Tuesday 16 April 2013

Northern Khand 1997 Part 1.

Many weeks ago Frank and I decided to have a game. I wanted this game to be a test of some of the different rules options we have for gaming with aircraft under Command Decision rules. The only official CD complete moderns set is Combined  Arms (CA), and while we have used its methods to fudge out stuff in moderns CD games, it really isn't up to the task. CD 2 does provide rules for moderns, but it lacks the data sets required to make them work.

GDI F-15s running CAP. 

The better part of a GDI Mech Infantry battalion and some attached armour.

The vehicle for this rules testing was going to be a rather target rich scenario that would pitch a GDI Mechanised Infantry Battalion - reinforced by two tank companies, and lots of air support and off board artillery, take on a range of Khandist and Noddist troops and equipment.

All Frank's GDI had to do was wade into the meat grinder and start dealing out pain. This is the point where the first of my assumptions came undone, although I didn't know it at the time. The assumption in question was that Frank knew what everything in the US CA TOEs was, what it did, and how to use it under the rules. In actual fact, Frank did not, and was thus _very_ hamstrung in the scenario due to him not being able to use his off table artillery in the most effective manner. The GDI airpower was able to fill the void, but not in the same happy way artillery can resolve situations.

However, this did lead to a number of post game revelations and discussions that has lead to work on a CD Moderns airpower handbook - consisting of Moderns stats for aircraft, their ordnance, countermeasures, and SAMs, and also for Frank's agreement in using the CD 2 Aircraft, and Anti Aircraft rules. The data set for these rules have been adapted from Harpoon.

A Noddist supply convoy.  Avery tempting target.

GDI airpower dominates the skies, while Nod stays under cover.

GDI armour rumbles forward.

Nod regulars stay hidden in the woods.
 The game itself was interesting, but hampered by the lack of smooth rules to handle airpower. Fortunately it has provided some nice pictures of Frank's GDI forces.

While Noddist militia wait at the treeline.

GDI Infantry on the advance.

A GDI Patrol stand or possibly a FAC.

Frank uses black helicopters for his UN run GDI forces...

More GDI armour.

GDI HQ elements - note the Humvee TOC.

GDI airpower owned the skies during the game.

GDI TOW armed helicopter which proved very effective against  NOD armour.

The Noddist convoy burns after getting hit with an airstrike.

GDI on the advance.

A Khandist MiG 21 conducts an unsuccessful airstrike. To even  get this far it had been extremely lucky!

GDI Abrams hit in the flank by a Noddist AT-4.
I should post more photos in a day or two.


  1. For a playtest, this looks like a major flare-up of hostilities somewhere! The lack of well-defined rules/inventory stats for modern battlefield air power could be rationalised by the process of 'combat shakedown' of doctrine and technique. For all the training and indoctrination of air crews, there must be a period of fine tuning as the reality of combat hits home.

    I'm looking forward to seeing more of this action. Apart from seeing how the action unfolds, one wants to see more of all that gleaming kit adorning the table.

    1. Hi ion,
      We used lots of shiney kit in the playtest, as we had lots of shiney stuff to test! as a result Frank and I will be using the CD2 aircraft and AA rules rather than the CD 3 rules, although the target priority and morale modifer for air attack will still be used. Harpoon has proved to be an excellent basis for moderns stats for both aircraft and weapons. Hopefully I should have an Air data book for you to look at soon.

  2. It certainly looked cool. I'm sure that you will hit upon some rules and stats that will work for you.

    1. Hi Sean,
      I think that Frank and I have found a workable solution to our rules problem.

  3. well it looks good so far, was the problem with overly powerful planes or ones that were not good enough? anyway cool game it will be good entertainment to see the carnage unfold.

    1. Hi Gowan,
      It's not that planes are too powerful, or that they are too weak - it's worse than that. The problem is that the mechanisms for determining what happens when a) air units attack each other, b) air units attack ground units, or c) ground units attack air units were somewhat broken due to a number of factors. To put it very simply we lacked a means of fairly and consistently determining what the results of a, b, or c should be. This has now been solved by the option of the old CD 2 rules (rather than using the simplified/abstracted CD3 rules) and a data set based on other GDW products - in particular Harpoon.

  4. Looks like a great, fun game - despite the air difficulties!

    1. Hi Paul,
      It was a great deal of fun to get the toys out and roll some dice! Next time should be more fun though, as we should have working air rules!