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Default The Nuke List

DeaconR 08-04-2005, 09:06 AM One thing that I find irritating and confusing in the game canon is this: that a number of areas that are targeted are right beside cantonments in the USA. For instance: Norfolk, Virginia. Colorado Springs, Colorado. Fort Meade and Fort Detrick, Maryland. What's up with that?


TR 08-05-2005, 10:45 PM There were some oddities and inaccuracies, I mean they had Cheyenne Mountain being nuked but the effect of the nuke would have been felt in Colorado Springs and thus it would make it hard to believe that Milgov would move their operations to a nuked city...


DeaconR 08-06-2005, 07:56 AM Exactly the same thing in many areas in Military Region III. For instance, Fort Detrick and Fort Meade were supposedly nuked, yet the 228th Infantry Brigade supposedly has cantonments there. Same with Norfolk.

The unfortunate thing as well is that these areas are logical targets. What I decided in the end is that for unknown reasons Fort Detrick was not hit, but that USAMRIID had evacuated because it was considered a likely target.

However, I do advise people who have games set in areas where nukes went off to consider this question, because smart players are likely to ask about it.


thefusilier 08-09-2005, 10:51 PM Ive thrown in the idea of that some of those targets had been fired against but the missile either failed to detonate, detonated too early (like the Tampa blast in the Florida sourcebook mentions), or falling short. Either that or the yield nuch lower than what is indicated.


Matt Wiser 08-10-2005, 01:15 AM One possiblity is that the bombs fizzled. A thermonuclear weapon meant to

have a 1 MT yield, say, fizzles and you only get the primary weapon-usually

in the low KT range. That would explain Norfolk and Fort Dietrick. Fort Meade IIRC was a ground burst-250 KT IIRC; Crater, but less blast and heat as you get in an air burst. Read the book Sum of All Fears for how this works-the

terrorists' weapon in Denver was meant to be a 500 KT weapon, but fizzled and only 10 KT resulted.


graebardeII 08-14-2005, 05:38 PM IF the target is a 'soft' target, then the blast could (should) be air burst to get more bang for the buck. IF the fireball does not touch the surface there is negligable fallout, but still massive devistation. MOST of the targest mentioned are 'soft' targets. Only Cheyenne Mtn is a 'hard' target.



TR 08-14-2005, 05:47 PM This is true, some of the targets would have been airbursts to fry the electronics of the region as well as general devistation. There would have to be mitigating factors for the GM to say the warhead impacted at a specific spot on the soft target strike list... if you want to be vicious that is.

Cheynne Mountain being a hardened facility would more than likely a direct strike to have any chance of destroying the site... which would have impacted nearby Colorado Springs in the end. Ah well, just one of those little things they wouldn't have known writting from Illinois back in the 1980's... :nuke:


pmulcahy 08-15-2005, 04:26 PM There is also fratricide, where, when several warheads are aimed at one target, the first one to go off destroys one or more of the others. (Putting enough of a delay in their arrival will prevent this, but there's no accounting for stupid programmers.) Another answer to save targets you don't want hit is a complete miss (this is the reason Cape Canavaral is mostly intact in my campaign, except for some wave damage caused by the miss, and the ravages of time.) There's also the idea that the sides just didn't throw as many warheads as canon suggests (also true in my campaign). Then there are complete duds, so that you only have a large crater and the equivalent of a dirty bomb.


chico20854 08-17-2005, 06:39 AM In 2001 the Natural Resources Defence Council did a study of the U.S. SIOP (Nuclear weapon target list). They basically tried to re-create it themselves and determine nuclear force levels.

It is online at:


It contains a few useful things:

1) a discussion of weapons effects (how much damage to different structures, yields needed for different targets, etc...)

2) a very comprehensive list of targets in Russia and some of the other countries of the former USSR... nuclear weapons launch, storage and manufacturing facilities, vital infrastructure, etc.

I'm considering using their target list as a more realistic alternative and/or supplement to the USSR target list published in Challenge magazine.


DeaconR 08-20-2005, 09:56 AM What ARE some of you guys using as your target lists then? I'd be very curious to hear this, because there are so many theories out there and clearly few of us if any agree with the game's canon on this subject.


TR 08-20-2005, 11:19 AM Here's the material I collected back in the 1990's on an appended Russian Target listing... it is meant as a listing of GDW's hit list as well as targets I felt were equally qualified for inclusion...

