PETER SHULMAN'S WAR | home
Last updated 06 / 22 / 16
Moon Shadow Farm where the war game has been played for the last 24 years.
The Organization Of The Game
Some information about how I play my war.
The two armies are organized in a fashion decided by me not according to any existent real world army or air force structure. I use a table of organization that permits me to name as many friends as possible as participants in the Green forces.
The equipment allocation is very straight forward. The Green Army (the good guys) uses only United States military vehicles and aircraft. The Gray army (the bad guys) uses military equipment and aircraft made in any other country in the world. Where equipment is used in real life by the United States and another country the Green Army gets the preference the AV-8 Harrier is a good example. If you desire to know which companies models are used go to the model pages for Vehicles and Aircraft The vehicles are all 1/35 or 1/32 scale, the aircraft all 1/48 scale. The aircraft are all jets, except transport units and aircraft assigned to the army for observation, light transport and foward air control missions. the switch from prop planes took place in 1976. I have in storage over 400 1/48th scale prop aircraft. I did use only WWII prop aircraft in the 2011 war but they are all now back in storage. Some of the vehicles are over fifty years old and have aged nicely through exposure to the elements. The models are built with the fact that they will be used outdoors and handled roughly in mind, many of the smaller detailed parts are left off. The models are all painted with acrylic paints which age beautifully when exposed to harsh weather. There are no standardized paint schemes for either army, many units both army and air force have different and unusual camouflage designs and colors. I mix the colors as I make the models. The only restriction is that only the Green Army can have green on its equipment and only the Gray Army any shade of gray. Most of the gun barrels on any weapon 20 mm and larger have been replaced by brass to prevent breaking off, the plastic barrels do not hold up in the woods and the plastic artillery barrels tend to melt when bottle rockets fire from them. I have been asked many times why no helicopters. The answer is that first they don't last in the trees the rotors beak off in the wind and second I would need them in 1/35 - 1/32 scale and the cost would be high. I have begun buying a few and will put them in service when I have enough. I have now begun to add boats again the first time since the late 1950s. The names of the people that I have participating in the war are painted on their command tanks, command vehicles or the aircraft they fly. As of 01/10/14 there are more than 5,000 pieces of equipment both air, ground and sea in use with both armies.
Aircraft and vehicle markings
I have been asked recently about the marking on vehicles and aircraft.
Each pilot has his or her name on their aircraft painted benieth the canope on the pilots left only the first initial and last name. Some aircraft also have nicknames on them.
The markings that you see on the vehicles are both tactical markings and nicknames. On an abrams tank for instance there will be tacticals on the side skirts. On a command vehicle first a V down for company commander, sideways to the rear for battalion commander, sideways to the front for regimental commander and pointed up for division commander. The V is followed by the company letter then the battalion number then the regimental number and the division number. An Abrams from the A company, first battalion, 55th regiment, Ist armored division will have this marking A/1/55/1. The V is on all combat command vehicles. Then armored vehicles in both armies may have a nickname.
The soldiers are sculpted from permoplast clay, made by the American Art Clay Company, which does not harden so they are flexible and can be posed in infinite ways. I have been using this same clay since I was a small child in the late 1940s. The Gray Army soldiers are made from gray clay. Infantry troops have gray helmets tankers wear helmets or berets in black or red. The Green Army soldiers are sculpted from a loose mixture of green and brown clay. This gives a sort of forest camouflage. The same mixture is used in the helmets. Tankers wear helmets or black berets, Special Forces green berets and Rangers maroon berets. The troops get very dirty in the woods so every few years I re-sculpt selected units.
The Green Army structure is a two by set up. Two platoons to a company, two companies to a battalion, two battalions to a regiment or three battalions to an independent brigade, two regiments to a division, two divisions and or three brigades to a corps, two corps to an army and two armies to an army group. The Green Army is built around a division structure with some armored brigades and some independent battalions. The Gray Army is built around a brigade structure with some independent battalions and few organized divisions. Since there is equipment from WW II forward some attempt is made to match up opposing forces by equipment era when each years war begins, this generally breaks down after the first few major battles. Towards the end of each seasons war some strange battles take place between groups fielding really dissimilar equipment. It is interesting indeed to watch the outcome of a meeting engagement between Tiger tanks and Bradley IFVs. 88mm against TOW. It does however sort its self out amazingly well.
The air forces of both sides are organized in a similar manner. Six to nine aircraft in a Squadron, three or more squadrons to an air wing, three to five wings in an air force. In the Green Air force there are five air forces the 1st, 5th, 8th, 10th and 12th. The Gray Air force has air regiments in the Russian style they are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th. Each side has five air bases in the field.
