When I started to resurrect my 1/300th Cold War Gone War wargaming a few years ago I was keen to have some sort of campaign game to give context to any battles. I then discovered that SPI did a BAOR game (I have their Next War, but that has Div/Bde units and ~10-20km hexes, and I wanted Bn's and ~2-3 km hexes (ie a table) - which is what BAOR has.
I set up a eBay search on BAOR and kept my eye out at shows but to no avail. I managed to find hi-rez scans of the map and counters, and a copy of the rules. I was on the verge of getting the map printed at A1 when I found a copy of the game (less the magasine and the glorious cover above :-( ) on eBay, so now have the proper map.
Of course being me I wasnt happy with the rest of the game. The counters were more like 1983/84, whereas I wanted 87/88 - when I was in BAOR. Also the rules, whilst they used Fatigue for partial damage, use the standard ratio based CRT of almost all SPIs types games. I can't say I get along with this model, as every game SPI I've ever played comes down to getting enough points together to just make a ratio threshold, and you lose all sense of what the units are.
I'd been looking for a set of "operational" level wargame rules for a while. I thought that Rommel might fit the equation but it just wasn't what I wanted. I found FreeHexBlitz on the web, and thought it a pretty good start, so I started working up my own rules, the key elements being that each unit has:
- A size rating, effectively companies/squadrons, which gives how many D10 you roll
- An attack rating, based on the type and quality of kit
- A defence rating, based on the type and quality of kit
A key decision was that ratings are relative to the norm of the day, rather than trying to work out any details of armour, penetration etc.
Of course all this meant that I needed to create over 200 counters. Luckily I found this YouTube video by RK who had two great ideas which worked really well:
- Use the Panorama feature in IfranView to join images exported from PPT into strips, and then join the strips into sheet. Very simple process
- Use Self Adhesive foam sheets to give the counters more depth than card and make then easier to manage
So SPI map out, my rules play tested over the last couple of weeks, counters made, and all ready to go in time for Election Night!