Soviet Nuclear Strikes Addenda:

Savea Indignatio

Section One-Nuclear Targets Of Russia

Aleysk RSFSR

SS-18 ICBM Base (2 Mt Ground Burst)


Nuclear Bomber Base


Nuclear Bomber Base


Nuclear Power Plant


Nuclear Bomber Base


Nuclear Bomber Base


SS-19 ICBM Base


Nuclear Bomber Base

Dombarovskiy RSFSR

SS-18 ICBM Base (2 Mt Ground Burst)


Nuclear Submarine Building Yard


SS-11 ICBM Base


Nuclear Bomber Base

Imeni Gastello

SS-18 ICBM Base


Nuclear Submarine Port Facilities

Kartaly RSFSR

SS-18 ICBM Base (2 Mt Ground Burst)

Kapustin Yar

ICBM Test Centre


Nuclear Bomber Base & Port Facilities

Kostroma RSFSR

SS-17 ICBM Complex (2 Mt Ground Burst)


SS-19 ICBM Base


Nuclear Laboratories


Nuclear SLBM Test Center


Nuclear Bomber Base


Nuclear Bomber Base


36th Air Army, Nuclear Bomber Base

Olovyanneya RSFSR

SS-26 ICBM Base (2 Mt Ground Burst)


Nuclear Bomber Base


SS-26 ICBM Base (2 Mt Ground Burst)

Petropavlovsk RSFSR

Nuclear Submarine Port Facilities & SLBM Storage Center (2 Mt Ground Burst)


SS-19 ICBM Base

Plestek RSFSR

ICBM Test Center & Recon Satellite Launching Facilities (1 Mt)

Pervomaysk UkSSR

SS-19 ICBM Complex (2 Mt)

Ramenskoye RSFSR

Nuclear Bomber Test Center & Aircraft Test Facilities (300 Kt)

Svobodnyy RSFSR

SS-26 ICBM Base (2 Mt Ground Burst)


Nuclear Bomber Base


Nuclear Bomber Base


SS-19 ICBM Base

Teykovo RSFSR

SS-27 ICBM Base (2 Mt Ground Burst)


Nuclear Bomber Base


ICBM Test Centre


SS-18 ICBM Base (2 Mt Ground Burst)

Verkhnyaya Salda

SS-25 ICBM Base


Nuclear Bomber Test Center

Volgograd RSFSR

Petroleum Production & Refinery Facilities, Military Production Center (1.5 Mt G.B.)


SS-17 ICBM Base

Yoshkar-Ola RSFSR

SS-25 ICBM Base (2 Mt Gound Burst)


SS-25 ICBM Base

Section Two-Chemical Warfare Production Centers


Chemical Weapons Depot


Chemical Weapon Depot


Chemical Warfare Agent Production Center


Chemical Warfare Agent Production Center


Chemical Warfare Agent Production Center


Chemical warfare Agent Production Center


Chemical Warfare Agent Production Center

Dzhebariki Khaya

Chemical Weapons Depot


Chemical Warfare Agent Production Center


Chemical Warfare Agent Production Center


Chemical Warfare Agent Production Center


Chemical Warfare Agent Production Center


Cntral Chemical Weapons Proving Grounds


Chemical Warfare Agent Production Center


Chemical Warfare Agent Production Center


Chemical Weapons Depot


Chemical Weapons Depot


Chemical Warfare Agent Production Center


Chemical Weapons Depot

Section Three: Military & Political Targets


Aircraft Testing Facilities & Advanced Weapons Development Facilities

Alma Ata KSSR

Central Asian Military District (500 Kt)


6th Guards Airborne Division HQ


Military Production Center


Transbaikal Military District HQ & Military Production Center (500 Kt)


Satellite Tracking System for Antisatellite Laser Beam Station (powered by a Hydroelectric Dam)


Advanced Weapons Facilities, Iron & Steel Production Facilities, Industrial & Manufacturing Facilities


Military Production Facilities

Kapustin Yar RSFSR

Secondary Satellite Launching Facilities (500 Kt)


Advanced Aircraft Production


Military Production Center

Kiev UkSSR

Kiev Military District HQ & Military Producition Center (500 Kt)


Military Production Facilities

Komsomol'sk RSFSR

Military Production Center (1 Mt)

Kuybyshev RSFSR

Volga Military District, Military & Industrial Production Center & Petroleum Production & Refining Facilities (3 Mt)


