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Bolt Out The Blue
12-30-2019, 11:45 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-30-2019, 11:47 AM by seth86.)
#1
alittle feedback please  Bolt Out The Blue
Longtime lurker, don't post much...
               I've heard a lot about this "Bolt Out The Blue" scenario. Could you guys give feedback about the differences between it and the "Twilight of the Gods" scenario. Any feedback would be appreciated. Like suggested rules of play and historical differences between the two, such as reinforcements and the like. I already own Danube Front and just upgraded to Gold.
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12-30-2019, 01:56 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-31-2019, 03:47 PM by 2-81 Armor. Edit Reason: corrected spelling error )
#2
RE: Bolt Out The Blue
(12-30-2019, 11:45 AM)seth86 Wrote: Longtime lurker, don't post much...
               I've heard a lot about this "Bolt Out The Blue" scenario. Could you guys give feedback about the differences between it and the "Twilight of the Gods" scenario. Any feedback would be appreciated. Like suggested rules of play and historical differences between the two, such as reinforcements and the like. I already own Danube Front and just upgraded to Gold.

I'll take a quick stab at it.

As far as the basic premise goes both scenarios are pretty similar: a full scale WP offensive with NATO given very little to no warning. My personal opinion (and only an opinion) is that both are incorrect, and that NATO would most likely have had a 48-72 hr warning window at a minimum. That's what we planned for when I was stationed in Germany. Strategically it would have been next to impossible to achieve surprise on the scale both scenarios depict. One example: The WP did not allow their units to have their vehicles uploaded with ammunition. USAEUR (at least when I was there) had main gun ammunition uploaded on all of it's tanks. Just the simple act of issuing ammunition to WP units in garrison would have set off alarm bells. Again though, just my opinion.

For OOB accuracy, Bolt wins hands down. Tazaaron, the designer did an enormous amount of research, and it shows. If it was in Theater, or could have been, he's got it covered. A remarkable achievement really. He even has the OOB rendered using each Nation's language and terminology. Twilight of the Gods is a nice attempt, but falls short in a number of areas. The only things Tazaaron appears to have missed are the 2 Soviet "Unified Army Corps" that were located in the Belorussian and Carpathian MD's as part of the 2nd Strategic Echelon. For what it's worth, Twilight misses these also.

Bolt takes place around 1989 or so, while Twilight happens in 1985, so there are some TO&E differences between the two with Bolt having some newer equipment also.

For mechanics, Bolt portrays almost every lower than Battalion level unit as a "KG" rather than as a Company. If I remember correctly, this was done in order to reduce the amount of fatigue units accrue when they are broken down from Battalion level. While this does achieve it's goal, once broken down a Battalion composed of "KG's" cannot be recombined. Twilight uses the traditional Tiller system, so units can be broken down and recombined at will.

Bolt has a great number of high value objectives close to the IGB (Inner German Border), while Twilight has only a few. This forces the NATO side to actually use the West German "Forward Defense" concept, instead of being able to retreat quickly to the west. Bolt is more realistic in this regard.

Bolt also has tactical missile units that are nuclear-capable (Lance, SCUD, Pluton, etc) in it's OOB. Twilight does not. The same applies to SPAA and SAM units. Bolt shows these (AAA) at all command levels, while Twilight shows them at the Divisional level.

Overall I'd rate Bolt as a much superior design, with the only major draw back being the KG breakdown issue. If a NATO mobilized, or partially mobilized scenario was available using Bolt's OOB as it's basis that would be almost perfect, but Bolt is still very good as it is, provided one is willing to accept the complete surprise attack story which puts NATO at a very big disadvantage from the start.

Edit: It's entirely possible that the designers of Twilight and Tazaaron with Bolt used the complete WP surprise premise as a way to achieve what they deemed a needed scenario balancing device. I've never seen anything concerning that, but from a player's POV I think that makes the most sense. Just speculation on my part.

