If you look at the counter mix in the SPI Modern Battle Quadrigame, "Wurzburg," it doesn't take too much time to figure out that the unit mix represents the Soviet 8th Guards Combined Arms Army. The units include the major elements of the 27th, 39th, and 57th Guards Motor Rifle Divisions (GMRD) as well as the 9th and 20th Tank Divisions.
|There are a LOT of Soviet units here!|
The 8th Guards Combined Army is the historical successor to the World War Two Red Army's 8th Guards Army, which itself was formed from the 62nd Army of Stalingrad fame. Quite a lineage! In Soviet doctrine, a Combined Arms Army was supposed to consist of four Motorized Rifle Divisions and one Tank Division, plus lots of interesting assets near and dear to wargamer's hearts.
|US Army manual order of battle of a "standard" Soviet Combined Arms Army. Your may differ.|
While the 8th Guards Combined Arms Army traded units over the course of the Cold War, around 1985 it had the 27th, 39th, and 57th Guards Motor Rifle Divisions (GMRD) and the 79th Tank Division, plus apparently the East German 8th Motor Rifle Division to round out the requisite number of Motor Rifle Divisions.
I am using the 27th Guards Motor Rifle Division (GMRD) as my baseline unit as I build my Team Yankee Soviet force. A Motorized Rifle Division is a pretty powerful force in its own right, with a full tank regiment, three rifle regiments (one mounted in BMPs, the other in BTRs), an artillery regiment, another independent tank battalion, plus associated recon, engineering, air defense, etc. units.
|The "standard" Cold War Soviet Motorized Rifle Division around 1985. Accept no substitutes!|
I think they just used the counters this way due to the 100 counter mix limit for the quadrigames. Fulda Gap's representation of the 27th GMRD isn't much better. Every Soviet Division had
three units, each of which was at unknown strength. You flipped over the counter at the time of initial combat, often to great consternation or glee, depending on which side you were playing:
Not surprisingly, the Central Front series does a better job at representing the standard Motorized Rifle Division:
|All of the main units are evident here, with some added artillery to make it even more powerful/nasty.|
In The Next War the 27th GMRD is only a single counter, which makes sense in an operational level
|Last but not least, "The Next War."|
Within the 27th GMRD, I am using the BMP equipped regiment as my guide. This regiment has three rifle battalions, a tank battalion, a self propelled artillery battalion and other ancillary units.
|The BMP equipped units is almost a mini-division, though with a greater ratio of infantry to tanks. |
|Things look grim for the US 3rd Mechanized Infantry Division as the 27th GMRD begins its attack.|