Phased Array Radar & Radio Transmitter

Leninsk-Tyuratam KSSR

Recon Satellite Launching Facilities (2 Mt)

Lenningrad RSFSR

Leningrad Military District HQ & Military Production Center (900 Kt)

L'vov UkSSR

Carpathian Military District HQ (600 KT)

Minsk BSSR

Byelorussian Military District HQ & Military Production Center (900 Kt)

Moscow RSFSR

Moscow Military District HQ & Air Defense District HQ (6x500 Kt)


Military Production Facilities

Novisibrisk RSFSR

Siberian Military District (500 Kt)


Transportation Hub (500 Kt)


63rd Guards Naval Infantry Brigade HQ


Ballisitic Missile Defense Radar Array

Rostov-na-Donu RSFSR

North Caucasus Military District HQ & Military Production Center (1 Mt)


106th Guards Airborne HQ

Sary-Shagan KSSR

Advanced Weapons Research Facility (2 Mt)


Advanced Weapons Development Facilities


Underground Facility for the Soviet National Command Authority

Sverdolvsk RSFSR

Ural Military District HQ & Military Production Center (1 Mt)

Tashkent UzSSR

Turkestan Military District HQ & Southern TVD HQ (500 Kt)

Tblisi GSSR

Transcaucasus Military District HQ, Petroleum Production & Refining Facilities & Su-25 Airframe Plant (900 Kt)


Military Production Facilities & Advanced Weapons Developmental Facilities


Military Production Center

Section Four: Warship Construction Yards & Port Facilities


Naval Aviation Base


Port Facilities

Kaliningrad RSFSR

Baltic Fleet HQ (300 Kt)


Rivercraft & Submarine Yards


Naval Construction Facilities


Submarine Yards


Naval Aviation Base


Port Facilities

Murmansk RSFSR

Northern Fleet HQ, SLBM Storage Center & Naval Storage Base (1.5 Mt)


Port Facilities

Nikolayev UkSSR

Port & Warship Construction Facilities (1 Mt)


Naval Aviation Base


Port Facilities


Major Naval Base


Port Facilities


Port Facilities


Port Facilities

Sevastopol UkSSR

Black Sea Fleet HQ, Port & Warship Construction Center (1 Mt)


Warship Construction Facilities & Ports

Vladivostok RSFSR

Pacific Fleet HQ (1.8 Mt)


Port Facilities

Section Five: Industrial Facilities & Nautral Resource Areas

Astrakhan RSFSR

Petroleum Production & Refining Facilities (900 Kt)


Baku Air Defense District & Petroleum Production & Refining Facilities (1.8 Mt)


Industrial & Manufacturing Facilities & Nautral Gas Refining Facilities


Natural Gas Fields


Machine Building & Metalowrking Facilites, ron & Steel Production Facilities


Industrial & Manufacturing Facilities & Copper Smelting Furnaces

Irkutsk RSFSR

Petroleum Production & Refining Facilities (1.5 Mt)


Machine Building & Metalworking Facilities & Chemical Production Facilities


Mechincal Production & Industrial Facilities


Nautral Gas Fields and Refining Facilities

Ketur Tepe

Oil Fields & Submarine Construction Yards


Metalworking Facilities, Iron & Steel Production Facilities, Chemical Production Facilities & Inland Port Facilities


Nautral Gas Fields


Petroleum & Natural Gas Production & Refining Facilities


Chemical Production Facilities, Machinery Production & Iron & Steel Production Facilities


Industrial Manufacturing Facilities & Oil Refining Facilities


Natural Gas Refining Facilites & Supergiant Natural Gas Field


Brown Coal Fields, Iron & Aluminium Production Facilities


Diamond Mining, Petroleum & Natural Gas Production & Refiniries

Nizhni-Tagil RSFSR

Military Production Center & Iron & Steel Production Facilities (1 Mt)


Petroleum/Natural Gas Production & Refiniries


Natural Gas & Oil Fields

Northern Lights Pipeline


Petroleum & Natural Gas Fields & Refiniries


Titanium Ore Facilities


Railroad yards, Industrial Mechanical & Production Facilities

Syzran RSFSR

Petroleum Production & Refining Facilities (1 Mt)


pmulcahy 08-21-2005, 11:44 AM Hmmm, I'll have to think about that one! Gee, thanks for making have to think about yet another thing!


