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Most Underrated JTS Series! Modern Campaigns!
04-07-2020, 01:49 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-07-2020, 01:52 AM by Kool Kat.)
#1
zicon 3  Most Underrated JTS Series! Modern Campaigns!
Gents:  [Image: 515f4ea4cacubainsmiley.gif]

I am thoroughly enjoying Modern Campaigns!  [Image: biggrin.gif] 

I own all titles:

Middle East '67
Fulda Gap '85
Korea '85
North German Plain '85
Danube Front '85


Modern Campaigns (MC) forces players to think about the battlefield in a different way then PzC WW2 fronts! 
  • Weapons are more lethal. Tank companies and infantry battalions can be rendered combat ineffective in just a few hours of deployment.
  • Artillery loads are more varied (Air drop mines, persistent chemicals, tactical nukes, regular bombardments) Players can interdict road networks with artillery deployed mines and WMD make hexes very "nasty" for any units that enter the chemical or radioactive impacted hexes.
  • Vertical deployment. The use of helos (scouts, troop carrying, and attack) that can range far and wide in the battlefield makes even rear positions vulnerable to attack. Gone are the days that rear positioned units (HQ, artillery) are nearly invulnerable (or at least not detectable) by the enemy.
  • Air power.  Jet recon and day / night equipped attack bombers allow players to deliver lethal payloads to enemy targets anywhere on the battlefield. 
  • Specialized units / capabilities. Many of the Warsaw Pact mech infantry battalions and recon units are amphibious - allowing river crossings without the need for bridges. Enemy HQs can be detected, based on their radio traffic without the need for an adjacent spotting unit. 

MC plays fast and combat is lethal. If you can find the enemy, you can kill him quickly! It rewards players who can "think on their feet," understand how to minimize the vertical deployment threats, and who can adjust their tactics accordingly as the battle conditions change. It also punishes the player who only thinks in one dimension (e.g. static front lines, does not guard against vertical deployment threats, and who can't alter their battle plans).

Here's a link to my "MC Tactics and Strategies" post:

http://www.theblitz.org/message_boards/s...#pid433975

For me, I favor playing as the Warsaw Pact forces and they are a blast to command!  Smile It's like having one foot on a car's accelerator and the other foot on the brake... and not always knowing when to punch it forward or brake it! 

Here's a link to my player evaluations of various MC scenarios:

http://www.theblitz.org/message_boards/s...t=kool+kat

For a player who was initially "turned off" by "hypothetical battles"... I am a true believer!  [Image: smile.gif] 

So... if you have not tried MC and you have an interest in modern warfare... I encourage you to give these under rated (IMHO) game titles a go. I think you will be glad you did!   [Image: smile.gif] 


[Image: df7cd8a93fbayonetbrant.gif]
Regards, Mike / "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." - George S. Patton /
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04-07-2020, 02:27 PM,
#2
RE: Most Underrated JTS Series! Modern Campaigns!
Thanks Mike. Same here, at first I was a doubter of the MC games, but they are a blast, every one of them.

Rick
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04-08-2020, 05:01 AM,
#3
RE: Most Underrated JTS Series! Modern Campaigns!
(04-07-2020, 02:27 PM)Ricky B Wrote: Thanks Mike. Same here, at first I was a doubter of the MC games, but they are a blast, every one of them.

Rick

I also want to say they have a Excellent AI for those who enjoy playing the computer. I`m up to T 39 as the WP in DF and still a very tense Game.

RL
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04-08-2020, 08:40 PM,
#4
RE: Most Underrated JTS Series! Modern Campaigns!
(04-08-2020, 05:01 AM)Fog of War Wrote:
(04-07-2020, 02:27 PM)Ricky B Wrote: Thanks Mike. Same here, at first I was a doubter of the MC games, but they are a blast, every one of them.

Rick

I also want to say they have a Excellent AI for those who enjoy playing the computer. I`m up to T 39 as the WP in DF and still a very tense Game.

RL

Indeed, MC Campaigns are fun also playing as NATO versus WP, the AI is not bad.
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05-15-2020, 09:19 AM,
#5
RE: Most Underrated JTS Series! Modern Campaigns!
Indeed I think that Modern Campaigns can offer the most exciting games - particularly in very few turns. Every move can be your downfall. I feel that it also requires the most brainpower per movement/turn, compared to the other Campaign series titles. Simply because of the fact that units are very fast and mobile, so there are always quite a lot of options where your opponent can be. And of course because of air support. The very asymmetrical setting also adds a lot of spice. 

