Cold War Commander: British Army (1) – Building a Battlegroup

As I mentioned previously, one of my primary projects for the early part of 2010 is building a British Army for Cold War Commander. My aim is to build a force representative of the British Army circa 1979, for a series of games based on fighting against the Russians in Europe.

Cold War Commander, by its nature, is a points-based system. This is not my favourite way to build an army, so what I’d much rather do is to build a battlegroup, and cost it using the army list in the book.

Rather than using a particular Division, I’m going to base my Battlegroup on a ‘generic’ British Armoured Brigade. Some delving around the web led me to the following diagram:

This seems as good a place as any to start, and gives me a great selection of units within my force.

A note of models – I will be using the 1/600 models from Oddzial Osmy for this army. This will enable me to field the vehicles pretty much on a 1:1 basis within the army. Infantry bases will be much more generic.

So, first up is an Armoured Regiment. This consists of 3 squadrons of tanks, plus a HQ unit. Each squadron consists of 4 troops of tanks, with a troop consisting of 3 tank models on a 30 x 30mm base. This gives a total of 12 units (36 models), plus a HQ unit – which is quite useful as a British Army is limited to 12 units of tanks in a Battlegroup.

I’m using Chieftan Mk.5’s as my main battle tank. These work out at 170 pts per troop, which means that the entire Armoured Regiment inclusive of a HQ stand will cost a grand total of 2100 pts. Not a bad start.

Next up, lets look at my Infantry Support. This comes in the form of 2 Armoured Infantry Battalions. Whilst current Armoured Infantry use IFVs, such as the Warrior, my late ’70s unit simply uses FV432 Trojans for transport.

Each Battalion is made up of an HQ unit, plus 3 Infantry Companies. Each Company consists of 3 Platoons of Infantry, plus transport and support. This, in miniatures terms, equates to 3 bases of infantry, 3 bases of FV. 432s (3 models on each base), plus a base of Infantry with GPMGs (plus transport base – FV432s again) and a base of mortar support. Given that this is an Armoured Infantry Brigade, I’m using the FV432 mortar carrier models for this unit.

Therefore an Infantry Company costs 335 Points.

The full Battalion, consisting of 3 Infantry Companies, plus a HQ stand, therefore costs 1065 points, which works out rather well, considering the limitations of GPMG and Mortar bases (max 3 per 1000 points).

So, that covers the meat of my Battlegroup – I just now need to add the additional support units. (In this case, I’m ignoring the engineering and medical units, and simply counting the combat units as extra requirements)

First up is the Armoured Recce Squadron. This will consist of 4 troops of Scorpion Tanks. Recce units are limited to 1 unit per 1000 points, but since my Battlegroup is already over 4000 points, this limitation does not apply. Each unit of Scorpions costs 85 points, giving us a grand total of 340 points for this unit.

Then we have an Artillery Regiment. After some investigations, it seems that in the British Army, these tend to average between 2 & 4 Batteries in size, so I’ll go for the maximum number (I can always lose a couple). The next decision is what SPG to use. I’ve plumped for the Abbot, though I suppose I could always use the M109 or M110 instead. So, 4 units of Abbots is 260 points, plus and extra 45 points for an FAO, for a grand total of 305 Points.

Following the Artillery, we have the AAC (Army Air Corps) Detachment. In the context of the Battlegroup I’m creating, these are attack helicopters. I’m limited to two units per Battlegroup, so I will take two Lynx AH-1 units, plus an FAC, for a total cost of 375 points.

The final 2 units are pretty easy – especially since they are again limited to only one unit per Battlegroup.

First off is an Anti-Aircraft missile battery. Although the OOB above states ‘Javelin’, my Battlegroup is based before this was available, so I’m going to be using a Tracked Rapier unit instead – 100 points.

Finally, we have ATGW support. The OOB states a single Troop, though I may also have a couple of units as Battalion support for the Armoured Infantry Battalions. I’m going to use the FV438 variant, mounted with the Swingfire missile. These units are 215 points apiece.

Rounding things off, we mustn’t forget the Brigade HQ – another 120 points.

That gives us the following Grand Total:

Brigade HQ                          120 Points
Armoured Regiment               2100 Points
Armoured Infantry Battalion   1065 Points
Armoured Infantry Battalion   1065 Points
Armoured Recce Squadron       340 Points
Artillery Regiment                    305 Points
Army Air Corps Det.                 375 Points
AA Battery                            100 Points
ATGW Support                       120 Points (or 360 if included with Inf. Bttn.)

Total Battlegroup Cost  5590 Points (5830)

1 Comment on Cold War Commander: British Army (1) – Building a Battlegroup

  1. Fantastic info Neil, I’ve been working on a British Army circa early 1980’s using GHQ figures in 1/285. Modeling wise I’m interested in how and what figures you laid out for your command bases?

    Tim (bactrian5)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: