I should have done this review long time ago, when I first got CWC in my hands and had a first game. But better late than never, so here we go 🙂
Book had been published in 2009 by Specialist Military Publishing and is currently out of print. But do not despair, you can still get a copy at print-on-demand website lulu.com . If I remember correctly I paid around 18 pounds with postage included. Only difference between Lulu copy and original one is that there are no colour pictures in print-on-demand one and cover is just brown shiny paper with Cold War Commander written on it ( looks very nice actually and I am a big fan of minimalistic designs 😉 ). There are 140 pages mostly filled with rules, army lists and few last pages have advertisements of relevant companies selling miniatures and scenery that can be used for CWC games.
CWC rules are set for 6mm games, but games can be played with models from 2mm to 28 mm scales with appropiate adjustments of distances/ranges as described in the rulebook.
Personally I can just say that I love them. Game is complex enough not to be boring, but its also not overtly complicated and you can learn the rules pretty quickly. Game mechanis is heavily inspired by Warmaster with commanders having to issue orders to their brigades for them to do anything more complicated and having negative modifiers to rolls for each subsequent order issued, distance and other factors. Game in general is “You go, I go” type, but everybody has things to do and even if its not your turn, you will not be bored with great rule called “opportunity fire” where you can fire at units moving in your arc of sight of firing at you. It does make it much more dynamic game rather than just waiting for your opponent to finish and rolling your armour saves.
Without describing every little rule there is place in a game for engineers, aircraft and artillery strikes (both scheduled and called by observers/HQ and its also worth noting that you can purchase special amunition for aircraft, making it even more interesting), recce, ambushes, field defences … and few more. Some of this rules are optional (such as nightfighting, weather etc.) and you can include them if you both agree.
Before you begin the game you roll on a special table to see whether points allowed for each army will be somehow adjusted (to simulate both armies not being exactly matching-if you are lucky you can end up even with 25% more points for your army!) which is something I really like as well. There are 3 different types of deployment (static, mobile and flank) and some are not always available depending on which scenario you are playing.
One other thing worth mentioning is that there are 4 different tactical doctrines and each army follows one of them (rigid, normal, flexible, guerilla) all of them with their good and bad points.
Book offers 16 different scenarios for games so really you will not be bored very quickly 😉
There is a multitude of army lists available in the book- pretty much every bigger conflict starting from France-Viet Minh in 1948 up to First Gulf War is covered in the book. Apart from the conflicts we also get lists for different NATO and Warsaw Pact armies in case you want to do campaign based on “what if” NATO-Warsaw Pact war plus if you go to http://www.coldwar-commander.com you can find extra lists that haven’t been included in the book (such as Russian VDV Paratroopers list which I play personally).
I am sure I haven’t covered many aspects of this excellent rulebook, but hopefully I gavee you good glimpse of it. I play many different games and read many different wargaming rules and I can honestly say CWC is one of the best I have ever seen.
To get it go to http://www.lulu.com