Wednesday, December 19, 2012

MSH time

Well, its been a few months. Work has been rather nuts, and to cap it all off, no gaming (well, there was that one weekend I played Napoleon, but that's another story).
Overall I have not been overly inspired to write army lists. I get as far as picking up the books, but that's about it.Even my Russian cavalry division is stalled as I have not picked any of it up for a couple of months.

I thought for the next wee bit, to try to get things going again (if that can happen when one is on holiday) I might visit my favorite MSH period, The central front in Germany 1975-1985. Now I must admit to having a bit of a love hate relationship with MSH.It was my first introduction to the Spearhead gaming system, and I still remember the amazement that I felt that my tanks were over the 1/2 way line on the table, and actually doing something rather than just sitting still and sniping. I find the rules far more complicated than their WW2 brethren. While this is understandable, I admit that I tend to forget some of the finer points, and indeed some of the lesser bits in the turn sequence (like forgetting to fire stands at the right times). One thing that does make it hard is that the army lists tend to be a bit on the bland side. The WW2 lists tend to have a whole stack of cool toys in a division, and its possible to knock up some interesting army lists without too much trouble. MSH brigades tend to be rather the same within a division, with few different 'toys'.

National differences are not quite as pronounced either due to arms exports (however this is not overly different from the US supplying that allies at the tail end of WW2). Actually, this isn't quite the case as at least 4 NATO nations had decent arms industries( France, Germany, GB and USA) plus some of the lesser nations, and on the WARPAC side most of the nations had some indigenous AFV's backed up by the ubiquitous Russian equipment.

The period itself is interesting as it sees the introduction of new technology on both sides, but comes before the introduction of the NATO uber tanks which completely take the fun out of the game. The Russians get the improved T64 and T72.

Next up, a closer look at gaming possibilities.


  1. I'm getting ready for an MSH throwdown this Saturday - Poles v FRG again. I agree with the "cookie cutter" feel of many of the forces, especially compared to WWII variety. I have added some air assault infantry to my Poles and cheap(er) M48G2s and Territorial infantry to the Germans since my last game to put some spice in the mix. We'll see how it plays out.

  2. Looking forward to reading more on this...

  3. I find the Warpac guys have a much harder time making up lists because of the lack of cross-attachment options, so your basic forces do tend to me pretty similar.

    But this is partly Keith's scenario system's fault. Since you have to "buy" engineering works themselves in his system, rather than buy the vehicles and then let them make the works, the masses of (non-combat) engineering forces available to WarPac forces never get used.

    Cheers, Luke

    1. I still think that there is room to expand on this. I will have to have a look at the lists (taken on holiday) and see what I can come up with. Thats assuming biking, fishing, wine tasting and other sundary activities (did you know that my parents have made tea drinking a near olymipic sport. Try drinking 6 before lunch)