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1985: Deadly Northern Lights DEFCON 2

20220519 0907ZT SITREP on 1985: Deadly Northern Lights:

1. Warsaw Pact activity in AFNORTH and AFCENT AOR increased sharply in the last 48 hours.

2. Soviet Northern fleet reportedly left Murmansk 24 hours ago, heading for Norway and North Atlantic.

3. HUMINT reports WP amphibious TFs ready to sail from Baltiyskiy / Gdańsk naval bases.

4. At 20220519 0902ZT, CJCS declared DEFCON 2 status.

5. Units assigned to OPERATION ANGRY ARROWHEAD are fully manned. The volunteering / reservation process has been therefore deactivated.

6. Personnel not enlisted may be able to join OPERATION ANGRY ARROWHEAD after the public declaration of DEFCON 1.

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1985: Deadly Northern Lights – Second Echelon

At 20220402 2251 ZT, DEFCON 3 has been declared for the Second Echelon of 1985: Deadly Northern Lights. Report for Duty by writing to INFO@TRLGAMES.COM if not yet enlisted.

1985: Deadly Northern Lights covers the Warsaw Pact offensive against the Nordic countries during the dramatic events of World War Three. Norway, Sweden, Finland and insular Denmark are in the cross-hair, facing the full might of Northern Fleet, Baltic Fleet and two Soviet Military Districts.

Basic information about the operation can be found at this link. In addition, this Second Echelon will be equipped with several updates and changes listed below.

Lines of Communication Map

The old LOC Charts have been replaced by the LOC Map used in 1985: Sacred Oil,  covering the whole globe and allowing:

  • A more realistic handling of the reinforcements, both for NATO and Warsaw Pact. 
  • A full integration with the Mutual Assured Destruction combined campaign, using two or more 1985 modules.

Operational Map Revision

The operational maps have been updated and the colours used for some terrains has been changed to make them easier to identify.

NATO Airbase of Bodø and Surrounding Areas

New Counters Layout

The counters have been updated using the layout introduced with 1985: Sacred Oil, with additional changes to cover specific aspects of the Northern Europe war theatre.

Sample Counters
Larger Counters Sample. Everybody loves A-10s.

Additional Counters

Additional counters to fully integrate with the other modules and with the 1985: Mutual Assured Destruction combined campaign:

  • Single ships for USN Carrier Battlegroups
  • USN Algol Class Fast Sealift Ships
  • NATO Atlantic Convoys

Updated Rules and Scenarios

The updated rules include the changes introduced by 1985: Sacred Oil, and the updated scenarios make full use of the new rules and LOC Map.
Last but not least, both booklets have a new layout and have been reorganized using a (hopefully) more logical order.

Rules Layout Sample
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1985: Deadly Northern Lights – CSR Awards Nominee!

1985: Deadly Northern Lights joins its smaller brother Less Than 60 Miles as a Charles S. Roberts Awards Nominee, in the Modern and Hypothetical Wargame category!

1985: DNL didn’t win, but considering our small print runs the nomination is a big achievement and we are really proud of it.

A big THANK YOU to the Grognards who voted for our monster!

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The Baltic Will Tell – Warsaw Pact Operational Considerations

From Comrade Counter-Admiral Joe Kussey, an in-depth analysis of the options available to Warsaw Pact for Operation Garbo – the invasion of Sweden. The document is also available for download at this link.

After playing Scenario #3 several times and invading Denmark, I thought I would take a look at the difficulties of invading Sweden.  Invading Denmark seemed pretty straight forward – capture Copenhagen’s three city hexes and win the game.  Because of the WP helicopter and air transport fleet, supply is not major concern in that scenario, unless WP loses Air Superiority over Copenhagen.  Given the massive advantage of ground support vs brigades with a defense of “1”, it was just a matter of getting units into position and providing air support to the Polish Marines.  Would this be the case with Sweden?  After setting up, it is clear that this will be more difficult than invading Denmark. 

Upon review, several things stand out.  Unlike Denmark’s situation further southwest, Soviet airfields are more distant from Sweden, ruling out attack helicopter support until an airfield is secured and repaired.  In addition, Soviet forces set aside to conduct the opening invasion are relatively light given the size of Sweden: 3 Air-Drop battalions, a Marine and a parachute brigade.  This will make splitting forces risky.  With no major geographic objective that could end the game (such as the fall of Copenhagen), Soviet forces will have to capture a ground to win.  WP will need to fight on a broader front.  In addition, Sweden also has a better equipped army and will receive NATO reinforcements.

The Three Possible Plans
Continue reading The Baltic Will Tell – Warsaw Pact Operational Considerations
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1985: Deadly Northern Lights Planning Maps

No matter if you are in Leningrad Military District or AFNORTH Headquarters, a map is what it takes to successfully organize an amphibious invasion of Narvik or an airlift to defend Tromsø.

Planning Maps are A4 format with national borders, ports and air bases highlighted. Get them, or risk disaster.

1985DNL Planning Map North

1985DNL Planning Map Central

1985DNL Planning Map South

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1985: Deadly Northern Lights VASSAL

The VASSAL Module for 1985: Deadly Northern Lights is finally here!

Being a monster game, we have a monster module. Due to size and security measures, we had to create zip files containing zip files. Follow these steps to create the module and start your Scandinavian campaigns:

1. Download the two parts of the module:
1985DNL_A.zip
1985DNL_B.zip

2. Unzip the two files in the same directory. This will create two files named 1985 DNL.zip and 1985 DNL.z01

3. Unzip the 1985 DNL.zip file only.
This will create the final 1985 DNL.vmod module by combining the zip and z01 files.

A big thanks to our Combat Engineer John Rainey, to our lead playtester Dominik Häufler and to the others who made this possible!

EDIT 20210827 ZT: Module has been updated to version 1.02, adding missing Convoy markers, Hide Pieces Button and more. You will need the latest version of VASSAL to use it.

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1985: Deadly Northern Lights VASSAL Playtest

Sweden and NATO – 23 years down the road
  • Do you enjoy cold water and sub-arctic climate?
  • Do you crave for spending whole days inside a converted civilian ferry that could be sunk any time by a Soviet Kilo submarine?
  • Your idea of a wonderful weekend is being stranded on a Norwegian cliff surrounded by 4000 Russian trying to kill you?
  • Do you own 1985: Deadly Northern Lights?

If you’ve answered YES to all of the above, then 1985: Deadly Northern Lights VASSAL playtest is for you!
You will test the Order of Battle and the module functions, and if you are really bold you could also be enlisted for preparing one or more scenario setup.

AFNORTH needs YOU! Enlist by writing to info@TRLGames.com!

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Brezhnev Took Afghanistan, Begin Took Beirut…

….and COVID took the Wargaming Conventions.
As there will be no conventions in the foreseeable future, we decided to send to the front the strategic reserve of copies kept until now for conventions usage. In plain terms, this means:

As a side note, 1985: Under an Iron copies are now moving to the distribution points….Europe shipping should begin next week, US and Canada could take a little longer as they have to traverse the North Atlantic SLOC.

Oh well that’s it….The Convention Is Dead, Long Live to the Convention!

SITREP 20200730 1300 ZT: Following the tradition of the previous offensives, this one too was fast and bloody. 1985:DNL copies are gone, but stay tuned in the next few days for the fifty 1985:UAIS ones!

SITREP 20200804 1836 ZT: The 50 remaining copies of 1985: Under an Iron Sky – Third Echelon are now available on the product page!