Matt Wiser 08-21-2005, 05:48 PM One thing GDW screwed up was leaving a number of SAC bases off the target

list. Here's what was not on GDW's list:

Castle AFB, CA (Merced-Atwater): 93rd Bomb Wing (B-52G/H, KC-135)

Beale AFB, CA (Marysville): 9th Strategic Recon Wing (SR-71, U-2, KC-135)

Mather AFB, CA (Sacramento) 320th Bomb Wing (B-52G, KC-135)

Ellsworth AFB, SD (Rapid City) 28th Bomb Wing (B-1B, KC-135), 44th Strategic Missile Wing (Minuteman II), 6th Airborne Command and Communications Squadron (EC-135 ABNCP)

Plattsburgh AFB, NY (Plattsburgh): 380th Bomb Wing (FB-111A, KC-135)

Pease AFB, NH (Portsmouth): 509th Bomb Wing (FB-111A, KC-135)

Loring AFB, ME (Limestone) 42nd Bomb Wing (B-52G, KC-135)

McConnell AFB, KS (Wichita) 384th Bomb Wing (B-1B, KC-135)

Whiteman AFB, MO (Knob Noster) 509th Bomb Wing det (B-2A), 351st Strategic Missile Wing (Minuteman II)

Wurtsmuth AFB, MI (Oscoda): 379th Bomb Wing (B-52G, KC-135)

That is a good chunk of SAC still surviving GDW's Soviet attack. There were also dispersal fields at former Air Force Bases and civilian airports, and other

air force installations (Grant County IAP, WA (formerly Larson AFB), McClellan AFB, CA, Glasgow AFB, MT, to name a few). One would bet that SAC had dispersed the bombers once the tac nukes started flying, and had bombers and tankers airborne on alert.


chico20854 08-22-2005, 06:44 AM Thanks for your target listing TR! I spent a good chunk of the weekend huddled in the basement drawing up a target list, but still more to do! I got all the Soviet ICBM fields, bomber bases (or alternates), ABM system facilities, National early warning radar net, space launch facilities and SLBM facilities and a good chunk of the known leadership shelters. Now I have to bring together military production facilities (I have a pretty comprehensive list, I just need to sort it), biowarfare facilities, shipyards (I'll shamelessly steal yours ! ), nuclear and major fossil fuel power plants and basic industries (energy, mining and metals). One thing I've noticed though is that the same cities appear again and again... a little town in the Carpathians (which according to canon is untouched) which has both a SU-24 base and a major early-warning radar. So if I miss a steel mill in a city, that city would probably be on the target list anyhow because the airfield outside of town is used by Backfire bombers.

My next step after completing and organizing the list is to figure out what hit the targets. I think canon is real light on this... the NRDC SIOP assigns 2 warheads to each Soviet missile silo, not just one to the missile field HQ. The Soviets developed a "dead hand" communications system that would launch a dozen or so old former ICBMs over the USSR for a 10-15 minute period with a communications payload, which would issue launch orders to any any receiving stations. The whole thing - including the launch of the armed ICBMs - was automated, so that if a silo's command center was disabled the missile would still launch on receipt of the "dead hand" message. Scary stuff, by the time they worked the bugs out of the system Gorbachev had had enough.

Another thing on targeting. For targeting industrial facilities in a city, I'm planning to not target the facility if there is another military target in the city, on the theory that a nuclear blast and/or firestorm on the other side of town may do some damage to the factory and definitely cause the workers to consider at least calling in sick, if not fleeing town. So no warhead needs to be allocated to that target.

I'll start a seperate thread on NATO nuclear weapons delivery systems... a whole other set of questions for your input!

And when I get it all wrapped up, I'll post it up here. And some of you guys with a website (Antenna, Paul) can put it up for posterity!


TR 08-22-2005, 03:56 PM And if it helps any here are the resources I used to make that target list, not all the weblinks may work... this list was compiled from 1994 - 1998 so that's why the sources seem dated.


