MBT 87 is a simple linear multiplayer campaign created byVolcano. MBT 87 is a set of scenarios based on the Avalon Hill and GMT Games boardgame "MBT".
The scenarios are all stand alone battles, with each taking place on a specific day in the campaign in sequence, and following the flow of the hypothetical conflict. Also, the scenarios cover different sectors along the front, covering US, West German (FRG), and British (BAOR) forces.
Theme:Cold War, 1987
Scale:One or two companies per side (4 to 6 players per side)
Time limit:120 to 180 minutes maximum
The scenarios are scaled to the boardgame so that the scenario time limits are as correct and realistic as possible. This means that scenarios typically have long time limits (from 120 to 180 minutes), but always have early termination possible. This allows for a more realistic battle to develop, where the attacker can properly develop the situation rather than rush into it recklessly, but still allowing the scenario to typically end earlier if too many losses are sustained.
Unlike theFirefight 79 campaign, the conversion of the MBT scenarios into SB scenarios was done very carefully and faithfully, at a 1:1 scale of the units and time scale.
Any units that are not playable (like the T-80U) or available (like the M2A1) in SB are then compensated for by adding or subtracting appropriate strength to that side, using the MBT boardgame's integral "points" system (where each vehicle type is worth a certain amount of points), converted into SB's "unit cost calculator". This helps to increase the likelihood to remaining faithful to the boardgame's original scenario balance.
The scenarios feature real world equipment that was available in 1987, being faithful to the boardgame scenario TOE as much as possible. Also, somewhat unique are the scenario's scoring conditions which, like real life, places more emphasis (points) on friendly and enemy losses. Additionally, somewhat unique is that the points for losses will often differ for both sides, being based on the forces involved (the superior side has more points to lose from losses).
Morale is modeled, faithful to the boardgame scenario, where a side will break if a certain level of losses are sustained. This is translated into a % strength condition, based on the unit's quality (in the original boardgame scenario) so that a side will retreat if the "Break Point" is achieved, resulting in an early termination of the scenario (an "end if" condition, allowing the scenario to end before the time limit). The scenario will typically end before the time limit due to losses.
Given the later Cold War time setting, NATO forces are technologically superior but the Soviets also have use of FASCAM and ICM, and good quality ammunition. The Soviets typically have superiority in numbers and also (or at least even parity) in ammunition, fire support, and supporting assets.
Just like in theFirefight 79 campaign, the scenarios are set to (intentionally cheesy) 1980s era Cold War movie theme music.
In the MBT 87 campaign, a set of Cold War scenarios set in 1987 are played in sequence, and a score is totaled at completion to determine a winner. The NATO side accumulates positive points, while the Soviet side accumulates negative points, and these cancel each other out. By the end of the campaign, if the final score is +500 or greater, then the result is a NATO Victory, or if it is -500 or less it is a Soviet Victory, and anything in between is a Draw.
As of 2021, there are 9 scenarios in the MBT 87 campaign:
MBT-S01-02-First Clash: A reinforced US M60A3(TTS) tank company and a reinforced Soviet T-72AV tank company (MRR) conduct a meeting engagement at a a river crossing.
MBT-S02-14-Lightning (FRG): A reinforced West German detachment with a reinforced platoon relief force defends an airfield against a Soviet T-72AV recon company and a reinforced T-72BV tank company.
MBT-S03-03-The Gap: An understrength US M1(IP) and M3A1 cavalry troop defends to prevent a breakthrough of a reinforced Soviet T-80BV tank company with recon detachment.
MBT-S04-15-Advance (FRG): A reinforced West German Marder mechanized infantry company defends objectives in sector against a reinforced Soviet T-72BA tank company and a reinforced Soviet BMP-2 motorized rifle company.
MBT-S05-04-Breakthrough: A reinforced US M2A1 mechanized infantry company defends an objective in depth against a reinforced Soviet T-72BA tank company and a reinforced Soviet BMP-2 motorized rifle company.
MBT-S06-25-Op Market (BAOR): An understrength British Warrior mechanized infantry company conducts a desperate delaying action to allow time for a reinforced British Challenger 2 company relief to arrive, against a reinforced Soviet T-72BA tank company with extra infantry support.
MBT-S07-05-Exploitation: An understrength US M60A3(TTS) cavalry troop with a reduced strength mechanized infantry company (supported by M1(IP) prevents a breakthrough against a reinforced Soviet T-72BA tank company and a reinforced Soviet BMP-2 motorized rifle company.
MBT-S08-26-Power Strike (BAOR): An understrength British FV432 mechanized infantry company conducts a delaying action around river crossings to allow time for an understrength British Challenger 2 company relief to arrive, against a reinforced Soviet T-80U tank company with air assault supporting assets.
MBT-S09-07-Head-to-Head: A reinforced US M1 tank company and a reinforced US M113A2 mechanized infantry company conduct a confused meeting engagement against a reinforced Soviet T-80BV tank company and a reinforced Soviet BTR-80 motorized rifle company.
After playing each scenario, participants may gain awards. These are mainly "just for fun" but also they can be used to slightly influence the campaign score. The intent is to reward participation, positive behavior, and good performance. These award names are fictitious, although their artwork and name are based on actual military decorations.
Medal of Merit
After each mission, awarded to each player that had sum of10+ [NATO side]|5+ [Soviet side]:
(KILLS BY UNITS UNDER YOUR COMMAND - LOSSES UNDER YOUR COMMAND)
[every 10 personnel lost counts as 1 additional loss]
After each mission, awarded to each player that CO'd at least two missions
Medal of Valor
After each mission, awarded to each player that had 5+:
(USER KILLS - USER LOSSES - (USER FRATRICIDE*5)
Exceptional Service Medal
At campaign completion, awarded to each player that was present to completion of every scenario in the campaign
After each mission, awarded to each player that is present to completion of the scenario
Keep in mind that this has never been played before and will likely need some rough edges ironed out. All we can do is try to have fun, play it, and then I will of course adjust it based on feedback for further refinement.
Also, note that the Awards idea is new, and is a test (actually, if you makes you feel better -- the entire campaign is a test, really). After we play it out, adjustments will be made to improve it for "next time".
(Also, I don't want to burden the same person with CO'ing, so the first scenario will be volunteer or draft (if no one volunteers), but every scenario after that will be randomly determined from those on that side unless someone volunteers to do it each week.)