Most of the time in decisive naval battles, both in real life and Command, the winner wins in a lopsided manner, with very few losses. The frequently deterministic nature of it means that once force is concentrated, the result is very clear.
However, playing the still-excellent First Contact standalone scenarios included with Command, and remembering one of my playthroughs of the 1986 version, I noticed an exception to the rule. This was understandable because both the Soviets and Norwegian vessels had very limited and/or subpar defensive armament, so once you fired, you were almost certainly going to score. The result was a surprisingly “fair” fight with high losses on both sides.
The historical reverse is something like the earlier ironclads (no damage) or early 1900s naval battles (torpedoes make them keep their distance and crude fire control means they just miss at range, especially with their main guns). In the missile age, it’d probably be two fleets with advanced western-style warships (designed to be defensive and protect HVTs over being offensive by themselves) and no big carriers or substantial land-based air wings in range.
I have a new Command scenario for testing, Western Bastion. Here you can choose between either “actor” (older western) or “character” (eastern) nuclear submarines to try and enter the Gulf of Mexico against strong NATO opposition.
The relevant thread is here , be aware that it’s a rough draft as of now.
Having started the Fuldapocalypse Review Blog and being a natural reader, I’ve consumed a lot of books this year. Many have been technothrillers published in the period following the USSR’s fall and Gulf War. With the strongest foe lost, there was a big flailing around for opponents. Besides the traditional and still most credible Russians and Chinese, the foes also included, and were certainly not limited to:
Real-life regional opponents like Iraq and North Korea
“Middle Eastern Coalition” amalgams
This was not always a bad thing, and the quality of the book depended on a lot more than just how weird the opponent was. And I like weird, unconventional opponents. One of the joys of Command’s scenario editor is how a fight against such a foe can be made just as easily as a great power megaclash.