Air Force Magazine

"Gallery of Russian Aerospace Weapons" by John W.R. Taylor

March 1997, Volume 80, No. 3 Pages 65-78

"Russian Military Almanac" by Tamar A. Mehuron

October 1997, Volume 80, No. 10 Pages: 56-61

All-New Hammond World Atlas, Vol.2

Hammond Incorporated, Ca. 1994

Illustrated Atlas Of The World

The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. Pleasantville, New York/

Montreal/Cape Town/Sydney Ca. 1994 (2nd Edition)

Jane's COIN

Jane's Information Group Ltd. Surrey, England


Jane's Defense Weekly

Volume 19, Number 10, 6 March 1993

"Missile-firing T-90..." by Christopher F. Foss Page: 5

"Russians to field new..." by Christopher F. Foss Page: 12

Volume 20, Number 19, 6 November 1993

"EW 'Backfire' is being..." by Barbara Starr Page: 10

"Russia's future on show" by Nick Cook Pages: 37-38

Volume 20, Number 20, 13 November 1993

"New Russian missile..." by Pitor Butowski Page: 8

Volume 20, Number 22, 27 November 1993

"Russia's advanced..." by Nick Cook Pages: 26-27

Volume 20, Number 24, 11 December 1993

"Russian service debut..." by Paul Beaver Page: 12

Volume 21, Number 1, 8 January 1994

"Russia reveals new..." by Christopher F. Foss Page: 8

Volume 21, Number 2, 15 January 1994

"Future strike aircraft..." by Nick Cook Page: 3

"Russian forces to.." by. Ibid. Page: 8

Janes Infantry Weapons Of The World

Ian V. Hogg Janes Information Group Ltd. Surrey, England


Jane's Intelligence Review

February 1993, Volume 5, No. 2

"Russian Tactical Ballistic Defense: The Antey S-300V"

by Steven J. Zaloga Pages: 52-58

"The Kaliningrad Garrison State" by Phillip A. & Shane C. Peterson

Pages: 59-62

Janes Fighting Ships

Captain Richard Sharpe OBE RN Janes Information Group Ltd.,

Surrey, England 99th Edition (96-97) & 100th Edition (97-98)

The Naval Institute Guide To The Soviet Navy

Norman Polar U.S. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD

Ca. 1991, 5th Edition

Inside The Soviet Army Today

Steven J Zaloga Osprey Military Elite Series

Osprey Publishing Ltd., London, England Ca. 1992

Soviet Bloc Elite Forces

Steven J. Zaloga & James Loop Osprey Elite Series

Osprey Publishing Ltd., London, England Ca. 1987

Soviet Military Power

Ibid Department Of Defense Publication, Washington D.C.

Ca. 1990

The Soviet War Machine: An Encyclopedia of Russian Military Equipment & Strategy

Edited by Ray Bonds A Salamander Book, Distributed by Book Sales Inc., Secaucus, NJ Ca. 1977

Tank War-Central Front NATO vs. WARSAW PACT

Steven J. Zaloga Osprey Military Elite Series Reed Consumer Books

Limited, London, England Ca. 1994

World Atlas: Imperial Edition

Rand McNally & Company, Chicago, New York & San Francisco

Ca. 1975

The below web sites are useful for information on Russian firearms, and ther have been a lot of new developments to worry the toughest Twilight vet...







The next set of sites have a broad listing of items, from small arms, to planes to ships and everything else in between




The final one's are focused towards a specific piece of hardware or subject.






And this is a general reference link to other sites...


Jason Weiser 08-23-2005, 01:31 PM Well,

I have an old computer game, Bravo, Delta, Romeo Came out in 1994 and was basically a US-Russian nuclear simulator. You "won" by knocking out the entire ASW/ADA and EW net. Hard to do. Most games I played ended with 200 million plus casualties on both sides. But, even though it is abstracted a mite it's good for target lists.

So, are we lurching towards a redone target list?


DeaconR 08-23-2005, 02:05 PM What concerns me and the way I am thinking when sifting through all this extraordinary information (and thanks to you guys who listed it all!) is: how can I use this in my game?

Basically I'm trying to think of the fact that my players are principally involved in a post- Operation Omega setting in which they are assisting Civgov in trying to rebuild the infrastructure of the USA and enable people to survive. But the same could be applied to Russia as well. But my main concern is for areas that are supposedly nuked yet still have settlements near them and would perhaps not be primary targets, while definite secondary or even tertiary targets (say Winnipeg Manitoba) are.

Here's another good for instance. Certain major intelligence or staging areas like Wright-Patterson AFB or Fort Bragg are NOT hit. So...what is the rationale or basis for these decisions?

Paul's idea of attacks cannibalizing themselves is a good one. Also the idea that the missiles fail to explode is good too. And perhaps a more comprehensive description of the strategic element of the Twilight War is needed...


chico20854 08-24-2005, 03:23 PM Good points guys!

