Two early 1990s exercise books give examples of fictional air and naval forces that aren’t simply the most advanced enemies possible. The countries are in the British Generic Enemy-ROWEN and American Light OPFOR manuals.
The GENFORCE ROWEN air force has a sample order of battle attached, and it consists of:
- Three fighter/ground attack wings, each composed of three squadrons, totaling 60 “Mirages”, 45 F-4 Phantoms, and 54 Su-25s.
- One interceptor wing of 30 MiG-29s and 30 Su-27s.
- One training wing of 25 Hawks and 25 L-39s
- Various niche squadrons, including a bomber one (8 Su-24s and 8 Tu-16s), a recon one (14 Mirage F1s), and a transport one (24 transports of various sizes)
The Light OPFOR is left deliberately vague, but it offers a sample of individual units:
- Interceptor regiments of three squadrons, totally 36 or 48 aircraft. Aircraft are MiG-21s or 23s, with a possible sprinkling of 31s(!)
- Ground attack regiments of Su-17s, 24s, or 25s, of either 24 or 48 aircraft total
- Fighter-Bomber regiments of MiG-21s/23BNs/Su-24s, with a similar size as the aviation ones.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
The ROWEN Navy is listed as having:
3 submarines, two Kilos and a Daphne
7 large warships, 2 Leanders, 2 D’estienne D’Orves, and three Konis.
16 patrol boats, 4 TNC-45s and 12 small gunboats.
Likewise, the sample Light OPFOR navies include:
- Squadrons of eight Komar or Osa missile boats apiece.
- Squadrons with the same number of torpedo boats.
- Amphibious squadrons of up to eight Polnochny landing ships
- Blue-water squadrons of six Koni frigates or Foxtrot submarines apiece.
Northern Fury: H-Hour, a book based on the Command scenario set, has now been released. The book describes the leadup to and beginning of a Third World War in the 1990s between NATO and a surviving USSR.
Last August, I started a specific review blog called Fuldapocalypse Fiction that was originally meant to review just World War III books (think Hackett, Red Storm Rising, Team Yankee, etc…)
Now it’s grown to encompass all sorts of cheap thrillers-and grown to a hundred posts. I made a special reflection post to celebrate.
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.