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The Black Effect - 12/6/2013 2:30:43 PM   
Tazak

 

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Just finished reading the Black Effect by Harvey Black. It follows a number of British units and the 10th Guards Tank Division in a cold war turned hot setting, very good read even with a few typos (M109A2 using 152mm gun or swingfire missiles that weight 555kg).

While it covers NORTHAG it also touches on 11 ACR in a couple of chapters, very good read and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for an insight into how the BAOR was trained to fight delaying actions using combined arms. While he covers 'combat teams' company sized units with 2 troops of tanks and 1-2 platoons of infantry, the overall picture can easily be turned into a campaign.
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RE: The Black Effect - 12/6/2013 3:28:00 PM   
Capn Darwin


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Sounds good. I smell more scenarios.

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/6/2013 3:56:17 PM   
Panta


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Is The Black Effect the follow of The Red Effect, by the same author?

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/6/2013 6:45:33 PM   
Tazak

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Panta

Is The Black Effect the follow of The Red Effect, by the same author?


Think it is part of that tribology

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/6/2013 9:18:44 PM   
TheWombat

 

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Yes, and The Blue Effect is due next year I think, to complete it.

It's actually quite decent, as these things go; certainly, I enjoyed it more than Chieftains, which I thought was a bit lacking in several areas, particularly the ending. Harvey Black writes engagingly, though as noted there are some typos that give evidence of the books I think being self-edited, or at least, not thoroughly and professionally edited. And when he tries to write dialogue for the US soldiers...well, let's just say that US GIs don't generally talk bout taking a kip or call each other mate, etc.

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/7/2013 6:26:36 AM   
MSGalileo

 

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I read red and black effect last week, now I am on the Armaggedon song's from Andy Farman, a trilogy in four volumes . Some good ideas for ground scenarios (we follow UK, US, Russian, French, Australian, ..... ground/navy/air guys and girls in the WW III around the globe) but the author have a lack (well a big one) of knowledge about the naval hardware and warfare and the characters did not last very long in the books, worst than reading Games of Thrones , between those killed by gas, nuke, mortar, eaten by caiman, crush by a train, .... at the end there is few left. But the books are very enjoyable (lot of british humor)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/ANDY-FARMAN/e/B00CK3D6EW

< Message edited by MSGalileo -- 12/7/2013 7:39:39 AM >


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RE: The Black Effect - 12/7/2013 10:53:37 AM   
LuckyJim1010

 

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I'm reading the Red Effect at the moment and to be brutally honest there is a reason why Editor's and proof readers are employed.

Overlong, complicated prose is really making it difficult for me to finish it and I love the subject matter.

The author's obvious knowledge of the Cold War years and it's possible hot war scenarios is first rate but is there really a need to describe every action in minute detail.

Two men getting in a car takes an entire paragraph. Another paragraph describes a briefcase.

If this is what the author does in such mundane matters I am actually dreading what it is like when the Steel starts flying.

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/7/2013 2:38:36 PM   
TheWombat

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: LuckyJim1010

I'm reading the Red Effect at the moment and to be brutally honest there is a reason why Editor's and proof readers are employed.

Overlong, complicated prose is really making it difficult for me to finish it and I love the subject matter.

The author's obvious knowledge of the Cold War years and it's possible hot war scenarios is first rate but is there really a need to describe every action in minute detail.

Two men getting in a car takes an entire paragraph. Another paragraph describes a briefcase.

If this is what the author does in such mundane matters I am actually dreading what it is like when the Steel starts flying.


It actually gets better, as the detail tends to focus on actions and combat rather than minutia. But yes indeed, these books scream "Edit Me!" at the top of their little pulpy lungs.

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/7/2013 4:17:47 PM   
LuckyJim1010

 

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Thanks Wombat, makes me want to carry on with it

A friend of mine has self published his book. I asked him how many times he rewrote it and his reply was 'None, it didn't need editing'

Says it all really.

Regarding Chieftans - did you get the impression it was half finished ? I reread it after all these years and I must admit I wished I hadn't. Some of the story lines just stop with no real resolution.

< Message edited by LuckyJim1010 -- 12/7/2013 5:22:04 PM >

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/7/2013 6:49:36 PM   
TheWombat

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: LuckyJim1010

Thanks Wombat, makes me want to carry on with it

A friend of mine has self published his book. I asked him how many times he rewrote it and his reply was 'None, it didn't need editing'

Says it all really.

Regarding Chieftans - did you get the impression it was half finished ? I reread it after all these years and I must admit I wished I hadn't. Some of the story lines just stop with no real resolution.


With Chieftains, I did feel sort of let down. The thing seemed to just...stop, and yeah, a lot of the storylines sort of just petered out. I get that the author was making a point--I think--about nuclear war, but I'd have been more interested if he had gone a bit further at least to describe the aftermath of those first strikes at least.