Jason, Bravo Delta Romeo can be downloaded at:


I'm going to give it a try over the weekend.

I've been using a few sources for my target lists. (I use the pretty much unmodified version 1 timeline). First is the canon list, published in Challenge #33, supplemented by references to places that were nuked in the various modules (The original Polish series, Bear's Den, RDF Sourcebook, Boomer). Second, globalsecurity.org's pages on WMD, which includes manufacturing facilities, ICBM fields, bomber bases, early warning and C3I facilites. I've combined that with Google, so that a passing reference on globalsecurity.org, which is usually a mishmash of quotes from other sites, can be chased down. Third, the NRDC notional SIOP I referenced above. Fourth, Janes Armor and Artillery, Fighting Ships, and Aircraft. Likewise, Combat Fleets of the World, 1995 edition. Orbat.com posted a complete Soviet Orbat in its forum sections earlier this year. I saved it on my harddrive before a hacker wiped it out, and I've reposeted it there, sans fancy formatting. And just a lot of trolling around on the internet... google "B-52 SIOP" and you come up with some interesting pages on how B-52s were to be used in the Cold War. Thanks for the references TR! Maybe I'll swing by a university library this weekend after getting my butt kicked in the Bravo Delta Romeo game!

For fun details, I'm also including lat/lon coordinates for targets, at least the ones I can find coordinates for. Also, NIMA maintains a geographic name search on their website, so I can type in the name of an airfield and the country its in and many cases click on the name of the town for a 10 meter resolution satellite photo, circa 1987. Many times the airfield is pretty near, and shows up on the sat photo. You can click on the center of the runway and poof there's the lat-lon! For targets that are not so obvious (a WMD bunker complex in the forest) it doesn't work so well (I'm not trained in photo interpretation).

The end result of this will probably be a monstrous target list. (My list is probably around 550 targets right now! And more industrial facilities still to be added). If I really feel motivated after finishing the USSR list, I may put together a target list for the US, that will probably be even bigger because more information is available (i.e. alternative airfields to base small detachments of bombers from... not too hard to find a list of all airfields with 10,000 foot runways, and if you can't then get a list of old SAC bases, international airports and you've got 85 targets!) Without knowing what the real SIOPs looked like, it comes down to a guess. As Jason mentioned above, it's not hard for 200 million casualties to arise on both sides. That scale is just too big for the game to work.

So how does a GM use the target lists that we are discussing? First, realize that not everything got hit. Why? Well, pick an explanation that you're comfortable with... the missile missed or malfunctioned, the warhead fizzled, or that the nuclear exchange was a gradual and semi-controlled exchange, in which at least initially nukes were traded blow for blow. Rather than hitting everything on the target list, somebody (who is up to the GM) picked individual targets and authorized the launch of a weapon against it. So if it helps your campaign for Norfolk to be radioactive glass, assume the Russians dropped a multiple warheads on Norfolk (two for each docked carrier, two at LANTFLT HQ, one at the SOSUS terminal, one at the SATCOM facility, a few on Little Creek amphib base, three on Oceana NAS, plus a few more on the shipyards, Ft. Monroe and Ft Story, Langley AFB, etc etc.) On the other hand, if you want Norfolk to be relatively intact, then only a small yield device hit it, a larger one fizzled, or the Soviet premier decided that wiping Norfolk off the map would be too destabilizing and result in too severe a counterstrike (a possible calculation early on, not likely towards the end of the nuclear exchange, but luckily when both sides have fewer nuclear weapons, which are less reliable and harder to communicate with).

The canon is pretty sparse. I understand why... without the Internet and the fall of the USSR so much of the information was simply unavailable without spending an incredible amount of effort and possible targeting by the KGB as a spy (David Isby, who wrote several good Orbat books in the 80s and started out as a wargamer, was denounced by the USSR in public!). And I don't think the GDW staff had the depth of military experience that there is in this forum, and, having to produce material on a regular basis to earn a paycheck, had limited time to do research. Much as the effort here to create a much more detailed history of the war, the history that GDW didn't have the time and/or information to assemble or was edited out so that GMs wouldn't have to be digging around trying to figure out where Shenyang is when they were just worried about how to get from Kalisz to Krakow!


