Eastern Bloc (Pl, E-Grm, CZK)
Wargame features a wide array of units ranging from heavy hitting-tanks to glass-cannon planes, from long-range artillery to CQC infantry and reconnaissance operators all with unique nationalities, specialties and sizes. With such an overwhelming selection of various units, one has to wonder “how different can each of these guys possibly be?”, suggesting to themselves that “surely a rifleman is just a rifleman” or “M1A1 Abrams are the same as Leopard 2s”. Well, the truth of the matter is not all men are created equal. The variance in these units lies within how you as a player must think in order to command your chosen army effectively. In this series of articles, I will be covering the basic variations you can expect in Wargame, and why those variations exist. Lets begin with my personal favorite coalition: The Eastern Bloc.
The Eastern Bloc is made up of of 3 major countries in Wargame: Red Dragon (though in truth the Eastern Bloc was made up of 9 countries). These countries include the Polish People’s Republic, the German Democratic Republic (or East Germany), and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. These countries fell behind what Churchill referred to as an “Iron Curtain” of Soviet influence, and they can be seen as the USSR’s front line of western conquest. One by one, each of these countries slipped or was pushed into Lenin’s ideology and out of western influence for their own reasons; Germany was divided by the outcome of the Second World War, Poland’s cries for political independence were ignored by the Western countries, and the Czechs were simply muscled into a command economy by Stalin’s demands. Those who opposed the USSR were arrested and sent to labor camps or executed. With a strong hand and a web of lies, the Soviets directed nearly every facet of the political agendas within these countries.
The three members of the Eastern Bloc in Wargame had a specific roles to fulfill in the Soviet war plan, and as it would seem, Eugen Systems was very aware of this. Each country in the Eastern Bloc, and all other nations, are designed to follow their real-world counterparts in terms of function.
Polish People’s Republic
During the early 1980’s, the Polish People’s Republic would execute warfare training exercises simulating situations in which they would be in direct conflict with Western Germany and Denmark. The Soviets called for Poland to structure their force in such a way that would give priority to armored divisions in expectation of blitzkrieg-style offensives across Europe. Their hallmark tank in Wargame showcases their armored superiority.
The T-72 WILK was developed in 1986 with Polish-made ERAWA reactive armor. It was equipped with a superior fire-control system that provided its 2A46 main cannon with greater accuracy than its Soviet T-72 counterparts (albiet still suffering from a poor accuracy). Heavy hitting at range, the T-72 WILK benefits greatly from closing gaps and advancing upon it’s targets due to the cannon’s KE capability. For each 175m closer to the target the T-72 WILK advances, its AP value increases by 1. At a base damage of 7 AP and a range of 1925m, if the T-72 WILK advances within 100m of it’s target, it can deal a devistating 18 AP damage. This clearly shows that this tank is designed to push forward. But that is not all that this tank benefits from. While it is true that it is not the super-heavy armored box that can be found in other countries (with a formidable 15 frontal armor), it is one of the few tanks that benefits from a 4 top armor, protecting it from some Airstrikes. Finally, it is most notable to mention that the T-72 WILK is not the end of Polish armored superiority; the T-72 WILK would see further development into the modern-day PT-91 Twardy, which first saw field duty in 1993.
German Democratic Republic
Official literature of Eastern Germany explicitly stated that it’s reliable protector would be the Soviet Union, and as such it swore its contribution to the Soviet effort. Specifically, the military forces coming out of the German Democratic Republic after the Warsaw Pact followed the doctrine of their Constitution: that “the National People’s Army and other national defense bodies protect the socialist achievements of the people against all external attacks. In the interest of reservation of the peace and security of the socialist state, the NPA cultivates close comradeship-in-arms with the armies of the Soviet Union and other socialist states”. As such, the German Democratic Republic’s military was constitutionally bound to the armed forces of another state, making them the perfect addition to the coalition. Their mission called for them to be capable of fighting separately as national army or as part of the Soviet front. In peace time, they were duty-bound to monitor much of the Iron Curtain. As such, the East Germans specialized in “support” style roles; their best units are found in both reconnaissance and air defense.
Kampfschwimmer (Combat Swimmers) are the East German’s deep cover marine reconnaissance teams. They boast the highest accuracies in both their LAW launcher and their sniper rifles (compared to ALL other reconnaissance teams), and sport Exceptional stealth and Very Good optics. Behind enemy lines, these operators are absolutely devastating to the war effort of your opponents, and if they are discovered, they can easily engage their assailant at range with a staggering 95% accuracy with their SVDs at 15 rounds per minute, they can quickly wipe a 10 man squad at 1k).
The greatest SAM based air-defense in Wargame is commonly cited as the 2K22 Tunguska-M, developed in 1986. At 100 cost, it packs incredible accuracy and versatility, however its cost far outweighs its benefits. The NPR quickly developed a solution and in 1991 rolled out the Fla-SFL 2S6. For 85 deployment points, it packs all the punch of the Tunguska-M with slightly reduced SAM range; but can still out-range Longbows at 2975m with their 9M311 SAMs. This disregards their 2A38M twin-autocannons, which are also found on the Tunguska-M.
Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
In 1987, 72 percent of the CSR’s armed forces served in the ground forces. The tactical organization of these forces followed the Soviet pattern, except for some variations due to the needs of the USSR. Although the Czechoslovak Army received much of it’s equipment from the Soviet Union, much of it’s needs were produced within its own borders. Logistically, it was incredibly stable and was tasked with procurement of weapons, ammunition, military equipment, and other needs of the armed forces. The boasting point of the CSLA is its artillery inventory, with some pieces peculatively being capable of discharging nuclear munitions. While these pieces are not available in Wargame, the Czechoslovakia found within is an artillery powerhouse; but in a way that many players do not consider.
The Ondava- a mobile howitzer. At 120 cost, this machine is capable of delivering its 50 round payload of 152mm HE rounds in 10 minutes of continuous fire. It’s maximum range is 32,200m and has an average dispersion of 3640m. At a glance it is seemingly an average howitzer, even below average at that cost, but where it shines apart from other howitzers in its class is its speed and maneuverability. It has the capability to roam for 750km before it is out of fuel at an astounding 80km/h offroad and 150km/h on road. While it may be awkward to use a howitzer as a mobile unit, it does offer the priceless benefit of being difficult to trace-back and kill with aircraft and counter-artillery. Using a fire-and-move tactic with this unit all but guarantees its survivability to the willing micro-manager. In partnership with its speed and autonomy, it is also equipped with a 12.7mm HMG to engage infantry targets. It’s main cannon, the ShKH-77 can even be loaded with 152mm HEAT rounds, allowing the Ondava to engage tanks at close range with an armor-rattling 16 AP power… something to think about when attempting to intercept this mobile widow-maker.
This just about sums up a very basic look at the Eastern Bloc military doctrine. After understanding the philosophies surrounding the war efforts of these countries, you can easily see how their units are meant to be used. Stick around for a Eurocorps breakdown in the future, and thank you for reading!