I planned to create a video AAR of my game against Kool Kat, but unfortunately, it just turned out to be too much work. There are so many things to consider and explain. And anyone not familiar with the rules would probably just be bored. Nevertheless, I attach a small pdf giving a few insights into my initial planning of that game. 

Also check out my mod for Modern Campaigns (the terrain part of it is based on Jison's great mapmod!): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1djdocrg56uar...n54_a?dl=0


Attached Files
.pdf   AAR_Planung.pdf (Size: 1.49 MB / Downloads: 13)
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05-15-2020, 09:54 AM,
#6
RE: Most Underrated JTS Series! Modern Campaigns!
I agree MC is amazing and fun. However a knotty issue seems to often plague it in PBEM, which is the use of helicopters. In the early days of the series, players would often complain how opponents would have helicopters roaming hundreds of hexes in the rear, not bothering to refuel or rearm, but causing havoc nonetheless by spotting for airstrikes or using their lower, diminished (e.g. unfueled, low ammo) combat values to still savage soft targets in T mode. Then the designers invented the FARP concept to keep helicopters tied to some sort of supply network. Not sure FARPs are still in there, I think the concept was abandoned. At any rate, scenarios like Bolt from the Blue seemed to have resolved the issue by making anti-air (SAM and point defense) values more lethal. Roaming around with your helicopter and bumping into enemy units, especially large infantry battalions, can cause crippling losses to the choppers.

I am curious what you think about the current modeling of helicopters? I am tempted to get back into MC PBEM, but I dread the memories of the old arguments about helicopters, which sank a number of matches.
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05-15-2020, 06:51 PM,
#7
RE: Most Underrated JTS Series! Modern Campaigns!
(05-15-2020, 09:54 AM)Elxaime Wrote: I agree MC is amazing and fun.  However a knotty issue seems to often plague it in PBEM, which is the use of helicopters.  In the early days of the series, players would often complain how opponents would have helicopters roaming hundreds of hexes in the rear, not bothering to refuel or rearm, but causing havoc nonetheless by spotting for airstrikes or using their lower, diminished (e.g. unfueled, low ammo) combat values to still savage soft targets in T mode.  Then the designers invented the FARP concept to keep helicopters tied to some sort of supply network.  Not sure FARPs are still in there, I think the concept was abandoned.  At any rate, scenarios like Bolt from the Blue seemed to have resolved the issue by making anti-air (SAM and point defense) values more lethal.  Roaming around with your helicopter and bumping into enemy units, especially large infantry battalions, can cause crippling losses to the choppers.

I am curious what you think about the current modeling of helicopters?  I am tempted to get back into MC PBEM, but I dread the memories of the old arguments about helicopters, which sank a number of matches.

I remember being involved in a team game of Danube, commanding the souther Warsaw Pact forces.
That was some nice years ago, but I remember that those helicopters in the center doomed the whole game.
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05-15-2020, 07:31 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-15-2020, 07:54 PM by Mowgli.)
#8
RE: Most Underrated JTS Series! Modern Campaigns!
(Non man-carrying) helicopters
  • do not block enemy supply (cannot isolate enemy units)
  • do not exert a ZoC
  • can move through enemy ZoCs
  • are subordinate to their FARP, which usually has a very short nominal command range (3-4 hexes)
  • if detached (starting their turn outside their FARP's nominal range): artillery strikes called by detached helicopters only have 50% firepower; air strikes called by detached helicopters still have 100% firepower though! (OVERSIGHT?)
  • need to LAND (deployed mode) at their FARP to fetch ammo (if "low ammo") or refuel
  • test for ammo normally (1. local supply test, 2. command/FARP test), but can only get rid of the low ammo status if landed at their FARP
  • test for fuel normally? (1. local supply / 2. auto-succeed if within modified FARP range) [I'm not sure about this one, it seems as if the choppers always fail the local supply test?]
  • are spotted normally, like ground units (they seem to be flying very low...?)
  • can only be targeted by AA fire
  • cannot be isolated while flying (travel mode)
  • can only hold objectives if landed (deployed mode)
  • can fly over/pass enemy units (see manual p. 29)
  • "Blocking Helicopter Elimination" optional rule: helicopters cannot block the retreat-path of enemy units (the helicopters are eliminated if they do)
  • Can be assaulted normally (for 2/3 of the movement cost, triggering opportunity fires) but are automatically forced to retreat (with 0 casualties on both sides) if it happens

