Who, What, Where, and Why of NATO!


I have received so many emails since the release of NATO! asking me the who what and where’s of NATO! I thought I’d do an article to answer some of those emails. I must confess it’s taken time for me to sort through the emails and think through the answers, sorry for the wait. I have selected a few questions that I think give a pretty good over view of the game and it’s genesis. So, without further ado here we go…

Who inspired the idea for a ‘Third World War’ game set in the 1980’s?

I suppose Sir John Hackett. I ran across his book The Third World War at a garage sale and bought the book for a dime. At the time I was working on a series of modern era wargames that are played on a board. After reading the book I realized that the idea of NATO vs Warsaw Pact, while dated was a really interesting tactical problem.

What resources did you use for weapons, organization, tactical doctrine etc?

I started with David Isby’s great set of books Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army and Weapons and Tactics of NATO. I moved on to A Hard Look at Hard Power by the US Defense Department, next The Soviet War Machine and NATO Militaries by Salamander Books the articles and chapters from a dozen other sources.

At this point I must thank the Arapahoe Library District here in Denver, they went out of their way to find and supply one dusty tome after another for me without complaint or money. I’ve become infamous with them. I call up and say ‘Hi this is Raven’ and the nice library lady says ‘Let me get into the World Catalog system for you first…’ then we begin the search!

What was the hardest part of the design?

It was hard to think back to those days of unlimited tension as two nuclear armed giants squared off against each other with the largest most sophisticated militaries ever created, all to battle over a piece of land the size of Connecticut. Somehow I had to convey the sense of the massive armies and tiny goals that, in the end, was the heart of the conflict.

Why not Poland, and the rest of Eastern Europe as the battlefield?


I think the odds of a NATO offensive were limited to counter attacks. There were plans by NATO to strike first in a series of spoiling attacks just before the Soviet behemoth rolled over the border. This ‘Forward Defense’ plan was hotly debated, but no plans where made for NATO to be the aggressor.

Was balance between the various weapons difficult to design:

Yes! The war in West Germany would have been an infantry war. I know that is not a popular view but it is true. There is no doubt that fleets of tanks and other AFV’s would have struggled and lead the spearhead of every offensive, but by 1980 the infantry carried anti-tank weapon had changed the relationship between infantry and armor. Infantry at that point had proven they could effectively ‘tank hunt’. Artillery concentrations would have been huge, and the variety of tank killing ammunition available was staggering. Also making its way onto the modern battlefield was the attack chopper packed with anti-tank guided or directed weapons all designed to kill armor. As you can see the tank had a BIG target painted on it’s collective back.

The design of the counters seems odd:Unit Types 2

The design grew directly out of the board and the need to convey the information simply. Infantry cover areas by staggering out a line covering positions while taking advantage of their small size and flexibility. Armor can’t help being big and rigid so I tilted the counter the other way to convey a very large machine covering very little battle space.



Why the multi-die combat system?

Speed of play and simplicity were upper most in my mind. There have been a few WWIII games over the years; and except for Red Storm Rising by TSR; all seem to use charts. So the routine in these games is:

  • move stop,
  • check to see if you can fire stop,
  • read the rules if needed before the attack is made stop,
  • roll the die or dice stop,
  • read a chart stop,
  • apply effects stop

I wanted a smooth game where movement and combat interact immediately, and mistakes can be truly fatal, hence the multi-die system.


Last words:

I am truly surprised at the response to my first offering on Raven’s Games. I expected a few semi-interested folks to wander by as I built up the visibility of the website. I got an explosion. This is due in large part to The Wargames Website running my articles and supporting my site. For that I am truly grateful. To everyone thank you and I hope for a long and rich relationship with all of you.

Ravens Games: Free Games and News

Henk is Here!


I’m proud to announce that Henk of Holland, simply THE best 1/72-1/76 scale website is now a proud supporter of Raven’s Games. Henk of Holland offers insight into manufacturers, techniques of building, tip and trick and so much more.

As many of you know 1/72 is my favorite scale for miniatures and I’ve written more than my fair share of 1/72nd scale games.  I have used Henk’s wonderful site to help write those games. To have Henk of Holland part of Raven’s Games is a real treat from me!

Thank you for the exchange Henk!


C-P Models Now On Board!

Ravens Games is proud to announce that C-P Models has joined our links page!  C-P Models is located in the United Kingdom, and offer a wide range of quality white metal minis on many subjects including Fantasy, Horse and Musket (Great Northern War) and a terrific line in World War Two minis including Finns suitable for the Winter War.  Not to mention the above bad boy: A Wasp Jump Trooper!  I love this guy!  I can’t wait to get some and start painting. For those out of the UK, C-P Models does have a mail order system on their website.




