Sunday, 19 January 2014


Okay so after lots of delays, sidelining, and things getting in the way. Welcome to the new look books.

Me and Dan, have worked on this on and off for about 6 months, but rest assured that the next few books will be much quicker due to the fact we have templates etc.

The Main Rule Book will also get an overhaul to match the graphical style and be inline more with BF's own material so people feel instantly familiar with it.

Click on the right hand side picture to get the PDF, or CLICK HERE

If you spot any errors let me know and I will get on top of it.

The next books will be:-

Soviet Union
The Rule Book
UK, Germany & Canada
Eastern European WARPAC
Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, France
Please enjoy this material, it has been a long time desire of mine to release something of this quality and now I've got this far, I just want to produce more and more.



  1. I have only surfed it but there are some weird things. The USMC in 1986 was still using the 5 tank platoon structure (they switched to the 4 tank per platoon with the introduct5ion of the M1A1 Common; during Desert Storm the 1st and 3rd Tank Battalions still used M60 and 5 tanks per platoon). The Bradley platoon is fantasy (ok the real organization was quite confusing). The platoon was made of two vehicles section each with two Bradley for a total of 4 tracks. when the infantry dismounts you have the following organization:

    HQ (Plt Leader, 2 RTO, FO, and a 5 man MG section with 1 leader and two 2-men mg teams; mg could be M60 or M240)
    2 infantry squads (each with 1 squad leader (m16) and 2 fire teams (M16, M249, M16, M16/M203). There were 4 designated anti-armor specialists and usual 2 dragon launch units per full platoon.

    Note: at the time the squad had an additional leader that was the track commander just to increase the confusion for wargamers...

    The problem with the organization is that when mounted the infantry squads were divided between 2 tracks with no respect of the squad organization (due to the cramped nature of the M2). Then they later changed the whole thing to the current 3 squads + platoon leader (with the people more or less stuffed in the tracks).

    A cosmetic problem is that you confuse a tank company with a tank battalion and a mech one with a mech battalion, but this is cosmetic (a left over from some soviet file?).

    Another problem is with the cavalry troop; this is serious. First there were three different types of cavalry troop in 1986. The regimental cavalry squadron troop and two different divisional cavalry troop (J and H series). The regimental troop (used by the ACRs) consisted in two tank platoons (4 M1/M1A1 each) and 2 cavalry platoons (6 M3 each). Troop HQ has an Abrams and a Bradley. The troop was supported by a 2 track mortar section with two M125 (replaced by M106).

    The two divisional cavalry troops were rather different. The bulk of division in Europe used the H series in 1986. H series cavalry troop was quite nasty with three platoons each one with 4 M60A1/A3, 2 M150/M901 TOW vehicles and 3 M113. The troop had also a 3 track M106 mortar section.

    This is just a quick comment, I can dig my stuff further if you want.Somewhere I have also a document with modernization for each unit (a friend of mine was modernization officer at the 5th Corps... he even gave the key of the Abrams tank to Creighton Abrams's son when his unit re-equipped.)

    (I know I am annoying but considering how much effort you are putting in this project I am quite happy to comment with the aim to improve).

    The J series had three scout platoons (6 M3 each) and one mortar platoon with 3 M125.

    The National Guard has no different organization, the difference in organization lay in the H and J structures. Usually units move from the H (older) structure to the newer J series when they received the new equipment. Then units were reorganized to the J standard even when using older equipment and waiting for new stuff. Mainly the H series had 3 combat companies and 5 tanks per platoon rather then 4 combat companies with 4 tanks (in tank units). also Mechanized infantry in H organization had mortar and TOW vehicles at company level.

  2. I'm always happy to have modifications and suggestions and will always try to accommodate as much as possible, there are a pair of caveats that accompany this, one is a question over Balance trumps Historical Accuracy and that simplification is required to make the game more streamlined. That said, I will try to be accurate as I can within these parameters. So if you could fire over an e-mail detailing your suggestions I will go through it in detail and try to align it. The key mantra is that Flames of War - Is a "Wargame in a Historical Setting" not a "Historical Wargame".

