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MBT (second edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: 21st Century MBT? rss

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Karl Bown
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Lincoln
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How much difference would there be between MBT - set in the late 80s - and a contemporary version? What advances have been made in the last 30 years that would need to be reflected in the game?

Would anyone be interested in a 2016 set if GMT offered it? I would for one
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Tom Duensing
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I'd be interested also, although I'm not sure what changes have occurred that would make a "modern" version much different.
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Jon Hawkes
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I'd be very interested in a modern or near future (a la Next War: Poland) version. I think there have been, and continue to be, a lot of tech developments that could be fun to explore, from active protection systems and signature management tech on the survivability front, to a massive increase in ISTAR and unmanned technology on the C2 front and plenty of precision / guided munitions developments and near-future capabilities like Rheinmetall's new 130 mm tank gun to explore.

Seeing latest generation and near future AFVs in the game engine would be very interesting - Leopard 2A7 and A8, T-14, Ajax, AMPV and all the rest, including the widely fielded families of 8x8 AFVs that are a big part of most inventories nowadays.

So yeah - count me in as rabidly interested in such a development!
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Karl Bown
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Lincoln
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A module or modules that covered all the current (and planned) Next War games would be brilliant!

What was the decision-making behind setting the game in the 1980s I wonder? Was it just because that was where the original version was set?
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Reloc 8
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I would definitely be interested in further iterations of the system including a contemporary expansion.

In fact the hope that the game would progress like this is one of the reasons I went all in (awaiting FRG and BAOR expansions of course).
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Mark Russo
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Quote:
Would anyone be interested in a 2016 set if GMT offered it?

It would have to be a community driven project. The designer already has years of Panzer/MBT stuff (France 1940, North Africa, Arab-Israeli) on his schedule. Plus he said he didn't want to go current, near-future conflicts.

It's not like GMT has a dedicated team working on this system. It's Jim Day doing almost everything alone with some volunteers, GMT does the final art and publishing.
But never say never, the France 1940 module, from what I can tell, was started as a community project first then approved for the full GMT treatment.
So anything like that would have to start at the grass roots level and convince them there is a strong market for the game.

I started a thread on both Panzer and MBT forums ("Ideas for possible subsequent expansions") and the main wargamer forum asking what people wanted to see next from the series. The only real activity was on the main forum:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1603078/gmts-panzermbt-gaug...
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Jim Day
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thegamesstore wrote:
How much difference would there be between MBT - set in the late 80s - and a contemporary version? What advances have been made in the last 30 years that would need to be reflected in the game?

In my opinion, it's as much of a leap from MBT 1987 to 2016+ as MBT 1987 was from WWII. The technology of contemporary weaponry is nothing short of mind boggling.

The prospect of conventional war with Russia is a very scary prospect. While the Russian Army of today is far smaller than that of the Cold War era, Russia is the largest military spender in Europe. While only about 25% of what the US spends, Putin can concentrate his forces in Europe. The US doesn't have that luxury.

Current NATO thinking is that Russia would easily win any contemporary conflict. Look what they face. The US only has two BCT (brigade combat teams) in place, and both of those field only light equipment -- one is an airborne unit. There is a plan to preposition heavy equipment for a 3rd brigade in Germany, or possibly further east for economic reasons, but that hasn't happened yet.

Speaking of Germany, it's current army is just a mere shell of its Cold War era forces. Estimates are that the German Army would be hard pressed to field 2-3 truly combat capable heavy brigades. That's brigades, not divisions.

That leaves the British and the French as the most capable nations in NATO. Both armies have the equivalent of just two divisions each, plus other supporting forces. Note that the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps is just a headquarters framework as it doesn't have any standing forces.

Now, I understand that in hypothetical situations you can pretty much do anything you like and at a tactical level total force compositions are less of an issue, but I like there to be some reality to the situation. It's economic and political realities that stop Russia short. Western Europe is its biggest source of income. It doesn't want to cut off all those Euros. Will they continue to chip away at Europe? That's the more plausible reality.
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Dario Domenici
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After the fall of Soviet Union and the end of the Warsaw Pact, most European countries reduced their military expenses: armies have shrinked and in some cases have lost their armored formations (Netherlands). Tank development has stopped or has much slowed down: not many new western tanks types would appear in a contemporary MBT model: Leopard 2A6, Challenger 2, Leclerc, Ariete, Black Panther, Type 10, M1A2SEP.
Many of these types appeared more than 10 years ago, did'nt receive upgrades and their production has ended.

For many years Russia has been in financial dire straits, has much reduced the huge old Soviet Army and has kept producing the old models (T-90 is an upgreded T-72) mostly for export. The old rugged Soviet tank line has been coupled with Western technology giving birth to an array of hybrids like Polish Twardy, Ukrainian Bulat, Indian Bhishma and so on.

Russia's new aggressive posture and enhanced military spending has found most western countries with an important part of their forces tailored on anti-guerrilla warfare with most new AFVS being wheeled and light armored.

China has become an economic world power and has been upgrading its military forces for years: Chinese tanks have been developed from Soviet tanks but newer types show indipendent design: even more interesting are the North Korean tanks, locally developed from T-72s.

The main difficulty lies in available infos.

Basic data can be misleading: just the adoption of a better APFSDS round can dramatically enhance the to kill capability of a tank gun.

Lots of passive and active protective devices have appearsd and producers boast top performances for their products but all of them are (luckily) still untested in actual combat.

Many data are still unknown, even for western tanks that haven't gone through many upgrades since MBT times (M1 Abrams armor values are still officially classified - and the best available estimates come from Russian sources). Search the web for the new M-14 Armata tank and you'll find that its actual capabilities are much debated (except on patriotic Russian blogs, of course).

So, a '2010-2020 MBT' would be a risky affair, with AFV cards likely to need updates or remaking from scratch when new infos are available. Yet I'd be very interested by it.
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Dennis Surdu
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Michigan
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The M1A2 should at least be in MBT (maybe I missed it?). It was in the original AH publication. :-(

Also, as a former tanker, updating to current tech would not even come close to 1987 versus 1945. Most of the weapon systems employed today were in use or in nacient form in the late 80's. The biggest differences are in missile effectiveness and defense, armor attributes, and situational awareness of the battlefield via computers and surveillance tech. Most advancements could be handled with new or additional modifiers in the combat tables, plus initiative bonuses for SITREP advancements....IMHO :-)
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