TR 08-24-2005, 06:20 PM Well always remember these nuke lists, we never totally knew the percentages of strikes that were all from the USA, or which nuke targets in Russia were from the UK, France, etc, etc so there's always the factor of accounting for who nuked what... in that case a target list of 550 is not too big as you could have target selections having occured before the bombs fell to overlap and make sure the primary targets all got hit, secondaries by the UK, etc, etc.


DeaconR 08-25-2005, 01:52 AM Actually very fair point Chico; of course the original designers just did a game about Poland, and then when demand existed they branched out to what ifs about northern Europe, the UK, the USA, Middle East and so on. I mean, if we truly want to nitpick we could also state that they kind of ignore the fates of a LOT of military units. But that's the cool thing about this forum, is figuring out how to flesh out your game in a way that works for you.


thefusilier 08-26-2005, 05:15 AM Here's another good for instance. Certain major intelligence or staging areas like Wright-Patterson AFB or Fort Bragg are NOT hit. So...what is the rationale or basis for these decisions?

From what I understood of reading the timelines is that it wasn't an all out total nuclear exchange. Instead only selected targets where hit over period of a few months. The US, USSR, and UK for example only suffered about 50% casualties and that includes the related deaths which occur months later from famine, the cold, disease and radiation. Also Fort Bragg isn't really much of a target where you could cripple a county by taking out a major refinery or something.

Also that reminds me... Who do you guys think nuked the Pemex refineries as mentioned in the BYB? The USSR because the US would be importing it (up to a point) like wiht Venezuala? Or by the US because Mexico was then getting to be a problem (with the border/refugees, collapse of global economy, and strengthening of Leftist government there)?


pmulcahy 08-26-2005, 09:24 AM That's true; IIRC, (and I'll try to look up the exact passage), both sides sort of hit each other tit-for-tat, "never knowing they crossed the line into oblivion until it was too late."


chico20854 09-16-2005, 10:09 AM I just found that FAS has online the entire text of a mid-1980s FEMA study of the likely effects of a Soviet nuke strike on the US. They don't have a specific target list per se, but do have state by state maps of what areas would be affected and a discussion of what target categories they anticipated being hit (US nuke forces, other military installations, 75% of refining and electrical power capability, ports and basic chemical industry.)

It's at:


I'm getting closer to finishing my US SIOP. Major target categories include:

Command & Control (military district/fleet HQs, leadership bunkers)

ICBM fields & bomber bases

Navy bases

WMD research & production facilities

Space launch facilities

Air defense HQs, early warning radars and key interceptor bases

troop assembly areas or equipment concentration sites

armored vehicle, artillery, automotive & truck production plants

aircraft & missile production plants

major shipyards

nuclear power plants & other major power plants

oil refineries

major steel mills

key railroad junctions & facilities, Black sea ports (cut off reinforcements to Bulgaria to support Romanian & Turkish campaigns)

with a seperate list for Moscow area targets (since there's so much there, including an ABM missile system)

I've got a pretty comprehensive list of target names. The big thing now is trying to make sense of it all (since there are multiple ways of transliterating the cyrillic alphabet and cities have changed names post-USSR). I'm trying to get accurate lat-lon coordinates to clear things up... it's actually a lot of fun using satellite pictures from Google Maps and NIMA but time consuming.

I guess from the target list the next step is to match up targets with weapons. And some targets will require multiple warheads (2 examples... I target 3 warheads at a bomber base... 1 ground burst to cut the runway and 1 airburst at each end to destroy any aircraft present. Likewise, I have an ICBM field listed as 1 target, but there are 2 warheads for each individual silo plus 1 for each regimental and division HQ).

And as to the use of the final product for a campaign, I'm not so sure. Basically, the nature of the Soviet system makes pretty much every town of 100,000 or more a potential target. The nature of the nuclear exchange in the canon means that only a portion of the targets were hit. I'll leave it up to each GM to decide what targets were hit off the list, as there seems to be consensus that the GDW list is incomplete yet a full strike on every target would 1) not be in line with canon and 2) completely devestate the USSR so much that the war couldn't continue as described in the canon. Finally, keeping in mind the canon description of the exchange, the targets that were hit might not be the ones that make the most sense, since command & control was breaking down on the US/NATO side and political decisions come into play when deciding what was hit... but I'm enjoying putting it together : )


Last edited by kato13; 02-08-2010 at 01:32 AM.
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nbc, nuclear strikes, nuclear weapons

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