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 28 August 2012

Terrain - Making It Modern

Each period in History has a distinctive look and feel to the terrain, this tends to live in the representation of the man made features, buildings structures, roads tracks and the nature of things like cultivated land.  So wanting to game the Cold War on the central front I wanted to think about what would make the cold war game distinct from World War Two.

Some very common features of the Modern world that scream "today" are of course a little too modern certainly for the early 80s game, in this Category sits mobile phone masts and wind turbines.  Although these are probably good for the early nineties and certainly for any fanciful late 90s Games.

Another thing that says modern is the juxtaposition of the old with the new, histroical buildings and ruins can sit happily along side modern buildings, so all those churches castles and WW2 buildings, Medieval bridges and even Iron age huts can be put to good use.

Some of the Key things that say Modern to me are Roads and Road networks that include Motorways with central barriers embankments and big Blue Signs, bridge construction methods are also quite time specific. Car parks are distinctively modern weather multi storey or open tarmac and marked ground.

Another distinctive element is the 60's and 70's low rise and high rise flats Office blocks and public buildings which tend to be landscaped complexes.  Mixing a variety of buildings in close proximity with car parking fencing lighting roads and trees can achieve the required effect.

Some building functions say modern particularly when the function and building materials are looked at together. Supermarkets started in low numbers pre war but did not really start to take off in numbers until the 50's Tescos didn't start till the 60s so they are inherently a modern feature, originally housed in traditional large buildings they now occupy structures that exploit similar materials to light industrial buildings.

The industrial base of Europe has evolved significantly transitioning from heavy to light industry and services, these types of activity are associated with buildings of a particular look and feel, together with the clustering of these activities around the edge rather than in the centre of Built up areas.

then there are a whole range of services ranging from Power distribution with high voltage electricity pylons, through telephony with its distinctive telegraph poles to trafic control systems with lights at junctions water treatment plants and water towers to street lighting and petrol distribution.

In the country side the main impact of the modern age other than the ubiquitous services are the impact of modern structures within the Agricultural community and in this the most obvious item is the prefabricated metal barn.

In addition to it looking Modern it also has to represent some part of the world and for me thats the Central front in Germany North or South depending on which armies I am fighting with, the Germans have fairly distinctive housing, the signs are in German, they don't love the roundabout, they don't tend to enclose there fields or houses as much as we do, they have an awful lot of Fir trees and they do love rail ways.

So thats the recipe for the central front not being WW2 revisited:
  • A Bunch of old buildings
  • Petrol Stations
  • Supermarkets
  • Low rise, Flats, Offices and shops
  • Light Industry
  • Modern Barns
  • Modern Services Power, Telephony, Water, Lighting
and a German Flavour created by:
  • German Building style
  • no hedges
  • no roundabouts
  • German signs
  • Fir Trees

For this summers game I produced a number of terrain items from the list above which I will be covering over the next few months.

Terrain - Byzantium 20mm, German Buildings
Terrain - Modern Farm Buildings
Terrain - Modern Supermarket

Sunday 26 August 2012

Wargames Unit - Soviet Divisional Anti Tank Battalion

The composition of this battalion was one of the first posts I made on this blog and has received the most hits. I finished the unit at the start of this month in preparation for a game here we see one of the Sprut batteries about to come into action against a force of German Leopard 2s.

The Battalion is made up of three batteries and an HQ, 2 Batteries of 2A45 Spruts towed by MTLB and 1 Battery of BRDM 2 with AT5.  The HQ and the GW Battery command post field OPs with PSNR Radars and laser rangefinders. Justifying the Spruts is a little fun but they certainly look cool.

The MTLBs are by S&S, The Spruts are by Military wheels, crewed by converted Elhiem cold war  Soviets and the BTR 60 is by liberation. The OPs are scratch built on 40mm bases.

The GW battery uses S&S BRDM 2s although the AT5 carrying wagons have scratch built site units for the missile controller. 

The Divisional Anti Tank Battalion is the primary anti tank reserve of the MRD, Insane Tank action is what its for.  The counter attack by Leopard 2A4s of 123 and 124 Pz Battalion of 12 Pz Brigade into the flank of 18 Guards MRD at Wissenberg.


Monday 20 August 2012

Review - Models 1/72, S&S GSP Ferry

The GSP ferry was first introduced into service in 1959 and used extensively by both the Soviets and a range of client states throughout the cold war.  The equipment was a key component of the Soviet river crossing machine, and was part of the assault river crossing capability held by the divisional engineer regiments, but generally attached out to regiments and forward detachments to aid in the rapid crossing of the many rivers that sat between them and the French border.  Capable of carrying a load of 50 tons it was  assembled from a pair of ferry vehicles and  could be ready for use in 3-5 minutes.

The Kit is very simple and consists of a single piece casting of the GSP in the water and the eight metal parts that make up the ramps., The main casting is well formed with some minor surface bubbles which I have left.  Getting the ramps to stick in the raised position is fun but Shaun tells me this has been addressed for the production versions.

I have painted mine Green, which might come as a bit of a surprise.  If I were doing it again I would represent some ropes on the deck The Trim Vein and maybe add the odd crew figure or two.  

I have two of Shauns PTS-M tracked amphibians which I use to represent the Assault crossing capability when on the move.  I am currently working up a visually appealing river crossing approach based on a number of water line representations of swimming vehicles the ferry, The PTS-Ms and some floating bridging I have yet to buy.

I believe the GSP Ferries are now released and available from S&S.


Prime Portal GSP ferry walk around