Current game is tailored for high-intensity, conventional battlefield if Cold War ever went hot.
Despite popular imagination, AC-130H/U are niche aircraft operated by Special Operations Squadron. Flying slow, low circles around their targets at night, they are only suited for low intensity conflicts or when enemy IADS is totally absent or neutralized.
While the clear trend since the Gulf War is that precision-guided weapons represent a steadily increasing percentage of munitions delivered (about 8% in Iraq, 30% in Kosovo,and 60% in Afghanistan) even small conflicts today drain Western stocks considerably. Soviet stock of guided weapons was not that small at all, but that says a lot about what their expected use ratio would be in conventional wide war.
In 1980s, Soviets expected to use their KAB-1500 (Su-24) and KAB-500 (Su-24, Su-17M4 and MiG-27K) guided bombs primarily on bridges, lesson learned from Vietnam, as bridges turned out to be notably hard to hit and destroy with conventional bombing. Tactical missiles (Kh-23/25/29) would be used in attack sorties on high-value airports and command centres, and most Soviet aircraft could carry them. Pretty much everything else was to be attacked with "dumb" bombs and rockets. Same was true for NATO forces.
Another factor that often troubles Cold War war-gamers is the actual availability of CAS sorties. One of the commanding officers of NORTHAG used to say that the job of the air force was to keep the enemy air force off his troops and stop the enemy’s second echelon of reserves from linking up with their front echelon. This meant that any army had to accept that at least for the first few days of a conflict the only friendly aircraft they would see would be passing through their area at high speed on their way to and from targets beyond the battle area. The air commanders would have been far more concerned about achieving air superiority and interdicting follow-on forces than flying close support for ground forces. The Soviets had long viewed air-power's primary responsibility as the deep fight, not as flying front-line fire support (they viewed close support as a mission for helicopters more so than fixed-wing.) The US joined them in this view with the advent of Air-Land Battle doctrine and its new emphasis on attacking the enemy simultaneously throughout the full operational depth of the theater, as opposed to Active Defense with its focus on the main battle area. Even dedicated CAS platforms like Harrier (and to a lesser degree A-10) were really intended to attack the follow-on echelon in its assembly areas or on the march. Troops already deployed into attack formation would be much less rewarding and more dangerous targets. Not to mention the likely issues with fratricide when operating close to friendly lines.
Armored Brigade Database Specialist