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  #1  
Old 03-10-2009, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854
Law's been working on a writeup of the Pacific Northwest and California. I'm not sure if he'll get it done prior to his departure. He's from up that way, so it will be well worth reading!
any chance he'll be able to post his USMC writeup? I've been waiting for that one.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by boogiedowndonovan
any chance he'll be able to post his USMC writeup? I've been waiting for that one.
Last time I spoke to him, he was hoping to get me an outline by the end of the week. As far as I know, it will be a detailed orbat (battalion/independent company level) and general information about areas of employment. It will differ fairly significantly from the v1 canon, in that it will more accurately reflect 1980s employment concepts.

For example, RDF Sourcebook has both 1st and 3d MarDivs in Iran, with 4th (and 5th and 6th) in Korea. 1st and 3rd both fought in Vietnam, but in the 80s one of them (which escapes me at the moment) was stationed in Okinawa, "hard-wired" for Korea, while the other had a more general South/West Pacific focus. So we send that one to Iran and bring 4th (the reserve division) into Iran for the 1997 counter-attack, appearing over the horizon at Bandar Abbas after a LONG float from San Diego. 5th Division goes to Europe to reinforce the 2nd, and the 6th goes to Korea. The rear detachments, training establishments and permanent shoreside facilities consolidate into 2 brigades, one on each coast, following the TDM, and do local security and reconstruction tasks. The Pacific brigade is based in Oregon.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:57 PM
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Regardless of where the various divisions were intended to go in prewar planning, the Twilight war, especially the middle east, did not go to plan (as if any conflict ever does).

While it might be helpful to know what the plans were, a careful read of the timeline reveals why the various units ended up where they did.

It was really all about which combat units were ready when a) the need for troops arose and b) transport was available. Note that there were still units arriving in Europe in autumn of 1999! (reinforcements mainly though).
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:28 AM
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Sure leg once again you do your timeline and we will use ours. ours is off multiple years of research and war plans. wait until you see the whole product and then make your decesion.....Ours will be out soon then you can read ours open source. If you want it then great if not then throw it away. all is cool by me.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:49 AM
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For once Law, I think I actually agree with you (everyone look up, I think the sky is about to fall!)

EVERYONE is free to use whatever timeline, hell, whatever reality they want. I tend towards the published books simply because that's the baseline - everybody has access to it and can modify it at will.

While there are some rather glaring discrepancies with it, I prefer to look at how and why certain events took place as they did, rather than change the face of the universe to better fit my own perceptions of "reality". This approach is probably more useful to the majority of people, because it's extrapolated directly from the established baseline.

A totally revised history, etc such as that which the DC group is working to produce, is less likely to be used on a wide scale just because it is so very different to what most of us have grown to know and love over the past few decades.

Doesn't mean it's any less valid, just that it's the interpretation of half a dozen people amongst thousands, possibly tens of thousands of T2K players and GMs.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:27 AM
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I would not say that no one will follow our group. we have had very good reception here. all we are doing is cleaning up the v1 time line and orbats. adding what was missing with basic logic and military sense. I guess we will wait and see.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAW0306
I would not say that no one will follow our group. we have had very good reception here. all we are doing is cleaning up the v1 time line and orbats. adding what was missing with basic logic and military sense. I guess we will wait and see.
How extensive is this timeline? Is it basically just US forces or have you added info about other armies?
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by General Pain
How extensive is this timeline? Is it basically just US forces or have you added info about other armies?
Having just US forces wouldn't get us very good results. The US forces probably show the greatest change in operational areas from canon, both because there are more of them and because we know the most about them.

I'm currently finishing up the Warsaw Pact armies in the Western theater (basically, from the Danube to the Baltic.) I've got the Soviets, Polish, Czechs, Hungarians, almost all translated from their native languages in various forums and websites. That's why I've been dribbling orbats out these many months - they're being cross checked against equipment holdings, and since many of the units were low readiness units that were disbanded in 1990 there isn't much information about them. (What is the phrase for "anti-tank regiment" in Hungarian????)