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/7/2013 7:59:14 PM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheWombat


quote:

ORIGINAL: LuckyJim1010

Thanks Wombat, makes me want to carry on with it

A friend of mine has self published his book. I asked him how many times he rewrote it and his reply was 'None, it didn't need editing'

Says it all really.

Regarding Chieftans - did you get the impression it was half finished ? I reread it after all these years and I must admit I wished I hadn't. Some of the story lines just stop with no real resolution.


With Chieftains, I did feel sort of let down. The thing seemed to just...stop, and yeah, a lot of the storylines sort of just petered out. I get that the author was making a point--I think--about nuclear war, but I'd have been more interested if he had gone a bit further at least to describe the aftermath of those first strikes at least.


+1

Good Hunting.

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/8/2013 1:17:09 AM   
combatengineerjr


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quote:

ORIGINAL: LuckyJim1010

I'm reading the Red Effect at the moment and to be brutally honest there is a reason why Editor's and proof readers are employed.

Overlong, complicated prose is really making it difficult for me to finish it and I love the subject matter.

The author's obvious knowledge of the Cold War years and it's possible hot war scenarios is first rate but is there really a need to describe every action in minute detail.

Two men getting in a car takes an entire paragraph. Another paragraph describes a briefcase.

If this is what the author does in such mundane matters I am actually dreading what it is like when the Steel starts flying.


Electronic publishing has reduce the barriers to getting in 'print' however it comes at the cost that you describe. However without electronic publishing, with all its warts, we'd not have even a small chance at a series like the Red\Black Effect. They would stand no chance in the 'print' world. I'll take them warts and all over nothing.


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RE: The Black Effect - 12/13/2013 9:13:39 PM   
LuckyJim1010

 

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Have to post one last time on this thread - sorry but the Black Effect is just too badly written for me to carry on.

Heavy, over the top descriptions of mundane things, an example of which is the F4 QRA launch and intercept of a lone Bear over the North Sea.

Goes on for about 3 pages with absolutely no tension, depth or insight.

And then when the RAF F4's get told a big raid (30+ aircraft inbound) is on its way the narrative just stops. Dead. Bit like that.

The ground combat description is just one huge wall of text. Does it really need to tell you the unit designation of every single unit that is going into action.

Apparently Word War 3 in Central Europe consists of Milan positions, a few PBI's in 432's, a smattering of Chieftans, the 'Heavy' losses of Warsaw Pact aircraft ( 2 SU-25's) over a major battlefield and O Groups where everyone is almost on the brink of a jolly good time.

Please just charge 50 pence, I might buy the last one in the trilogy just out of pity.

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/16/2013 7:13:45 PM   
BROJD

 

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I've enjoyed both the Red and Black Effects, but I agree with most of the criticisms with the poor (or maybe not just polished enough) writing and pointlessness of some of the stories.

Remember the East German couple trying to escape in the first book? Great description of the IGB zone. But absolutely pointless.

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/16/2013 10:04:36 PM   
TheWombat

 

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LOL, yeah, it's hardly Proust. Or even Rousseau. But it's ok for cheap I guess. But man, it'd be so much better with an editor.

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/18/2013 12:21:27 AM   
rosseau

 

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Seriously, The War in 2020 by Ralph Peters is one you don't want to miss. I got a copy for $5. He's the guy that's got the column in Armchair General magazine.

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/18/2013 2:40:37 PM   
BROJD

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rosseau


Seriously, The War in 2020 by Ralph Peters is one you don't want to miss. I got a copy for $5. He's the guy that's got the column in Armchair General magazine.

quote:

The War in 2020


Thanks, just added to my Amazon Wish List. His book Red Army is an unappreciated masterpiece, and I really enjoyed his recent book about a future US war against the Muslim caliphate in what was left of Isreal -- I just can't remember the name of it.

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RE: The Black Effect - 12/18/2013 3:27:45 PM   
TheWombat

 

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Red Army is a great look at the Soviet side of the hill, for sure. The political analysis doesn't hold up as well--I guess, given what happened, the Euros were more correct in their assessment of the threat than Peters gives them credit for!--but the tactical/operational stuff is pretty good.

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RE: The Black Effect - 1/2/2014 8:07:56 PM   
FOW

 

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It's been about 15 years since I've read any Cold War books - this game which I bought a week ago has rekindled my interest. Two books that vividly stick in my mind are:

1. First Clash: Combat Close-Up in World War Three by Kenneth Macksey, ISBN 0425107566
2. Dragons at War: 2-34 Infantry in the Mojave by Daniel Bolger (Old school description of tactical actions at the National Training Center in the 1980s. Still a good primer for understanding battalion level operations. Clearly describes keys to succeed and fail at NTC with implications on how to fight in a hybrid environment. A matter-of-fact record of an Army unit's training experience at the National Training Center in the Mojave Desert in the mid-80s).

