Bibliography of WWIII PART TWO

I’ve had some emails asking for a list of some of the books or sources I used to write the NATO! Games.  I thought I’d sketch out a few of the reference works that I most used and why.

An Illustrated Guide to Tank Busters

Another Bruce  Quarry, Mike Spick book. With the helicopter on the front you think you know what your getting into, but ‘Tank Busters’ is a broad subject included helicopters, fixed wing and much more. I used this book along with the one below to grasp the ‘pop-up’ attack as it applied to NATO! This book is easily found at Thriftbooks and ebay for around 4.95

Modern Fighting Helicopters

Big surprise! Bill Gunston and Mike Spick…again While Modern Fighting Helicopters is an old book and behind the time period of the game the basic tactics and problems of helicopters in ground combat are the same and well discussed.  I used many other sources other than these two books; or authors for that matter; while writing this facet of the game. However these two books in combination really covered the subject completely and well. This book can be found at ebay and thriftbooks for $4.95 or so.

 An Illustrated Guide to Soviet Ground Forces

You cannot find a better quick guide to hardware then these little gems. I have actually gotten rid of other ‘tank’ or ‘airplane’ books in favor of this series.  The illustrated guides are broken down into separate subjects with brilliant photos and the occasional well executed drawing and plenty of detail about each and every weapon they discuss. Roy Bonds edited this compilation book, showing the most up to date Soviet hardware including the BMP, T-62/4/72 etc etc. This book simply incorporates the information from many other titles but does give a wonderful overview of Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces in the 80’s.  You can find this book cheap at Priced from $4.00 to $12.00

Well since almost everything here is an illustrated guide something something let’s end with a word of caution. These books are cheap easily found, well written and researched. That having being said be careful if you branch off these to other series or publishers such as Arno or Salamander because their titles are often re-issuing the information found in these little gems.–Raven

Raven Games
Raven Games



Writing About What Didn’t Happen

Warsaw Pact Cover LIGHT

No war that never happened, has been more written about than World War III. So attempting to write a game about it has a flavor of Alice in Wonderland about it. When writing a wargame you tend to rely on ‘what happened’ accounts to try and bring your game mechanics into according with what you have read. This of course is all bollocks! And I am as guilty as anyone of attempting to breath ‘reality’ into a wargame. Unless you and a few of your best but foolish friends go into woods, desert, steppes etc. and shoot at each other with real ammo you’ll never understand the sheer terror of combat. And if you have no concept of what it is like to have people trying to kill you good for you!

So with that having been said how do you go about putting realistic results into your game? First you start with basic premises that you feel are universally true about the subject. My starting premise in NATO and Warsaw Pact was this: NATO was out numbered by Warsaw Pact forces. I did not fall for the old saw about Soviet equipment being comfortingly inferior to western hardware. Time and again the Soviets stunned the west with weapon systems just as capable.

My next premise was it would be the Soviets that would cross the line. There is nothing to prove that NATO would NEVER have started the war, but it seemed unlikely that the European powers would willing start a war that would end in their utter destruction. The Soviets on the other hand were looking to crush the west as quickly as possible and drive the US off the European landmass. I felt that this offensive would have been a stabbing attack into West Germany, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands. I doubt that the Soviets ever seriously thought of ‘Marching to Paris’ but ‘Marching to Bonn and Antwerp’ was on the agenda. I believe the drive would have been a no holds barred race for the Rhine. I also feel that such an offensive would have drawn in the Mediterranean powers if for no other reason than to prevent reinforcements using Italian or Greek ports. Remember the Soviets had no real naval power in the Mediterranean and Turkey would have fought the Black Seas Fleet from moving south.

Premise three was the notion that neither NATO nor the Warsaw Pact would have ‘gone nuclear’ right at the start of the conflict. After all, what was the point of winning a burnt out, radioactive cinder? Chemical weapons would have been delivered as part of the opening gambit and that would have been all Soviet. NATO had such agents and their delivery systems. But, NATO also had millions of citizens directly in harm’s way of those agents. The Soviets did not need to shield the population in fact it might collapse the will to fight if later targets heard about the death toll in earlier battles, or crowd the MSRs with frightened panicked people.