The people named to positions in the Green Army are a very diverse group. The core group of men is made up of people that I consider close friends or who have been close friends in the past. There are however persons named who I have never met, only met in passing or knew for a short while. These people are included because they have had some favorable impact on my life. In 1992 the Green Army became so large that I ran out of male friends to include so I began putting women into the war. The women are not only those with whom I have been intimate, also included are women with whom I have been friends, those who have impacted my life in some meaningful way and a few who are the wives of close friends. All the women now included in the war are in the Green Air Force. They fly fighters (the entire First Air Force is woman), recon planes, ECM aircraft, transports and command and control aircraft. There are undoubtedly some people in my army who don't care for me but its my army so I name who I choose. During the last few years I have placed a few people in the army who have contacted me after viewing this site, and with whom I enjoy E-mail and or Facebook exchanges. These people share their stories with me and I feel close to them. Everyone starts as a Lieutenant in the Green Air Force. Some have advanced remarkably fast in rank. As mentioned above I paint the names of participants on their command vehicles, command tanks or aircraft. to see the pilots named to the Green Air Forces you can go here The Pilots
The game is played in a random fashion. First the men and equipment of both sides are brought to the woods. It can take as long as three weeks. The area covered by the game measures roughly 1000 feet on each side, about 20 acres or more. The Gray Army is usually set up to defend the hilltop woods. The Green Army is usually the initial aggressor and is deployed along the borders of the Gray area. The hilltop I play on is bordered on one side by a trout stream with several water falls, making invasion from that direction a river crossing operation. In the beginning both sides deploy recon aircraft which penetrate the others air space. The fight begins when fighters attack these aircraft and are in turn attacked by escorting fighters. These initial air battles involve some fifty to sixty aircraft. I place all the planes at random in the trees and then go to an arbitrarily chosen spot, if the aircraft there has a shot a kill is made. When an aircraft makes a kill I move it to the location that was occupied by the downed plane. If another plane has a shot at this spot then another kill ect. I let this go on for a given period of time, about a week, then the remaining aircraft withdraw. The air action will continue in this fashion throughout the entire war. Later in the war the attack aircraft come into play and both armies antiaircraft units get involved.
The ground war begins with the Green Army attacking at one or more points. If a penetration is made more units are committed. If the attacks are stalled or beaten off the Gray Army may counter attack. After the initial attacks the armor battles are usually meeting engagements. The same random shot counter shot system is used but in the case of armor I use a laser pointer to determine hits and the capability of the weapons are considered. The infantry battles are large scale and fought at close quarters. I write a simple after action report at the end of each day of battle. I then write a complete detailed report at the end of each seasons war.
Downed aircraft are removed from the field each day and are out of the game until the next year. All downed pilots are assumed killed. Ground equipment that is knocked out is left on the field of battle until the game ends. The friends who are "killed" in the air or ground battles are out until the next seasons war. They then go to war again (nobody dies).The war is won by the side that totally destroys the other during the time that I play. In all the years the war has been played neither side has ever won.
The game is played each year from April until mid October at which time all the forces are removed from the woods. I cannot risk hunters stumbling into the combat area and destroying troops and equipment so everything is out of the woods by the opening day of hunting season. Beginning in 2001 I have begun bringing units out for winter battles after hunting season. The only time any equipment is moved out of sequence is during heavy rains when forces near the stream are moved back to avoid being swept away. Spare time in the winter months is spent reconditioning troops and equipment, building new models and sculpting new troops.
Below is a typical after action report chosen at random and taken verbatim from my records.
After Action Report: Battles 8/20/99 8AM-2PM
Green 9th Armored Div. attacked on the eastern perimeter of Gray area supported by the 15th Infantry Div. The Gray forces where driven back but did not break. Green losses in this engagement 146 officers and men, 17 M60A1 tanks, 12 M113 APCs. Gray losses 152 officers and men, 7 Centurion tanks, 5 Chieftain tanks, 8 Challenger tanks, 11 Warrior MIRVs.
Green 1st Armored Cavalry Div. and 4th infantry Div. attacked across the river on the western side. The Gray army contested the crossing but was eventually forced to withdraw to the next ridge line. The 2nd Armored Div. and 7th Infantry Div. began passing through the lines to take up the fight as the day ended. Green losses in this battle 243 officers and men including colonel Keck commander of the 100th armored regiment, 14 M1A1 tanks, 22 Bradley IFVs, 1 M557 command track. Gray losses 195 officers and men, 12 T62 tanks, 11 T55 tanks, 7 T80 tanks, 9 BMP1 IFVs, 3 Gaz jeeps.