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RE: The Black Effect - 1/2/2014 9:28:28 PM   
ETF


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ok ordering online at amazon....any other good ones on the cold war?


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RE: The Black Effect - 1/14/2014 12:49:00 AM   
mikeCK

 

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Any of you guys read "Arc Light"? Written in 1991 where Russia and China to to war. China launches a tactical nuclear strike on Russia but Russia thinks it's from the US and launches a limited ICBM strike against the US. The US then launches against Russia. It's all about a conventional war taking place Round the world after a massive nuclear exchange

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RE: The Black Effect - 1/14/2014 4:07:47 PM   
TheWombat

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mikeCK

Any of you guys read "Arc Light"? Written in 1991 where Russia and China to to war. China launches a tactical nuclear strike on Russia but Russia thinks it's from the US and launches a limited ICBM strike against the US. The US then launches against Russia. It's all about a conventional war taking place Round the world after a massive nuclear exchange


Man that sounds like a scarily believeable CF of epic proportions, doesn't it? I'll have to look this one up.

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RE: The Black Effect - 1/14/2014 6:52:36 PM   
JohnO


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mikeCK

Any of you guys read "Arc Light"? Written in 1991 where Russia and China to to war. China launches a tactical nuclear strike on Russia but Russia thinks it's from the US and launches a limited ICBM strike against the US. The US then launches against Russia. It's all about a conventional war taking place Round the world after a massive nuclear exchange

Just bought it for my Kindle Fire.

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RE: The Black Effect - 1/21/2014 6:55:20 PM   
ferg1234

 

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I just finished Black/Red Effect books. My complaints have already been mentioned. The ending of the second book has set up the third book in the series. I think they get better as it goes along. I read the three released Armageddons Song series. The forth one will be released this year. I have enjoyed it and am anxious for the next release. The author, Andy Farman, is a good guy. He has a Facebook page and its the first time I've ever been able to talk to an author. Team Yankee by Harold Coyle is one of my favorites. It has not been released in Kindle format yet. The land combat in Tom Clancys Redstorm Rising is another great one. Someone mentioned Arclight and I would recommend this as well. The focus in the beginning is on the strategic nuclear forces but switches to land combat in Europe. I bought the hard cover and Kindle versions. Another good find is 'The Bear Went Over The Mountain'. It is a collection of battles from several books already mentioned in this thread. There are maps and OOB of each battle. Its not a big book but is made for war gamers who recreate those battles. There is another computer game I play that I was able to recreate these battles on. So many good books and games and so little time.

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RE: The Black Effect - 1/21/2014 10:38:08 PM   
jenrick

 

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"The Bear Went Over The Mountain" is also the title of an study if the Soviet Operations in Afghanistan written by the Soviet military. Interesting reading.

-Jenrick

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RE: The Black Effect - 1/21/2014 10:39:07 PM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ferg1234

So many good books and games and so little time.



You got that right. I was told a long time ago, by my Grandfather, that you shouldn't turn your hobby into a job.

He was 100% correct. For those of you that think that sitting on our side of the table is AWESOME, well, it is (VBG) but in a different way. Gone are the free hours to play games. Those have been replaced by hours of working on ONE GAME! It helps that it's ours, but still, the WORK that goes into creating and producing what you guys get is far more than most would imagine.

Good Hunting.

MR


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RE: The Black Effect - 1/21/2014 10:43:22 PM   
mikmyk


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Tell me about it

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RE: The Black Effect - 1/22/2014 12:14:22 AM   
Capn Darwin


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Hang tough Mike!

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RE: The Black Effect - 1/22/2014 1:41:09 PM   
ferg1234

 

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I read the version of 'The Bear Went Over The Mountain' a few months back along with 'Afgansty'. I can honestly say I was surprised to read about the Soviet tactics that were employed. When I think of the Russian Hoard in the 80's I didn't imagine the tactics that were described in those books. There was a lot more finesse and strategy employed.

I watched a documentary the other day on the Mi-24 Hind. It said that there were Hind pilots that spent 7 years in country(Afghanistan) without returning home. Given the high number of casualties taken by pilots during that conflict I was very impressed.

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RE: The Black Effect - 1/24/2014 12:54:03 AM   
ferg1234

 

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Jenrick and others-I made a mistake in a book title. 'The Bear Went Over The Mountain' is a real book but isn't the book I was thinking of. The correct title is 'The Bear Marches West' by Russell Phillips. I got the bear part right but failed on the rest of the title. I bought a digital copy from Amazon for my Kindle. Sorry about that. The book covers the battles that were fought in the books Red Army(Ralph Peters), Team Yankee(Harold Coyle), and Red Storm Rising(Tom Clancy-May he rest in peace). It list the OOBs for both sides, deployment information, weather, and objectives. I used it a few times for miniature war gaming.

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