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Red Dawn Reviewed

On Fuldapocalypse, I review Red Dawn, the classic 1980s “invasion movie.”

Box Press Released, And Command’s Role In Its Creation

Box Press, the second in my Smithtown Unit series of thrillers, is now out. That book, along with its predecessor, are meant as homages to the classic “Men’s Adventure” short novels of the past and are set in an alternate history where, among other things, the Soviet Union still exists in the 1990s.

And Command was used to help make these novels. Not by simulating battles, but by just moving units (in one case, a large propeller plane, and in the other, a helicopter) around in simple editor scenarios and seeing the time it took for them to get from one spot to another. This allowed me to write travel times that weren’t too fast or too slow into the books.

Northern Fury H Hour Audiobook is out

The Command-inspired novel, Northern Fury H-Hour, now has an audiobook version out.

Seeing A Unit You’ve Used

It’s an interesting feeling to see a unit one has used or seen in Command in real-life news. For instance, upon seeing a report about the upgrading of the Akula-class submarine Vepr, I went “Wait a second, was that a sub I used in a scenario?”

And after rechecking my LIVE scenario Kuril Sunrise, I found out that it indeed was. It’s something, particularly for units in the “sweet spot” that are neither obvious and the center of national attention (like aircraft carriers) or similar and common enough to be generic-feeling (like individual fighter aircraft). Submarines fit the bill, as do most moderately-sized surface warships.

Command LIVE: Broken Shield 300 is out!

The newest Command LIVE DLC, Operation Broken Shield 300, has been released.

The Classic Divisional Layout

The Heavy OPFOR Organizational presents a self-proclaimed “composite” example of an infantry division, in contrast to its explicitly Soviet/Russian styled motor rifle and tank formations. Fittingly, this serves as an example of the “classic” triangular division found by many countries since World War II.

After World War II, with armor becoming more common, the classical formation of an infantry-heavy division tends to involve the following:

  • Three subunits under the division, almost always called regiments or brigades.
  • A mobile element (tanks, or in extreme cases, cavalry) with a separate headquarters from the three subunits. This is designed to be attached to/distributed among the lower formations, but is still there.

There are of course many idiosyncrasies depending on doctrine and equipment, particularly in the composition of the subunits. This particular formation has a “light assault battalion”, likely inspired by North Korean light infantry formations. But this nonetheless stands as a general rule of thumb to use should one not know the composition of a land formation.

On offense, the mobile element will tend to be deployed forward. Whether it’s as a whole or divided among the subunits depends on circumstances. On defense, it will generally be held back to serve as a reserve for counterattacks.

Most relevant to Command is the status of air defense weapons. Regiments/brigades will tend to have lighter air defense systems (think MANPADS/lighter AAA) that cover their own forces. At division level would generally be heavier systems (this particular Heavy OPFOR one has SA-8 SAMs and S-60 AA guns) that will be deployed to cover the most important parts.

Unconventional Military Fiction

Here, I’m not talking about books dealing with unconventional warfare. I’m talking about military fiction books that have unconventional premises from the usual popular technothriller topics. And in my long history of reading and reviewing such books, I’ve found more than a few. Some of the most out-there include:

  • Dark Rose by Mike Lunnon-Wood. A Libyan/Palestinian alliance invades and conquers Ireland to serve as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Israel, and the resistance to them includes a revived High Queen of Tara.
  • The Seventh Carrier series by Peter Albano. A secretly built Shinano-class aircraft carrier got stuck in ice for decades, with its crew somehow surviving and aging. It thawed out, attacked Pearl Harbor anyway, and then became a prized weapon in the next major war as a haywire killer-satellite network destroyed any aircraft with jet engines.
  • World War III: The Beginning by Joel Fulgham. An American submarine stands against a new pan-Middle Eastern state-that has managed to build and field more aircraft carriers than the US Navy.
  • Flashpoint Quebec by Michael Karpovage. Here the US Army faces its deadliest threat-French-Canadian rebels!
  • The Red Line by Walt Gragg. This would be a conventional Russo-American World War III if not for the backstory, which uses an incredible number of contrivances to get the borders turned back to 1980s ones before the first shots are fired.