The news today included a topical article on the potential for a Russian move against Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia at some point in the not too distant future. This set me off on one of the usual 'what if' wanderings, with AirWar C21 in mind.
I've been looking for an interesting modern or ultra-modern setting for this for ages but haven't had much luck, aside from the Alto Cenepa war and the Israeli -Syrian clash over the Bekaa valley. So, the current tension in the Baltic States ticks lots of boxes.
There is at present a NATO Baltic Air Policing mission which operates from bases in Poland, Estonia and Lithuania, with NATO states providing air cover on a rotational basis. The Italian air force is currently on duty with four Eurofighter Typhoons.
The potential for a small number but a wide variety of fighter types, drawn from a range of NATO participants, is one really cool aspect. There are the expected F16's flown by the Dutch, Polish, Belgians and Portuguese amongst others, but lots of other interesting variations as well.
The Italians and British use the aforementioned Eurofighter Typhoon, while the Czechs deploy the Saab Gripen and the Poles the MiG29 Fulcrum. On top of that, the Canadians have CF-18 Hornets while the French have Rafales and Mirage 2000's. The US have also deployed F15's from the UK, as and when required.
As you can see, there's lots of variety here and an escalation of the current situation could easily draw in several of the NATO contingents against a Russian threat to the region, not to mention the Scandinavians with their Falcons and Gripen.
It wouldn't be difficult to work out a series of linked scenarios for this, perhaps initiated by an interception 'gone wrong', which might make a 'not at all predetermined' Russian response much less questionable, at least from Mr Putin's point of view.
It wouldn't be the first time.
Anyway, as far as wargaming goes, the obvious choice would be 1/600 scale using the Oddzial Osmy range of modern aircraft, which includes all of the above and the Su27 for the Russians. I would use Tumbling Dice planes but there are some important missing types, so the O8 approach would seem to be the better option.
Again, this is all pie in the sky but I think it could be a lot of fun!