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Berlin '85 - The Setup

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I've spent some time with Berlin '85 over the past couple of weeks now. I find it to be a bloody game with a peculiar agony awaiting both players who venture down its path. If you have already played the game, you will understand exactly what I mean. For those, who haven't tried it, you'll get an idea when you read the full playthrough report.

I wanted to get something out there for B85 since I've been getting lots of people asking and posting and commenting about it. So here's the Setup and some notes about the game and why I've made certain decisions.

The NATO player sets up first. For this scenario:

The West German police (the blue units) set up on Supply Hexes anywhere in West Berlin and on any airfield control hexes.

The Americans set up in the American sector (duh!) two hexes from any barracks hexes. The French and British do the same in their sectors.

But before we do all that, let's look at the lay of the land, my son.



We have one natural barrie…

Berlin '85

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For me, 2017 has been the year of the magazine game. Last month's look at Nord Kapp from S&T Fall 1983 was a big hit. I thought it was an excellent game and it deserved a look back after all these years. I've been scooping up some other magazine games lately, some of which have been languishing on the shelves due to a lack of time. It has been a crazy summer so far and shows no signs of slowing as we move from the rainy season here in Japan towards the hot hot heat of tropical summer.

This month, I would like to drag another S&T favorite off the shelf and take a look at it. Here goes:



There we go - fresh from the March/April issue of Strategy & Tactics is Berlin '85, a game that focuses on a Soviet invasion of West Berlin in a WW3 conflict set in 1985. It's now I notice that so many people used that particular year for setting a WW3 conflict to happen. That includes General Sir John Hackett in his novels and Jim Dunnigan in this game. What's especially …

Nord Kapp: World War III in the Arctic Circle

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I've just finished my game of Nord Kapp from the Fall 1983 issue of Strategy & Tactics. Wow! Great stuff. I loved this game. I played a standard scenario pitting the Soviets vs. NATO. If you're interested in the first half of the first turn of the game, I have a blog post that details exactly how the game works. Check it out before you dig in. Otherwise, here's how the whole thing went;

Game Turn 1: NATO Turn

Despite getting some RAF, Dutch, and American squadrons, I have no bases left in Norway to put them. They sit uselessly by while the Norwegians try their best to deal with the situation.

The CHOD reinforcements land in Bardufoss without their equipment (it was destroyed by the Soviet airborne forces who found it sitting in Tromso waiting for them). Otherwise, the Norwegians manage to mobilize a reservist unit near Narvik, which cuts them off from supply from Evenes airbase to the north. The Norwegians take advantage of the situation to take Narvik back. It's a…

Nord Kapp: Setup & Game Turn 1

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From Strategy & Tactic's 1983 issue, Nord Kapp is a game set in Scandinavia that features a World War III scenario between the Soviets and NATO. There seems to be a lot of curiosity about this game. Before we dive in, I should state that yes, I know the counter clipping showcased herein is a crime against humanity. I can only say in my defense that these are finnicky bastards that sat in a ziplock bag for almost 35 years.



Seasonal Determination:

The first thing we do is roll for season determination. Three six-sided dice are rolled to see what time of year the game takes place. We get a 4 for the first roll, which puts the game in Spring. The second roll is a 5, which means we have a June invasion. The final roll is for weather type. We roll a 1 and the result is "-", which means we have full range of movement through all terrain types. A roll 4 - 6 would have kept our mechanized and armor units tied to road-only movement.

This is probably one of the most significant …

A Look at Nord Kapp: World War III in the Arctic Circle

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Strategy & Tactics Magazine has been around a loooong time. And just to show you how far back it goes, take a look at the price of the issue in the top right corner of the photo below.


Nord Kapp is the game included with the Fall 1983 issue of S&T. It features a wide mix of international units all working together to stop the Soviet hordes from taking over the Kola Peninsula and using the air bases to hammer Central Europe while using the naval bases to burst through the GIUK gap.

Of course, that's just the game. The magazine has a really great article on the German invasion of Scandinavia in 1940. Notable in here is a review of Hell's Highway from a new wargaming company called Victory Games. To help date this thing even further, we have Ian Chadwick's article discussing the pros and cons of various commercially-available computers at the time, including the Atari 800, the Apple IIe, and the Commodore C64.

Anyway, the game's accompanying article does a terrific…

Gulf Strike: Scenario 1 - The Bear and The Eagle

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Turn 10 has begun now in my current Gulf Strike game. I have been playing both sides and doing a poor job overall with everyone. The Iranians are having a terrible time trying to conquer Saudi Arabia and have met all sorts of problems as their army approaches the capital. Supply lines have been cut and sabotaged while US Special Forces have set up ambushes on the roads to Riyadh. It seems at every step, the Iranians have been stymied. The Soviets, however, have introduced massive amounts of air power to assist Iran in its ambitions. Will the Americans be able to stop the steamroller in time?



Strategic Stage:

Global Political Phase: 

Nothing happens here.

Global Military Phase:

Neither side moves reinforcements into theater.

Unit Assignment Stage:

The Iranians place the 5th Armored Division near Riyadh in reserve hoping to get an attack with it early in the turn.The 11th Armored Brigade near Al Hufuh is also placed in reserve. These will be advance units as we sweep east in UAE.

The other …