Again, everything above is only my opinion. I'm sure others here will be able to provide better and more detailed comparisons and information than I have.
"And I will show you where the Iron Crosses grow."- Sgt Rolf Steiner, The Cross of Iron
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12-30-2019, 11:56 PM,
#3
RE: Bolt Out The Blue
I was there from 80-82 as an Infantryman assigned to provide security to Pershing nukes. One plt assigned to each battery, which breaks down to one squad per missile plt of three missiles, the missile jockeys, commo, HQs, etc. Any leftover personnel were supposed to be assigned to Inf to help with security after they set up the missiles. Any time WP went on maneuvers with any sizable unit, usually a Div or better, we went on alert. If they actually went out to the field or just a drive around the block, we went until told otherwise. IMO, I would put it that if WP had all those units ready to go, Nato would also be ready to go with any and all Reforger units on alert or already moving. Even then, too many satellites to not, at least, see the concentrations of forces. If we were ever to be caught flat footed like the scenario, heads would roll for dereliction of duty.
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01-01-2020, 08:58 AM,
#4
RE: Bolt Out The Blue
(12-30-2019, 01:56 PM)2-81 Armor Wrote:
(12-30-2019, 11:45 AM)seth86 Wrote: Longtime lurker, don't post much...
               I've heard a lot about this "Bolt Out The Blue" scenario. Could you guys give feedback about the differences between it and the "Twilight of the Gods" scenario. Any feedback would be appreciated. Like suggested rules of play and historical differences between the two, such as reinforcements and the like. I already own Danube Front and just upgraded to Gold.

I'll take a quick stab at it.

As far as the basic premise goes both scenarios are pretty similar: a full scale WP offensive with NATO given very little to no warning. My personal opinion (and only an opinion) is that both are incorrect, and that NATO would most likely have had a 48-72 hr warning window at a minimum. That's what we planned for when I was stationed in Germany. Strategically it would have been next to impossible to achieve surprise on the scale both scenarios depict. One example: The WP did not allow their units to have their vehicles uploaded with ammunition. USAEUR (at least when I was there) had main gun ammunition uploaded on all of it's tanks. Just the simple act of issuing ammunition to WP units in garrison would have set off alarm bells. Again though, just my opinion.

For OOB accuracy, Bolt wins hands down. Tazaaron, the designer did an enormous amount of research, and it shows. If it was in Theater, or could have been, he's got it covered. A remarkable achievement really. He even has the OOB rendered using each Nation's language and terminology. Twilight of the Gods is a nice attempt, but falls short in a number of areas. The only things Tazaaron appears to have missed are the 2 Soviet "Unified Army Corps" that were located in the Belorussian and Carpathian MD's as part of the 2nd Strategic Echelon. For what it's worth, Twilight misses these also.

Bolt takes place around 1989 or so, while Twilight happens in 1985, so there are some TO&E differences between the two with Bolt having some newer equipment also.

For mechanics, Bolt portrays almost every lower than Battalion level unit as a "KG" rather than as a Company. If I remember correctly, this was done in order to reduce the amount of fatigue units accrue when they are broken down from Battalion level. While this does achieve it's goal, once broken down a Battalion composed of "KG's" cannot be recombined. Twilight uses the traditional Tiller system, so units can be broken down and recombined at will.

Bolt has a great number of high value objectives close to the IGB (Inner German Border), while Twilight has only a few. This forces the NATO side to actually use the West German "Forward Defense" concept, instead of being able to retreat quickly to the west. Bolt is more realistic in this regard.

Bolt also has tactical missile units that are nuclear-capable (Lance, SCUD, Pluton, etc) in it's OOB. Twilight does not. The same applies to SPAA and SAM units. Bolt shows these (AAA) at all command levels, while Twilight shows them at the Divisional level.

Overall I'd rate Bolt as a much superior design, with the only major draw back being the KG breakdown issue. If a NATO mobilized, or partially mobilized scenario was available using Bolt's OOB as it's basis that would be almost perfect, but Bolt is still very good as it is, provided one is willing to accept the complete surprise attack story which puts NATO at a very big disadvantage from the start.

Edit: It's entirely possible that the designers of Twilight and Tazaaron with Bolt used the complete WP surprise premise as a way to achieve what they deemed a needed scenario balancing device. I've never seen anything concerning that, but from a player's POV I think that makes the most sense. Just speculation on my part.

Again, everything above is only my opinion. I'm sure others here will be able to provide better and more detailed comparisons and information than I have.

I appreciate the response. It helps a lot.
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01-01-2020, 07:55 PM,
#5
RE: Bolt Out The Blue
Quote:
Edit: It's entirely possible that the designers of Twilight and Tazaaron with Bolt used the complete WP surprise premise as a way to achieve what they deemed a needed scenario balancing device. I've never seen anything concerning that, but from a player's POV I think that makes the most sense. Just speculation on my part.


I think this is spot on. I have read somewhere else a thread addressing this very topic on WWIII in Europe simulations. The conclusion advanced was that an opening situation with a prepared/mobilized West would soon develop into a WWI-like stalemate waiting for nukes... and therefore provide a below par experience to gamers. Surprise was thus retained as a way to make the play more enjoyable.
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