  3. Paraphrasing Richard Clarke I do not see where the problem is. Sorry I am quite put off by some people (not you) that always pontificate that accuracy is not fun or has to be trumped by balance actually I think that the more historical a wargame is the funnier it becomes... well I suppose points and lists are here to cater for balance... but I will avoid to pontificate. My intent is just to provide company organizations that are more accurate and (as their real counterparts) more flexible. anyway an initial e-mail is on the way. As much I think that FOW is sliding toward crappiness (and some of the unit description are a bit distasteful), usually the organizations are accurate, on the points, the massive special rules for everything, or on the necessity to field hordes for some armies you can argue :-)

  4. Well without digressing, a good example would be the 11th ACR...What would consider their combat ability to be? How many WARPAC units are they the equivalent to? What evidence do we have of their capabilities and the likely outcome in the face of the Enemy? In WWII we have the exact outcomes of battles to help inform us, but the Cold War never actually happened, so there is a certain amount of fudge factor. For example, I have assummed a technological superiority of NATO Equipment, and a material superiority in WARPAC in numbers. But again where do I strike the balance? I have deliberately dropped "Hen & Chicks" because it is massively debilitating to WARPAC in the 1980's who did have access to Radios and were relatively well organised and trained, ( unfortunately they were trained to obey religiously and not think around problems, to adapt, to capitalise on local advantages). Hen & Chicks just didn't represent or fit the Soviet way of War in the Mid-1980's. Balance is important, if I played this historically accurately NATO would be nothing but a speed hump - so no one would want to play NATO as they have almost no chance of winning. So a certain degree of latitude is required to keep it, albeit entirely falsely, balanced to make this a satisifying Wargame for both or multiple parties. This in no-way says people cannot play this historically, they can, I'm just not aiming to produce a 100% accurate Historical War Gaming Simulation of a Conflict that didn't actually happen.

    So I will accommodate as much as possible, I just cannot guarantee 100% accuracy because often this cannot be done, without massive over-complication (for example I would produce another 10 -15 lists, which frankly isn't going to happen due to time constraints and the fact I have many other nations to complete)>

  5. sorry for the late reply, turned off the PC earlier yesterday... I get your point (but more list is usually better and I can help here...). Well I am not so sure that the NATO would have been speed bump, for one the material superiority was much less marked than some people want to believe. for some strange reason in NATO-WARPAC numbers usually you have only the active divisions actually deployed in Germany (but not including the 1st French Army...)compared to the whole WARPAC including everything the soviet had west of the Urals... it was faster to move REFORGER units to Germany (assuming even a small warning) or to mobilize the first tier of NATO reserves than to move the units from the Urals... plus the WARPAC had also northern and southern front to cover... I had this same discussion in my department when I was a master student and got a bit annoyed... yet at best the WAPRAC had just a 1.8 to 1 superiority in divisions in the Central Front... anyway if NATO was at low ebb in the 1972-1978 period (very bad), certainly in 1986 we were anything but speed bumps.

    Actually while we are talking different I think we share several concept. I think the big difference is what we define as simulation. I will tell you that even today military simulations are less simulation and more guessing (and weapons advertising) than people think, and while we have plenty of operational research for hypothetical conflicts not everything is really reliable (I have looked at some stuff from the British side and I am not 100% sure of how they got it, I would say that it smell of 'the Brits always win, we skew the data to make everyone happy'). I am also one of those people who thing that both over-simplicity (like some of Phil Sabins' products) and overcomplexity (ASL?) are both missing accuracy by a large margin while both side claim they are instead striving for accuracy. One important thing is to concentrate on what it matters and not on what is not. For Fow is what happened at the company level. Well one thing is that at this level the Soviet horde is not such an horde. Well even in WW2 the hordes are suspicious; a lot of German propaganda that has been duly accepted by western historians and then filtered down to accepted truth for wargamers, coupled with the need to sell more miniatures (but then you have soviet tanks that are technically equivalent or better than the German ones). Usually the side with the better C3I was able to use more troops on tactical engagements rather than less... The Hen and Chick rule could be useful in certain instance but not in the 1980, your points have a lot of sense. And well the soviet were trained to obey orders because they decided to put decision making at a different level than the best NATO armies (well my experience with the Italian Army was that decision making was more akin to the Soviet model for example...). Soviet Battalions were smaller because they were structured to do different thing.