Today I checked over what we had worked up last year on the East German and Danish armies. For the NATO forces, we are using the orbats being worked on for several years on tank-net.org - a massively reworked and improved version of the NATO orbat on orbat.com, now over 200 pages long. We're basically taking that 1989 orbat and updating the equipment with what the respective army was planning to do in 1987 or so (so we get an extended-Cold War procurement rather than the post-Cold War cancellations, slowdowns and new requirements). I'm pretty happy with the quality of that work - an awful lot of people from around the world have contributed their knowledge of their little piece of the puzzle.

I also have a pretty good picture of the Korean armies and a surprisingly good Chinese orbat.

In the near future we are going to start on wargaming out the conventional phase of the war, using GDW's Third World War series. We've adapted those rules for the Twilight War and generated new maps and counters. By doing the wargaming via email, we'll have a week-by-week log of each unit's activity (and fate up to the TDM).

The internet and the end of the Cold War have made much more detail about the armies on both sides available than the folks at GDW ever dreamed of. We are also doing this in our spare time, without the pressure of deadlines (GDW turned out a new product every 20 days or so for 15 years!), so we can spend lots of time making sure we do things right and without contradictions (try making sense out of the description of the strategic nuclear exchange as described in the referee's manual, the target list published in Challenge magazine and Howling Wilderness!). We loved GDW's work so much that we devote endless hours creating more details about the fantasy world they created. So I don't see what we're doing as creating an alternative timeline (except for the recovery plan, which deviates from 2300 quite drastically) - I see it as we're continuing to develop the world that they created, with the gift of time and better information to inform that effort.

What's our goal? A whole bunch more publications similar to our prototype - the Czech Army Vehicle Guide. If that's deviation from canon, please call me a deviant, I'll be proud!
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:35 AM
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Chico - you a deviant, NO WAY, I admire what you, Law, and all the others in the DC Working Group are doing. Like I said on the other board, you guys have inspire me to do my own revisions to canon.

Leg - I agree with Law & Chico, it's all up to the individual to use or not use canon. I personally have many issues with canon, so I have already chosen to change a few items here and there, i.e. the 6th ID (L) stays in AK, while the 47th ID was sent to Norway, the 3rd MarDiv went to Korea, instead of Iran, and they were replaced by the 4th MarDiv, just like Law stated in one of his earlier posts.

Chico & Law - I can hardly wait to see what you guys have. Especially if its anything like the Czech Vehicle Guide. *Mouth waters*
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2009, 01:59 AM
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I admire the work the DC Working Group has done and continues to do. I know they know what they are talking about and I don't doubt their military knowledge. My only concerns are that rather than changing events to match the outcome they might end up with US and other NATO forces much more powerful by 2000 that what canon says. Logically that would than change the nature of the environment in which the original Twilight was meant to be played. Instead of there being just one US submarine left by 2000 there will be a bunch of them, and other US military assets will also be far more plentiful than in canon. That is where my concerns lie.

I think that with hindsight and due to pride in US military might the DC Working Group might be greatly downplaying the abilities of the Warsaw Pact. We seem to forget how worried everyone was about the power of the Warsaw Pact back during the Cold War. Surely if NATO had as many combat assets by 2000 as the DC Working Group is suggesting it would have, how is it a stalemate like in canon? Seems to me more like NATO would walk right over the Warsaw Pact at the end and that would greatly change the gaming environment IMO.

I'm not meaning to be too critical here, please understand that. I love the Czech Vehicle Guide. I still really look forward to what the DC Working Group comes up with in the end. If pride won't allow us to have the Soviets smash NATO as hard as canon says they did, what about just a few situations where plain old bad luck nailed NATO?
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:42 AM
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I think everyone ends up being stronger at least initially. Chico has mentioned 300 soviet divisions. In that case you end up with more units butting heads and in the end things end up similar to canon. Even if you are stronger at the point nukes are thrown, they seem to be a great equalizer. Actually that matches canon. Nato was driving hard until it went nuclear and then the reserves the USSR could tap into would come into play.
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Old 03-13-2009, 04:16 AM
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The concern I have with both sides being stronger is the war is likely to be much shorter.