Free Game Anyone?


July 1st the balloon goes up!

Its World War III and NATO forces have to stand fast as the awesome Soviet tank armies roll forward into West Germany.  As Commander of a NATO Tank Company YOU command M60A1, or the new and untested M1 with armored infantry, artillery, and the killing power of the USAF. YOU must rely on the sophistication of your electronics to strike at the Soviet armored spearheads causing one delay after another. But, the Soviets take one beating after another at your hands and still keep coming!  As the Soviet Commander YOU command hordes of T-72 and the sophisticated T-64.  Artillery in      numbers only seen during World War II support your drives, as overhead the Red Air Force battles for control of the sky.  Never the less, the allied edge in technology and training is beginning to cost more than you ever expected.

Raven’s Games is proud to announce our first release. NATO! Is a board wargame that includes 168 Counters representing US and Soviet forces. 9(8 1/2 X 11) full color geomorphic maps representing West Germany. Rules include artillery, air power, mechanized infantry, anti-tank weapons, combat engineers, and more.  Players need to supply four, six, and eight sided dice for each player.

To request your free copy of NATO! please email Raven’s Games and within 24 hours your PDF copy of NATO! will be sent via email to you.

EMAIL: ravnsgames@aol.com




Whats Going On?!

July is a great month for taking the convention circuit! Below is a list of upcoming events this month. So grab your dice, minis and courage and head out! Thanks to Casual Gaming Revolution for the info.

July 01 to 03:        InConJunction                                  Indianapolis                 IN             http://www.inconjunction.org/                       Science fiction and fantasy convention with gaming


July 01 to 04:        Anime Expo                                  Los Angeles/CA                            http://www.anime-expo.org/ Anime con with Gaming


July 06 to 10:        Dice Tower Con V     Orlando/FL                             http://www.boardgaming.info/convention/            Board games, Dice Tower Network, family-friendly gaming


July 07 to 10: ConnectiCon2016 Hartford/CT http://connecticon.org/ Multi-genre pop culture with gaming events


July 09 to 12: Play On Con Birmingham/AL http://www.playoncon.com/ Gaming convention, including video and tabletop gaming


July 14 to 17: Historicon Fredericksburg VA http://hmgs.site-ym.com/?page=HconHome Miniatures game convention


July 20 to 24: Comic-Con International San Diego/CA http://www.comic-con.org/cci


July 16 to 17: Berlin Brettspiel Con Berlin Germany http://www.berlin-con.de


July 15 to 17: QuinCon XXX Quincy IL https://www.facebook.com/quincon.convention Board games, Wargames, and RPGs


July 15 to 17: Protospiel Chelsea MI http://www.protospiel.org/ Design and playtesting convention


July 15 to 17: Con-Gregate High Point NC http://www.con-gregate.com/ Science fiction and fantasy convention with gaming


July 15 to 17: Tolkien Moot XII Spokane WA http://www.tolkienmoot.org RPGs, LARP, board games, video games, musicians, artists, & more.


July 15 to 17: Tokyo in Tulsa Tulsa OK http://www.tokyointulsa.com Anime convention with tabletop board games, RPGs and tournaments.


July 22 to 24: KantCon Overland Park KS http://www.kantcon.com/ Board games, RPGs, miniature gaming events


July 22 to 24: Open Gaming Convention Nashua NH http://www.ogc-con.com/ogc/ RPGs, Miniaitures, and Board Games


July 23 to 31: World Boardgaming Championship Seven Springs Mountain Resort PA http://www.boardgamers.org/Gaming convention with 100+ game tournaments for voted titles


July 23 to 24: MegaMooseCon Richburg SC http://www.megamoosecon.com Board games, Wargames, and RPGs


July 29 to 31: Boarder City Game Convention El Paso TX http://www.boardercitygameconvention.com Table top convention


July 29 to 31: CamasCon Cashmere WA http://www.camasmeadows.org/our-camps/camascon/


July 30: Wyvacon Wytheville VA http://www.wyvacon.com/ Cosplay, gaming, science, artists and authors




Welcome The Wargames Website


Raven’s Games is proud to announce that The Wargames Website is a proud member of the ravnsgames.com links page.  I have enjoyed a great relationship with the The Wargames Website and look forward to continuing for many years to come.  Thanks Mike!

I encourage you to visit: The Wargames Website

One of the best gaming resources around for gaming events, supplies, ideas, clubs, and of course games!