  6. 11th ACR... well an ACR is more or less a small division. Each full squadron (battalion level) is the equivalent of one tank and one IFV battalion. While in the attack it cannot do the same in defense probably the full regiment could handle a division. In Desert Storm they roughly handled a full RG armored division. Yes they were Iraqis, but the Americans were on the attack and not on the defense. My take on the typical FoW scaled engagement for an ACR would be a troop in defense engaging a soviet forward security element (equivalent of a couple of companies) while hitting a reinforced company in a local attack.

    As far lists are concerned... for the US I would envision one Tank company list (with options for H and J) two mech infantry lists (H and J because they were different), one for ACR Cavalry Troop, one for H Series Divisional Cavalry Troop and one of the J series Cavalry Troop. This cover both Regular and National Guard/Reserves with only one more list than your current option. Of course you can also add one for light infantry (to cover for 101st, 82nd, and light infantry divisions). Remember the US Army was quite modular so a lot of elements are just common stuff.

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  8. The US Marine Corps Order of battle page (p.16) lacks spaces. Other then that: wow. Its awesome what you did here. I am looking forward to the new soviet lists. A few friends of mine and just bought loads of micro-amour sized tanks (6mm/1:285) to play the cold war scenario (inspired of course by your ruleset). Will post pictures of minis/battles as soon as they arrive and are painted up. As of now we are unsure of wether we are going to keep the distances the same or if we will just use 1cm for an inch. Great work!

  9. Thanks Sam, I'll change add that to the change stack for the next release.

  10. This book looks awesome great job keep up the good work can't wait for the war pac book. Been play testing your cold war rules with my friends in my gaming group and they work awesome thanks for all your hard work.

  11. Nice and clean work ! Can t wait to see the rest :-)

    If you need help for the french army, drop me an email,my father was a french army officer in the 80's and I have some material as well.

  12. Actually I will take you up on that, because the French are very enigmatic and mercurial so getting the exact ORBAT of French Armoured Units would be a great help. Equally the French were very advanced with Light Armour, Armoured Cars and Gun systems on Vehicle. Lots of opportunities.

  13. No problem ! You should have my email with the google account.

    I ll collect my sources :-)

  14. Some of my local group is going to give cold wars a shot (using both your rules for "late cold war" and 6day war/vietnam for "early" cold war. I very anxiously await the new WarPac set. Any plans of changes? My american friend is dying to make an order to QRF for some Abrams and stuff, but I want to see your new list before I order my tanks :)

    Any ETA? hehe

  15. In fate of a nation the anti tank of the L7 105mm guns is 18 (Later placed on the M1 abrams/m60 as the M68 105mm). Should we adjust this in these rules or is it there for balance? Thanks.

  16. By "Should we" do you "Should I ? :) I won't be adjusting the rules, I cannot keep going over the same ground endlessly because BF bring out new rules. I've managed to get a semblance of balance, via play testing. Shifting an AT value of something like an L7 unbalances everything, by 1986 the L7 (Whilst a cracking gun) was coming to the end of it's service life, it was mature, reliable and proven, but the bigger 120mm and 125mm were showing considerable advantages, I cannot really re-scope the guns to fit into FoaN because it would push 120mm M1A1's into the 20+ AT bracket which is riduculous as for balance I would need to look at frontal armour etc, or we end up with a "If you hit it, it's dead" syndrome.