In canon, neither side really had enough units located in one place at the right time to deliver a truely decisive stroke. If all sides are stronger, it's much easier to exploit any weaknesses in the enemy and potentially surround and eliminate a large proportion of their strength.

Weak, diffused armies might not be all that realistic, but they're certain to keep the war going from 1996 to 2000 and beyond. Screw around with that too much and a five year conflict is suddenly all over in about five months.

Also political aspects cannot be ignored. Many otherwise sucessful campaigns over the centries have been hamstrung by politics back home. Take early WWII for example. Europe was effectively smashed and Britain had virtually no hope of suriving - and then Hitler decided to split his forces and invade the USSR, reducing the pressure in the west and giving the allies more than a snowflakes chance in hell of actually winning! (yes, I've simplified it a bit, but you get the point).
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Old 03-13-2009, 04:31 AM
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Again all they are providing is an option and food for thought. I cannot imagine it effecting anything negatively.

If you don't like any or all of it then ignore it. If any part is useful use it. I said the same about T2k13.

As always I go by the words of my namesake.

Absorb what is useful,
discard what is useless,
and add what is uniquely your own.


Personally I think the DC group has spent more time and thought on their work than GDW did. They also have the benefit of the internet, hindsight, no deadlines, and access to some documents that the GDW staff would have only dreamed of having.

Last edited by kato13; 03-13-2009 at 04:39 AM.
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:42 AM
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I think what Legbreaker is ignoring is logistics. Sure, you may have the units to administer that decisive stroke...but it does you no good if you cannot support them, and the Soviets and NATO suffer some unique and serious logistical problems in the European theater alone (not to mention the almost critical logistical problems the Soviets are beginning to feel in China) that are a limiting factor on the war as a whole. In fact, it is a measure of the logistical problems that makes the TDM a reality. The Soviets begin to realize that they cannot match a United States on a war footing with a relatively undamaged economy and industrial base. And, Soviet Long-Range Aviation doesn't have a realistic option of commencing a conventional strategic bombing campaign against North America. (Alaska, maybe, but even there, casualties are heavy). Thus, nuclear weapons become the only option.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:17 AM
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I'll summarize everything I'd like to say with - I agree with absolutely everything Targan said.
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legbreaker
The concern I have with both sides being stronger is the war is likely to be much shorter.
One could just as easily argue that stronger forces could prolong the war. WWII was fought on three continents (and scores of Pacific islands and atolls) by armies of millions of men and it went on for six years (longer if you consider its starting point to have been the Japanese invasion of Manchuria).

As you pointed out, though, the respective unit starting points, deployment schedules, and transportation difficulties would mean that many units, both NATO and WTO, would be joining the various campaigns piecemeal and this would prolong the war. According to canon, once the nukes start flying, things start slowing down to 17th century speeds, further slowing the pace of the war.

So, I think one can reasonably reconcile the DC group's beefed up balance of forces with the canonical timelines.

That said, there's no reason to use the DC group's numbers if you don't want to.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
My only concerns are that rather than changing events to match the outcome they might end up with US and other NATO forces much more powerful by 2000 that what canon says. Logically that would than change the nature of the environment in which the original Twilight was meant to be played. Instead of there being just one US submarine left by 2000 there will be a bunch of them, and other US military assets will also be far more plentiful than in canon. That is where my concerns lie.