The Green 3rd Armored Div. and the Gray 2nd Armored Division remained stalemated slugging it out on the southern edge of the combat zone. Green losses 39 officers and men 8 M4 tanks, 2 jeeps. Gray losses 46 officers and men, 4 Tiger II tanks, 2 Jaged Panther TDs, 2 kubelwagons. The Green 13th Armored Div. and 5th Infantry Div. are swinging east along the southern line to try to out flank the Gray Army units fighting 3rd Armor.
The Green 90th Airborne Regiment, 11th Airborne Div. deployed in the northern zone by air unopposed.
Col.Brown(F-16) shot down 2 Mirage IIIs, Maj. Berry (F16)shot down 1 SU7 and was shot down by a Mig 29, Capt. Aaron (F-16) was shot down by a Mirage 2000, Capt. Fowler (F-16) shot down a Mig 17, Gen. Bergman(F-16) shot down 1 Mig 21-2 Mig 29s, Lt. Siegal (F-16) was shot down by a Mirage III, Lt. Angstrom (F-16) shot down 1 Tornado, Major Danahy (F-16) was shot down by a Mig 29, Major Nathan (AV8B) was shot down by an SA6 missile, Lt. Orton (AV8B) destroyed the missile vehicle, Lt. Col. Friedlander (F-4G) destroyed a radar site, 4 Mig 17s Strafed a column of the 5th Infantry Div. destroying 10 men and 2 half tracks, Capt. Shannon (F/A-18) destroyed a Gray brigade headquarters and 15 men, Maj. Schild (F/A-18) was shot down by a Raphale M, Gen. Lance (F-15) shot down 2 Mig 29s, Maj. Gobe (F-15) shot down 1 Raphale M, Maj. Murphy (F-16) shot down 1 GR91, Lt. Perel (F-16) shot down 1 Mig 27, Capt. Costa (F-16) was shot down by a Mirage F1, Col. Graham (C-130) and Capt. DeBerry (C-130) successfully landed units of the 11th Airborne Div. in the northern part of the combat zone. Col. Newman (RF-4C) and Lt. Occasio (RF-4C) flew recon missions. Lt. Dean (F-15) shot down 1 Mig 21 while escorting Lt. Col. Whelan's (ES-3A) command and control aircraft.
Green Army including from air attack 78 vehicles
Gray Army including from air attack 83 vehicles
Officers and Enlisted loses: All causes
Green Army including pilots 445
Gray Army including pilots 422
Green Army 7
Gray army 14
These reports vary in length and many have more detail. Some are much longer and a few are very short. I have in my records over 2500 after action reports and 40 plus war summaries.
Medals are awarded at the end of each years war. Combat Medals (c) are given to those Green Army commanders that fought outstanding battles. Air medals (a) are given for every five kills or for outstanding missions flown by Green Air Force pilots. The Combat Medals are more prestigious. Many of the Army commanders who started in the Air Force have medals of both types. A very few have Naval Medals (n) from the time in the late 1950s when I played on the island in the salt marshes and had a Green Navy. Promotion lists are also generated from each years war. People named in the Green forces have histories that are kept of their participation. As the Army expands promotions are made and new people brought in.
Air Force: Since the Air Force is the entry point for all participants anyone I add starts there as a Lieutenant. Fighter pilots are promoted to captain after two summer wars or after shooting down 5 Gray aircraft (ace) whichever comes first. Promotion to major comes after 5 years or shooting down 10 (double ace) aircraft. Lt. Colonel is achieved after 10 years or the shooting down of 20 aircraft. All other types of pilots, attack, reconnaissance, refueling, ECM, command and control and transport become captains after 2 years or 25 missions whichever comes first. Promotion to major comes after 50 missions or 5 years. Lt. Colonel is achieved at 100 missions or 10 years. Promotion beyond Lt. Colonel is totally arbitrary, I pick who ever I want to achieve Colonel or above. At no time however does anyone skip a rank level ACCEPT when a friend dies in real life. Those friends who pass away are, as I said in the story, kept in the army because I see no reason not to continue enjoying their company. If a friend passes I promote him or her automatically one rank.
Army: I choose new members for the army from air force pilots who have achieved the rank of Lt. Colonel or Colonel. If a pilot is promoted to general in the air force they stay in the air force. The aircraft assigned to the army are flown by pilots picked from the air force. Most are majors or above with more than 100 missions flown. Positions only open in the army when enough equipment is acquired to field a major new unit. New army units are fielded every two or three years. Promotion within the army is based on performance and battles won. In some cases I leave a person in the same positiion in the army because they do extremely well and should stay there. There are several regiment commanders and one division commander that have held the same commands and ranks for more than 40 years.
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