I know this thread has been quiet for a while ... but there are many MP users, like me, who really do hope to see a modern data book or two during our lifetimes. So I thought I might see if the discussion can be re-started.I have been looking over several of the other discussion threads on this subject, and I have the impression that the effort of creating modern data books has been started several times, and perhaps seen some progress over the years, yet has eluded completion. I am thinking that there may even already be a fair bit of data that has been collected by this process.If indeed there has been some work done, but the task itself eludes completion, then we might look at why it is eluding completion, and consider how to make it easier to complete. I expect, with no real knowledge from inside the ODGW effort, that the modern era is just so large of a span of time, with so many possible combattants, and so much complexity from the mix of technologies over time, that each effort at producing a modern data book has been too large of a task for the individuals involved, and that those who have tried have become frustrated with the effort and wandered off to other, more manageable work. Perhaps the ambitions of the task are beyond the means of completion? Or, as it has been said in simpler terms -- sometimes better is the enemy of good enough.Which brings me back to the topic of this thread. I think that the shortest route to completion of modern data books will be to divide the timeframe and arenas of conflict, and build the books one upon another. In this way a base of work can be a manageable task which might be completed in a reasonable timeframe, and then each addition can also be more manageable. Much as the MP Core Rules are built-upon by advanced and optional rules.I suggest a Core Post-War book, to cover 1945 to 1975. The 1975 cut-off date is not cast in concrete in my thinking. Maybe a bit earlier -- say 1970 or so -- would also be a good idea. The notion is to find the cut-off point which reduces the added complexity of the new technologies of the modern era -- such as integrated fire controls, battlefield management/tactical computers, thermal imagers, and reactive armor. It would be focussed on the major NATO v. Warsaw Pact Cold War adversaries -- US, UK, France, Germany, Soviet Union. Nothing more. This to be followed by a Core Modern book, to cover 1975 to 2008. It would focus on the major NATO countries -- US, UK, France, Germany, Soviet Union/Russia. Nothing more. This would add the new technologies.An add-on could cover the Arab-Israeli Conflicts from 1948 to 2008, adding Israeli and Arab equipment that is not already covered in the two core modern books.A Korean War add-on would cover only those particular items of kit not already found in the core early modern book, and include any special considerations -- troop quality ratings, organizations, etc -- of the armies involved.An Indo-Pak add-on would cover the particulars of that conflict from 1945 to 2008.A Lesser European Armies book could then add other interesting armies -- Italy, Greece, Turkey, the Benelux and Scandinavian forces, Poland, Hungary, Romania, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, etc. It could even add Ukraine, Byelorussia, the Baltic states etc. Even though this book would cover many countries, the amount of original equipment or even significant modifications used by each is relatively small, so this book might stretch from post-war to modern.I would seperate the Iraq and Afganistan Wars into yet another add-in, putting in whatever modern kit and organizational/operational information is needed to bolster the Core Modern book -- even if much of that information was also scattered about in the Arab-Israeli and Lesser European books.I also like the idea of a Far East book adding China, North Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Given the smaller number of countries and paucity of original equipment in the early post-war period, this book might also stretch to cover the whole period from post-war to modern.So also a South East Asia book might consolidate the equipment from the several other books and add the relatively few unique pieces used in the wars of that region, and so cover the span from post-war to modern.As I put it together it is 9 or 10 different data books. That looks like a lot. But each one is more manageable in size, and so progress can be turned into published results, rather than unpublished partial results. That way I can buy the books as they come out, since providing more of my money to ODGW is one of my great ambitions in life!
And then I could get some of those M48s, M60s, M113s, T-62s, T-80s, BTR-60s and BMPs back onto my gaming boards after their 10+ year hiatus!
And THAT actually IS an ambition of mine.-Mark 1