    In the future like 24months +, it maybe up for revision, but I want to focus on the Books, since I've had a difficult few months with the house move and lots evenings and weekends doing things. I've also bought ADOBE Creative Cloud subscription to give be access to all the publishing and Book creation elements.

  17. Thanks for responding, and I appreciate it. I was wondering about this because I kinda want to pit a platoon of M1a1 abrams against a few koinigs tiger, and was trying to get as much bang for my buck against that front armor 15. My friend is a tiger fanatic, and says that it would have a chance ( Though I think that it's outlandish). Again thanks for the response, and all of the cool new rules for this era.

  18. Do it, have fun with it. I mean I'm not sure what he means to achieve because it's a given, like putting an P-51 Mustang up against an F-15. Okay both of them have guns only, and the same skill pilot, I would still expect the superior performance of an F-15 to win out 99 times out of 100. If the Konigstiger, got a side armour shot off, it could kill or disable an M1A1. Frontally with Chobham, I am unsure. What I am sure off, is that the M1A1 120mm Smoothbore with DU or even a non-DU round would TOTAL a Konigstiger with one shot.

  19. Absolutely awesome! Great work! Have been a big FoW fan for sometime. Finding a CW rule set is just perfect. When can we look forward to the next book release?

  20. Stumbled across this blog via a Google search. I've been looking for a CW rules system for a long time. However, I can't seem to find an update within the last two months, is the blog dead?

  21. Your books are nonsence guys! Warpac reluctant conscript, rly? It's a bullshit, they weren't volkshturm or similar! No national rules, stupid artillery rules (again warpac is a bunch of morons), ect. Nearly all NATO forces are confident trained isn't great too (no difference = bad)

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  23. Hi.
    Apologies in advance for the stream of consciousness that is about to explode on your blog. :)

    I've recently discovered your blog, and I really like what you have done.
    Being someone that was born at the tail end of the 1970s, I was that weird kid in class that always read military books and magazines, and the NATO/Warpac standoff features heavily in my early memories and has therefore always held a special place to me.

    Whilst I like the M60 series of MBTs, there is a lack (in my aesthetic opinion) of good 1:100/15mm M60s out there.
    I picked up some QRF M60A1s a couple of years ago, and while the surface detail is nice, they just look too flat and squashed to me (sorry QRF guy, no offense intended).
    Therefore I've started to put together the components to make a US National Guard force based around M48A5s (using the BF M48A3 as a base) and M113s (again the BF model), from the early 1980s.

    In the same vein, being an antipodean type, I've been slowly working through BF M41s and M113s equipped with T50 turrets painted in MERDC Red Desert to replicate a force from the NZ Army's Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles at the start of the 1980s.
    This force would be less than fun to play on a central European battlefield as it would be woefully under-equipped to deal with a serious armoured threat (AT coming mostly from Infantry dismounts armed with M72 super bullets) as our army pretty much organised in such a way as to operate closely with our Australian cousins and their much more serious force of Leopard AS1 MBTs.
    Anyway this force is more of a nostalgic hobby horse than anything else.

    Finally I've recently really wanted to paint some stuff in the US 7th Army's MASSTER camo from the early to mid 1970s.
    Again the lack of a serviceable (in my opinion) M60 MBT in this scale has been pushing me towards a US Cav formation sitting on the inter-German border.
    Thus M551s and M113s as the main components is my current choice.
    Therefore I'm pretty much lifting the mech Cav force straight out of FoW: Tour of Duty for a force structure ... how accurate this is, I'm not sure.

    Anyway, I suppose what I am really trying to say (just taking a long time to get there) is that I like what you have done, but was wondering if you had any plans to do books covering slightly earlier periods of the late Cold War time frame, say from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s?
    And also thanks for your hard work to get done what you have done.

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