My final premise was the fact that these games would be quick, easy to learn, dirty and as high tech free as possible. After all, all the myriad hardware in infinite detail would derail the idea of a tactical level game that could be played by two players in 1 to 2 hours without having to learn such phrases as APDS, FLIR, ALM etc etc ad infinitum. ‘Is the tech there at all?’ I hear you ask, of course! WWIII was going to be the war in which electronics would be the master, so the tech is built into the design of every unit in the game.

In closing I’m very happy with the overwhelming response to NATO, I feel this proves that others feel as I do that World War III is a worthy gaming subject and that ease of play has a vital roll in the design.

Raven Games
Raven Games

Q & A on NATO

Since the award, NATO has brought a raft of emails asking many interesting questions. I thought I’d sort out some of the most common:

Q: Is there any rules for units in cover?

A: The original NATO had none to show the increased use of heat and night scopes. However in Warsaw Pack this deficiency has been rectified. Anti-Tank, Fire Missions, and Infantry roll d8 when defending inside cover.

Q: How do I use an Air Control (BLUE) token?

A: Starting with the initiative player: players announce any Air Control Tokens they will play. This gives the non-initiative player an advantage in air power for that round of play.

Q: When using a unit with two attack dice which do I use for defense?

A: Players can choose the die used for the first attack received by the unit. All subsequent attacks are defended against using the lowest die of the unit for the remainder of that round of play.

NATO news:

Expansion Pack one will be released in the up coming weeks and includes ALM Mines, Attack copters, and strongpoints. Take the battle to a new level!

Warsaw Pact Cover LIGHTWarsaw Pack Release!

News Flash! As U.S. forces battle the Soviet armored forces down south, allied NATO forces are facing both Soviet and Warsaw Pack enemies in the north attempting to push into Belgium and Denmark. The Soviets are stretched thin trying to fight their way through heavier than expected U.S. resistance and must rely on their category 2 allies to pick up the slack! Warsaw Pack the latest installment of NATO will soon be out with British, West German, Polish and Czechoslovakian formations! Now take the battle to the canals and deep forests of northwest Europe. Warsaw Pack is a stand alone game using the award winning NATO game system, get ready to command Chieftains, Leopard II’s,  Marders and more against the T-72s and T-64 of the Warsaw Pack.

SAGCover LIGHT SAG news!

Battlefield:  Southern Army Group (S.A.G.) Would there have been a war in southern Europe? What possible value could be gained in fighting in Turkey, Greece, Italy, and possibly Yugoslavia?  On the Soviet’s part any way to stretch NATO resources was a bonus. Scare military resources fighting in a secondary theater meant these resources could not pulled into Germany. NATO options in the southern theater were greater: if the Soviets had left southern Europe alone NATO could pull manpower from Italy possibly even Greece and Turkey.  If the Soviets fought in the south they would have only weak Warsaw Pact allies in position and would end up having to support these forces with Soviet troops.  Troops that were unavailable therefore for the main theater.


Badr Cover2 LIGHTBadr News!

The Game that started it all will be re-released! I heard you loud and clear ‘Release Badr Again!’. Now battle through Israeli defenses as you cross the Suez in 73! New rules included in this new release. Coming Soon!

“No matter what you’re into. Sometimes, you get the irresistible urge to blow stuff up with tanks!” -Derek Case

Final comments: When I wrote NATO I was trying to fill a personal itch for a 1-Hour tactical game of World War III tank warfare. The games needed to be good looking, fast to play and handle the wide variety of hardware, tactics and combined arms warfare of the modern world easily but with realistic results. NATO and her sister games fill that niche nicely for me.  But I’m not satisfied and sitting on my laurels! Each sister game introduces some other facet of the most complex war that (luckily) was never fought. I wanted A LOT of maps; I bet you do too; and with the new map pack that will be out this year you get A LOT MORE maps!

To all the Badr and NATO gamers out there: thank you for all your votes, dedication to the games, and most of all your ideas and enthusiasm. Like you they are favorites of mine.-Raven

Ravens Games: Free Games and News
Raven’s Games: Free Games and News