If I remember correctly, the ALT scenarios make anti air fire more lethal? EDIT: Judging from a single scenario, the firepower of dedicated AA units (ZSU, Gepards, Vulcans, etc) is increased but their max. AA range is drastically decreased (ZSU from 4 to 2 hexes). Non dedicated AA units are unchanged, sometimes even slightly less lethal vs. helicopters! As firepower is diminished over distance (range effect 2 for stock scenarios, 1.5 (=higher!) for ALT scenarios) and as fyling helicopters are spotted like ordinary ground units, dedicated AA units could hardly ever use their greater range anyway.

I also wonder whether assaulting against / moving into helicopters should cost 2/3 of a unit's movement.
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05-16-2020, 12:39 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-16-2020, 12:46 AM by Elxaime.)
#9
RE: Most Underrated JTS Series! Modern Campaigns!
OK, just checked D85 Gold and the FARPs are still there, for both vanilla and alt scenarios. I think it is only Volcano Man's Bolt from the Blue that doesn't use them, as he relies on stronger AA and SAM to limit wild roaming. If I recall one older campaign game, it was a mod that had many Warsaw Pact units with limited to no anti-air, so you had stacks of helicopters devastating whole divisions, heh - the designer must have been a former attack helicopter pilot. I also remember the old days when people used to use helicopters to surround and block retreats, block advances by planting them on roads, etc.

One aspect I have wondered about is why NATO seems to have comparatively less anti-air defenses, including to defend against Pact helicopters. I have always assumed this was because NATO doctrine assumed eventual air superiority, meaning Warsaw Pact helicopters would increasingly face an air-to-air threat. I assume NATO helicopters would also face some kind of air-air threat as well, even if just from obsolete enemy combat aircraft.

My own two cents is that it is highly likely an intense war like this would create a zone of denial for helicopters as they are just too vulnerable even to infantry weapons like HMG. It has always stuck in my craw that helicopters were able to roam so much without consequence.

Do the FARPS do the trick of making helicopter operations more realistic? Or do people prefer the Bolt from the Blue approach (no FARP, better AA and SAM)?
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05-16-2020, 06:31 AM,
#10
RE: Most Underrated JTS Series! Modern Campaigns!
(05-16-2020, 12:39 AM)Elxaime Wrote: OK, just checked D85 Gold and the FARPs are still there, for both vanilla and alt scenarios.  I think it is only Volcano Man's Bolt from the Blue that doesn't use them, as he relies on stronger AA and SAM to limit wild roaming.  If I recall one older campaign game, it was a mod that had many Warsaw Pact units with limited to no anti-air, so you had stacks of helicopters devastating whole divisions, heh - the designer must have been a former attack helicopter pilot.  I also remember the old days when people used to use helicopters to surround and block retreats, block advances by planting them on roads, etc.

One aspect I have wondered about is why NATO seems to have comparatively less anti-air defenses, including to defend against Pact helicopters.  I have always assumed this was because NATO doctrine assumed eventual air superiority, meaning Warsaw Pact helicopters would increasingly face an air-to-air threat.  I assume NATO helicopters would also face some kind of air-air threat as well, even if just from obsolete enemy combat aircraft.  

My own two cents is that it is highly likely an intense war like this would create a zone of denial for helicopters as they are just too vulnerable even to infantry weapons like HMG.  It has always stuck in my craw that helicopters were able to roam so much without consequence.

Do the FARPS do the trick of making helicopter operations more realistic?  Or do people prefer the Bolt from the Blue approach (no FARP, better AA and SAM)?
The designer of Bolt Out of The Blue is Tazaaron, not Volcano. Volcano did the ALT series scenarios. Tazaaron used to be very active here, but it's been a while. Maybe he'll drop by someday to discuss things and design decisions. He is IMO a very talented designer, who discovered many ways to work the system.
"And I will show you where the Iron Crosses grow."- Sgt Rolf Steiner, The Cross of Iron
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