Review – Cold War Gone Hot

Rating: 4 stars

Cold War Gone Hot is the fourth supplement for the Force on Force rules for modern warfare, which were published earlier this year.

‘What If…’ Cold War scenarios have been the staple of modern period wargamers for some years, and this volume from Osprey capitalises on that fact by producing what is actually a fairly comprehensive scenario book looking at what might have happened in the Cold War had escalated to hostilities in the 1980s.

As with previous volumes in this series, this book is divided into several sections. These detail extra or amended rules, sample unit organisations (for Soviet forces and various European troops), details of vehicle stats, a hobby section on what miniatures to use and, of course, the scenarios. Once again, Osprey has dipped into its extensive library of illustrations and these are scattered throughout the book, along with smaller photos of modern equipment and a few shots of wargaming models.

As this book is the first supplement for Force on Force from Osprey which deals with a fictitious conflict, it is slightly different from previous books.

There are a total of 22 scenarios, which are split into 3 different sections.

The first group of scenarios deal with ‘Cold War Fears’, and are based on plans and military exercises from the 1980s. The scenarios include several battles between Soviet Tanks and Motor Rifle Platoons and US and European Forces, but also contain some smaller actions – including a Spetsnaz assault on a RAF Harrier hide.

The second set of scenarios is called ‘Cold War Realities’, and looks at actual scenarios that may have taken place, given the current level of knowledge of the period. These include such diverse games as a tank battle at Checkpoint Charlie, US Airborne operations inPoland,USintervention inAfghanistanand SAS operations behind enemy lines inGermany.

The final set of scenarios looks at ‘Cold War Fantasies’, and takes its cue not from reality, but rather from the large number of films and novels which have used the Cold War as their inspiration and setting. Games in this part of the book include some set during a Soviet invasion of theUSA, The defence ofGuantanamoBayfrom ground assault and a Special Operations mission in the Artic which bears more than a passing resemblance to Ice Station Zebra!

Of all the supplements produced for Force on Force, Cold War Gone Hot is the most diverse. It includes a wide range of scenarios from large engagements with multiple platoons accompanied supporting armour right down to small firefights involving no more than half a dozen fire teams per side.

As with previous books, all the special rules for each scenario are included with all the details of forces and set-up, so there is little backwards and forwards flicking around the rulebook. One major improvement is that the hand drawn ‘paper’ maps from the previous books have been replaced with larger, full colour illustrations. These are much clearer and easier to read, and I hope Osprey continue with this layout in future.

In conclusion, this is probably (and unexpectedly) one of the best supplements for Force on Force that Osprey has produced so far. My only real complaint is with the cover. As with Enduring Freedom, the cover of Cold War Gone Hot looks like something you would see on the cover of War Picture Library. Whilst it does convey something of the fictitious and fun nature of the books contents, I’m not convinced that it does the book justice.

All that said, if you have ever fancied fighting ‘what if…’ battles in the Cold War period, then this book is a must.

Disclosure: A review copy of this game was provided by the publisher

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