In anticipation of my Airwar: C21 rules and some planes arriving I am thinking about modern conflicts and how to justify coming up with situations where modern jets would be used against each other.
There are plenty of countries that could go to war, but the main problem I seem to face is the use of nuclear weapons.
So how to justify a conflict where nukes wont be used?
"Nuke - just don't do it" - maybe the threat of a world wide nuclear war is enough deterrent to prevent a nuclear war. Maybe a bit over simplified but it could work.
Russia - if the state of their navy is anything to go by maybe Russian nukes/deployment systems are so poorly maintained that whilst the threat is there, they can't be used.
North Korea - just write a bit of back ground with a) they didn't actually develop nuclear weapons and it was all a sham, or b) due to lack of funds and resources (inc. a starving population) they weren't able to produce nuclear weapons.
China - apparently they have a 'do not use first policy'. This can be very useful as it means they 'pwomise' they will not use nukes unless they are used on them first.
The West - well, being the 'good guys' the West will never use them on others first.
African Nations - well, considering most of these nations don't really have much of an airforce compared to bigger nations would it really be fun to have an airwar that could end in the first game of a campaign?
With these points in mind, I am tempted to work on some following conflict ideas:
Indonesia vs Australia (and allies). The allies would be needed due to the small size of Australia's air force.
conflict against former Soviet states escalates bringing the west into conflict with Russia.
vs Japan (over the northern Island chains). Can escalate including Western Forces.
Also as per the background of the novel "Fortunes of War"
War against the West due to invasions in Europe (Red Storm Rising novel)
stock standard 2nd Korea War (Red Phoenix novel)
vs Japan over years of tension, including kidnapping of Japanese citizens
vs Vietnam - escalates bringing the west in (Red Dragon Rising novels)
vs Japan/Allies - over resources and control of southern Island, as per events last year.
I haven't read the book, but apparently Larry Bond wrote a novel with France fighting against the U.S. which would be interesting to read.
To make a game interesting I think major powers are needed, or at least countries that have a decent sized air force.
I will do some research to see if African and South American Nations could come into contention. After seeing how some middle eastern nations didn't really put up much of a fight with their air force over the years, I don't think a middle eastern setting would be very rewarding.