29 May 2024

American Heavy Weapons Teams

 2024 was the year I was supposed to concentrate on finishing as many Americans as I could - both WW2 and 1980s.  Whilst not being as successful or focussed as I planned - I have made some headway with the infantry of one WW2 force basically complete (missing 2 figures damn it) - I've also managed to get a few Cold War chaps (or dudes) completed from a couple of different manufacturers.  So here they are:

This is a Zvezda Stinger Team

This is a Zvezda .50 Cal HMG Team

This is a converted Mk-19 Automatic Grenade Launcher Team.  The figures and tripod are from Zvezda (from the HMG Team obviously) and I'm pretty sure the Mk-19 is from a Dragon HMMWV kit.

 Sticking with the Zvezda theme - this is their M-60 GPMG Team.

This is a Elhiem Figures M-60 on a Sustained-Fire mount.

Finally the group photos.

That's it for today.  Next post will be the 9th ID List.



20 May 2024

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)s in the "Totally Unofficial" Battlegroup Cold War Rules

 Currently I'm writing the army list for the US 9th Infantry Division (Motorised) the High Technology Test Bed force for the US Army in the 1980s.  They either had, or kind of pretended to have, a lot of very cool bits of kit for the day and worked up these disparate bits and bobs into a well functioning motorised brigade which performed well in various exercises and tests.

As I've been reading about this division, I came across a few references to their use of UAVs - specifically one called "Mercury Green".  It appears this UAV was used to provide long-range surveillance, route reconnaissance and more - even some limited EW tasks.  Information from the UAV could be down-linked, processed and digitally reported to appropriate users in real time.  All the elements could be carried on HMMWVs.

Previously I had not considered UAVs to be part of a tactical battle as represented in Battlegroup.  My information on at least what I could see as the more prevalent UAVs of the day such as the Canadair CL-289, showed they had more of an operational role - flying pre-programmed routes, recording data onto something like video tape and then delivering the whole package back to base once it had completed the whole mission.  The tape was then analysed and the intelligence would be used primarily for planning purposes - rather than real time intel that could be used to direct artillery for instance.

Mercury Green appears to be well ahead of those other systems - but so far I've failed to find anything else about it.  I think therefore, it may have been a code name for the Lockheed MGM-105 Aquila, seen here. 

This UAV fits into the timeframe, and was part of a target acquisition, designation and aerial reconnaissance platform which was what I imagine was a low-light TV camera and a laser designator - specifically to lase targets for Copperhead rounds.

Interestingly, after the success of Israeli UAVs over the Beqaa Valley in 1982 the US Army pushed for Aquila Lite, where all the UAV assets could be fitted to HMMWVs, unlike this standard Aquila being launched from a 5-ton truck:

The other option of course is that Mercury Green was a cover name for the IAI Scout or the AAI RQ-2 Pioneer, seen here on the back of a 5-ton truck:

That's all academic in a way - as now, after ignoring them, if I wanted to properly represent this cutting edge motorised division, I needed some rules for them.  So here's what I've come up with so far - it's a little like the EW rules in that you'd get a bunch of options but you have to choose 1 to be used once per game.


UAVs are Restricted and Unique.  Taking a UAV allows a player to employ it once per game.  When employed the player must roll a D6.  On a roll of 3+ they can then select one of the following UAV options to take: 

  • When your opponent has rolled for reinforcements, you may choose the enemy units to be placed on the edge of the table
  • Just before the first turn of the game, once both sides have  deployed you may change the aiming point of one of your Timed Barrages.
  • For one turn the UAV acts as a Forward Observation and Lasing Team and may direct one Copperhead PGM round.
  • Add +2 to your own side's counter-battery fire

So that's my current thinking.  I'd be very interested in any additions or subtractions you make from these rule ideas and any feedback such as what you'd think this would be worth points wise.

Please note that I'm only really considering this for the 9th ID (Motorised) at the moment, so it's not like this will significantly shake up the game.

Thanks as always


13 May 2024

US Army Europe and US Marine Corps Data Cards!

 People started asking about US Data Cards years ago when I wasn't the one creating them and the creator at the time was doing it out of the goodness of his heart - and was probably focussed on the nations that excited him the most.  So the US Cards never ended up getting done.

Until today!

US Army Europe Data Cards

USMC Data Cards

Hopefully these will have the access issues sorted right from the start!  As always I'm happy for anyone to point out mistakes or concerns and am perfectly willing to change things where necessary.

A couple of vehicles are out of sync with their compatriots - i.e. on the wrong page, but you'll have to forgive me for that as moving the cards around is not that simple - so they are where they are!

The cards can also be access through the Cards Tab at the top of the page.

In other news, just for the sheer hell of it, I'm working on a 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) List and have already completed the majority of their Data Cards.

After that I'm going to look to doing Swedish and Finnish Army Lists.  Anyone who is happy to share useful information, documents, links etc would be gladly appreciated.  I'm always happy to give kudos to others.

I've also managed to get a bit of painting done so hopefully that will show up here soon as well.

That's all for now.



05 May 2024

A whole new bunch of AFV Data Cards!

 So it's taken a while but today I've added a bunch of new AFV Data Cards for several NATO nations.  I've also updated the Dutch AFV Cards I added back in February - and updated the link in that post.  I'll add it again here for completeness sake.  Here's a little taster

In addition to AFVs, I've also added the soft skin vehicles of each nation as I thought that might prove useful.  Any comments on that would be appreciated.

All the new cards (and the old UK, West Germany and Soviet ones) can be found in the Data Cards tab up above.  I'll also add them all here:

Belgium AFV Data Cards

Canada AFV Data Cards

Denmark AFV Data Cards

Netherlands AFV Data Cards

Norway AFV Data Cards

I've made an adjustment to the gun stats for the 76mm L23A1 found on the Scorpion tank, and other vehicles with the Scorpion tank turret such as the Canadian Cougar FSV.  Originally I had the L23A1 as only being able to fire HE rounds, which had an Armour Penetration of "3" - making it one of the worst performing guns in the game.  I decided this wasn't providing a fair representation of what this gun could achieve with its HESH round, so I gave it stats that were not quite as good as the 76mm gun on the Danish M41DK tank but better that the original 76mm gun from the M41.  I hope that makes sense, and helps give the Scorpion tank back a bit of punch.

Finally, as I was going through the each of the nation's original AFV data tables I found a few missing details, so I've tried to fix all those that I've come across.  Please let me know if you have any issues with decisions that I've made.

Posts like these never seem to garner any comments, but if you look at these and find any errors, please let me know so I can correct them.  Happy for any constructive positive or negative comments.  I think I failed to find 1 or maybe 2 decent side profile pics of vehicles on the cards.  I you have any that match these missing pics, please let me know.

USMC and USAEUR AFV Data Cards are next on the list.