17 November 2017

Cold War Syldavia - Intro

Having been a kid during the Cold War (the end of it, admittedly), quite a bit M113, Leopard and CVRT featured prominently in my military fantasies... So I've been watching with some interest Flames of War branching into Team Yankee. A couple of the army books (Brits, West and East Germans and Russians) were on sales at my usual drug dealer recently so I bought them... Even if I'm never going to play anything like Flames of War (to me, the upper limit of 15mm is platoon sized games: anything bigger is too expensive, takes too much storage space and looks silly on a regular sized table), the books have great production values and the lead porn is awesome! In a somewhat related spending frenzy, I ordered a printed copy of A Fistful of TOWs 3 on Lulu...

I'm just not capable of leaving historical (even what-if historical) alone... So imagi-nations where a must. And "Good West against Evil East in the late eighties" just calls for a good Syldavia vs. Borduria rematch... Rather that WW3 breaking out all trough Europe and my games focusing on a tiny bit of the action, I envision something more like a "Desert Storm in the Imagi-Balkans" scenario: early nineties, the Cold War is over, Russia is temporarily focusing on its internal problem and, triggered by some internal issue of it's own Borduria decide to invade tiny Syldavia, again; then the international community US steps in and helps re-establish the statu quo (and transform the whole region in asymmetric cluster fuck that will provide twenty more years of peace making/enforcement/keeping games)...

I'm not sure where I want to go with this... I see 3 Courses of Action:
  • 15mm skirmish, single-based: an infantry platoon (with the odd company asset attached to it) with its transports, a couple of tanks and a couple of other vehicles (whatever I find is too cool not to include in that faction TO&E);
  • 6mm Team Yankee, vehicles single-based, infantry team-based: a couple of companies (e.g. one tanks and one mechanised infantry) with smaller support detachments (recon, artillery, anti-tank, helicopters, etc.);
  • 3mm Fistful of Tow, platoon based: a brigade sized combined arms force for each size...
In the mean time I'm looking at the Syldavian TO&E... 

In my mind Syldavia is Belgium with a layer of Balkans paint, so I'll draw most of my inspiration from late Cold War Belgian military... With a couple of caveats. The first one is taking into account the (imaginary) geopolitical specificity of Syldavia: unlike Belgium is not part of the NATO and not safely hidden behind West Germany: Syldavia stands alone and its nemesis is just across the Zmylpathian mountains, so I'll give Syldavia better mobilisation levels, actual TO&E that are at least close to the theoretical ones and the odd extra capacity. The second caveat is both a practical concession to miniatures availability and a deliberate attempt to keep some distance from Belgium: I'll replace the more specific pieces of kit with more generic ones, e.g. no AIFV-B but regular M113...

With that in mind, some numbers... 1939 Syldavia is 642000 inhabitants... Assuming the same demography as Belgium, 1985 Syldavia is around 750000 inhabitants. For the Syldavian Army size, I'm using West Germany as a template: by 1985 its military (including Air Force and Navy, I assume) is about 500000 men strong (with another 1M reserve) of which about 2/3 forms the Army's 12 combat division. The West German population at that point is about 60000000 so scaling down the West Germans numbers for Syldavian population gives me about 6000 military personnel, of which 4000 are the actual Army combat troops, and 12000 reserve.

So about a brigade worth of regular troops...

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