I think that with hindsight and due to pride in US military might the DC Working Group might be greatly downplaying the abilities of the Warsaw Pact. We seem to forget how worried everyone was about the power of the Warsaw Pact back during the Cold War. Surely if NATO had as many combat assets by 2000 as the DC Working Group is suggesting it would have, how is it a stalemate like in canon? Seems to me more like NATO would walk right over the Warsaw Pact at the end and that would greatly change the gaming environment IMO.

I'm not meaning to be too critical here, please understand that. I love the Czech Vehicle Guide. I still really look forward to what the DC Working Group comes up with in the end. If pride won't allow us to have the Soviets smash NATO as hard as canon says they did, what about just a few situations where plain old bad luck nailed NATO?
I understand your concern. As far as the relative strengths go, it's actually in favor of the Pact forces - I've been able to dig up a lot more about their reserve and mobilization-only divisions than was known in the 1980s in the West.

A quick count of divisions:
USSR: I've found 279 Soviet divisions; GDW had 185, a 50% increase.
Non-Soviet Pact: I have 45, GDW had 31, a 45% increase.

USA: I have 50 divisions (only 46 of which have equipment); GDW has 46.
Non-US NATO: 54 division-equivalents; GDW has 35; a 54% increase, mostly from the German territorial army (26 regiments and brigades). The German territorials are mentioned in the NATO Vehicle Guide but not detailed.

So I have the Pact armies a total of 50% stronger and NATO 22% stronger.

At sea, we've discussed multiple methods to re-create the 10-foot-tall Russians I was scared of in 184.

The major deviation from canon strength-wise is, as you have noted, the amount of shipping available to NATO in 2000. This IMHO is not such a big deal given the state of the world in 2000. First, most groups of PCs are well inland where the influence of naval forces is minimal. But more importantly, the state of the world limits the utility of having intact hulls - because without fuel, spare parts and crews that have a galley full of food the fact that the ship is afloat and under the control of one authority or another (or none) is pretty irrelevant. Even nuclear attack and missile subs are pretty useless in 2000 - sure, they can travel around without petroleum (except that needed for lubrication, assuming they have enough reactor fuel), but what use are they as warships? What is a boomer going to nuke? (And targeting requires some way to get word to the sub about intact targets, if the sub has crew intact that can enter the coordinates into a missile that has been cut off from full maintenance for 2 years). What ships ply the oceans for attack subs to torpedo? What is the chance of a sub finding one of these ships? As far as being used to transport small parties and quantities of cargo in 2000, a schooner is much better than a sub (smaller crew, better cargo handling, able to enter more ports). We've discussed amongst ourselves the surviving aircraft carriers, and come to the conclusion that they are usually tied up to the dock, the crews dispersed ashore and the reactors (if nuke powered) tied into the civil power grid. But they rarely sail, and the are of marginal utility as power-projection platforms - the aviators don't have fuel and are out of practice doing carrier landings, the aircraft lack spares and the crews are much more valuable fixing things or farming ashore (6000 mouths are a lot to feed to have a carrier patrolling damn-near empty oceans on the off chance that the Russians are going to suddenly get re-interested in invading the US mainland...)

As far as more troops available changing the duration of the war, I honestly don't know. Many of the "new" Soviet divisions (it's impossible to compare directly the units I have and the ones GDW had - the ID's just don't match) are in the Far East, Strategic Reserve or Caucasus. The wargaming rules we are using - GDW's Third World War - are pretty drastic about combat rapidly grinding to a halt after a nuclear exchange, especially a strategic exchange with strikes on the Soviet and US homelands. For example, no reinforcements are allowed after a strategic exchange, yet the Soviet Vehicle Guide lists numerous units being mobilized in 1998 and 1999. So we'll likely wargame out to the TDM and then go by canon, as much as it may pain us to do so. (For example, we are keeping the Mexican and Alaska invasions, even though looking at them with a realistic view both would have a very slim chance of success).

So I hope we can allay some of your fears. We will try to overrun pride with pure brutality. (Maybe I'll put my 2001 US population figures up - 55% casualties - over 155 million, broken down by state, age & gender...).
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