza played out by the usual crew, the guilds Panzerfaust 200, and Mausman were once again the Germans and Myself and Elhiem ran the Soviet horde. The detailed scenario can be downloaded from the link at the end of this post and the AAR will be the central theme of the Autumn magazine.

I started work on this project almost as soon as we had finished last years marathon. It all started with a desire to take my VDV units into the late Cold War period (Post 1985) after that it got a bit out of hand, resulting in the construction of 26 Aircraft of various types, which turned out to be a fairly large commitment.

It continues my fascination with the Soviet forward detachment, but starts to examine it in the context of offensive operations against the NATO covering force and in cooperation with Air Assault assets. The Scenario was set in the context of the military operations that formed the back ground to the Wissenberg Counter Attack, looking at the initial actions taken by 22 Combined Arms Army in crossing the German Czech border at Waidhaus. This present the army commander with a few interesting problems:

  • The crossing point is a terrain constraint or bottleneck
  • The Terrain opens up exposing the flanks shortly after moving through the constraint
  • He needs to maintain the momenttum of the main body in negotiating the crossing point

To which the answer was to secure the gap with a forward detachment and the flanks with Scaterable mines and an Air Assault force. This then is the Soviet context of the scenario and provides a broad scope for the examination of Soviet Doctrine of the period.

The NATO plan in this part of the battelfield is also interesting, Germany pursued a concept of forward defence and so I have deployed a strong covering force along the border, the nature of the terrain allowed a degree of focus on the main crossing points with a mobile reserve left to deal with any other incursion routes identified by a weak recce screen across the more difficult approach routes.

The Divisional Recce unit was concentrated at the two primary points and reinforced by elements of the Divisional reserve 12 Pz Bde and the Korps Reserve, 25 Luftlande Brigade as well as being strongly supported by Air and Aviation assets. This made for an interesting German force structure and is broadly in line with their doctrine.

In terms of the scenario design I wanted to keep all 4 players amused and broadly have the game play out to a conclusion without it bogging down in any particular place. This required the following activities to happen:

  • The Soviets had to get on the ground with the air assault force.
  • They needed someone to fight before the reserves turned up.
  • The reserves needed to be controlled and ultimately taken out if the Soviets were to reach the far end of the board.
  • The Germans needed to be able to snatch victory at the back end of the game.

To meet these needs we developed an air superiority rule which allowed us to play a very full ground attack game but with the balance alternating between the two sides in the early part of the game. The Soviets had turns 1 - 3 the NATO team 4-6 and thereafter it was to be randomly determined. This should allow each side to dominate in turn the early phases of the game. Giving each early success and allowing the game to progress to plan.

This also met the need to create effectively two games one at the front of the board and one at the back. As we had an 18 foot by 8 foot table to play with I knew this would be broadly achievable. The Terrain was derived from the Google earth imagery but simplified to contain the main settlement, the main roads major wooded features and three prominent ridge lines.

The broad scope of play was therefore that the German covering force built around:

  • 2 Recce Companies
  • 1 Tank Company
  • 1 FJ Battalion

would fight the ground battle forward against the heavily reinforced 480 MRB:

  • 3 MR Coy
  • 2 Tk Coy
  • 1 Mobile Support Group
  • 2 Bns of Guns

and that the covering force of 10 PG Bde together with the Air Defence assets of 4 FLAK Bn:

  • 100 PzAufZug
  • 100 PzJgrKp
  • 41 and 42 AD Bty

would initially take on 901 Air Assault Battalion and its accompanying aircraft after the landing phase the germans would be reinforced by 2 Kp of Leopard 2s and towards the end of the game receive a further Kp and a lot of Artillery and Air to enable them to pull back.

Related Posts:


TTP-Forward Detachments and Tactical Air Assault


Scenario - Storming The Waidhaus Gap
ORBAT - Soviet Air Assault Capability Part 1, Overview and Lift Assets
ORBAT - Soviet Air Assault Capability Part 2, Army Air Assault Battalion
ORBAT - Soviet Task Org, Fronts in the Western TVD

Wargames Unit:

Wargames Unit - Soviet Late 80's Independent DShV Battalion
Wargames Unit - Soviet Late 80's MRB
Wargames Unit - The German Army at Waidhaus
Wargames Unit - Soviet, Combat Helicopter Regiment, Assault Helicopter Squadron
Wargames Unit - Soviet, Combat Helicopter Regiment, Attack Helicopter Squadron


AAR-Storming The Waidhaus Gap, Part 1 Ground and Deployment
AAR-Storming The Waidhaus Gap, Part 2 Soviet Air Land Battle
AAR-Storming The Waidhaus Gap, Part 3 Counter Attack


Storming The Waidhaus Gap, 19 Mb